News Article | May 10, 2017
10 May 2017 Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc ("the Company" or "OT4") Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 28 February 2017 The Directors are pleased to announce the audited results of the Company for the year ended 28 February 2017 and a copy of the Annual Report and Accounts ("Accounts") will be made available to Shareholders shortly. Set out below are extracts of the audited Accounts. References to page numbers below are to those Accounts. The AGM will be held at The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA on Wednesday 5 July 2017, at 11am. A copy of the Annual Report and Accounts will be available from the registered office of the Company at The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA, as well as on the Company's website: www.oxfordtechnology.com I am pleased to present my annual report for the year to 28 February 2017 to fellow shareholders. Whilst last year, I was pleased to be able to report significant realisations from the portfolio, this year has been a year of portfolio growth, with several portfolio companies raising additional capital during the year, with your company supporting most of them. Whilst most fundraisings were successful, confirming the company valuation, not all were as successful as might have been hoped, and as a result some significant reductions in valuation have been recorded. Follow on investments were made into five portfolio companies: Arecor (£200k), Immbio (£98k), Orthogem (£100k), Plasma Antennas (£202k) and Zuvasyntha (£30k). Glide also raised money during the year but on unattractive terms. Whilst your company only holds two AIM stocks, both showed significant falls in share price during the year. Largely because of Glide and AIM movements, net asset value per share fell by 14.9p during the year. The net asset value per share on 28 February 2017 was 51.9p compared to 66.8p on 29 February 2016. No dividend was paid during the year. The Company's portfolio still contains 18 holdings, at different stages of development. The directors continue to monitor all companies, looking for the optimum time to realise your investment. Your company continues to invest in support of its portfolio as investee companies develop. £200k was invested in Arecor to support its transition from a research-led company to a product-led company including an initiative with the US Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for the delivery of ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin. In February 2017, Arecor was awarded a £1m grant from Innovate UK towards clinical trials. £98k was invested into ImmBio to support the completion of their First-in-Human study of its novel vaccine, PnuBioVax(TM), against the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae. PnuBioVax was found to be safe and well tolerated, and capable of producing antibody responses against key S. pneumoniae antigens broadly conserved across strains. The company is now in detailed discussions with larger organisations regarding commercialisation. A further £100k was invested in Orthogem to enable it to register its new product TriPore Putty. The synthetic bone market has moved significantly towards putties, and the commercial launch of their new product is expected to have a significant impact on sales. Plasma Antennas received a further investment of £200k, with an additional £2k being used to exercise warrants. Plasma continues in discussion with several large players particularly around 4G and 5G telecommunications. £30k was invested into ZuvaSyntha who continue to progress towards commercialisation of their products with potential customers identified. Select Technology remains profitable and cash generative, paying another dividend in January, and further dividends are expected in future. The company has continued to grow, though profits have been slightly impacted as Select Technology transitions its business model to ensure long term growth. However, the lower reported profits have caused a reduction in our valuation (by £96K). Glide Pharmaceuticals was anticipating an AIM flotation, but needed to raise pre-IPO funding. Despite considerable interest, the eventual offer that the company accepted was at an extremely high discount to previous rounds, and has a significant preference ahead of ordinary shareholders. Combined with existing preferences from earlier funding rounds, this has resulted in a significant write down in valuation. This is highly disappointing for the Oxford VCTs as the initial investors in the company. OT4 chose not to invest as the advantageous terms were not available to OT4. The share price of Castleton Technology plc fell from 79.0p on 29 February 2016 to 56.8p on 28 February 2017. The share price of Abzena fell from 49.5p to 36.8p over the same period. Whilst disappointing, your board continues to believe both shares have potential for increased value and remain sensible holds as part of managing the company's cash reserves. Further details on the other major investments are contained within the Investment Manager's Report, and on our website. We continue to seek opportune moments to maximise value from our portfolio, but we do not currently foresee any further major liquidity events in the near future. Continued Improvements to Cost Effectiveness and VCT Market Changes. Following the reduction of fees announced last year, your Board continues to look at methods of reducing running costs as well as improving liquidity for shareholders who wish to realise their holdings. Your VCT does not have shareholders sheltering Capital Gains, so has options available which might not be possible for older VCTs. Shareholders may be aware of some significant changes to the VCT market in recent years. Current fund raisings into VCTs are at a record high, as changes to pension tax reliefs are driving investors to look for alternative tax efficient investments. Combined with changes to VCT legislation designed to target more VCT money towards the types of companies that OT4 has always invested in may present an opportunity for your VCT to exploit. Several options are being explored, and your Board is hoping to bring forward proposals later in the year which will increase options for shareholders. In the interim the Board would like to have the flexibility to buy back shares and is therefore proposing a buyback resolution at the AGM. This will be proposed as an Ordinary Resolution in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 (Amendment of Part 18) Regulations 2013. Audit Tender New legislation has been introduced in the UK on audit firm rotation, resulting from the new European Audit Regulation Directive, making it mandatory for listed companies to undergo a tender process for the audit of their company at least every ten years. An audit firm can, however, be appointed for up to twenty years provided a public tender process has been carried out after ten years. The Company has therefore recently conducted an audit tender process. The Board, on the recommendation of the Audit Committee, has decided to recommend the re-appointment of James Cowper Kreston as the Company's external auditor. For further information on the audit tender, please see the Audit Committee section of the Corporate Governance Statement on page 34 of this Annual Report. Shareholders should note that the AGM for the Company will be held on Wednesday 5 July 2017 at the Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, starting at 11am and will include presentations by Oxford Technology Management and some of the companies that the Oxford Technology VCTs have invested in. A formal Notice of the AGM has been enclosed with these Financial Statements together with a Form of Proxy for those not attending. We appreciate the input of our shareholders and look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible on the day. The year under review was dominated by two major political events, the UK's vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump to the office of US President. In the case of the EU referendum, the leave result triggered a significant fall in the value of sterling, and it has so far remained weak. This in turn led to the increase in valuation of UK larger companies, which have a bias towards overseas earnings. The more immediate impact on our own UK smaller investees has been to improve those with overseas revenues in sterling terms while increasing the costs for those with foreign activities or imports. These impacts are not yet material. The longer term UK/EU trading issues will take time to emerge but clearly one impact is that our investee company sterling valuations now look more attractive to overseas buyers. Post referendum the new Theresa May government has retained the VCT model although we anticipate it will continue to be kept under review to ensure that it delivers value to the taxpayer. The Oxford Technology VCTs have operated and continue to operate very much in the spirit of the VCT legislation by investing in and subsequently supporting early stage technology companies. Unfortunately the current VCT rules sometimes limit the amount of follow on investment that we are able to make. Whilst this year has contained some disappointing news, the Board's outlook has not changed from a year ago. The portfolio remains diversified, with investees at different stages of development. Your Board monitors each investee, with clear views as to the value milestones which will allow investments to be realised. We continue to work to maximise value for shareholders and will, as per our stated strategy, seek to crystallise this value and distribute to shareholders via dividend payments when valuations and liquidity allow. OT4 was formed in 2004 and has invested in 35 companies which were start-up or early stage technology companies. Some of these companies failed with the loss of the investment. Some have succeeded and have been sold. The table on page 14 and 15 shows the companies remaining in the portfolio. A more detailed analysis is given of the major investments on the following pages. Several still have the potential to deliver significant returns. OT4 received shares in AIM-listed Castleton Technology as part of the proceeds of sale when Castleton purchased Impact Applications in 2015. Castleton is a provider of software, services and IT infrastructure to the social, public and commercial housing sector. During the year Castleton posted its first profits and had several major contract wins including first contracts in Australia. The effective price of acquisition of these shares for OT4 was 45p. As at 28 February 2017, the bid price for the shares was 56.5p. Select Technology specialises in software for photocopiers - now known as MFDs - Multi-Function Devices. Over the last decade Select has built up a global network of distributors and dealers through which it sells both products which it has developed itself and products which have been produced by others. These products now include PaperCut, Kpax, Foldr and Drivve Image. Select has made steady financial progress. Sales have increased from £210k in the year to July 2010 to £5.2m in the year to July 2016. Select is profitable and cash generative and is likely to be a position to pay regular dividends in future. It is a modern company in the sense that it has employees all over the world, and usually only one person in the office in