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  1. 1. Ideas for Innovators Leave the office and listen to customers Taking the time to leave the office and attend conferences can help you to see the world different and come up with ideas, writes Ken Tencer, CEO of Spyder Works. Among Tencer's other tips are to pay attention to what customers have to say and to recognize the value of those around you. Employees and advisers "generate ideas and from these ideas come opportunities. Make sure you have a system to solicit and capture their input," he writes.
  2. 2. Finance & Growth Q1 VC investment reached highest point in more than a decade Amid concerns that flagging tech stocks could drag down startup valuations, venture capital investment reached $10.74 billion in the first quarter of the year. That represents an 18% jump from the previous quarter and is the most invested since early 2001. However, this money was spread across only 862 deals, a 10% decline from the last quarter of 2013.