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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: February 2014

In Search of the New Pioneers of Values-Driven Business

Social Venture Network Launches 7th Annual Innovation Awards

Applications Being Accepted Until May 9, 2014

February 19, 2014 – San Francisco, CA – On February 7th, Social Venture Network (SVN) launched its 7th annual Innovation Awards competition. The SVN Innovation Awards highlight entrepreneurs who are using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The awards will connect these up-and-coming entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to expand their impact.

What do winners gain from the awards? The official prize includes two years of SVN membership, waived conference registration and travel expenses,media promotion, along with training and mentorship from experienced, values-driven leaders.

The benefits of the Innovation Awards extend far beyond SVN conferences: past winners have connected with advisors, funders and senior leadership through the network.Many previous Innovation Award winners have reported exponential growth since being recognized by SVN and have gone on to become leaders in their fields. Some notable winners include TerraCycle, Back to the Roots, Sungevity, RecycleForce, Green For All and Revolution Foods.

We have been amazed by the outpouring of support we received at the conference and in the weeks following — enthusiastic words of encouragement, sincere offers of guidance, and the opening of every type of door imaginable to solve the real challenges we face growing a social enterprise from the ground up. Without this program, we would never have had the opportunity to participate in the SVN community at such an early stage in our venture.”
– KavitaShukla&SwaroopSamant, Co-Founders, Fenugreen, 2013 SVN Innovation Award Winners

SVN’s members are uniquely qualified to recognize entrepreneurs with the talent and drive to succeed as leaders of a values-driven business. When SVN was first founded in 1987, its members were often dismissed as eccentrics for believing that business could create a better world. Today, they’re celebrated as pioneers in the field of socially responsible business –leaders of companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield, EILEEN FISHER, Birkenstock, Greyston Bakery and Seventh Generation.

SVN is accepting applications for the awards from now through May 9th, 2014 at http://www.svn.org/awards. In May and June, a panel of expert judges will select the finalists and interview them to assess their organizations’ impact in solving social and environmental problems. This year’s judging panel includes Jean Oelwang of Virgin Unite, Bonny Moellenbrock of Investors’ Circle and Leigh Buchanan of Inc. Magazine.

The Innovation Award Winners will be announced in late July, and will be officially introduced to the SVN community at SVN’s Fall Conference in Greenwich, CT, from October 23 – 26, where winners will have a chance to share their stories with an audience of over 400 social entrepreneurs.

2014 Innovation Awards Eligibility

To be eligible for the 2014 Innovation Awards, applicants must currently hold positions as C-level executives (CEOs, presidents, executive directors, founders, etc.) of businesses or nonprofit organizations implementing an idea that is having a positive social, environmental or economic justice impact on the business sector. Eligible applicants will be leading an organization that has been operating for more than one year and less than ten years, and has generated at least $250,000 in revenue during the past year.

About Social Venture Network

Since 1987, Social Venture Network (SVN, www.svn.org) has been the leading network of entrepreneurs who are transforming the way the world does business. SVN connects the leaders of socially responsible enterprises to share wisdom and resources, form strategic alliances and explore new solutions that build a more just and sustainable economy.

Contact

Donna Daniels
Social Venture Network
203-453-5693
donnad@svn.org

Kate Worteck
Social Venture Network
415-561-6501 x11
katew@svn.org

Prodigy Network Launches “Prodigy Design Lab”

17John Creator Hosts Crowd Design Contest To Create First Ever “Cotel” Panel, Interactive Art and Contest Kickoff at New York Social Media Week

NEW YORK (February 20, 2014) – Today, Prodigy Network announces the launch of Prodigy Design Lab, the first crowdsourcing platform dedicated to real estate, architecture, interiors, and urban planning. The first competition hosted on the new platform is for the design of the interior spaces of Prodigy Network’s newest project, 17John. As the world’s first “Cotel,” a term coined by Prodigy Network, 17John will be an innovative hotel designed for the modern business traveler where guests can network, share ideas and foster like-minded connections.

In the spirit of collaboration, this community-driven design effort will be hosted online on Prodigy Design Lab and will focus on three separate competition categories. Each category is focused on a different part of the Cotel experience, including collaborative public spaces, guest suites and digital services. The finalist for each category will be determined through online voting that will last for two weeks. Winners will be selected by the competition’s jury of experts, including Prodigy Network’s CEO and founder, Rodrigo Nino; Piers Fawks, editor-in-chief and founder of PSFK; Graham Hill, founder and CEO of LifeEdited; and Karim Lakhani and Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Director of NASA Tournament Lab.