Basingstoke: everyone works remotely. Arecor is making encouraging progress. In particular it is developing its own products for the better treatment of diabetes. In February 2017, Arecor won a grant of just over £1m to help with this programme. Arecor has signed a £45m headline license deal regarding insulin glargine with India's largest privately held pharmaceutical company, Cadila. Details of the deal have not been disclosed. Plasma Antennas has developed a range of next generation smart selectable antenna technologies and has a prototype of a true plasma antenna, which it is hoped may be at the centre of tomorrow's communications systems. Plasma Antennas is currently in discussions with three large electronics companies. It is hoped that a partnership deal can be concluded with one or more of them. £98,000 was invested in March 2016 into ImmBio to help support the commercialisation of the Pneumonia vaccine which had a successful phase 1 clinical trial in spring 2016. Discussions with potential licensees are progressing satisfactorily, but of course nothing will be certain until deals are actually signed. Dynamic Extractions was formed as a spin-out from Brunel University in 2005. The objective of the company was to commercialise a technology developed at Brunel University for high performance counter current chromatography. Initially the business was based on the trading estate in Slough, and designed and sold HPCCC instruments which were manufactured by subcontract. The company and its business model have been transformed in the last two years. The HPCC instruments have been redesigned from scratch and the first of the much improved instruments, manufactured by a subcontractor in Wales which has added a mezzanine floor to its factory specifically for the purpose, emerged in late 2016. Also, although the sale of HPCCC instruments remains part of the business (these are now in use all over the world) more of the company's effort will be devoted to using its own technology to produce valuable compounds for sale. OT4 was the first investor in Diamond Hard Surfaces (DHS) when the company was formed and owns just under 50%. It has taken a long time, but it is good to report that DHS is now making regular sales to a growing number of companies and many of them overseas, and that the company made a small profit for the first time in the year to December 2016. There are numerous applications in many industries for the DHS coating, and new applications and new customers are being added all the time, many of whom have tried other coatings first. The other remarkable property of the DHS coating is that it is an almost perfect electrical insulator, but has three times the thermal conductivity of copper. This means the coating is finding increasing applications in microchips and electrical circuits to dissipate heat. Oxis Energy is developing a Lithium Sulphur rechargeable battery with a significantly higher specific energy (energy storage per unit weight) than the currently available Lithium Ion batteries. OT2 was the first investor in Oxis Energy (then known as Intellikraft) in January 2000. OT4 invested in November 2005. In October 2016 Oxis Energy announced that it had successfully demonstrated that its battery cells now store 400Wh/Kg. This battery is now planned to be tested in electric vehicles. Despite having a successful clinical trial in summer 2016, in December Glide raised capital on terms which were very unfavourable to the early shareholders, resulting in a significant reduction in the valuation of OT4's shareholding. New Investments in the year There were five follow on investments during the year of £100,000 into Orthogem, £30,000 into ZuvaSyntha, £200,000 into Arecor, £202,000 into Plasma Antennas and a further £98,000 into ImmBio. All new investments have complied with both EU State Aid rules and HMRC VCT rules. OT4's holding in Naked Objects was sold for £10,000. The remaining payments due from Pharma Engineering were received with OT4 getting £17,000. Further payments were received from Imagineer Systems totalling £19,000. Quoted and unquoted investments are valued in accordance with current industry guidelines that are compliant with International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation Guidelines and current financial reporting standards. Compliance with the main VCT regulations as at 28 February 2017 and for the year then ended is summarised as follows: At least 10% of each investment in a qualifying company is held in 'eligible shares' - Complied. No more than 15% of the income from shares and securities is retained - Complied. No investment constitutes more than 15% of the Company's portfolio (by value at time of investment) - Complied. No investment made by the VCT has caused the company to receive more than £5m of State Aid investment in the year - Complied. Table of Investments held by Company at 28 February 2017 Number of shares in issue: 11,516,946 Net Asset Value per share at 28 February 2017: 51.9p Dividends paid to date: 37.0p The table shows the current portfolio holdings. The investments in Bluewater Bio, Cutting the Wires, Dynamic Discovery, EKB, Ingenious, Inspiration Matters, Kinomi, MirriAd and Water Innovate have been written off. The investments in Dexela, Imagineer Systems, Impact Applications, Incentec, Mecira, OxTox, Pharma Engineering, Telegesis and Naked Objects have been sold. Some shares in Abzena and Castleton have also been sold. The Directors present their report together with financial statements for the year ended 28 February 2017. The Directors consider that the Annual Report and Financial Statements, taken as a whole is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Company's performance, business model and strategy. This report has been prepared by the Directors in accordance with the requirements of s415 of the Companies Act 2006. The Company's independent auditor is required by law to report on whether the information given in the Directors' Report is consistent with the financial statements. The Company commenced business in 2004. The Company invests in start-up and early stage technology companies in general located within 60 miles of Oxford. The Company has maintained its approved status as a Venture Capital Trust by HMRC. The Directors of the Company are required to notify their interests under Disclosure and Transparency Rule 3.12R. The present and previous membership of the Board and their beneficial interests in the ordinary shares of the company at 28 February 2017 and at 29 February 2016 are set out below: Under the Company's Articles of Association one third of the Directors are required to retire by rotation each year. Richard Roth and David Livesley will be nominated for re-appointment at the forthcoming AGM. The Board believes that both non-executive Directors continue to provide a valuable contribution to the Company and remain committed to their roles. The Board recommends that Shareholders support the resolutions to re-elect Richard Roth and David Livesley at the forthcoming AGM. The Board is cognisant of shareholders' preference for Directors not to sit on the boards of too many larger companies ("overboarding"). Shareholders will be aware that in July 2015, the Company, along with the other VCTs that were managed by Oxford Technology Management, appointed directors such that the four VCTs each had a Common Board. In addition, Richard Roth has subsequently also become a Director of Hygea VCT plc, a VCT investing in the Med Tech sector which is also self-managed and has a number of investments in common with the Oxford Technology VCTs. Whilst great care is taken to safeguard the interests of the shareholders of each separate company, there is an element of overlap in the workload of each Director across the four OT funds due to the way the VCTs are managed. The Directors note that the workload related to the four OT funds is less than it would be for four totally separate and larger funds, and are satisfied that Richard Roth has the time to focus on the requirements of each OT fund. OT4 Managers Ltd, the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, has an agreement to provide investment management services to the Company for a fee of 1% of net assets per annum. David Livesley and Richard Roth, together with Lucius Cary are Directors in OT4 Managers Ltd. The Company has maintained insurance cover on behalf of the Directors, indemnifying them against certain liabilities which may be incurred by them in relation to their duties as Directors of the Company The Board has reviewed and continues to review all aspects of internal governance to mitigate the risk of breaches of VCT rules or company law. Whistleblowing The Board has been informed that the Investment Manager has arrangements in place in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code's recommendations by which staff of Oxford Technology Management or the Secretary of the Company may, in confidence, raise concerns within their respective organisations about possible improprieties in matters of financial reporting or other matters. The Company is committed to carrying out business fairly, honestly and openly. The Investment Manager has established policies and procedures to prevent bribery within its organisation. The Company has adopted a zero tolerance approach to bribery and will not tolerate bribery under any circumstance in any transaction the Company is involved in. The Company has instructed the Investment Manager to adopt the same approach with investee companies. The Company values the views of its shareholders and recognises their interest in the Company. The Company's website provides information on all of the Company's investments, as well as other information of relevance to shareholders (www.oxfordtechnology.com/vct4). Shareholders have the opportunity to meet the Board at the Annual General Meeting. In addition to the formal business of the AGM the Board is available to answer any questions a shareholder may have. The Board is also happy to respond to any written queries made by shareholders during the course of the year and can be contacted at the Company's registered office: The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA. After making enquiries, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason they have adopted the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. At 28 February 2017, the Company has been notified by Neville Registrars of two investors whose interest exceeds three percent of the Company's issued share capital (Harewood Nominees Ltd 8.9% (representing the beneficial interest of Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund); and Hargreaves Lansdown (Nominees) Ltd, 3.4%). James Cowper Kreston offer themselves for re-appointment in accordance with Section 489 of the Companies Act 2006. On behalf of the Board David Livesley Chairman 10 May 2017 This report has been prepared by the Directors in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. The Company's independent auditor, James Cowper Kreston, is required to give its opinion on certain information included in this report. This report includes a statement regarding the Directors' Remuneration Policy. Resolutions to approve the Directors' Remuneration Report will be proposed at the Annual General Meeting on 5 July 2017. The Directors' Remuneration Policy was approved by shareholders at the AGM on 26 August 2015. The Directors' Remuneration