News Article | April 17, 2017
Frequency and severity of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in the California-Nevada region have increased in recent years. These HABs affect plant operations and sometimes force temporary closures of water treatment plants due to severe taste and odor issues or cyanotoxins. Copper-based algaecides have been an important tool for many decades in management of source water. In some cases, copper has been over-used, leading to backlash. Doctor Hammond will discuss recent advances that have led to more efficient formulations of copper, which have superior performance and have less environmental impact. “Data from real world case studies will be presented, illustrating that a formulation of liquid copper yields superior results, superior pest control, and better cost-effectiveness at lower doses.” states Hammond. One such product, EarthTec, has been reported by municipalities to reduce taste and odor by directly removing or degrading the compounds responsible, such as geosmin. It delivers a low-dose of copper at only 60 Parts per billion. The use of advanced copper based products such as EarthTec QZ for the treatment and prevention of invasive quagga mussels (Dreissenids) will also be discussed by Dr. Hammond. Both products are approved by the EPA for control of in lakes and open waters. They are also approved for mussel control in pipelines and flowing waters. QZ is one of a select group of products that is both NSF-Certified for drinking water and EPA registered as a molluscicide. It has been in full-scale implementation at water treatment plants throughout the U.S. Data and case studies from some of these municipalities will be presented at the CA/NV AWWA conference in Anaheim, CA on April,11. David Hammond, Ph.D. is an environmental chemist with an interdisciplinary background in physical, biological and social sciences. As a scientific consultant, his clients have included Nike, IDEO, Amorim, agricultural producers, and the Green Chemistry Institute. Dr. Hammond has three patents for pest control agents and numerous peer-reviewed publications. He holds an M.S. from the Energy & Resources Group and a Ph.D. in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry, both from the University of California, Berkeley, where he specialized in Chemical Ecology. He was honored with the Macy award for excellence in entomology. Dr. Hammond currently serves as Senior Scientist with Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. For more information visit EarthTecwatertreatment.com / EarthTecQZ.com or call (800) 257-9283. You can follow EarthTec on LinkedIn.
News Article | April 26, 2017
Leonard brings to her new role more than 10 years as senior design lead and creative strategist at global design and innovation firm IDEO. During that time she honed her human-centered skills across a wide range of projects – from retail and finance to hospitality and health care – for clients such as Nike, Marriott, Visa, and AT&T, helping them make a positive impact through design. Her diverse background also encompasses radio broadcasting and print journalism, as well as co-authoring the award-winning book Massive Change: The Future of Global Design with Bruce Mau, a modern, illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are impacting humanity worldwide. “We are thrilled to have Jen join our team. Her creativity, influence and design leadership will be integral to fulfilling what we’ve set out to accomplish at Taylor Design – creating design that empowers people to do what they do best,” said Randy Regier, president, Taylor Design. “I appreciate how design can be a force for positive change in our world,” Leonard shared. “So I’m excited to see this manifest in the projects at Taylor, whose focus areas include healthcare, education and technology. Through design we can positively influence people’s lives and empower both those who serve and receive.” Leonard is also the host and producer behind Brand New Ways, an interview-based podcast about change making and rule breaking. She received her design diploma from the Institute without Boundaries, at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, Canada, and studied journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, The University of Western Ontario, in London, Canada. Her undergraduate degrees are in Sociology (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada) and Anthropology (The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada). About Taylor Design: Taylor Design is a full-service design firm that collaborates with clients to learn together and develop powerful user-based solutions, places and services that drive value and are effective, valid and delightful. The firm’s three practices in architecture, environments and strategies are united in their use of design as both a point of view, and a unifying method for its work. With offices in northern and southern California, Taylor Design’s dynamic and effective strategy-based practice assures that decisions made at every stage of the design process have a positive impact on organizations and communities. Clients of the firm have included: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; UC Berkeley; UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco; Stanford University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; San Mateo County; Scripps Health, San Diego; UC San Diego Health System, San Diego; UC Irvine Health, Orange County; Hoag Health Network, Orange County; as well as numerous service areas for Kaiser Permanente, among others. For more information about Taylor Design, visit Irvine, CA, April 26, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Taylor Design, a solution-oriented architecture, environments and strategies firm, has announced that Jen Leonard has joined the firm as Strategies Practice Leader. In this role, she will focus on bringing her human-centered design experience to Taylor Design collaborating across its Irvine, San Francisco and San Diego offices, and inspiring new ways of approaching design challenges.Leonard brings to her new role more than 10 years as senior design lead and creative strategist at global design and innovation firm IDEO. During that time she honed her human-centered skills across a wide range of projects – from retail and finance to hospitality and health care – for clients such as Nike, Marriott, Visa, and AT&T, helping them make a positive impact through design. Her diverse background also encompasses radio broadcasting and print journalism, as well as co-authoring the award-winning book Massive Change: The Future of Global Design with Bruce Mau, a modern, illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are impacting humanity worldwide.“We are thrilled to have Jen join our team. Her creativity, influence and design leadership will be integral to fulfilling what we’ve set out to accomplish at Taylor Design – creating design that empowers people to do what they do best,” said Randy Regier, president, Taylor Design.