The Prodigy Design Lab is an international think tank where the crowd can collaborate on the ideal travel experience for the highly engaged traveler. “We have learned that crowdfunding not only democratizes investments, it also makes projects viable that otherwise would not be possible. The next step is to create a way in which the crowd can design our crowdfunded projects and this platform is the international stage to showcase the creativity and ingenuity of the community,” said Nino.

17John is located next to the new Fulton Center, the third-largest transportation hub in Manhattan, and one block away from the new World Trade Center. 17John is an extended stay “Cotel” designed to service the growth in the financial district and beyond. Individual accredited investors can purchase REPs (Real Estate Participations) of this project for $50,000 each. Once completed, 17John will stand 23 stories high, and have 191 furnished units. Architects will combine the building’s existing classic architecture with the modernism of a glass tower to showcase 17John’s extensive views of Manhattan.

Prodigy Design Lab will kickoff on February 20 at 12:00pm EST, during the panel, “Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding: A Social Media Revolution In Real Estate” at the Highline Studios in New York City. The panel will also present how society can address complex issues and impact fields like real estate through social media, and how an interdisciplinary approach integrates crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, innovation, design and business thinking to put human issues at the core of problem solving and solutions.

Social Media Week guests will be invited to participate in “Unplugged Playground”, a one-of-a-kind collaborative installation with mural artist Rafael Esquer, featured as part of Social Media Week’s Interactive Gallery. The exhibit, meant to represent a part of the 17John “Cotel,” will start as a fully white room, or a blank canvas, where guests will be encouraged to share their artistic expression in the exhibit. The production of the mural will take place throughout the week and will engage the crowd to create a visual representation of the power of the collective mind. The crowd will also be able to contribute and follow the mural’s progress through #smwprodigy.

To visit the Prodigy Design Lab and more information on how to participate: www.prodigydesignlab.com

For more information and tickets to Social Media Week: www.socialmediaweek.org/newyork

About Prodigy Network

Founded in 2003, Prodigy Network specializes in connecting its international network of individual investors with opportunities to participate in institutional grade assets. With its proven crowdfunding model and use of a third party fiduciary, Prodigy Network has shifted real estate investment opportunities and returns – that once were solely accessible to large investors – to small investors. As the leader of the world’s largest crowdfunded skyscraper BD Bacata, Prodigy Network has led six international and U.S. based crowdfunded projects, raised over $200 million from 4,200 investors, and are currently developing projects with a projected value of $600 million. Prodigy Network’s vision is to advance crowdfunding as an innovative and dynamic way of doing business through democratizing real estate investments. Prodigy Network is headquartered in New York, New York. For more information visit: www.prodigynetwork.com/en

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Contact:
Thea Linscott Thea@relevancenewyork.com
Natalie Hernandez Natalie@relevancenewyork.com
212-920-7057

Taxpayers Urged to Take Advantage of IRS Free File for Online Tax Assistance & E-Filing Available at www.IRS.gov/freefile

Free Software & Step-by-Step Help Available to All Americans Making $58,000 or Less; Online Forms Available with No Income Restrictions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 20, 2014) – Comprehensive tax preparation and e-filing is available to 70 percent of taxpayers, thanks to Free File – a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a coalition of industry-leading tax software companies called the Free File Alliance.

Every taxpayer with a 2013 Adjusted Gross Income of $58,000 or less may visit www.IRS.gov/freefile to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost using software from Free File Alliance members. Free File also offers a basic federal e-filing service – called “Free File Fillable Forms” – which has no income limitations.

“Free File is here to make tax time less taxing for 70 percent of Americans,” said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance. “If you made $58,000 or less in 2013, Free File is your portal to free tax software from more than a dozen of the country’s top companies. It’s all online at www.IRS.gov/FreeFile, and unlike commercial products, there are no pop-up ads when you use Free File to access tax software.”

Hugo continued, “Software from the Free File Alliance provides step-by-step help and calculations to make tax-filing quick, simple and convenient. After you e-file, you’ll receive a confirmation email so you can rest assured that you’re done for the year, and you’ll get your refund in as few as 10 days. Free File is fast, safe and – most importantly – completely free.”

