Seattle’s Top 10 Innovation Stories of the Half-Year (and Others We Just Plain Liked)

12/31/08Follow @gthuang

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Bill Gates, to nuclear physics, to how his “invention company” fits in with venture capital and private equity.

4. Keith Grinstein Dies at 48

This was a shocking and sad loss for the Seattle community. Grinstein was a founding partner in Second Avenue Partners, chairman of Coinstar, director of F5 Networks, and director of Labor Ready.

3. Dendreon Holds Its Breath

This story laid out the controversial saga of Dendreon’s prostate cancer drug, Provenge, while the company and its investors were awaiting key clinical trial results.

2. How to Spot a Breakthrough

This piece was based on a riveting talk by Nick Hanauer of Second Avenue Partners. Hanauer, an early investor in Amazon and a number of other successes, spoke about what “breakthrough ideas” are, how to find them, and which companies are developing them.

1. Boeing Develops a “Rotorcraft”

This story tapped into the public’s fascination with newfangled aircraft and unorthodox methods of flight. Boeing’s project to develop an airship-helicopter hybrid, together with SkyHook, faces some technical challenges, as we laid out here. (Think maybe we should do more Boeing stories, or weird-vehicle stories?)

Editors’ Choices

And here are 10 more “editors’ picks”—stories that we particularly liked, because they were fun, unique, and/or surprising, but which didn’t rank in our top 10 in terms of traffic:

Accium Biosciences, Pioneer of Particle Accelerator for Drug Development, Finds Niche

EnerG2, a University of Washington Startup, Raises $8.5M for Energy Storage, Led by OVP

Leroy Hood, Turning 70, Still Aims to Accomplish “The Most Ambitious Things of My Career”

Mayonnaise Wrestling, Flavor Fanaticism, and Social Media on Steroids: The Bacon Salt Story

Paul Allen’s WWII Planes Show How Innovation Can Soar Ahead

Traditional Venture Model is “Broken” for Biotech; Companies Need to Adapt, Says VC Alan Frazier

UW TechTransfer’s Linden Rhoads Aiming to Nurture More Startups, Entice More VCs to Look at UW’s Research Cupboard

Where Innovators Meet Up: The Greater Seattle Coffee Cluster

Why Startups Fail: A Top 10 List from Geoff Entress, Seattle’s Prolific Angel Investor

ZymoGenetics CEO Bruce Carter Retires, Promotes Doug Williams, Says Sad Goodbyes to Biotech “Family”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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