“I appreciate how design can be a force for positive change in our world,” Leonard shared. “So I’m excited to see this manifest in the projects at Taylor, whose focus areas include healthcare, education and technology. Through design we can positively influence people’s lives and empower both those who serve and receive.”Leonard is also the host and producer behind Brand New Ways, an interview-based podcast about change making and rule breaking. She received her design diploma from the Institute without Boundaries, at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, Canada, and studied journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, The University of Western Ontario, in London, Canada. Her undergraduate degrees are in Sociology (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada) and Anthropology (The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada).About Taylor Design: Taylor Design is a full-service design firm that collaborates with clients to learn together and develop powerful user-based solutions, places and services that drive value and are effective, valid and delightful. The firm’s three practices in architecture, environments and strategies are united in their use of design as both a point of view, and a unifying method for its work. With offices in northern and southern California, Taylor Design’s dynamic and effective strategy-based practice assures that decisions made at every stage of the design process have a positive impact on organizations and communities. Clients of the firm have included: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; UC Berkeley; UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco; Stanford University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; San Mateo County; Scripps Health, San Diego; UC San Diego Health System, San Diego; UC Irvine Health, Orange County; Hoag Health Network, Orange County; as well as numerous service areas for Kaiser Permanente, among others. For more information about Taylor Design, visit www.WeAreTaylor.com Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Taylor Design
News Article | May 29, 2017
In our 16th episode, we talk with Tom Kelly, a partner at IDEO, about the definition of innovation, how to take back your creative confidence, and the habits that can shape not only your current design team, but the up-and-coming design leaders of the world. The word “innovation” has gotten overused. Kelley says innovation, at the most fundamental level, is a fresh idea that’s feasible and adds value. Ideas alone are not innovation. In a world so full of screens and notifications sparring for our attention, it’s easy to get caught up in distractions. Kelley breaks down the significance of finding and protecting those quiet moments when you are most bombarded with creative ideas. Once you know when those moments are most likely to hit, it’s a matter of capturing those ideas for future implementation. Jared Erondu and Bobby Ghoshal are the hosts of High Resolution. This post and episode notes were put together by freelance writer, Gannon Burgett. Watch for High Resolution episodes to drop every Monday on TechCrunch at 8 a.m. PT. You can also listen on iTunes and Overcast.
News Article | May 27, 2017
Modern life is wasteful. From the plastic packaging that fills our kitchens – and ends up in our oceans – to the 40m tons of e-waste we generate per year, our throwaway culture is alive and kicking. And it’s wreaking havoc on the planet. But a host of designers, researchers and startups are on the case, coming up with new ideas to cut waste and make life more efficient. Here are six of our favourites. What if that sandwich maker gathering dust at the back of your cupboard could list itself on eBay? That’s the vision of design consultancy IDEO, which has come up with a proposal for getting unloved appliances back into circulation, saving materials and money and diverting e-waste from landfill. The Use Me/Lose Me service would monitor your appliances via web-connected chips and if anything went unused for too long, ping you a text with its likely market value. By replying to the text, you would authorise it to upload the product’s details on to an auction site and manage the sale, payment and shipping process – leaving you just to remove it from the cupboard and take it to the front door, says IDEO portfolio director Chris Grantham. The key question, he says, is: “How can we make this easier than remembering to go to the dump on a Saturday?” When designer Marilu Valente set out to reduce waste in personal care packaging, she found inspiration in the shape of the carnivorous Nepenthes plant. Her resulting bottle design aims to tackle the problem of small, hard-to-recycle bits of plastic which often end up in landfill, or waterways, by doing away with the need for a separate lid. Instead of a cap, the bottle’s flexible, slender spout plugs into a cavity on the side, sealing the container when it’s not in use. Nepenthes, which is currently just a prototype, also unplugs at the bottom, making it easy to clean and reuse, says Valente. The self-funded designer, who has not yet settled on a material for the concept, says she is in talks with mould manufacturers and has been approached by personal care brands. If Dutch designer Dave Hakkens gets his way, all of us could soon be turning plastic packaging into new products via home or community-based plastic recycling machines. His open-source Precious Plastic device is designed to give ordinary people around the world the tools to turn plastics lying around their neighbourhoods into useful and valuable items, from clipboards to bowls. Hakkens shares blueprints, step-by-step instructions and useful templates online to help people build and operate the machines, which he says are easy to assemble using basic tools and low-cost materials. The technology, which was highlighted in a recent report on digital disruption by UK innovation foundation Nesta, can be used to start a business, he says – and he won’t be asking for a share of the profits. Taiwan-based startup Bionicraft wants to encourage urban dwellers living in small spaces to put their food scraps somewhere more useful than the bin. Its indoor, table-top ecosystem uses earthworms to turn food waste into soil, which is then used as a bed for plants, or can be removed for use in other plant pots. The system, is able to process up to 3kg of food waste per week, says founder Brooklyn Chao, who hopes it will also remind people to reduce waste by planning their meals better. Chao’s team raised around $60,000 (£46,000) on Kickstarter to fund project development and the first production batch, priced at $169 a go, will be ready to ship soon, says Chao. Also taking on the food-waste challenge are startups and researchers promising to radically extend shelf life. California-based Apeel Sciences is touting an “invisible, tasteless and edible” substance made from waste farm produce such as banana peel and broccoli stalks, which it says can roughly double the life of avocados, mangos and citrus fruits by providing a protective layer against oxidation and transpiration. Meanwhile, Australian researcher Kirsty Bayliss has found a way to use plasma technology – already established in medicine and dentistry – to ward off mould from fresh produce and grains. In lab tests the technique, which uses an electrical charge to generate the plasma, doubled avocado shelf life to 10 days, says Bayliss. She is hoping to trial the approach at scale in the avocado industry and expects eventually to develop a small device for use at home, or by smallholder farmers, with a price tag of around $100. When 14-year-old Benjamin Stern saw a video of a turtle snarled up in plastic waste, he decided to start a business focused on getting unnecessary plastics out of the bathroom. Now 18, the CEO of Nohbo is four years – and a couple of prototypes – into his project to develop packaging-free, single-use shampoo portions for travellers and hotels. First designed as a hard ball which lathered on contact with water, Nohbo had to be redesigned after some of the first commercial batch broke apart during shipping last year, says Stern. The latest version is a shampoo pod, encased in a film made from water-soluble polymer PVOH. The company aims to release the new line in Autumn this year, says Stern.