Free File is available at www.IRS.gov/freefile, which provides a list of free tax software offered by Free File Alliance member companies. Users may either choose the company that fits their tax situation or utilize the “Help me Find Free File Software” tool. After selecting a company, users will be transferred to the company’s website to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns. The service is also available in Spanish.

Free File Fillable Forms, which allow taxpayers who are familiar with tax law and need no preparation assistance to complete and file their federal income tax electronically, are also available at www.IRS.gov/freefile.

Free File has already saved taxpayers an estimated $1.2 billion in preparation and filing costs since the program began in 2003. Free File Alliance member companies have continually worked with the IRS to strengthen the Free File program, and taxpayers have consistently reported that it is user-friendly and efficient. Responding to a 2009 IRS survey, 96 percent of users said they found Free File easy to use, while 98 percent said they would recommend the program to others.

About the Free File Alliance

The Free File Alliance, a coalition of 14 industry-leading tax software companies, has partnered with the IRS since 2003 to help low and middle-income Americans prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns online. The Free File Alliance is committed to giving 70 percent of Americans free access to the industry’s top online tax preparation software. About 40 million returns have been filed through Free File since its inception. For more information, visit www.freefilealliance.org.

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Contact: Katie Morgan, katiemorgan@rational360.com, (202) 470-5362

First Sign Launches First-Ever Crime Fighting Hair Clip That Automatically Gets Help and Collects Evidence

The Smart Wearable Device Detects Violent Attacks, Warns the Attacker and Helps Identify, Deter, Apprehend, and Prosecute attackers.

Shareable Infographic Depicts How First Sign Hair Clips Works

SCOTTSDALE, AZ, Feb. 10, 2014 – First Sign Technology today announced the launch of the first-ever Hair Clip that serves as an automatic personal security system against violent crimes. The First Sign Hair Clip features a mobile application that automatically calls for help and begins to collect evidence at the first sign of an emergency.
The Hair Clips automatic alarm is activated when forces associated with a violent attack are detected with the hair clip’s accelerometer and gyroscope. It then uses a built-in cell phone to collect more evidence and call for help while the phone’s speaker lets the attacker know that “evidence has been collected and help is on the way.”

First Sign Technologies, which was founded by married graduate students Rachel and Arthur Emanuele at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, aims to launch cutting-edge products that make society safer.

“Violence against women is far too common and this is the first solution to not only be automatic, but to focus on increasing the prosecution rate,” said Co-Founder Rachel Emanuele. “The response we have been receiving has been overwhelming.”

Below are more details about the First Sign Hair Clip:

Automatic: An automatic alarm trigger is critical because the majority of attackers use the element of surprise, or your trust, to catch you off guard.

Great Alternative to Weapons: Firearms, knives, stun-guns, pepper spray, panic buttons and cell phones all become useless when the attacker has the element of surprise, or even worse, your trust. Moreover, it is uncertain how anyone will react under duress.

Lifestyle Friendly and Fashionable: The hair clip can be worn discretely concealed under the hair, as a fashion accessory, or clipped somewhere close. Either way, the clip is “out of sight and out of mind” but it will never stop working for you. There will be a 15-second window to deactivate in the rare case of a false alarm.

Offers Deterrence: The deterring effect starts by notifying the attacker with the phone’s speaker that“Evidence has been collected and help is on the way.” The attacker will no longer be able to act without consequences.

Prosecution: Evidence is immediately collected once the alarm is activated. A microphone on the hair clip transmits audio evidence while the phone is used for its camera, GPS, speaker, and cell signal. The evidence is streamed to the monitoring station so all evidence will remain available to prosecutors even if the phone is destroyed.

Situational Uses: The Hair Clip can be used when dating, walking at night, driving, exercising alone, traveling, when workers are in your home, conducting a Craigslist or similar transaction, and more.

Cutting Edge: A paradigm shift in the security industry is underway. Companies such as ADT have already changed their strategic plans to focus on “Everyday Security.” First Sign Technologies is on the cutting edge of the shift in personal safety. They are the first mobile security system against violent crimes and the only solution that has the capability to identify, deter, apprehend, and prosecute attackers.

Where to Buy: First Sign is accepting pre-orders and contributions through their Indiegogo campaign. A strong show of support from society over the next 30 days is needed for First Sign to start providing peace of mind and safety by the end of this year. People that believe in the mission and product can pre-order here.

