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SeedEquity Ventures



This category includes stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.

Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator Inc. DBA Leonhardt’s Launchpads Annual Shareholder Meeting Notice May 5th 2017

Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator Inc. DBA Leonhardt’s Launchpads Annual Shareholder Meeting Notice May 5th 2017

Second Notice of Annual Shareholders Meeting Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator Inc. a California Corporation

Press Release – Notice is hereby given that the annual general meeting of the shareholders of all classes of stock of Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator Inc. will be held at the company’s headquarters at 2000 Main Street, Santa Monica CA 90405 on Friday May 5th 2017 at 3pm PST for the purpose of:

  1. Receiving and considering the annual report and financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31st 2016 and report of board assigned task force committees including any audits thereon;
  2. Electing directors;
  3. Executive compensation approval; stock option plans for advisors consultants and employees approval; shareholder loans to company & promissory notes review and approval;
  4. Major material supply and distribution agreements approval;
  5. Re-appointing corporate accountant and legal counsel and;
  6. Transacting such further and other business as may properly come before the meeting or any adjournment thereof including 2016 portfolio progress review and forward major goals.

Here is a link to a table of the Leonhardt Ventures’s Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator Inc. 2016 Portfolio Class of 26 Regenerative Medtech and 4 Regenerative Economy Startups with current valuations and target goals valuations for the end of 2019 – which includes hyperlinks to all the individual startup web sites –

An advance notice was emailed to all shareholders of record April 5th, 2017 and again on April 19th, 2017 on behalf of the board of directors.

Shareholders not able to attend in person may call into this line at 3pm PST May 5th, 2017 to participate in the meeting.

  • Dial-in Number:  (712) 775-7031
  • Access Code:  405-822-417

Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. DBA Leonhardt’s Launchpads Board of Directors
Executive Chairman of the Board: Howard J. Leonhardt – eSigned – Howard J. Leonhardt
Secretary & Treasurer: Sofia Yepes
Voting Board Directors: Jeremy Koff, Tricia Nordy, Jeff Donofrio, Dr. Mark Cunningham, Alex Richardson
Committees: Compensation = Chair Jeremy Koff, Ken Evans, Jeff Donofrio
Audit = Brittany Brown CPA, Jeff Donofrio
Legal Counsel = Bruce Methven Corporate Securities, Allen Turner Patents
Board Meeting Attending Non-Voting Advisors (some may attend by Skype): Ken Evans, Paul Norman, Walter Grieves, Laurelle Johnson, Brittany Brown CPA, Bruce Methven Corporate Attorney, Allen Turner Patent Attorney, Kevin Arnal Chief Engineer Biomerics Advanced Catheter, Richard Koffler, Michael Newton, Derek Kahn, Dr. King Liu, Dr. Patrick Johnson, Dr. Santosh Kesari, Tom Newman, Henk Abbink, Joel Hirsch, Dr. Leslie Miller our Chief Medical Officer
Updates will be provided on these portfolio startups and Licensable Technology Platforms (LTPs) including current ownership cap tables and valuation analysis:

Regenerative Medtech Portfolio (26)