News Article | May 9, 2017
Global tech leaders to gather in Bangkok for "Techsauce Global Summit 2017" BANGKOK, May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Techsauce Media Co. Ltd., Thailand's leading technology-oriented content provider, predicts 2017 is likely to be the golden year for Thai startups thanks to the growing trend of corporate venture capital (CVC). The company is also set to organise Techsauce Global Summit 2017, one of the biggest startup and tech conferences in Southeast Asia, with the aim of strengthening the country's technology ecosystem as well as pushing Thailand forward to become one of Asean's technological hubs. Chief executive officer and co-founder Oranuch Lerdsuwankij said technology and startups are playing a key role in ways of doing business. Big corporates across the globe in many industries have tremendously changed their business practices by setting up accelerator programmes and venture capital arms to foster strategic investment, making direct investments themselves and also investing in funds that support startups. "The vital factor helping to grow the number of CVCs is that the companies and startups' respective strengths and weaknesses help to fulfill each other, which creates massive business opportunities," Ms. Oranuch said. Giant companies hold expertise in their respective business areas and access to funding, as well as large customer bases, but they have little to no flexibility to create innovation. On the other hand, startups are able to take advantage of their company's small size to invent solutions to solve problems in those industries, but lack funding support. In Thailand, companies in several new industries such as the property and energy industries have jumped on the bandwagon to set up their venture capital arms, which is a step forward from what we previously saw in the past few years which was only companies in the telecom and finance industries getting involved. In the first four months of this year, there have already been 6 companies launching their venture capital arms. According to Ms. Oranuch, she expects there will continue to be a number of venture capital firms introduced by big corporates throughout the rest of the year. Thailand's venture capital value has risen to $261.28 million (THB9,050.7 million) since 2012. In late 2016 alone, Thai startups raised funds worth more than $86.02 million (THB2,981.45) Ms. Oranuch added that the company will organize Techsauce Global Summit 2017 on July 28-29 at Bangkok's Centara Grand Convention Centre at Central World. The venue is able to support more than 6,000 participants, doubling the amount of conference participants from last year. Techsauce is also hosting roadshows across more than 10 countries in the region. The conference hopes to expand and fortify Thailand's technology ecosystem, bringing big corporates and startups to connect with foreign investors and technology experts around the world, including those from the US, China and Japan. Previously, Thailand was a production hub for many industries, but it still lacks value-added services that would make it more attractive to investors such as bringing in digital technology support. However, at this critical juncture there have been signs of substantial backing from the private and public sectors to provide funding to develop innovative products that serve market needs and champion further growth. "Techsauce Global Summit 2017 intends to resolve what Thailand lacks, including know-how and business networks. Famous startup founders, investors and accelerators around the globe will join the event. We hope that the conference will create an international platform for the Thai startup ecosystem, enabling Thailand to literally become an investment hub as well as a technology development base for Asean," Ms. Oranuch said. More than 250 key speakers from around the world ranging from CEOs and investors to technology specialists will join the event to share their knowledge, experiences and thinking methods. For instance, Dave McClure of 500 Startups, Vitaly M. Golomb from HP Tech Ventures, Mike Peng from IDEO Tokyo, Kei Shimada - the Global Director of Innovation and Business Development from Dentsu Inc., Japan, Hiroshi Saijo from Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley, Fintech expert Roy Teo from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Alvin Ng from GE Capital. Co-founder Amarit Charoenphan said 8 stages will be provided at the Summit, focusing on global trends, what happens in Asia across industries and how to deal with these trends. The broad content of the Summit will also cover digital manufacturing, UrbanTech, FinTech, InsurTech, EnergyTech, EdTech, Automotive, FoodTech, BioTech, how to run startups and more than 100 other topics. Additionally, not to be missed are the cutting edge innovations like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, IoT and Biometrics which will be showcased through tangible, hands-on illustrations that make them simple to understand. "The main concepts of all 8 stages and more than 100 featured seminar topics will derive from upcoming technology trends. Participants will receive up-to-date know-how on a variety of topics; they can select from keynotes which suit their needs for generating their own business innovation and startup growth," said Mr. Amarit. The event is also supported by Thailand's giant corporates who are paying closer attention to technology development and investment through startups, such as AddVentures -- Corporate Venture Capital of SCG, Ananda Development, dtac accelerate, Digital Ventures -- a subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank and many more. Techsauce Global Summit 2017 is suited to companies and entrepreneurs who are looking for technology and innovation, brands in the processes of preparing themselves for digital transformation, as well as startups and those who are interested in technology. For further information and ticket reservations, please browse to https://summit.techsauce.co. Techsauce Media Co. Ltd., the website developer of Techsauce.co, is considered one of the technology-oriented media producers who has helped to pioneer the region's startup industry. With more than 6 years' experience in the technological field, Techsauce aims to educate, inspire and build networks that create friendly environments for startups and entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia and raise the bar to the global level. For further information, please contact our PR adviser, Agate Communications Co., Ltd. Tawan Wangcharoenwong (Pui) +66 083 074 2230, Anyaporn Thamtikanon (Pueng) +66 081259 8889 Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
News Article | May 9, 2017