View This Infographic Which Illustrates How It Works:

image

Please visit this link to view and share our infographic:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/first-sign-hair-clip-the-first-automatic-security-system-against-violent-crimes

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About First Sign Technologies:

First Sign Technologies was founded in 2013 after a year of research based on the co-founder’s, Rachel Emanuele, comment. “I want something that protects me: not the property, just me.” They now have a strong group of partners in the security, electronic design and manufacturing, risk mitigation, and social awareness fields. Their story went from their college paper to the homepage of CNN US in less than a week. An Indiegogo campaign to pre-sell their products and bring this solution to market is now live.

Contact:
Rick Neil, Percepture PR, 917-710-7309, rick@percepture.com

New Online Platform For Sharing, Discovering And Developing World Changing Ideas Launches In Invite-only Beta

Ideapod introduces a platform for people to share groundbreaking ideas and spark real change on an international level

New York — February 20, 2014 — Ideapod (www.ideapod.com), a new platform for sharing and discovering ideas, launches in invite-only beta today. As a company with the fundamental belief that the future is ours to create, Ideapod amplifies the thoughts that rule our world. The company helps connect important ideas and thinkers around shared passions – tackling global issues such as civil rights, economic disparity and the future of health. Acting as a global network for people to generate and develop world-changing ideas, Ideapod hopes to leverage social media to bring important ideas and movements together naturally and authentically.

The current network consists of 100+ influential thought leaders and 150+ leading partners, including the United Nations, New York Stock Exchange and YMCA. Now, in invite-only beta, Ideapod’s platform will be opened to a more diverse user base in addition to thoughts from world and business leaders, activists and innovators. Applicants will be accepted based on quality and magnitude of the ideas that they are looking to bring to the platform. The community facilitates the discovery of new ideas from different perspectives while helping to bridge geographical and cultural divides.

Ideapod enables thinkers to articulate what’s on their mind to a community of like-minded thinkers and changemakers. Every action stems from an idea, and every movement from a thought. Ideapod provides a platform to share and act on ideas that matter and shape our world. Ideapod captures these ideas and connects users through common passions — enabling genuine and enduring dialogue through new and traditional media channels.

On Ideapod a user can create posts including urls, images and videos, but is limited to expressing his or her thoughts in 1000 characters. Users are free to contribute to each other’s ideas to engage in discussion, and follow the users and themes that interest them most. It’s a very simple interface with a very complex outcome; Ideapod will help improve our world in unfathomable ways.

“Ideapod’s launch is set at a time when the future poses us all great challenges,” says co-founder Mark Bakacs. “Though the internet is brimming with ideas that could provide solutions, these ideas often get lost in the noise of the web. Our aim is that Ideapod becomes a home for those ideas which are transformative and turn these challenges into our greatest opportunities and lead to meaningful change.”

Some ideas that are currently being shared and discussed:
“Rethink Power in Asia” by Hugh White, Professor of Strategic Studies
“Engineering Our Own Divinity” by Jason Silva, Television Personality, Filmmaker and Performance Philosopher
“Healthy Oceans and Seas by 2030!” by Amir Dossal, Founder and Chairman of Global Partnerships Forum
“Ideas that Change Hearts and Minds” by Howard Collinge, Entrepreneur and Writer, Author of Beautiful Economics
“LGBT Rights and Sochi” by Richard Socarides, Democratic Political Strategist, Writer, Commentator and New York Attorney
“The Gift of Presence” by Jamie Rosenbloom, Educator at Lincoln Technical Institute

In addition, the company is hosting One on One, an Ideapod branded short format online video series dedicated to discussing ideas that address the common challenges facing the world in the 21st century. As a platform for collective brainstorming, Ideapod is uniquely positioned to elevate social media to a more meaningful discussion and inspire positive change. Current interviews feature a cross-section of some of the world’s most prominent thinkers, political leaders and popular figures, from Tony Blair and Eric Schmidt to Russell Simmons and Jacqueline Novogratz.

About Ideapod:

Ideapod was founded in 2013 by Mark Bakacs and Justin Brown with the mission to provide the public a platform to share, discover and realize world changing ideas. For images of Ideapod, please go to: http://www.available-at.com/ideapod/press/. For more information about Ideapod, please go to: https://www.ideapod.com/about

Starlight Children’s Foundation and CBS EcoMedia Named Finalists in 2014 Cause Marketing Halo Awards

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The Awards Recognize Excellence in Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns WellnessAd Campaign One of Three Finalists in Business Model Integration Category

LOS ANGELES (February 19, 2014) – The WellnessAd Campaign from Starlight Children’s Foundation, a global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world, and CBS EcoMedia has been named as one of the three finalist entries in contention for a Cause Marketing Halo Award in the Business Model Integration Category.

