Correction: A previous version of this story, cited allegations of wrongdoing against InfoSpace and its executives after the stock fell in 2000. However, a Feb. 2011 independent analysis not paid for by Jain and conducted by the law firm Cooley LLP found that Jain was not guilty of any wrongdoing. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission requested the case against Jain be dismissed. We regret the error.

If you’re feeling down in the mouth about the state of the U.S. economy, talk to Naveen Jain.

The entrepreneur and philanthropist has high hopes about America’s innovation future, particularly as it pertains to the young. Jain immigrated to the United States in 1982 from India and, after earning a degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and an MBA from Xavier Institute of Management, made his way to Microsoft, where he served as a senior executive.

The founder of InfoSpace, Intelius and Moon Express, Jain serves as co-chairman of Education and Global Development for the X Prize Foundation. He is also a trustee on the board of Singularity University.

Jain, a polarizing figure in the tech and investment world, has experienced his fair share of successes (numerous accolades and achieving billionaire status) and setbacks.

But that hasn’t stopped the tech entrepreneur from pursuing his vision to improve education, leverage sensors for new health monitoring technology and, via the private sector, reestablish America’s position as a space exploration leader. With Moon Express, which has acquired a contract with NASA, Jain and his team are trying to build a moon lander to explore the moon and begin mining its natural resources. The project has been identified by Forbes as one of the “Names You Need To Know.

I sat down with Jain Monday to discuss his vision for U.S. innovation and his advice for the presidential candidates as they seek to position themselves as the best candidate to bolster, if not entirely reboot, the nation’s innovation economy.

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