X-Rite Incorporated, a global leader in color science and technology, and its subsidiary Pantone LLC, announce that Luxion’s KeyShot® software for 3D rendering and animation natively supports the Appearance Exchange Format (AxF™). Developed by X-Rite, AxF is a vendor-neutral format that enables full communication of visual appearance data in a single, editable file to improve the design virtualization process. KeyShot support of AxF allows users to create the highest quality product visuals and imagery using physically accurate digital material data. X-Rite will showcase the AxF integration at Luxion’s international customer conference, KeyShot RenderWorld 2017, May 15th and 16th at the Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, California. “A primary differentiator and key feature of KeyShot is the ability to create high-quality visuals using scientifically accurate materials,” says Henrik Wann Jensen, Chief Scientist and Co-founder, Luxion. “Along with the vast material capabilities in KeyShot, support for X-Rite’s AxF files format allows users to accurately and consistently represent the complex material properties of their scanned textures for an endless number of materials, providing even greater realism in communicating their product visuals.” “Traditionally, capture and virtual rendering of complex materials such as special effects paints, meshes and synthetic fabrics are a time-consuming, manual process,” says Dr. Francis Lamy, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, X-Rite and Pantone. “AxF helps address this challenge by providing a common language for communicating material appearance characteristics such as color, texture, gloss, transparency and opacity of physical materials in the virtual world. KeyShot’s integration of AxF enables users to quickly and accurately create amazing visuals for a truly lifelike virtual experience.” KeyShot is a stand-alone real-time rendering application for both Mac and PC designed to make the process of creating 3D renderings and animations extremely fast. The real-time speed allows you to see everything as it happens within a workflow-based interface to achieve photographic results in minutes. As a CPU-based rendering engine with advanced lighting and material creation capabilities, KeyShot provides the performance and flexibility that allows it to integrate seamlessly throughout the entire product development process. In its second year, KeyShot RenderWorld gathers KeyShot users from around the world to learn from other 3D professionals. This year’s conference features keynote speaker Chip Foose, a look at KeyShot 7, and presentations by KeyShot users from Bose, Caterpillar, Sonos, Stanley Black & Decker and others. For more information visit keyshot.com/renderworld. KeyShot RenderWorld 2017 attendees can see a demonstration of X-Rite’s award-winning Total Appearance Capture (TAC™) ecosystem and the AxF integration with KeyShot at the X-Rite booth. The TAC ecosystem is comprised of the TAC7 scanner, PANTORA™ Material Hub desktop application, and Virtual Light Booth (VLB). Physical material samples are scanned using the TAC7 scanner, which captures appearance properties digitally to create AxF files that store appearance data. The files are stored, managed, viewed and edited in the PANTORA desktop application. The AxF files can be shared with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and state-of-the art rendering applications, such as KeyShot. Show attendees will have an opportunity to see how AxF files can be used within the KeyShot software and applied to rendering and animation. The recently announced VLB is the industry’s first immersive virtual light booth that allows users to accurately and efficiently visualize and compare 3D digital material renderings side-by-side with physical samples. The VLB combines X-Rite’s SpectraLight QC professional light booth technology with a high-brightness, color-calibrated LCD display, color management technology, and motion tracking sensors. This allows the VLB viewing environment to control all parameters that influence the perception of appearance from illumination to contextual to observational factors. With the VLB, design teams can easily vary these conditions to see changes in material performance. This helps ensure consistency between digital prototypes and final physical products. Designers can make more informed material selections reducing approval cycles and accelerating time to market. For more information regarding the TAC ecosystem and the Virtual Light Booth, please visit us at http://www.xrite.com/categories/Appearance/total-appearance-capture-ecosystem. About Luxion Luxion is a leading developer of advanced 3D rendering and lighting technology including applications such as KeyShot and the Velux Daylighting Visualizer. KeyShot is the first real-time ray tracing application that uses a physically correct render engine based on scientific research in global illumination and material appearance. With a focus on making the creation of high-quality visuals from 3D data as simple as taking a photograph, KeyShot is recognized as the standard visualization tool for industrial designers and marketing professionals worldwide. Luxion’s customer list includes many of the Fortune 1000 and major industrial design companies including Chrysler, Fossil, Microsoft, Philips, Specialized, Whirlpool, and IDEO. For more information on KeyShot 3D rendering, animation, and KeyShotVR, please visit keyshot.com. About X-Rite Founded in 1958, X-Rite Incorporated is a global leader in the science and technology of color and appearance. With its wholly owned subsidiary Pantone, X-Rite employs more than 800 people in 11 countries. The company’s corporate headquarters are located in Grand Rapids, Mich., with regional headquarters in Europe and Asia and service centers across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. X-Rite Pantone offers a full range of solutions used by manufacturers, retailers, printers, photographers and graphic design houses to achieve precise management and communication of color and appearance throughout their processes. X-Rite Pantone products and services are recognized standards in the printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles and medical industries. For further information, please visit http://www.xrite.com. About Pantone Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, has been the world’s color authority for nearly 50 years, providing design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers paint and designer-inspired products and services for consumers. More information is available at http://www.pantone.com. ©2017 X-Rite, Inc. All rights reserved. X-Rite, TAC, AxF and PANTORA are registered trademarks of X-Rite, Inc. PANTONE® and other Pantone trademarks are the property of Pantone LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
News Article | May 11, 2017