“Each year we receive an impressive number of submissions into the Halo Awards. Being named a finalist is a prestigious designation and demonstrates a level of accomplishment in campaigns that pay social and financial dividends,” said Cause Marketing Halo Forum President David Hessekiel.

“Thanks to the support of partners like CBS EcoMedia and Cadillac, Starlight is able to deliver quality programs that improve the hospital experience for children and families in communities around the nation, and all across the globe,” says Starlight Global CEO Jacqueline Hart-Ibrahim. “We are genuinely thrilled that the meaningful work we have done together with CBS EcoMedia and Cadillac is being recognized as a finalist for the 2014 Halo Awards.”

“The life-changing impact that Starlight Children’s Foundation makes on pediatric patients and their families is profound,” said Paul Polizzotto, Founder and President of CBS EcoMedia. “We’re immensely grateful to our advertising partner, Cadillac, who provided critical funding to improve the quality of people’s lives in communities across the country.”

CBS EcoMedia’s objective is to help fund critical yet underfunded community health, environmental and education projects supported by the nation’s most effective nonprofit organizations, such as Starlight. By making their advertising buys through CBS EcoMedia, clients are able to turn advertising into an engine for tangible, measurable social change.

When viewers see the WellnessAd watermark on an advertisement, they know that the advertiser has financially supported Starlight in a local community. Simply by watching, listening or clicking on an ad, viewers are converted into engaged consumers who become a critical part of supporting Starlight’s mission to improve the hospital experience for kids and families.

Click here to visit the CBS EcoMedia YouTube page and see how Starlight and CBS EcoMedia are helping hospitalized kids and families through the WellnessAd campaign.

This year marks the 12th year that the Cause Marketing Forum will honor businesses and nonprofits with Halos for doing well by doing good.

A total of 18 category awards will be given out to programs judged the best cause marketing campaigns of 2013 at the 12th Annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference in Chicago on May 29, 2014.

A list of the Cause Marketing Halo Award finalists can be seen online at http://www.CauseMarketingForum.com/2014finalists.

About Starlight Children’s Foundation

Established in 1983, Starlight Children’s Foundation has become a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States serving millions of children every year. To learn more, visit www.starlight.org, or like us at facebook.com/StarlightChildrensFoundation and follow us at twitter.com/StarlightOnline.

About CBS EcoMedia Inc.

At EcoMedia, we’re propelled by the desire to create positive social change; that’s been our mission since we founded the company in 2002. In 2010, after successfully partnering with CBS on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia became the newest addition to the CBS Corporation portfolio, exponentially scaling our reach across television, radio, interactive, publishing and outdoor media.

Through our patent-pending EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd programs, an innovative twist on traditional advertising, advertisers are able to support much-needed local projects which in turn creates jobs, saves taxpayer money and improves the quality of life in communities nationwide. In the process, we’re fundamentally altering the advertising landscape, elevating the ordinary, traditional commercial – and media, in general – into a catalyst for tangible, quantifiable social change. Please visit www.ecomediacbs.com, like us at facebook.com/EcoMediaCBS or follow us at twitter.com/EcoMediaCBS.

By participating in EcoMedia’s EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd advertising programs, EcoMedia’s advertisers agree to provide funding for projects we believe will have a beneficial effect upon the environment, health and/or education within local communities. EcoMedia’s advertising programs are not certification programs nor are the EcoAd, WellnessAd or EducationAd logos seals of approval. EcoMedia does not in any way certify, endorse or make any representations about EcoMedia program advertisers, their products or services.

Chris de Haan | Global Brand Director
Starlight Children’s Foundation | www.starlight.org
Direct 424.245.3698 | chris.dehaan@starlight.org

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RecycleForce Answers Obama’s Call, Offers Ex-offenders Minimum Wage of $10.10

INDIANAPOLIS – February 19, 2014 – RecycleForce is raising its minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for its hourly staff, which currently consists of 125 formally incarcerated men and women. Last week, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors. That act follows the President’s urging of Congress to “give America a raise”during the recent State of the Union address.

