By San Francisco Business Times

A mix of Bay Area venture capital, R&D and high-tech powers â¿¿ including Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang â¿¿ was named to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The council is charged with identifying issues critical to innovation by entrepreneurs and reporting back to the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It includes entrepreneurs, innovators, angel investors, venture capitalists, nonprofit leaders and others.

Among those joining Yang on the council will be Ellen Siminoff, a founding executive of Yahoo and now CEO of Shmoop, a Sunnyvale startup that publishes digital education materials, and AOL co-founder Steve Case.

Also named to the council were Curtis Carlson, president and CEO of research and technology development organization SRI International; CMEA Capital founder and alternative energy company investor Tom Baruch; and former Cisco chief technology officer Judith Estrin.

"America's innovation engine is not as efficient or as effective as it needs to be, and we are not creating as many jobs as we should," Locke said in a press release. "We must get better at connecting the great ideas to the great company builders."

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