Global payment processing provider Payscout, Inc., is announcing a panel on Virtual Reality (VR) and the Monetisation of Immersive Content for the large-track program of Money20/20 Europe in Copenhagen Denmark on June 27, 2017. Money20/20, “the global platform that inspires and enables innovators to create the future of money,” is the world’s largest FinTech event, serving as a key industry benchmark and global hub for new deals and business development. In its first year, Money20/20 Europe event welcomed 3,725 attendees, including 500 CEOs from 1,500 companies and 70 countries. The VR panel coincides with the launch of Payscout’s VR Commerce solution and will feature the unveiling of an immersive 360-degree shopping experience via an exported video recording of a real transaction in VR. The VR panel will be moderated by Payscout Co-Founder and CEO, Cleveland Brown, who will appear alongside Dr. Danny Lange, VP of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning at Unity Technologies; Bill Gajda, SVP, Global Head, Innovation, VISA; and Trevor Pollard, VP of Architecture and Design at Westfield. Together, the group will share their thought-leading insider insights on the monetisation of VR content and challenge industry expectations surrounding this emerging technology. Dr. Danny Lange is Vice President of AI and Machine Learning at Unity Technologies where he leads multiple initiatives in the field of applied Artificial Intelligence. Unity is the creator of a flexible and high-performance end-to-end development platform used to create rich interactive 2D, 3D, VR, and AR experiences. Previously, Danny was Head of Machine Learning at Uber, where he led the efforts to build a highly scalable Machine Learning platform to support all parts of Uber’s business from the Uber App to self-driving cars. Before joining Uber, Danny was General Manager of Amazon Machine Learning providing internal teams with access to machine intelligence. He also launched an Amazon Web Services product that offers Machine Learning as a Cloud Service to the public. Prior to Amazon, he was Principal Development Manager at Microsoft where he led a product team focused on large-scale Machine Learning for Big Data. Danny spent eight years on Speech Recognition Systems, first as CTO of General Magic, Inc., and then as founder of his own company, Vocomo Software. During this time he was working on General Motor’s OnStar Virtual Advisor, one of the largest deployments of an intelligent personal assistant until Siri. Danny started his career as a Computer Scientist at IBM Research. Danny holds MS and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the Technical University of Denmark. He is a member of ACM and IEEE Computer Society and has numerous patents to his credit. Bill Gajda is the Global Head of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at VISA, responsible for VISA’s Innovation programs and activities in Europe and CEMEA. He is also responsible for VISA’s global relationships with Mobile Operators and leads the ‘VISA Ready’ and Venture Capital programs. He began at VISA as the Global Head for VISA Mobile, responsible for VISA’s mobile product and commercial strategies and activities. Prior to joining VISA, Gajda was Chief Commercial Officer for the GSMA. In this role, he was responsible for business development, as well as led the GSMA’s Mobile Money, Mobile Innovation, Mobile Advertising, and Strategic Partner Programs. Bill was previously Chief Marketing Officer at the GSMA, where he was responsible for the Mobile World Congress, as well as marketing, corporate communications and member services. Gajda has held other executive positions elsewhere in the telecom sector, including: Vice President, Corporate and Marketing Communications for TELUS Corporation, Vice President, Communications for Bell Canada International and Global Brand Director for Ericsson in Stockholm. His first position was in the Canadian public service, where he directed communications on constitutional affairs, international trade and environmental issues. Trevor Pollard is the Vice President of Architecture and Design at Westfield where he uses his creative and analytical skills to design places for social experiences. In this capacity, he leads interdisciplinary teams through the creative process for development, repositioning and new frontier projects. In addition to being instrumental in the design and construction of many Westfield projects, Trevor has led initiatives looking at the future of shopping as well as the future of the traveler journey as it related to the Westfield airport experience, working with innovation companies like IDEO along with Westfield Labs. Prior to Joining Westfield in 2004, Trevor worked with world-renowned design firms Altoon and Porter and the Jerde Partnership on significant domestic and international projects, including innovative planning projects, shopping centers, hotels, casinos, residential, and mixed use projects. “Payscout Supports the Entrepreneurial Dream One Transaction at a Time.” Payscout is a global payment processing provider covering six continents by connecting merchants and consumers via credit, debit, ATM, and alternative payment networks. What differentiates Payscout is its mission, “to support the entrepreneurial dream one transaction at a time.” Payscout achieves this by being a thought leader in the payments industry. Its “Go Global Now” technology platform gives merchants instant access to 100+ countries, billions of consumers and trillions of dollars. Payscout offers payment processing solutions for brick-and-mortar and ecommerce transactions, and has earned acclaim as a new-generation provider of merchant banking services, specializing in online/ecommerce retailers with a predominant proportion of card-not-present (CNP) transactions; it is one of the few providers to deliver a true global payment solution that encompasses all merchant risk verticals. Customers can access Payscout’s credit card processing services via a state-of-the-art, web-based user portal and through direct interactions with highly-trained experts. In addition to supporting thousands of clients across a multitude of industries and all 50 American states, Payscout maintains global partnerships with VISA USA, Bank of America Merchant Services, VISA Europe, VISA Latin America, VISA Asia Pacific, MasterCard Worldwide, China Union Pay, Deutsche Bank, and First Data. Payscout was recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing privately-held companies in 2014, 2015, and 2016, ranking #2,416 in 2014, #434 in 2015, and #383 in 2016 on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500/5000 list. Within the financial services industry, Payscout placed #140 in 2014, #24 in 2015, and #27 in 2016. Payscout was also ranked #17 among medium-sized companies on Entrepreneur’s Top Company Cultures list for 2017. For more information, visit http://www.payscout.com/virtual-reality-vr-commerce.