As a social enterprise based in the Heartland, RecycleForce focuses on recycling electronic waste while offering transitional employment and workforce training to some of the most challenging-to-employ ex-offenders in Marion County.

“After the President’s speech, two of our employees asked, ‘Are you one of those federal contractors the President’s order impacts?’”said RecycleForce President Gregg Keesling. “Their attention to the President’s speech impressed me and prompted me to consider voluntarily raising our minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.”

The wage increase follows the end of a two-year study with the U.S. Department of Labor in which RecycleForce provided transitional employment to 504 individuals. RecycleForce was one of seven organizations from across the country selected to participate in the congressionally authorized Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration program.

The pay raise will go into effect March 1; the current starting wage for all RecycleForce hourly employees is $9.00 per hour. Employees already earning $10.00 per hour or higher will receive a $1.00 per hour increase.

“To make the increase possible, we have asked our full-time, salaried staff to forego scheduled pay increases to help those with the greatest need. It’s one of the most honorable things I’have ever been a part of,”said Keesling.

Keesling notes that while the not-for-profit’s hourly employees have made mistakes in the past, once they are released from incarceration they have done their time.

“Numerous studies prove that a job is the key ingredient in the recipe for stronger communities and reducing recidivism,”added Keesling, “Our role is create those job opportunities and at a fair, living wage.”

About RecycleForce

RecycleForce, a 501(c)3 organization, is an R2-certified social enterprise offering comprehensive and innovative recycling services while providing life-changing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals. Taking the electronic waste and other recyclables provided by residents and corporate partners, RecycleForce deconstructs these items, recycles the materials and disposes of the waste safely and cleanly. The scrap metals and other reusable materials collected in this process are then sold to help pay for job training programs and employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated men and women in order to support their re-entry back into society.

For more information visit RecycleForce.org.

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For more information contact:
Ryan Puckett at 317-721-7221 or ryan@two-21.com

The School of American Ballet Announces 2014 WINTER BALL: Celebrating SAB’s 80th Anniversary

at the David H. Koch Theater on Monday, March 3, 2014

The School of American Ballet announces the 2014 Winter Ball at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on Monday, March 3, 2014, sponsored for the seventh consecutive year by legendary French Maison Van Cleef & Arpels. Cocktails begin at 7pm and dinner will commence at 8pm, followed by The Encore dessert and dancing at 9pm. Attire is black tie. To purchase tickets, a table, or for more information, please contact Natalie Schweizer at nschweizer@sab.org or (212) 769-6610.

This glamorous annual dinner dance is attended by 500 patrons, including the School’s board members and alumni as well as leaders from the New York corporate and social communities.

A highlight of the evening includes a one-time-only performance by the advanced students of The School of American Ballet choreographed by Silas Farley, selected for the second consecutive year by Peter Martins, Artistic Director and Chairman of Faculty for the School of American Ballet. The proceeds from this event enable SAB to distribute $1.8 million annually in student scholarships and support the School’s renowned faculty and state-of-the-art facilities at Lincoln Center. This year’s event will be a Starry Night celebrating SAB’s 80 years of dedication to the field of ballet, as attendees toast the School’s good fortune at this momentous anniversary. Ron Wendt Design will create another unforgettable atmosphere for the event.

For the seventh consecutive year, Van Cleef & Arpels is the lead corporate sponsor of the gala. This partnership salutes the storied friendship between SAB’s founder George Balanchine and Van Cleef & Arpels founder Claude Arpels. The Encore is the Winter Ball after-party, sponsored by fifth-generation luxury house, J. Mendel. Following dinner, 200 of the city’s most sophisticated philanthropic young professionals join the Winter Ball for dancing and dessert. Dinner tickets include admission to The Encore and after-party-only tickets are also available. The event is led by Chairmen Diana DiMenna, Julia Koch, and Serena Lese; and Young Patron Chairmen Noreen Ahmad, Amanda Brotman and Chelsea Zalopany.

ABOUT SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET

The School of American Ballet, the official training academy of the New York City Ballet, was established in 1934 by legendary choreographer George Balanchine and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein as the first and most essential step in their quest to create an American classical ballet company.