Report for the year ended 29 February 2016 was approved by shareholders at the AGM on 8 July 2016 on a unanimous show of hands and 86% of proxies voted in favour. This report sets out the Company's forward-looking Directors' Remuneration Policy and the Annual Remuneration Report which describes how this policy has been applied during the year. The Board consists entirely of non-executive Directors who meet at least four times a year and on other occasions as necessary to deal with important aspects of the Company's affairs. Directors are appointed with the expectation that they will serve for at least three years and are expected to devote the time necessary to perform their duties. All Directors retire at the first general meeting after election and thereafter every third year, with at least one Director standing for election or re-election each year. Re-election will be recommended by the Board but is dependent upon shareholder vote. Directors who have been in office for more than nine years will stand for annual re-election in line with the AIC Code. There are no service contracts in place, but Directors have a letter of appointment. The Board acts as the Remuneration Committee and meets annually to review Directors' pay to ensure it remains appropriate given the need to attract and retain candidates of sufficient calibre and ensure they are able to devote the time necessary to lead the Company in achieving its strategy. The Board has not engaged any third party consultancy services, but did consult with the previous Chairmen, Michael O'Regan of Oxford Technology 2 VCT and Richard Vessey of Oxford Technology 3 VCT when the current levels were determined in 2015. The Articles of Association of the company state that the aggregate of the remuneration (by way of fee) of all the Directors shall not exceed £50,000 per annum unless otherwise approved by Ordinary Resolution of the Company. Based on the Company sharing a Common Board with the other Oxford Technology VCT funds the following Directors' fees are payable by the Company; David Livesley chairs the Company. Richard Roth chairs the Audit Committee, with Robin Goodfellow as a member of the Committee. As the VCT is self-managed, the Audit Committee carries out a particularly important role for the VCT and has played a greater part in the production of the annual accounts compared to earlier years. Fees are currently paid annually. The fees are not specifically related to the Directors' performance, either individually or collectively. No expenses are paid to the Directors. There are no share option schemes or pension schemes in place but Directors are entitled to a share of the carried interest as detailed below. David Livesley and Richard Roth receive no remuneration in respect of their directorships of OT4 Managers Ltd, the Company's Investment Manager. The performance fee is detailed in note 3. Current Directors are entitled to benefit from any payment made, subject to a formula driven by relative lengths of service. The performance fee becomes payable if a certain cash return threshold to shareholders is exceeded - the excess is then subject to a 20% carry that is distributed to Oxford Technology Management, past Directors and current Directors; the remaining 80% is returned to shareholders. At 28 February 2017 no performance fee was accrued for. Should any performance fee be payable at the end of the year to 28 February 2018, Alex Starling, Robin Goodfellow, and Richard Roth would each receive 0.19% of any amount over the threshold and David Livesley 1.17%. No performance fee will be payable for the year ending 28 February 2017 unless original shareholders have received back at least 113.1p in cash for each 100p (gross) invested. The Company has no employees, so no consultation with employees or comparison measurements with employee remuneration are appropriate. In the event of anyone ceasing to be a Director, for any reason, no loss of office payments will be made. There are no contractual arrangements entitling any Director to any such payment. Prior to his appointment as a director of OT4, Richard Roth received an additional one off payment of £2,000 in the year to 29 February 2016 as compensation for executive work undertaken in relation to the setting up of the Common Board structure. There was no other Comprehensive Income recognised during the year. The 'Total' column of the Income Statement is the Profit and Loss account of the Company, the supplementary Revenue and Capital return columns have been prepared under guidance published by the Association of Investment Companies. All Revenue and Capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The Company has only one class of business and derives its income from investments made in shares and securities and from bank and money market funds. The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. Statement of Changes in Equity The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. The statements were approved by the Directors and authorised for issue on 10 May 2017 and are signed on their behalf by David Livesley Chairman The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. Notes to the Financial Statements The financial statements have been prepared under Financial Reporting Standard 102 - 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland' ('FRS 102'). The accounting policies have not materially changed from last year. Basis of Preparation The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention, except for the measurement at fair value of certain financial instruments, and in accordance with UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice ("GAAP"), including FRS 102 and with the Companies Act 2006 and the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts (revised 2014)' issued by the AIC. The principal accounting policies have remained materially unchanged from those set out in the Company's 2016 Annual Report and financial statements. A summary of the principal accounting policies is set out below. FRS 102 sections 11 and 12 have been adopted with regard to the Company's financial instruments. The Company held all fixed asset investments at fair value through profit or loss. Accordingly, all interest income, fee income, expenses and gains and losses on investments are attributable to assets held at fair value through profit or loss. The most important policies affecting the Company's financial position are those related to investment valuation and require the application of subjective and complex judgements, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effects of matters that are inherently uncertain and may change in subsequent periods. These are discussed in more detail below. Going Concern After reviewing the Company's forecasts and expectations, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. The Company therefore continues to adopt the going concern basis in preparing its financial statements. Key Judgements and Estimates The preparation of the financial statements requires the Board to make judgements and estimates regarding the application of policies and affecting the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Estimates and assumptions mainly relate to the fair valuation of the fixed asset investments particularly unquoted investments. Estimates are based on historical experience and other assumptions that are considered reasonable under the circumstances. The estimates and the assumptions are under continuous review with particular attention paid to the carrying value of the investments. Investments are regularly reviewed to ensure that the fair values are appropriately stated. Unquoted investments are valued in accordance with current International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation (IPEV) guidelines, which can be found on their website at www.privateequityvaluation.com, although this does rely on subjective estimates such as appropriate sector earnings multiples, forecast results of investee companies, asset values of investee companies and liquidity or marketability of the investments held. Although the Directors believe that the assumptions concerning the business environment and estimate of future cash flows are appropriate, changes in estimates and assumptions could result in changes in the stated values. This could lead to additional changes in fair value in the future. Functional and Presentational Currency The financial statements are presented in Sterling (£). The functional currency is also Sterling (£). Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and cash equivalents includes cash in hand, deposits held at call with banks, other short-term highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less and also include bank overdrafts. Fixed Asset Investments The Company's principal financial assets are its investments and the policies in relation to those assets are set out below. Purchases and sales of investments are recognised in the financial statements at the date of the transaction (trade date). These investments will be managed and their performance evaluated on a fair value basis and information about them is provided internally on that basis to the Board. Accordingly, as permitted by FRS 102, the investments are measured as being fair value through profit or loss on the basis that they qualify as a group of assets managed, and whose performance is evaluated, on a fair value basis in accordance with a documented investment strategy. The Company's investments are measured at subsequent reporting dates at fair value. In the case of investments quoted on a recognised stock exchange, fair value is established by reference to the closing bid price on the relevant date or the last traded price, depending upon convention of the exchange on which the investment is quoted. In the case of AIM quoted investments this is the closing bid price. In the case of unquoted investments, fair value is established by using measures of value such as the price of recent transactions, earnings multiple, revenue multiple, discounted cash flows and net assets. These are consistent with the IPEV guidelines. Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value of investments are recognised as part of the capital return within the Income Statement and allocated to the unrealised capital reserve. In the preparation of the valuations of assets the Directors are required to make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and incorporate their knowledge of the performance of the investee companies. Fair Value Hierarchy Paragraph 34.22 of FRS 102 regarding financial instruments that are measured in the balance sheet at fair value requires disclosure of fair value measurements dependent on whether the stock is quoted and the level of the accuracy in the ability to determine its fair value. The fair value measurement hierarchy is as follows: For Quoted Investments: Level a: quoted prices in active markets for an identical asset. The fair value of financial instruments traded in active markets is based on quoted market prices at the balance sheet date. A market is regarded as active if quoted prices are readily and regularly available, and those prices represent actual and regularly occurring market transactions on an arm's length basis. The quoted market price used for financial assets held is the bid price at the Balance Sheet date. Level b: where quoted prices are not available (or where a stock is normally quoted on a recognised stock exchange that no quoted price is available), the price of a recent transaction for an identical asset, providing there has been no significant change in economic circumstances or a significant lapse in time since the transaction took place. The Company holds no such investments in the current or prior year. For investments not quoted in an active market: Level c: the fair value of financial instruments that are not traded in an active market is determined by using valuation techniques. These valuation techniques maximise the use of observable data (e.g. the price of recent transactions, earnings multiple, discounted cash flows and/or net assets) where it is available and rely as little as possible on entity specific estimates. If all significant inputs required to fair value an instrument are observable, the instrument is included in level c (i). If one or more of the significant inputs is not based on observable market data, the instrument is included in level c (ii). There have been no transfers between these classifications in the year (2016: Castleton Technology (AIM listed) bought Impact Applications (unquoted)). The change in fair value for the current and previous year is recognised in the income statement. Income Investment income includes interest earned on bank balances and from unquoted loan note securities, and dividends. Fixed returns on debt are recognised on a time apportionment basis so as to reflect the effective yield, provided it is probable that payment will be received in due course. Dividend income from investments is recognised when the shareholders' rights to receive payment have been established, normally the ex dividend date. Expenses All expenses are accounted for on an accruals basis. Expenses are charged wholly to revenue with the exception of the investment management fee which has been charged 75% to capital and 25% to revenue. Any applicable performance fee will be charged 100% to capital. Revenue and Capital The revenue column of the Income Statement includes all income and revenue expenses of the Company. The capital column includes gains and losses on disposal and holding gains and losses on investments. Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value of investments are recognised as part of the capital return within the Income Statement and allocated to the appropriate capital reserve on the basis of whether they are realised or unrealised at the balance sheet date. Taxation Current tax is recognised for the amount of income tax payable in respect of the taxable profit for the current or past reporting periods using the current tax rate. The tax effect of different items of income/gain and expenditure/loss is allocated between Capital and Revenue return on the "marginal" basis as recommended in the SORP. Deferred tax is recognised on an undiscounted basis in respect of all timing differences that have originated but not reversed at the balance sheet date, except as otherwise indicated. Deferred tax assets are only recognised to the extent that it is probable that they will be recovered against the reversal of deferred tax liabilities or other future taxable profits. Financial instruments The Company's principal financial assets are its investments and the policies in relation to those assets are set out above. Financial liabilities and equity instruments are classified according to the substance of the contractual arrangements entered into. An equity instrument is any contract that evidences a residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all of its financial liabilities. Where the contractual terms of share capital do not have any terms meeting the definition of a financial liability then this is classed as an equity instrument. The Company does not have any externally imposed capital requirements. Reserves Called up Equity Share Capital - represents the nominal value of shares that have been issued. Share Premium Account - includes any premiums received on issue of share capital. Any transaction costs associated with the issuing of shares are deducted from Share Premium Account. Unrealised Capital Reserve arises when the Company revalues the investments still held during the period and any gains or losses arising are credited/charged to the Unrealised Capital Reserve. When an investment is sold, any balance held on the Unrealised Capital Reserve is transferred to the Profit and Loss Reserve as a movement in reserves. The Profit and Loss Reserve represents the aggregate of accumulated realised profits, less losses and dividends. Dividends payable are recognised as distributions in the financial statements when the Company's liability to make payment has been established. This liability is established for interim dividends when they are declared by the Board, and for final dividends when they are approved by the Shareholders. Expenses are charged wholly to revenue with the exception of the investment management fee which has been charged 75% to capital in line with industry practice. In the year to 28 February 2017 the manager received a fee of 1% of the net asset value as at the previous year end (2016: 1%). Oxford Technology Management is also entitled to certain monitoring fees from investee companies and the Board reviews the amounts. Oxford Technology Management had previously agreed to defer 25% of the 2% management fee to which it was contractually entitled (i.e. 0.5% of net assets) until such a time when the finances of the Company made this payment more affordable. As part of the revised agreement with effect from 1 March 2015 the Board have agreed to pay the deferred balance over a 36 month period. A performance fee is payable to the Investment Manager once original shareholders have received a specified threshold in cash for each 100p (gross) invested. The original threshold of 100p has been increased by compounding that portion that remains to be paid to shareholders by 6% per annum with effect from 1 March 2015, resulting in the remaining required threshold rising to 71.7p at 28 February 2017, corresponding to a total shareholder return of 108.7p after taking into account the 37p already paid out (37p + 71.7p = 108.7p). After this amount has been distributed to shareholders, each extra 100p distributed goes 80p to the shareholders and 20p to the beneficiaries of the performance incentive fee, of which Oxford Technology Management receives 15p. No performance fee has become due or been paid to date. Any applicable performance fee will be charged 100% to capital. Expenses are capped at 3%, including the management fee but excluding Directors' fees and any performance fee. All expenses are accounted for on an accruals basis. All expenses are charged through the income statement except as follows: Corporation tax payable at 20% (2016: 20%) is applied to profits chargeable to corporation tax, if any. The corporation tax charge for the period was £nil (2016: £nil) Unrelieved management expenses of £2,023,217 (2016: £1,891,985) remain available for offset against future taxable profits. The calculation of earnings per share (basic and diluted) for the period is based on the net loss of £1,718,000 (2016: profit of £2,366,000) attributable to shareholders divided by the weighted average number of shares 11,516,946 (2016: 11,516,946) in issue during the period. There are no potentially dilutive capital instruments in issue and, therefore, no diluted returns per share figures are relevant. The basic and diluted earnings per share are therefore identical. Subsidiary Company The Company also holds 100% of the issued share capital of OT4 Managers Ltd at a cost of £1. Results of the subsidiary undertaking for the year ended 28 February 2017 are as follows: Consolidated group financial statements have not been prepared as the subsidiary undertaking is not considered to be material for the purpose of giving a true and fair view. The Financial Statements therefore present only the results of Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc, which the Directors also consider is the most useful presentation for Shareholders. 9. Creditors - amounts falling due in less than 1 year Creditors - amounts falling due in more than 1 year The Investment Manager has previously deferred 25% of fees, as detailed in Note 3. These are now being paid between March 2015 and February 2018. When the Company revalues its investments during the period, any gains or losses arising are credited/charged to the Income Statement. Changes in fair value of investments are then transferred to the Unrealised Capital Reserve. When an investment is sold any balance held on the Unrealised Capital Reserve is transferred to the Profit and Loss Account Reserve as a movement in reserves. The transfer between the Unrealised Capital Reserve and the Profit and Loss Reserve in 2016 was the result of the correction of historic misclassifications between the two reserves. The historic misclassifications were immaterial as they had no impact on reported returns or net assets and had no bearing on any distributions. The Company paid two dividends in 2016. 10p per Ordinary share was paid on 7 August 2015 and a further 10p per Ordinary share was paid on 19 February 2016. The Company's financial instruments comprise equity and loan note investments, cash balances and debtors and creditors. The Company holds financial assets in accordance with its investment policy of investing mainly in a portfolio of VCT - qualifying quoted and unquoted securities whilst holding a proportion of its assets in cash or near cash investments in order to provide a reserve of liquidity. The risk faced by these instruments, such as interest rate risk or liquidity risk is considered to be minimal due to their nature. All of these are carried in the accounts at fair value. The Company's strategy for managing investment risk is determined with regard to the Company's investment objective. The management of market risk is part of the investment management process and is a central feature of venture capital investment. The Company's portfolio is managed with regard to the possible effects of adverse price movements and with the objective of maximising overall returns to shareholders. Investments in unquoted companies, by their nature, usually involve a higher degree of risk than investments in companies quoted on a recognised stock exchange, though the risk can be mitigated to a certain extent by diversifying the portfolio across business sectors and asset classes. The overall disposition of the Company's assets is regularly monitored by the Board. The company had no commitments at 28 February 2017 or 29 February 2016. OT4 Managers Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary, provides investment management services to the Company with effect from 1 July 2015 for a fee of 1% of net assets per annum. During the year, £76,934 was paid in respect of these fees (2016: £50,871). No amounts were outstanding at the year end. During March 2017, a further investment of £40,000 was made into ZuvaSyntha and in April 2017 a further investment of £50,000 was made into Plasma Antennas. Company Number: 5038854 Note to the announcement: The financial information set out in this announcement does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in the Companies Act 2006 ("the Act"). The balance sheet as at 28 February 2017, income statement and cash flow statement for the period then ended have been extracted from the Company's 2017 statutory financial statements upon which the auditor's opinion is unqualified and does not include any statement under the section 495 of the Act. The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 28 February 2017 will be filed with the Registrar of Companies. Copies of the documents will be submitted to the National Storage Mechanism and are available for inspection at: http://www.mornningstar.co.uk/uk/NNSM