News Article | May 10, 2017
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE), founded to inspire, educate and launch the next generation of creative entrepreneurs, today announced it is working with Brown University Pre-College Programs to host the second annual Creative Entrepreneurship Summer Program, a one-of-a-kind summer program for U.S. and international high school students. The program, which will take place July 16-28, 2017, will guide students to tap into their inner creativity and leverage it to become inspired and innovative leaders. The curriculum will focus on developing the startup mindset that is required to be a dynamic thinker and creator – a skill that is also highly coveted by today's leading colleges and employers. The program combines Brown University’s long-standing tradition of developing critical thinking and business skills with BerkleeICE’s philosophy of the synergy between music, entrepreneurialism and creativity in higher education. By tapping into the design-thinking methodology engrained in BerkleeICE’s curriculum, participating students will develop fundamental Ivy League business and analytical skills through the lenses of music, theater, dance and other art forms. Lessons and workshops will be led by renowned faculty from both of the elite higher education institutions, as well as social and creative innovators and music professionals, like industry entrepreneur George Howard, IDEO partner Michael Hendrix and Grammy Award winner Prince Charles Alexander. During the two-week program, participating students will live and learn at both Brown University’s Providence campus and Berklee College of Music’s Boston campus, experiencing the unique aspects of the two New England cities. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certificate from Berklee and the Brown University Pre-College Programs, as well as an enhanced understanding of the lifelong skills – like public speaking, resiliency, creative thinking, teamwork and communication – needed to be successful innovators, collaborators, social entrepreneurs and problem solvers. “As the business and higher education climates rapidly evolve, BerkleeICE is at the forefront of helping students prepare for the future and hone in on their creative and entrepreneurial skills,” said Panos Panay, founding managing director of BerkleeICE. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with an esteemed institution like Brown University, whose interests and approaches uniquely complement Berklee's, for another summer program and look forward to working with this year’s group of smart and inspired participants. By combining our musically inspired creative thinking with Brown’s analytical business mindset, we’re confident that participants will gain a unique set of entrepreneurial skills that today’s business world requires.” Outside of the program time, instruction will be enhanced with hands-on activities and visits to innovation labs, cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts and a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Participating students will also gain exclusive access to other cutting-edge projects and partnerships BerkleeICE is currently intricately involved in, including its Open Music Initiative (OMI), a collective of the music industry’s leading technologists, entrepreneurs, educators and artists working together to leverage technology for a more seamless payment and rights structure. “Our pre-college programs are designed to help challenge and inspire high school students to acquire skills that will set them up for future success while giving them a taste of what college-level academics truly require,” said Adrienne Marcus, Director of Pre-College Programs at Brown University. “Teaming up with Berklee College of Music for another successful summer program is a testament to this goal, and we know that participants will walk away with an educational experience unlike any other.” To learn more about the summer program or to apply, please visit the website here. About BerkleeICE Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (ICE), an initiative within Berklee College of Music, is designed to inspire, educate and launch the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. BerkleeICE helps prepare graduates for careers as entrepreneurs; fosters the creation of new products, services and businesses in the creative industry; and inspires disruptive ideas through musical creativity and cross-discipline collaboration. Learn more about BerkleeICE at http://berklee.edu and its Open Music Initiative at http://berklee.edu/ice/omi. About Brown University's Pre-College Programs Each spring and summer, talented high school students from around the world enroll in one of Brown University’s Pre-college Programs to experience Brown’s Ivy League academics and prepare for a successful transition to college. Brown’s innovative open curriculum, a focus on student-centered learning and a meaningful engagement in the Liberal Arts and Sciences promote students’ active engagement in their own intellectual development, allowing them to dive deeper into subjects they love or explore new areas of learning. With more than 300 courses to choose from on campus, online and abroad, in one- to seven-week sessions, the unique experience of studying at Brown challenges students to exercise their independence, expand their horizons and emerge better prepared for their transition to college. For more information about Brown's Pre-College Programs, visit www.brown.edu/academics/pre-college. About Berklee College of Music Berklee, a nonprofit educational institution, was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For 70 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. In December 2015, the Berklee Board of Trustees voted to merge with The Boston Conservatory, creating the world’s most comprehensive and dynamic training ground for music, dance, theater, and related professions. With a focus on global learning, the Berklee campus in Valencia, Spain, offers graduate programs and study abroad opportunity, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree-granting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides after-school programming for underserved teens in 47 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a student body representing more than 100 countries and alumni and faculty that have won more than 300 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow. Learn more at berklee.edu. About Brown University Located in historic Providence, Rhode Island and founded in 1764, Brown University is the seventh-oldest college in the United States. Brown is an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution comprising undergraduate and graduate programs, plus the Alpert Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Engineering, and the School of Professional Studies. Brown is frequently recognized for its global reach, many cultural events, numerous campus groups and activities, active community service programs, highly competitive athletics, and beautiful facilities located in a richly historic urban setting.