  1. BioLeonhardt MyoStim – heart and limb regeneration – 2012
  2. CerebraCell – brain regeneration – 2015
  3. Stem Cell Bra – breast regeneration – 2013
  4. EyeCell – eye regeneration – 2015
  5. AortaCell – aorta regeneration – 2012
  6. BioPace – biological pacemaker regeneration – 2012
  7. Valvublator – heart valve regeneration – 2012
  8. CoroStim & VibroCell – vibrational energy to prevent clots, plaque & calcification – 2012
  9. HeartScore – genomics, high fidelity monitoring and bioelectric based heart failure and stroke management – 2013
  10. DentaCell – dental gum regeneration and tooth pulp (stem cells) storage – 2014
  11. OrthodontiCell – designed to cut in half dental brace and aligner wearing time and freeze teeth positions – 2015
  12. PancreaCell – pancreas regeneration – 2015
  13. RegenaLung & RegenaLung COPD – lung regeneration & COPD treatment – 2015
  14. CancerCell – bioelectric cancer tumor treatment regeneration – 2016
  15. EndoCell – artery regeneration – 2013
  16. MyoStim ED – erectile dysfunction treatment – 2015
  17. MyoStim Skin & SkinCell Stimulator – skin regeneration – 2015
  18. MyoStim Peripheral – limb blood flow improvement & diabetic foot ulcer treatment – 2011
  19. BladderCell – 2016
  20. Second Heart Assist, Inc. – circulating assist pumps – 2016
  21. HairCell – hair regeneration – 2016
  22. Leonhardt-Wetling* Peripheral – wireless diabetic foot ulcer treatment – 2014
  23. BioLeonhardt Whole Body Regeneration – Whole body regeneration – 2015
  24. LiverCell – liver regeneration – 2016
  25. KidneyCell – kidney regeneration – 2016
  26. EarCell – ear hearing regeneration – 2016

*Note – Leonhardt-Wetling JV agreement for wireless microcurrent technology is still pending finalization at time of this notice. If the agreement is not finalized within the next 90 days the board proposes to shareholders adding MucosaCell (sub mucosa regeneration) to the portfolio and dropping Wetling.

Regenerative Economy Portfolio (4)

1. The California Stock Exchange TM – social good stock exchange in development and crowdfunding services – 2011

a. Cal-X Crowdfund Connect – crowdfunding campaign bulding assistance – 2012
b. Cal-X 30 Social Good Impact Fund powered by Motif Investing – 30 curated social good impact stocks – 2015
c. Cal-X Microloans – in collaboration with ZimpleMoney – crowd sourced loans – 2014
d. Cal-X Funders Syndicate -Special Purpose Vehicles and Simple Advance Future Equity Agreements – 2014
e. CalXports – export sales campaign building assistance for California startups – 2013
g. PRETAIL Fashion – pre-selling fashion designs and crowdsourcing most popular designs to go to production – 2015

2. Leonhardt Incubators & Accelerators

a. Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator Inc. – regenerative medtech and economy startup & innovation accelerator – 2013
b. CalXelerator – 108 day startup accelerator/incubator for social good impact companies – 2013
c. SciAccelerator – 108 day startup accelerator for science based tech startups – 2016
d. Leonhardt’s Launchpads NorCal @ University of Northern California Science Technology Innovation Center (UNC STIC) – life science startup incubator – 2007
e. Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. – innovation accelerator focused on organ regneration and recovery – 2015
f. LABioHub – resources for Los Angeles area life science cos. – 2015
g. Startup California – resources for California startups – 2011

3. Kindheart Lionheart Media & Publishing Co. – Social good media- 2006

a. The Kindheart Lionheart TV Network – social good impact online television network – 2014

> California Love TV Program – in house original TV program about new love – 2014
> Love Dialogues TV Program – in house original candid no frills conversations on the topice of love – 2015
> Love Roller Coaster TV Program – original love themed sitcom – 2015
> LIONS DEN Startup Pitch TV Program – in house original online crowdfunding based startup pitch program – 2015
> The Kindheart Lionheart TV and Radio Program – social good profiles of compassion and courage radio and TV show – 2013

b. Kindheart Lionheart Book Club – social good impact book club – 2006
c. Kindheart Lionheart Startup Media Support Services – startup media support including video and animation production – 2014
d. Kindheart Lionheart Adventures – social good charitable vacations and charitable foundation fund raising tools – 2001
e. Radio Veronica USA Radio Santa Monica USA – online radio station that permits listeners to buy into publishing rights of songs – 2010
f. Wine Country Baseball – Sonoma and Napa based summer amateur baseball league to raise funds for local causes and parks – 2009
g. Dolphin Smiles: The Legend of Kindheart Lionheart – (under development with help of UCLA writing program) – in house original story of a person dedicated to social good change reincarnated as a dolphin – 1997

