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Five nations boosting their culture of innovation

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Here's a look at five nations that are using varied strategies to ride the elevator of innovation-led growth.

BRAZIL

The competition isn't just between East and West. Brazil symbolizes the way continents of the South are ramping up efforts to nurture new businesses. A major government-backed effort to support start-ups includes a growing array of university-based incubator programs.

The effort is giving wings to people like Andre Averbug, a business school graduate whose start-up provides software for mass-transit services. "A few years ago, Brazil was seen as a commodity country," he says. "I think Brazil now is being looked at as a good country to do business."

SINGAPORE

This island nation has prospered not just because of investments in education and port infrastructure, but also because of its promotion of start-ups. Its experiments have run the gamut from subsidies for ventures involving targeted technologies to putting up public money alongside venture investors who come to the city-state, Harvard University business expert Josh Lerner writes in a recent report for the American Enterprise Institute.

The result: Even though its economy looked similar to that of Jamaica in 1965, per capita gross domestic product has reached $31,400 in Singapore, whereas Jamaica's had edged up to just $4,800.

INDIA

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