News Article | February 10, 2017
You’re looking for a new challenge: how about jumping into an ice pool, crawling through electrified wires, and dragging yourself up a steep incline in a muddy field? Not tempted? Tough Mudder – an extreme assault course – might not be for everyone, but it has pulled in 2.5 million participants since launching in New York in 2010. In 2015, it made $100m (£79m) in global revenue. Those taking part can choose to raise money for charity, or simply get involved for personal achievement. The business has evolved into a lesson in savvy branding. Co-founder Will Dean, alongside his partner Guy Livingstone, has struck up sponsor partnerships with a number of companies such as Merrell, Jeep, Volvic and Virgin Active as well as Help for Heroes (the official UK charity partner). The brand has also secured two US television series. The first of these is with CBS sports and follows a select few taking part in Tough Mudder’s most extreme event: The World’s Toughest Mudder. Dean says: “CBS has been approaching me for about six years. When they [initially] got in touch we weren’t sophisticated enough.” But last year Tough Mudder and the network settled on an idea. Taking place annually in Nevada, the Toughest Mudder event runs for 24-hours. Participants do as many laps as possible to vie for a $100,000 prize. The winners cover more than 100 miles of mud and obstacles, although they can choose to take rest breaks. “You get these crazy characters who appear to only sleep for an hour or two,” says Dean. In the UK, the three-part series aired on Sky Sports in January. Sky and Tough Mudder are working on another series that will focus on participants in UK races. Meanwhile, a different series was made with the US-based CW channel, which is due to air later in 2017 on Sky Sports Mix. This consists of five shorts followed by a one-hour special and focuses on the stories of participants in the usual Tough Mudder events. People featured in this include a female Iraq war veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder and a man living with multiple sclerosis. All of these shows play on Tough Mudder’s camaraderie. Dean claims 10,000 people have been tattooed with the Tough Mudder logo. “It’s a tribe, as a [business] we think about tribal values and what it means to be a tribe.” Dean dreamt up Tough Mudder while completing an MBA at Harvard Business School and launched it a year afterwards. In his 20s, he started taking part in marathons. He found that when he told someone he’d ran one, the first question was always: what was your time? “Then they’d always reply with something like ‘Oh, my brother in law did it 10 minutes quicker’,” he says. “You’d feel like saying ‘I know I didn’t win’.” This piqued his interest in starting a physical event that wasn’t all about speed. The Iron Man brand, which puts on a range of triathlons and runs, offered Dean a proven business model. “I didn’t even know Iron Man was a company, it kind of seems dumb looking back, but I thought maybe it was a not-for-profit or just enthusiasts putting things on. Then to find out it was owned by a private equity group I thought ‘Oh wow’. “I started thinking ‘I wonder if I could take the Iron Man model and apply it to something different’.” Hitting on an idea he could get behind Dean set to work testing it out. “When we first started it was pretty amateur. Finding a venue was hard enough. I had this beat up 15-year-old car and I’d drive around fields in New York [looking for a venue]. I eventually found this ski hill – it was literally one lift on the side of a hill – in Allentown, Pennsylvania. “Back then it was just Guy and I. The night before the event we had headlamps on and were banging signs into the ground. With hindsight, we were so disorganised.” Building the brand hasn’t been straightforward, or without controversies. The earliest of these saw Dean accused of stealing the idea by the founder of another assault course brand called Tough Guy, which Dean reviewed as part of his MBA. Dean has always denied this. However, the dispute was settled out of court in 2011 with money paid to Billy Wilson, founder of Tough Guy. Dean says: “When you start a business, it genuinely feels like the world is against you, like people are out to get you.” But now the business, which is completely self-funded, is a sophisticated machine running events across the world including the US, Europe, Australia and Asia. There is a team of four engineers in New York that design Tough Mudder obstacles. The business then works with design company IDEO to test them. Dean says: “They do anthropological design, so they see how people interact with things, how they use space.” Tough Mudder aims to make each obstacle physically and mentally challenging and to require an element of teamwork. It has warehouses in Southampton in the UK and the US Midwest. “For a big event we have four trucks and trailers, they come in and it’s basically a travelling circus,” says Dean. Taking the brand across borders has required minor tweaks, says Dean, such as the music played and food served. However, he does note a difference in customer behaviour. “Germans buy their tickets a year in advance. They then ask lots of customer service questions, six times more than the Australians ... Australians sign up really late. Americans buy everything [in terms of kit] for Tough Mudder. They’ll spend like $1,000. Whereas the English spend like £20 and they’ll turn up in their old PE kit.” Since 2010, the Tough Mudder community has raised more than $12m (£9.5m) for charities, including more than £2.5m for Help For Heroes. Dean, who lives in the US, was awarded an MBE for services to charitable giving through sport in the New Year’s honours list. Was this his proudest moment? “It’s nice to get recognised in the honours,” he says. “My parents were very happy to go to Buckingham Palace.” But, he adds, what gives him a real boost are the stories of Tough Mudder “heroes” who’ve faced adversity and can gain a sense of achievement from taking part. One example he gives is of a group of fathers of the children who were killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in 2012. He saw one of the fathers speak about taking part. “By no means am I suggesting that they did a Tough Mudder and everything was fine, clearly things will never be fine again; but we offer something that people can focus on, can train for, they can some gain confidence knowing that they’ve done that.” Sign up to become a member of the Guardian Small Business Network here for more advice, insight and best practice direct to your inbox.