4. Leonhardt Food & Beverage

a. Lucille’s American Cafe’s* (50% worldiwde franchise, trademark and recipes rights) – comfort food restaurants – 1996
b. Food Trikes & Scooters – mini electric food trucks with crowdfunding and micro loans to finance – 2013
c. California Wine Financing – loans to small California family wineries to bridge cash flow gaps – 2008
d. Lionheart Cider* (distribution western states) – Minnesota based cider co. – Leonhardt has option for western states distribution – 2014
e. Leonhardt Oak Aged Beer (development stage) – sour mash beer aged in former oak wine barrels for a unique taste – 2015

Refer to Investor Relations Page for Risks and Warnings Within Our Private Placement Memorandum. Refer to Latest Newsletters for Updates. and

The Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. DBA Leonhardt’s Launchpads business model is to accelerate each startup through to first-in-man study results for the regenerative medtech portfolio and through to acquisition of 10,000 customers/subscribers for the regenerative economy startups and then dutch auction them off to the best strategic partner preferrably with 3% royalty on net sales forward.

Securities offered under Rule 506(c) may be purchased only by accredited investors = persons with > 1 million in assets excluding their home and vehicles or whom have income > $200,000 the past two years consecutively or > $300,000 income as a couple. Accreditation status must be verified via documentation of credible third parties in a position to provide accurate verification. Investors in this offering should have experience in making early stage investments.

Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator Inc. develops early stage innovations and startups. By nature the risk is very high for these type of investments. Any investor should be fully prepared without reserve to lose all their investment. Our high focus on developing implantable devices and biologics for treating heart failure add exceptionally higher levels of risk as the products require multiple stages of clinical trials costing many millions of dollars and require high intellectual property protection to succeed commercially. The patent landscape in these areas of participation are wrought with potential for litigation. A high number of clinical trials in the heart failure space fail to prove greater safety and efficacy compared to currently available choices. A high number of early seed stage innovations fail to ever make it to market and even a smaller number become commercial successes. This type of investment is NOT appropriate for nest egg savings.

  • The securities are being offered in reliance on an exemption from the registration requirements of the  150Securities Act and are not required to comply with specific disclosure requirements under the Securities Act; the Commission has not passed upon the merits of or given its approval to the securities the terms of the offering or the accuracy or completeness of any offering materials; the securities are subject to legal restrictions on transfer and resale and investors should not assume they will be able to resell their securities; and investing in securitiesinvolves risk and purchasers should be able to bear the loss of the entire investment. Private funds would be required to include a legend informing investors that the funds are not subject to the protections of the Investment Company Act.

Accuracy of Information Disclaimer:  Representations and warranties – although we fully believe that our executive summaries newsletters websites and other written materials and videos accurately represent a true and accurate general high level picture of our activities history and progress – which is developing about 26 early stage un-proven cardiovascular life innovations and 4 early stage startup social good impact innovations (including new media social good projects) in an accelerator/incubator – we acknowledge that working with a very small core staff covering many thousands of pages of written materials across over 50 web sites with over 4000 sub-pages that we are highly prone to small errors outdated materials and a certain level on inaccuracy and inconsistencies even while fully striving for the utmost accuracy.  Across the 30 innovations and over 2000 working partnerships being developed there are changes and events that occur almost daily.  We do our best to keep all websites and published materials fully up to date but recognize and make clear it is nearly impossible for our small staff to keep all materials on all web sites 100% up to date despite our best efforts to do so.  Investors have the advantage with us that our small staff operates with a very low overhead but the offset disadvantage is that we do not have on hand the staffing to handle all the constant updates and proofreads needed to keep thousands of pages of materials up to date and 100% accurate 100% of the time.  If you have ANY direct question about any published item of material interest to you – JUST ASK for clarification by emailing direct Howard Leonhardt at or calling our office DIRECT GOOGLE VOICE MAIL LINE at (424) 291-2133.  We will strive to provide a clarification or update to you promptly.