News Article | May 8, 2017
Anna Katherine, a junior at Cedar Creek School, has worked tirelessly over the past eight years on behalf of kids who, like her, suffer from Type 1 diabetes, raising funds to find a cure, enhancing public awareness of the disease, campaigning for legal rights and protections for students with diabetes, and providing support to newly diagnosed children and their families. "When I was first diagnosed, the daily demands of managing this relentless disease combined with the often-misinformed public perception of diabetes left me feeling overwhelmed and alienated," said Anna Katherine. But "because of the support and guidance of family, friends and community, I became determined to reach out to those living with diabetes, and challenge the public perception of the disease." The day after she left the hospital, Anna Katherine participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's annual fundraising walk, and in subsequent years led a team of her own. With help from her father, she shot a 30-second public service announcement about diabetes, which won the top prize in a national contest and has been seen by more than 16,000 viewers. In 2012, Anna Katherine helped successfully lobby her state legislature to make it easier for kids to manage their diabetes at school, and also took part in a lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., in 2011 and 2012 with the American Diabetes Association that secured millions of dollars for diabetes research. She also helped start a foundation that aids kids and their families immediately following a new diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. Zach, a sixth-grader at Live Oak Middle School, collected more than 5,000 hats and 2,000 toys for kids with cancer, and secured a grant to fund a weeklong summer camp for children with the disease. It all started when Zach saw a TV commercial about childhood cancer. "I felt bad for kids who had cancer," he said. "I felt bad that it changed their childhood. I wanted to make them feel better." Since he already liked to collect baseball caps, Zach decided to begin collecting them for kids who lose their hair to chemotherapy. He received 250 new caps and hats in his first drive at a local Walmart store, and then threw a pizza party at a local children's hospital to hand them out. Subsequent drives have yielded thousands of additional hats, which have gone to kids across the country. "I have learned that even the smallest things – like a baseball cap – can put the biggest smile on a kid," said Zach. He also distributes toys through "Treasure Chests of Courage" that he has placed at several cancer treatment facilities. To date, Zach has mobilized more than 2,000 students in several states to help kids with cancer. He has also hosted events that have generated more than 1,000 pounds of food for students at local schools who have little to eat on weekends. "These honorees have done exemplary work to contribute to the health and vitality of their communities, and we look forward to seeing the great things they achieve in the future," said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. "Congratulations to each of these extraordinary young volunteers." "It's a privilege to celebrate these students not only for outstanding volunteer service, but for the example they've set for their peers," said Jayne Ellspermann, president of NASSP. "These honorees prove that one person truly can make a difference." Youth volunteers in grades 5-12 were invited to apply for 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the HandsOn Network. More than 31,000 middle level and high school students nationwide participated in this year's program. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created in 1995 to identify and recognize young people for outstanding volunteer service – and, in so doing, inspire others to volunteer, too. In the past 22 years, the program has honored more than 120,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level. For more information about The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and this year's honorees, visit http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit. About NASSP The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org. About Prudential Financial Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential's diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential's iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com. Editors: For pictures of the Spirit of Community Awards program logo and medallions, visit . For B-roll of Louisiana's honorees at the 2017 national recognition events, contact Prudential's Harold Banks at (973) 216-4833 or . To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/two-louisiana-youth-honored-for-volunteerism-at-national-award-ceremony-in-washington-dc-300452906.html
News Article | May 23, 2017
Zarraby comes to AFPM from Edelman, where she was executive vice president and group director of the agency's Washington, D.C. energy practice, as well as the director of client strategy. In this role, she led and advised integrated communications and advocacy programs for Fortune 100 companies and trade associations, including AFPM. Zarraby specializes in leading campaigns that include traditional and digital public affairs, advertising, lobbying, coalition development, and grassroots engagement to advance policy objectives and enhance reputations globally. She created and led Edelman's first-ever public affairs creative newsroom, integrating media outreach, community management, grassroots activation, real-time analytics, creative, and paid media to connect with primary stakeholders on key issues. Prior to joining Edelman, Jaime led grassroots engagement for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and held various positions within the consumer branding, corporate, and grassroots practices of Burson-Marsteller. The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is a national trade association representing more than 400 companies that encompass virtually all U.S. refining and petrochemical manufacturing capacity. Learn about us at Industry 101 Like us on Facebook To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/afpm-taps-edelmans-zarraby-to-head-communications-300462387.html
News Article | May 25, 2017
Type One Parent Project (TOPP) Foundation donated $10,000 to JDRF's Fund A Cure program on May 20th, 2017. Doylestown, PA, May 25, 2017 --( About TOPP TOPP Foundation is a local nonprofit founded in 2016 by 3 mothers who each have a son with T1D. TOPP’s mission is to develop a supportive community for local families dealing with the daily challenges of living with T1D and raise funds supporting efforts to find a cure. TOPP hosts a T1D parent support group on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7:30PM in the Central Bucks Ambulance & Rescue Building located at 455 East Street in Doylestown. In addition, they have held several successful fundraising campaigns and family friendly events for families living with T1D. TOPP will be hosting its next fundraiser in the fall. To learn more about TOPP Foundation, visit www.toppfund.org or email email@example.com. About T1D Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it. T1D strikes both children and adults at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Doylestown, PA, May 25, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Type One Parent Project (TOPP) Foundation presented a $10,000 donation to JDRF’s (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Fund A Cure program on May 20, 2017 during JDRF’s One Promise Gala that was held in Philadelphia. TOPP Foundation raised the money by hosting various fundraising events over the last year. All donations to Fund A Cure go directly toward cutting-edge medical research aimed at improving the lives of individuals with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) and ultimately finding a cure.About TOPPTOPP Foundation is a local nonprofit founded in 2016 by 3 mothers who each have a son with T1D. TOPP’s mission is to develop a supportive community for local families dealing with the daily challenges of living with T1D and raise funds supporting efforts to find a cure.TOPP hosts a T1D parent support group on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7:30PM in the Central Bucks Ambulance & Rescue Building located at 455 East Street in Doylestown. In addition, they have held several successful fundraising campaigns and family friendly events for families living with T1D.TOPP will be hosting its next fundraiser in the fall.To learn more about TOPP Foundation, visit www.toppfund.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.About T1DType 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it. T1D strikes both children and adults at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from TOPP Foundation
News Article | April 22, 2017
Receive press releases from The Knowledge Group: By Email Rebecca G. DiStefano, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, P.A. to Speak at The Knowledge Groups Event New York, NY, April 22, 2017 --( For further details, please visit: https://www.theknowledgegroup.org/webcasts/tax-accounting-finance/finance/crowdfunding-in-the-2017-landscape-understanding-trends-and-developments-live-webcast About Rebecca G. DiStefano Rebecca G. DiStefano is a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, P.A. in Florida. She is both a transactional and regulatory attorney and advisor in the areas of securities regulation, mergers & acquisitions, and corporate law. In these practice areas, Rebecca primarily counsels clients in general capital formation matters, Regulation D, Regulation A+, Regulation Crowdfunding, registrations, as well as general solicitation under the JOBS Act of 2012, the Securities Act of 1933, and the continuing disclosure requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. She also advises clients in exit strategies for founders and business owners through implementation of ESOPS, sales to private equity and synergistic buyers with attention to attendant corporate governance planning and best practices throughout the life cycle of the company. Rebecca also represents clients before government agencies and SROs including the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA. Her clients include investment banks, institutional corporate trustees, public and private companies as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups in a variety of industries including financial services, real estate, healthcare and technology. Rebecca has been recognized in the 2016 and 2017 editions of The Best Lawyers in America© in the category of Corporate Law and in the 2009 edition of the Legal 500 United States. She is an advocate for children and adults diagnosed with Type One Diabetes and currently serves as Vice President of the Greater Palm Beach County Chapter of JDRF (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and has served on its Board of Directors since 2013. About Greenberg Traurig, P.A. Greenberg Traurig is an international law firm with approximately 2000 attorneys and governmental affairs professionals in 38 commercial and government centers across the United States and in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Greenberg Traurig provides integrated, business-focused legal services for clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to innovative start-ups. The firm’s multidisciplinary teams include senior lawyers who have served as chief legal officers at major multinational companies and have spent years solving real-world problems in the business, political and legal arenas. Event Synopsis: With the increasing volatility of the financial markets today, more and more business owners and entrepreneurs are exploring the potential of crowdfunding. It's no secret that, over the years, alternative finance such as crowdfunding has been an effective validation tool for nonprofits and startups. As crowdfunding becomes increasingly accessible to those who seek for more opportunity to invest, it will likely continue to pick up steam in the coming years. However, with the several restrictions highlighted in crowdfunding, companies can't help but notice other alternatives such as 506(c) and the Regulation A which also provide great capital raising flexibilities. Crowdfunding along with these alternatives are yet to make a profound change in the investment world. Thus, it is imperative for investors, business owners and entrepreneurs to understand and analyze the current and emerging trends in these areas to mitigate potential risks. In this two-hour live Webcast, a panel of distinguished professionals and thought leaders assembled by The Knowledge Group will provide the audience with an overview of the latest trends; critical issues and best practices in Crowdfunding. Speakers will also discuss and give highlights to other capital raising alternatives and will offer practical tips in ensuring compliance with securities laws. Some of the major topics that will be covered in this course are: · Crowdfunding: Fundamentals and Critical Issues · Federal Crowdfunding Rules · Other Capital Raising Alternatives · Basic Framework of 506(c) Offering and Reg A · Crowdfunding vs. Other Capital Raising Alternatives · Pros and Cons of 506(c) Offering and Reg A · Risks and Legal Obligations · Recent Crowdfunding Trends and Developments · Practical Tips and Best Practices when Venturing to Crowdfunding About The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series The Knowledge Congress was established with the mission to produce unbiased, objective, and educational live webinars that examine industry trends and regulatory changes from a variety of different perspectives. The goal is to deliver a unique multilevel analysis of an important issue affecting business in a highly focused format. To contact or register to an event, please visit: http://theknowledgegroup.org/ New York, NY, April 22, 2017 --( PR.com )-- The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series, the leading producer of regulatory focused webcasts, has announced today that Rebecca G. DiStefano, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, P.A. will speak at the Knowledge Congress’ webcast entitled: “Crowdfunding in the 2017 Landscape: Understanding Trends and Developments Live Webcast.” This event is scheduled for Thursday, May 11, 2017 @ 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (ET).For further details, please visit:https://www.theknowledgegroup.org/webcasts/tax-accounting-finance/finance/crowdfunding-in-the-2017-landscape-understanding-trends-and-developments-live-webcastAbout Rebecca G. DiStefanoRebecca G. DiStefano is a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, P.A. in Florida. She is both a transactional and regulatory attorney and advisor in the areas of securities regulation, mergers & acquisitions, and corporate law. In these practice areas, Rebecca primarily counsels clients in general capital formation matters, Regulation D, Regulation A+, Regulation Crowdfunding, registrations, as well as general solicitation under the JOBS Act of 2012, the Securities Act of 1933, and the continuing disclosure requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. She also advises clients in exit strategies for founders and business owners through implementation of ESOPS, sales to private equity and synergistic buyers with attention to attendant corporate governance planning and best practices throughout the life cycle of the company. Rebecca also represents clients before government agencies and SROs including the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA. Her clients include investment banks, institutional corporate trustees, public and private companies as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups in a variety of industries including financial services, real estate, healthcare and technology.Rebecca has been recognized in the 2016 and 2017 editions of The Best Lawyers in America© in the category of Corporate Law and in the 2009 edition of the Legal 500 United States. She is an advocate for children and adults diagnosed with Type One Diabetes and currently serves as Vice President of the Greater Palm Beach County Chapter of JDRF (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and has served on its Board of Directors since 2013.About Greenberg Traurig, P.A.Greenberg Traurig is an international law firm with approximately 2000 attorneys and governmental affairs professionals in 38 commercial and government centers across the United States and in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Greenberg Traurig provides integrated, business-focused legal services for clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to innovative start-ups. The firm’s multidisciplinary teams include senior lawyers who have served as chief legal officers at major multinational companies and have spent years solving real-world problems in the business, political and legal arenas.Event Synopsis:With the increasing volatility of the financial markets today, more and more business owners and entrepreneurs are exploring the potential of crowdfunding. It's no secret that, over the years, alternative finance such as crowdfunding has been an effective validation tool for nonprofits and startups. As crowdfunding becomes increasingly accessible to those who seek for more opportunity to invest, it will likely continue to pick up steam in the coming years.However, with the several restrictions highlighted in crowdfunding, companies can't help but notice other alternatives such as 506(c) and the Regulation A which also provide great capital raising flexibilities. Crowdfunding along with these alternatives are yet to make a profound change in the investment world. Thus, it is imperative for investors, business owners and entrepreneurs to understand and analyze the current and emerging trends in these areas to mitigate potential risks.In this two-hour live Webcast, a panel of distinguished professionals and thought leaders assembled by The Knowledge Group will provide the audience with an overview of the latest trends; critical issues and best practices in Crowdfunding. Speakers will also discuss and give highlights to other capital raising alternatives and will offer practical tips in ensuring compliance with securities laws.Some of the major topics that will be covered in this course are:· Crowdfunding: Fundamentals and Critical Issues· Federal Crowdfunding Rules· Other Capital Raising Alternatives· Basic Framework of 506(c) Offering and Reg A· Crowdfunding vs. Other Capital Raising Alternatives· Pros and Cons of 506(c) Offering and Reg A· Risks and Legal Obligations· Recent Crowdfunding Trends and Developments· Practical Tips and Best Practices when Venturing to CrowdfundingAbout The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast SeriesThe Knowledge Congress was established with the mission to produce unbiased, objective, and educational live webinars that examine industry trends and regulatory changes from a variety of different perspectives. The goal is to deliver a unique multilevel analysis of an important issue affecting business in a highly focused format. To contact or register to an event, please visit: http://theknowledgegroup.org/ Click here to view the company profile of The Knowledge Group Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from The Knowledge Group
News Article | April 27, 2017
Conway Services, the Mid-South premier HVAC and plumbing company, was proud to be the presenting sponsor of the second annual Conway Services Charity Classic, benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) West TN Chapter. The golf classic took place Monday, April 24th at noon, at the Ridgeway Country Club, and all proceeds benefitted JDRF. The tournament raised over $123,000 for the cause. Conway Services is a service provider in the network of branches under Memphis-based American Residential Services (ARS). Since 2013, Dave Slott, ARS Chief Executive Officer, has served as a board member for the non-profit. “For several years, we have sponsored JDRF’s fundraising programs, and our employees participate in the annual JDRF One Walk. We are proud to amplify our support in raising funds for ground-breaking research to turn Type One into Type None,” said Slott. JDRF, founded in 1970 by parents of children with Type 1 diabetes, is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. T1D is the most severe type of diabetes, affecting as many as three million Americans. T1D may occur in both children and adults, and it typically has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. It is currently not a preventable disease. “That is why we need help funding research,” said Russ Ellis, Executive Director of JDRF-West TN Chapter. “With the generous help of Conway Services, ARS, and our supporters, JDRF is pursuing a diversified, dynamic research agenda aimed at moving us ever closer to a world without T1D.” ABOUT ars.com [AMERICAN RESIDENTIAL SERVICES __title__ American Residential Services]: Based in Memphis, Tenn., privately-owned ARS operates a network of more than 70 locally-managed service centers in 23 states, with approximately 6,500 employees. The ARS network features industry-leading brands including, A.J. Perri, Aksarben ARS, Allgood, Andy’s Statewide, ARS, Aspen Air Conditioning, Atlas Trillo, Beutler, Blue Dot, Brothers, Columbus Worthington Air, Comfort Heating & Air, Conway Services, Efficient Attic Systems (EAS), Florida Home Air Conditioning, Green Star Home Services, McCarthy Services, Rescue Rooter/ Proserv, Rescue Rooter, RighTime Home Services, RS Andrews, The Irish Plumber, Unique Services, "Will" Fix It, and Yes! Air Conditioning and Plumbing. United by Exceptional Service®, the ARS / Rescue Rooter Network serves both residential and light commercial customers by providing heating, cooling, indoor air quality, plumbing, drain cleaning, sewer line, radiant barrier, insulation and ventilation services. Each location has a knowledgeable team of trained specialists, who have undergone rigorous drug testing and criminal background checks. Providing exceptional service and ensuring the highest standards of quality, ARS has the experience to do any job right – the first time, with all work fully guaranteed.