News Article | February 22, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding FinLab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. officially launched its third annual $3 million challenge to identify tech-enabled innovations that improve the financial health of Americans. The $30 million, five-year virtual lab initiative unveiled Financial Health as the broad theme for its third-year challenge, with a special interest in solutions geared toward the unique needs of often overlooked segments, including people of color, the aging, people with disabilities and low-income women. FinLab provides each winning organization with $250,000 in capital, support from FinLab operating partners IDEO.ORG and ideas42, strategic guidance from its industry-leading advisory council, and resources from founding partners CFSI and JPMorgan Chase, including the JPMorgan Chase employee mentorship program. The importance of this new challenge topic was determined using CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Survey, JPMorgan Chase Institute research as well as research from other thought leaders. “The consumer impact of FinLab companies to date has been really astounding,” said Ryan Falvey, Managing Director at CFSI. “The 18 organizations supported by the lab so far have cumulatively grown to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health — 10 times the consumer base they served before joining the lab. First year Lab winner Digit, for example, has helped clients save more than $350 million. And EARN, part of the lab’s second class, found that 83 percent of its clients develop a habit of savings, with low-income households saving an average of $558 over six months. We expect this level of impact to continue with the next class of FinLab innovators.” “Technology can help us reach overlooked populations with more affordable and convenient financial products and services that can promote financial health,” said Colleen Briggs, Executive Director, Community Innovation, JPMorgan Chase. “But to unlock this potential, we want to see more innovators who understand these communities and are designing solutions that meet their needs and preferences.” Research shows that certain segments of the population are disproportionately struggling with their financial health. FinTech innovators interested in joining FinLab’s third year class can now complete and submit an application at http://finlab.cfsinnovation.com. There are two “rounds” for this year’s challenge, with deadlines set for March 16 and April 27, 2017. Winners will be announced on stage at the EMERGE Forum 2017, held June 15-17 in Austin, Texas. Also today, FinLab celebrated the culmination of its second cohort of nine fintech innovators. FinLab’s first and second challenges, focused on solving consumer cash flow issues and financial shocks, respectively, drew more than 600 total applications from companies and nonprofit organizations serving more than 10,000,000 Americans combined. To date, the Financial Solutions Lab has supported 18 financial technology companies offering innovative financial products to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health, a 10x growth since joining the lab. Collectively, FinLab companies have raised over $100,000,000 in capital since joining the program. The two FinLab classes to date include Albert, bee, EARN, EarnUp, eCreditHero, Everlance, Remedy, Scratch, and WiseBanyan from the just-completed Year Two, and Ascend Consumer Finance, Digit, Even, LendStreet, PayGoal by Neighborhood Trust, Prism, Propel, Puddle and SupportPay from Year One. “Creating new products is difficult, particularly in a space dominated by a few large players,” said Sameh Elamawy, co-founder of Scratch. “Having CFSI's knowledge and connections at our fingertips, as well as the resources of our mentors at JPMorgan Chase, has made a tremendous difference in our product design.” Leigh Phillips, CEO of nonprofit Lab member EARN, echoes those sentiments. "Our experience with the Lab has far exceeded any expectations we may have had," said Phillips. "In just a few short months, we've expanded our user base more than ten-fold across all fifty states and we can directly attribute those new savers to connections that the FinLab helped us make." “Working-age people with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be living in poverty as those without disabilities (28.5% compared with 11%),”said Tom Foley, Deputy Director, World Institute on Disability. “Shining a light on the unique challenges that this population faces, in an effort to identify financial tools to support their financial health and stability, is critically important. World Institute on Disability applauds the Financial Solutions Lab and looks forward to being a part of this important work.” "It's no small feat to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health," said Andrea Levere, President of CFED. "As a member of the FinLab's Advisory Council, I've been greatly impressed with the quality and innovation of the companies supported by this program. I'm excited to see real financial solutions directed to helping consumers who are often overlooked." “We all need safe ways to help build, manage, and protect savings over our lifetimes. With increasing longevity and a growing aging population, it has never been more urgent to solve these challenges,” said AARP Chief Public Policy Officer Debra Whitman, Ph.D. “AARP applauds the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Financial Solutions Lab for launching their competition to develop innovative approaches to help families build and maintain their financial resilience as they age.” “Now more than ever, older Americans are facing increasing levels of debt and financial insecurity,” said Laura Carstensen, Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “Innovation is critical to tackling this issue and we are encouraged to see the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Financial Solutions Lab challenging the fintech industry to play an important role.” About the Financial Solutions Lab The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding Lab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. The lab will launch a series of competitions to identify solutions to specific consumer financial challenges. It will provide incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to enhance financial products and services that address these challenges and improve consumers’ financial health. For more information, visit http://finlab.cfsinnovation.com. About the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) CFSI is the nation’s authority on consumer financial health. CFSI leads a network of financial services innovators committed to building a more robust financial services marketplace with higher quality products and services. Through its Compass Principles and a lineup of proprietary research, insights and events, CFSI informs, advises, and connects members of its network to seed the innovation that will transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to www.cfsinnovation.com and follow on Twitter at @CFSInnovation. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its JPMorgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com. ii JPMorgan Chase Institute, Coping with Costs: Big Data on Expense Volatility and Medical Payments. In its Coping with Costs report, JPMorgan Chase Institute defines “extraordinary payments” as large in magnitude: At least $400 in magnitude and more than 1 percent of annual income; and unusual: More than 2 standard deviations away from the individual’s normal monthly mean expense in this category. iii (NDI, Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, forthcoming)