Most recent press releases:

Leonhardt’s Launchpads Chooses Biomerics To Provide Contract Manufacturing and Engineering Design Services For Medical Devices

Leonhardt Ventures to Enter Into Worldwide Strategic Collaboration With Neuro Code Tech Holdings for Customized Bioelectric Cancer Treatments

Leonhardt Ventures to Present Heart and Heart Valve Regeneration Technologies at Cardiovascular Research Technologies (CRT) Meeting February 21st in D.C.

Leonhardt Ventures to Present Heart and Heart Valve Regeneration Technologies at Cardiovascular Research Technologies (CRT) Meeting February 21st in D.C.

Leonhardt’s Launchpads Expands Patent Estate with Option to Exclusive License Agreement With Caltech

Leonhardt and Genovese file Patent for Bioelectric Controlled Expression of PDGF a Powerful Organ Regeneration Cytokine

Pancreacell Presents Updated Design For Total Pancreas Regeneration At Chicago Conference

Leonhardt’s Launchpads by Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc., 2000 Main Street, Unit 333, Santa Monica, CA 90405 – +


Independent Sector Releases New Value of Volunteer Time of $24.14

The national value of volunteer time increased by 2.5 percent;

Nearly 63 million Americans volunteer about 8 billion hours of time, talent, and effort

Press Release – (WASHINGTON, April 20, 2017) – Today, Independent Sector announces that the latest value of a volunteer hour is $24.14 – up 2.5 percent from the previous year. That figure, estimated from data collected in 2016, shows the incredible contributions volunteers make to our communities and our country.

Currently, 63 million Americans volunteer about 8 billion hours of their time, talent, and effort to improve people’s lives and the natural world. With the new value of volunteer time, these Americans are contributing approximately $193 billion to our nation. According to data from the Corporation for National and Community Service, religious organizations were cited as the type of organization that volunteers worked in the most (34%), followed by educational or youth service (26%), and social or community service organizations (15%).

The release of this important figure comes ahead of National Volunteer Week held April 23-29, 2017, a program of Points of Light.

“All Americans should take immense pride in our collective spirit and commitment to volunteerism,” said Dan Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “Giving of our time, talent, and effort is hugely consequential and we hope this value of volunteer time is just one way we can help measure the enormous contributions we all make toward improving our communities, our country, and our planet.”

“Volunteerism empowers people to support causes they care about. When changemakers work together to tackle tough problems, our world becomes a better place,” said Tracy Hoover, CEO of Points of Light. “By sharing concrete data that highlights the impact of volunteers, we can inspire and mobilize more individuals and organizations to realize their potential and power to become active participants in sparking change.”

Independent Sector also updated the state-level breakdown for the new value of volunteer time. Most states saw increases over the previous year’s numbers. The highest value of volunteer time is in Washington, DC at $39.17, and Delaware saw the biggest increase over the last year. An interactive map is available on the Independent Sector website, as well as a table showing data for each state, where the value of a volunteer hour is highest and lowest, and how much the figure has risen or fallen since the previous year. Also included in the map is the complete dataset for the value of volunteer time for all 50 states and DC from 2001-2016.

To access state-by-state values of volunteer time and learn more about the national figure, visit

Beverly Hills MD On Track To Fund Surgeries For 1,000 Children Through Partnership With Smile Train

The Partnership Helps Children Affected with Cleft Lip & Palate to Smile for the Very First Time

Press Release – BEVERLY HILLS – April 20, 2017 – Over the past two years, Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity, has partnered with Beverly Hills MD to help generate awareness and funds for children with clefts around the world. In honor of National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month in July, Beverly Hills MD is celebrating their achievement of supporting more than 500 cleft repair surgeries and their goal of reaching 1,000 surgeries by World Smile Day® on October 6, 2017.