News Article | February 16, 2017
Alpha cells in the pancreas can be induced in living mice to quickly and efficiently become insulin-producing beta cells when the expression of just two genes is blocked, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Studies of human pancreases from diabetic cadaver donors suggest that the alpha cells' "career change" also occurs naturally in diabetic humans, but on a much smaller and slower scale. The research suggests that scientists may one day be able to take advantage of this natural flexibility in cell fate to coax alpha cells to convert to beta cells in humans to alleviate the symptoms of diabetes. "It is important to carefully evaluate any and all potential sources of new beta cells for people with diabetes," said Seung Kim, MD, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of medicine. "Now we've discovered what keeps an alpha cell as an alpha cell, and found a way to efficiently convert them in living animals into cells that are nearly indistinguishable from beta cells. It's very exciting." Kim is the senior author of the study, which will be published online Feb. 16 in Cell Metabolism. Postdoctoral scholar Harini Chakravarthy, PhD, is the lead author. "Transdifferentiation of alpha cells into insulin-producing beta cells is a very attractive therapeutic approach for restoring beta cell function in established Type 1 diabetes," said Andrew Rakeman, PhD, the director of discovery research at JDRF, an organization that funds research into Type 1 diabetes. "By identifying the pathways regulating alpha to beta cell conversion and showing that these same mechanisms are active in human islets from patients with Type 1 diabetes, Chakravarthy and her colleagues have made an important step toward realizing the therapeutic potential of alpha cell transdifferentiation." Rakeman was not involved in the study. Cells in the pancreas called beta cells and alpha cells are responsible for modulating the body's response to the rise and fall of blood glucose levels after a meal. When glucose levels rise, beta cells release insulin to cue cells throughout the body to squirrel away the sugar for later use. When levels fall, alpha cells release glucagon to stimulate the release of stored glucose. Although both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are primarily linked to reductions in the number of insulin-producing beta cells, there are signs that alpha cells may also be dysfunctional in these disorders. "In some cases, alpha cells may actually be secreting too much glucagon," said Kim. "When there is already not enough insulin, excess glucagon is like adding gas to a fire." Because humans have a large reservoir of alpha cells, and because the alpha cells sometimes secrete too much glucagon, converting some alpha cells to beta cells should be well-tolerated, the researchers believe. The researchers built on a previous study in mice several years ago that was conducted in a Swiss laboratory, which also collaborated on the current study. It showed that when beta cells are destroyed, about 1 percent of alpha cells in the pancreas begin to look and act like beta cells. But this happened very slowly. "What was lacking in that initial index study was any sort of understanding of the mechanism of this conversion," said Kim. "But we had some ideas based on our own work as to what the master regulators might be." Chakravarthy and her colleagues targeted two main candidates: a protein called Arx known to be important during the development of alpha cells and another called DNMT1 that may help alpha cells "remember" how to be alpha cells by maintaining chemical tags on its DNA. The researchers painstakingly generated a strain of laboratory mice unable to make either Arx or DNMT1 in pancreatic alpha cells when the animals were administered a certain chemical compound in their drinking water. They observed a rapid conversion of alpha cells into what appeared to be beta cells in the mice within seven weeks of blocking the production of both these proteins. To confirm the change, the researchers collaborated with colleagues in the laboratory of Stephen Quake, PhD, a co-author and professor of bioengineering and of applied physics at Stanford, to study the gene expression patterns of the former alpha cells. They also shipped the cells to collaborators in Alberta, Canada, and at the University of Illinois to test the electrophysiological characteristics of the cells and whether and how they responded to glucose. "Through these rigorous studies by our colleagues and collaborators, we found that these former alpha cells were -- in every way -- remarkably similar to native beta cells," said Kim. The researchers then turned their attention to human pancreatic tissue from diabetic and nondiabetic cadaver donors. They found that samples of tissue from children with Type 1 diabetes diagnosed within a year or two of their death include a proportion of bi-hormonal cells -- individual cells that produce both glucagon and insulin. Kim and his colleagues believe they may have caught the cells in the act of converting from alpha cells to beta cells in response to the development of diabetes. They also saw that the human alpha cell samples from the diabetic donors had lost the expression of the very genes -- ARX and DNMT1 -- they had blocked in the mice to convert alpha cells into beta cells. "So the same basic changes may be happening in humans with Type 1 diabetes," said Kim. "This indicates that it might be possible to use targeted methods to block these genes or the signals controlling them in the pancreatic islets of people with diabetes to enhance the proportion of alpha cells that convert into beta cells." Kim is a member of Stanford Bio-X, the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, the Stanford Cancer Institute and the Stanford Child Health Research Institute. Researchers from the University of Alberta, the University of Illinois, the University of Geneva and the University of Bergen are also co-authors of the study. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants U01HL099999, U01HL099995, UO1DK089532, UO1DK089572 and UC4DK104211), the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Genomics, the Wallenberg Foundation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the NIH Beta-Cell Biology Consortium, the European Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the H.L. Snyder Foundation, the Elser Trust and the NIH Human Islet Resource Network. Stanford's Department of Developmental Biology also supported the work. The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation's top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://med. . The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children's Health. For information about all three, please visit http://med. .