SAB, located at New York City’s Lincoln Center, is the premier ballet academy in the United States, training more students who go on to become professional dancers than any other school. SAB’s former students fill the ranks of the New York City Ballet and other leading U.S. and international ballet companies.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Michelle Tabnick
(646) 765-4773
michelle@michelletabnickcommunications.com

Wildlife Works to Launch Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project in Kenya with $10M Investment from Althelia Climate Fund

Finance deal expands pioneering REDD+ project in Kenya that protects forest, wildlife and delivers local economic development at landscape scale across the Tsavo Conservation Area.

Mill Valley, California – February 18, 2014 – Wildlife Works Carbon LLC, the carbon market’s leading REDD+ project development and management company, announced today that is has signed a $10M financing deal with the Althelia Climate Fund to launch the Taita Hills Conservation and Sustainable Land Use Project in south-eastern Kenya.

The project aims to protect approximately 200,000 hectares of threatened natural forest and savannah grassland ecosystems and bring vital economic development benefits to local communities.

Wildlife Works will implement the project utilizing the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) mechanism, an essential climate change mitigation strategy originated by the United Nations, designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests.

The program addresses the causes of deforestation by creating sustainable economic alternatives that value standing forests as “natural capital” and incentivize local landowners and the broader community to protect their forest for the long term.

Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works, said, “With the Althelia Climate Fund’s support for the Taita Hills Project, the community has a chance to have their broad development needs addressed including education, health, jobs, housing, food and water, and security. Althelia’s investment enables us to deliver tangible economic benefits on day one, allowing the community to choose to shift their lifestyle towards a green development path.”

The Taita Hills REDD+ Project aims to reduce 30M tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the 30-year life of the project through the avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation. The project will also facilitate the regeneration of already degraded areas.

This is the first in a series of planned investments by the Luxembourg based Althelia Climate Fund, an asset management platform dedicated to finance transition towards sustainable land use and ecosystems conservation. Althelia is backed by notable institutions including EIB, FMO, Finnfund and the Church of Sweden.

“We are inspired by Wildlife Works’ innovative conservation and community engagement know-how. We have seen proof that their model works to stop deforestation and transform a community by engaging and enabling local people to directly solve their own problems. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help this leading-edge company scale their successful model,” said Christian del Valle, Managing Partner at the Althelia Climate Fund.

The Taita Hills Project will build upon the success of Wildlife Works’ well-known Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project, the first REDD+ project in the world that in 2010 received verification and issuance of REDD+ Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), also known as offsets or carbon credits, under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).

The financing provided by the Althelia Climate Fund will facilitate Wildlife Works nearly doubling the area of forest and wildlife protection they provide in south-east Kenya, and will extend the social impact to new communities. The expanded protection covers all remaining wilderness in an essential wildlife conservation corridor spanning 445,000 hectares that connects Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks and brings sustainable economic development to over 200,000 local landowners and community members.

About Wildlife Works Carbon LLC

Wildlife Works, headquartered in Mill Valley, California, is the carbon market’s leading REDD+ project development and management company.

REDD+ is an essential climate change mitigation strategy originated by the United Nations, designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests. Protecting threatened forests under the REDD+ mechanism empowers forest communities with alternatives to deforestation and viable means for sustainable development.

Under rigorous environmental and social standards with third-party audits, Wildlife Works REDD+ projects generate Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), where each VER represents the avoidance of one ton of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. VERs are purchased by corporations who voluntarily elect to reduce their unavoidable emissions.

Proceeds from Wildlife Works VER sales are reinvested in green economic development for the forest communities, thus removing the threat to the forest. Wildlife Works REDD+ projects deliver unprecedented environmental and social benefits to seriously impoverished parts of Africa that are in desperate need of change. To learn more about Wildlife Works, please visit us at www.wildlifeworks.com.

About the Althelia Climate Fund

Today, humanity uses the equivalent of one and a half planets to meet resource demand and absorb its waste, and rising populations and consumption patterns are placing increased pressures on terrestrial, marine and atmospheric systems that, if left unabated, will lead to further resource and supply chain challenges.

The Luxembourg-based Althelia Climate Fund has been set up to demonstrate that competitive financial returns can be fully aligned with the preservation of natural capital and social development. Utilizing a model that profitably directs finance to activities that generate income from sustainable agriculture (e.g. cocoa and coffee certified to Fair Trade and organic standards) and environmental services (e.g. carbon, biodiversity) we invest to simultaneously catalyze a range of impacts, including:

-Positively transformed land-use models delivering social, economic and environmental outcomes;
-Economic and livelihood benefits realized by a wide spectrum of local stakeholders;
-Reduced greenhouse gas emissions;
-Sustained or enhanced biodiversity and ecosystem function; and
-Improvements in the conservation status of threatened and endangered species.