News Article | February 15, 2017
Sonny Stancarone, CEO of Sonny's Luxury Art Case Pianos, a premiere Long Island restoration house for pre-owned art case Steinways and other brand name pianos, is pledging to donate $100,000, or 10 percent of the final price of a million-dollar Steinway he has offered for sale, to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Long Island Chapter to help in its quest to find a cure for juvenile diabetes. “I hope by doing this it will bring attention to the importance of finding a cure for this devastating illness, and the money we raise will help families cope with this condition and improve the quality of their lives,“ said Stancarone, a longtime piano entrepreneur and piano dealer. “Millions of people around the world live with type 1 diabetes, a life-threatening autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults. There is no way to prevent it, and at present, no cure. JDRF works every day to change this by amassing grassroots support, deep scientific knowledge and strong industry and academic partnerships to fund research. Sonny’s contribution will go a long way to supporting our efforts,” said Joann Flick, director of development at JDRF Long Island Chapter. The million-dollar Steinway, known as the “Prince’s Love Piano,” was purchased by a Prussian prince in 1900 from the Steinway Hamburg, Germany, factory. The prince commissioned a master artist to create a series of King Louis XV “Vernis Martin” style love scenes on the piano to immortalize his love for his princess. The piano itself is a Hamburg Steinway Model A – one of the finest instruments money could buy then and now. The piano is part of Sonny’s luxury art case pianos collection and was purchased and restored by Sonny's Art Case Pianos over the past year. See photos and video tour of this piano here http://tinyurl.com/zvkpgct. Stancarone chose the JDRF for his donation, he said, because “the public is generally not aware of what a difficult illness type 1 diabetes is to manage with its daily regimen of blood sugar level monitoring, insulin injections or insulin pump adjustments, exacting dietary restrictions and meal scheduling, all of which even when performed perfectly can still result in catastrophe when sugar levels go too low or too high. Swings in blood sugar levels can cause mood changes, inability to concentrate, urgent cravings for sugary foods and can be debilitating – even fatal.” In particular, Stancarone believes families with young children and infants who have juvenile diabetes struggle because children cannot always communicate what they are experiencing, leaving parents not knowing when to make any necessary adjustments to help their child function normally. “I'd like to encourage others to donate to this important cause at http://www.jdrf.org,” he added. “Even small donations are greatly appreciated and can go a long way.” About Sonny’s Pianos Sonny’s Luxury Art Case Pianos, located in Bohemia, Long Island in New York, is one of the premiere restoration houses for pre-owned decorative art case Steinways and other brand name pianos. Sonny buys and restores luxury and traditional-style pre-owned Steinways and other pianos, selling them to discriminating clients in a worldwide market. Sonny’s team of furniture specialists, piano technicians and artists return the sound and appearance of these majestic instruments to their original elegant and beautiful condition. Sonny is donating 10% of the final sale price of the Million Dollar Steinway and another hand painted masterpiece in his collection called the “Green Chi Steinway,“ priced at $125,000, to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Long Island Chapter, that funds research for treatments and therapies for Type 1 Diabetes. To learn more, visit Sonny’s Bohemia, Long Island showroom or view videos and photos of his inventory at http://www.SonnysPianoTV.com/artcase. Private showings of Sonny’s Luxury Art Case Pianos are available by appointment only, by calling 631-475-8046. See recent Newsday Feature Video about Sonny's Art Case Pianos https://youtu.be/qfLHEKkRt28 To read the article click here http://sonnyspianotv.com/pdf/Newsday.pdf or on the Newsday PDF attachment. About JDRF JDRF is the leading global charitable, non-profit organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Its mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in research funding since its inception. It is an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. It collaborates with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Its staff and volunteers throughout the United States and its six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and its vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow it on Twitter: @JDRF.
News Article | February 28, 2017
Fit4D, a New York City-based health technology company, announced today that Jeff Becker, J.D., founding partner at Epstein Becker & Green, will join its Board of Directors. Fit4D has demonstrated success in improving the health of people with diabetes through its technology-enabled services. By appointing Mr. Becker to the board, Fit4D demonstrates its continued commitment to bring industry thought leaders into its team to further accelerate its growth through its pharmaceutical, payer and provider clients. Jeff Becker co-founded Epstein Becker & Green in 1973 and provides strategic advice and legal guidance to a wide range of health care organizations. Mr. Becker was selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America (1995 to 2017) and selected as one of the leading health care attorneys in New York by Chambers USA. “We are honored to have Jeff Becker join the Fit4D board,” said David Weingard, CEO of Fit4D. “Today’s healthcare landscape is complex and Jeff’s business and legal acumen is critical to successfully navigating this landscape while achieving our business and social mission." “I am tremendously excited to join the Fit4D team and support the company improving the health of people with diabetes. Fit4D’s technology-enabled services deliver innovation and measurable value to its clients and I look forward to contributing to the company’s ongoing success,” said Jeff Becker. Fit4D is a technology-enabled health coaching solution that scales the reach of expert certified diabetes educators (CDEs), allowing them to manage a patient population more than five times larger than traditional inpatient settings. Fit4D clients include pharmaceutical companies with a branded drug or device seeking to improve initiation and adherence, and payers looking to improve health outcomes and quality measures. The company’s team of CDEs across the country leverage the Fit4D technology platform to engage patients with a personalized plan that addresses the individual barriers one faces when learning to self-manage the condition. Coaching topics include diabetes education, tips and tactics to initiate therapy and improve medication adherence, the importance of preventive care, nutrition, exercise, advice to overcome psycho-social barriers and more. About Fit4D Fit4D’s mission is to improve the lives of people living with diabetes worldwide. Fit4D delivers scalable and effective patient programs through an optimized mix of its technology platform and human-based touch points. The Fit4D clinical team of certified diabetes educators (CDEs) is comprised of dietitians, exercise physiologists, nurses, and social workers, who are passionate about empowering people with diabetes to live rich, healthy and fulfilling lives. Fit4D’s Fortune 500 clients include pharmaceutical, payer, provider and wellness companies. Fit4D has also engaged in numerous joint initiatives with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Diabetes Association, and the Diabetes Research Institute.
News Article | November 2, 2016
Type 1 diabetes patients may one day be able to monitor their blood glucose levels and even control their insulin infusions via a transparent sensor on a contact lens, a new Oregon State University study suggests. The sensor uses a nanostructured transistor — specifically an amorphous indium gallium oxide field effect transistor, or IGZO FET — that can detect subtle glucose changes in physiological buffer solutions, such as the tear fluid in eyes. Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, can lead to serious health complications unless glucose levels are carefully controlled. Problems can include retinopathy, blindness, neuropathy, kidney and cardiac disease. Researchers in the OSU College of Engineering say sensors they fabricated using the IGZO FET will be able to transmit real-time glucose information to a wearable pump that delivers the hormones needed to regulate blood sugar: insulin and glucagon. The sensor and pump would, in effect, act as an artificial pancreas. “We have fully transparent sensors that are working,” says Greg Herman, an OSU professor of chemical engineering and corresponding author on this study. “What we want to do next is fully develop the communication aspect, and we want to use the entire contact lens as real estate for sensing and communications electronics. “We can integrate an array of sensors into the lens and also test for other things: stress hormones, uric acid, pressure sensing for glaucoma, and things like that. We can monitor many compounds in tears — and since the sensor is transparent, it doesn’t obstruct vision; more real estate is available for sensing on the contact lens.” The FET’s closely packed, hexagonal, nanostructured network resulted from complimentary patterning techniques that have the potential for low-cost fabrication. Those techniques include colloidal nanolithography and electrohydrodynamic printing, or e-jet, which is somewhat like an inkjet printer that creates much finer drop sizes and works with biological materials instead of ink. The findings by postdoctoral scholar Xiaosong Du, visiting scholar Yajuan Li and,Herman were recently published online in the journal Nanoscale. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation provided primary funding for the research. Google has been working on a glucose-monitoring contact lens but its version is not fully transparent. “It’s an amperometric sensor and you can see the chips — that means it has to be off to the side of the contact lens,” Herman says. “Another issue is the signal is dependent on the size of the sensor and you can only make it so small or you won’t be able to get a usable signal. With an FET sensor, you can actually make it smaller and enhance the output signal by doing this.” This research builds on earlier work by Herman and other OSU engineers that developed a glucose sensor that could be wrapped around a catheter, such as one used to administer insulin from a pump. “A lot of type 1 diabetics don’t wear a pump,” Herman says. “Many are still managing with blood droplets on glucose strips, then using self-injection. Even with the contact lens, someone could still manage their diabetes with self-injection. The sensor could communicate with your phone to warn you if your glucose was high or low.” The transparent FET sensors, Herman says, might ultimately be used for cancer detection, by sensing characteristic biomarkers of cancer risk. Their high sensitivity could also measure things such as pulse rate, oxygen levels, and other aspects of health monitoring that require precise control.