The Althelia Climate Fund was launched in June 2013 and is backed by notable institutions from the private and public sectors. To find out more about how Althelia is working to align the Earth’s economy with its ecology, please visit us on the web (www.althelia.com).

Contact:
Gerald Prolman
Gerald@wildlifeworks.com
+1 (415) 548 0973
www.wildlifeworks.com

EquityNet Now Offers The Broadest Deal Distribution Network in The Crowdfunding Industry

EquityNet Distributing Deals to MarketWatch and Other Leading Crowdfunding Platforms, Meaning Title II Crowdfunding is Working

February 18, 2014 – EquityNet (www.equitynet.com) is announcing the launch of its new deal distribution network with Dow Jones MarketWatch via Crowdnetic and with North Capital Private Securities. Through partnerships with Crowdnetic and North Capital, businesses can now use EquityNet to showcase their private offerings on MarketWatch, CrowdWatch, and other crowdfunding platforms, thereby gaining exposure to thousands of additional investors. THIS INITIATIVE IS A STRONG EXAMPLE OF TITLE II AT WORK ALLOWING GENERAL SOLICITATIONS AND ADVERTISMENTS OF DEALS TO A WIDER BASED OF INVESTORS.

EquityNet founder and CEO, Judd Hollas, stated, “I am excited about our new partnerships with Crowdnetic and North Capital Private Securities. Businesses using EquityNet now have the unparalleled ability to distribute their deals to large extendable networks featuring tens of thousands of visitors and potential investors.”

“As a leading provider of financial information and market data, we at MarketWatch are pleased to offer the first publicly available private offerings on a major financial media website” said Ian Rosen, Vice President and General Manager of MarketWatch.

According to Crowdnetic founder and CEO, Luan Cox, “EquityNet is a wonderful addition to our Private Offerings dashboard on MarketWatch and CrowdWatch and is bringing many new private offerings and quality businesses to MarketWatch, CrowdWatch, and our broader distribution network.”

In addition to deal distribution with MarketWatch and CrowdWatch, businesses using EquityNet can also tap into the placement capabilities of North Capital Private Securities, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, to distribute their private offerings to other crowdfunding platforms such as SeedInvest and RealtyShares.

“EquityNet has built a great technology platform that prepares entrepreneurs to access the capital markets and enables investors to research, compare, and benchmark private companies. We are excited for the opportunity to offer North Capital’s distribution abilities to their customers,” said Jim Dowd, Managing Director of North Capital. “We expect that our relationships with other platforms, angel networks, independent broker-dealers, investment advisors, and institutional investors will help many EquityNet customers secure the financing they need to grow their businesses.”

Privately-held businesses can use EquityNet’s new distribution network and patented technology to showcase their private offerings on MarketWatch and CrowdWatch with the click of a button and on other crowdfunding platforms through engagement of North Capital Private Securities. Both of these distribution abilities are readily available to all businesses that sign up with EquityNet and create a free business profile.

According to industry research by Massolution and the World Bank, crowdfunding generated $5.1 billion in funding transactions in 2013 and will surpass $300 billion in funding transactions by 2025. Within the next year, Title III of the US JOBS Act is expected to go into effect, allowing non-accredited investors to invest in startups in exchange for equity. Experts have estimated that crowdfunding could expand the population of potential investors from 2 million to over 50 million investors.

To view EquityNet private offerings on MarketWatch and CrowdWatch visit: www.marketwatch.com/investing/crowdnetic?page=dashboard
www.crowdwatch.co

About EquityNet

EquityNet was launched in 2005 and is the only multi-patented crowdfunding platform in the world. It is used by over 30,000 individual entrepreneurs and investors, angel groups, government entities, business supporters, and other members of the entrepreneurial community to plan, analyze, and capitalize privately-held businesses. EquityNet provides access to thousands of investors and has helped entrepreneurs across North America raise over $220 million in capital. For more information, visit www.equitynet.com

For more press information:
Kimberley Brown
Account Manager
email: kimberley@leverage-pr.com
phone. (512) 502-5833
mobile. (404) 314-2900
Website: www.leverage-pr.com

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