“Smile Train is extremely lucky to have such a generous and enthusiastic corporate partner like Beverly Hills MD. This important partnership will help one thousand children born with clefts be able to eat, speak, breathe, and smile. We thank Beverly Hills MD for helping us change the world one smile at a time,” said Masha Feiguinova, Senior Director, Corporate Partnerships, Smile Train.

Cosmetic surgeons and co-founders of the Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group and Beverly Hills MD, Dr. John Layke and Dr. Payman Danielpour work with their patients to provide care without compromise. Their passion for conducting reconstructive and cosmetic procedures to help patients live happier lives is what led them to pursue a partnership with Smile Train. Beverly Hills MD has raised funds for Smile Train by donating a percentage of sales from each product sold from their revolutionary anti-aging skincare line, as well as in office fundraising efforts.

“We are honored to work with Smile Train and to be approaching our goal of 1,000 cleft surgeries,” said Dr. John Layke, plastic surgeon and co-creator of the Beverly Hills MD skincare line. “Improving lives, increasing self-confidence and ultimately allowing children to look and feel their best is incredibly rewarding.”

Millions of children in developing countries with untreated clefts live in shame and, more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in the developing world to provide 100 percent-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Since its founding in 1999, Smile Train has provided more than one million cleft repair surgeries.

Audubon Taps Claire Douglass as National Campaign Director

Bipartisan Campaign Trailblazer is the Latest to Join Growing Policy Team

Press Release – NEW YORK (April 20, 2017) – Today, the National Audubon Society announced the appointment of Claire Douglass as Director of National Campaigns. In this role Douglass will oversee public engagement for Audubon’s policy campaigns that advance its conservation priorities across the country to build the most effective conservation network in America.

“Claire has built a reputation as a strong campaign leader who cultivates bipartisan support by building strong relationships with grassroot supporters and grasstop decision-makers,” said David O’Neill, Chief Conservation Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO at Audubon. “Her knowledge, coupled with her passion for the issues that matter to Audubon, make her a great fit for this important leadership role and will add critical experience to Audubon’s growing and influential national policy team.”

Douglass brings extensive campaign experience having most recently served as the U.S. Campaign Director for Climate and Energy at Oceana. In that role, Douglass led a bipartisan campaign that helped reverse offshore drilling plans in the Atlantic Ocean. The campaign included 120 East Coast municipalities, more than 200 members of Congress, 1,000 state and local elected officials, and 35,000 businesses — all of which publicly opposed offshore drilling and exploration. Prior to Oceana, Douglass worked in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations that supported sustainability and clean energy. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.

In addition to leading Audubon’s Washington-based advocacy strategies for the 112-year-old centrist organization, Douglass will help ensure that Audubon succeeds in achieving its ambitious climate change objectives and will guide policy campaigns at the local, state and federal levels. She will be based in Audubon’s Washington, DC office.

About Audubon

With total revenues in 2016 of $102.6 million (25% increase since 2010), Audubon is one of the nation’s largest conservation organizations, comprising 23 state offices, 41 nature centers and 23 wildlife sanctuaries and representing 463 local chapters. Audubon – which focuses on the protection of birds and the places they need throughout the Americas – has been transformed in recent years, according to Crain’s New York Business, through cutting edge technologies, a sharpened conservation focus and operational overhaul that has increased revenue and decreased overhead expenses.

As written in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Inside Philanthropy and GreenBiz, that strategic and operational transformation has attracted new funders and broadened the organization’s reach to younger and more diverse audiences as Audubon expands its international work and achieves conservation victories. For the first time in nearly two decades, Audubon has also earned Charity Navigator’s highest ranking of four stars, twice in a row.

Audubon’s main Facebook page has more than 1,071,000 followers and reaches approximately 4.1 million people each week as the organization’s supporters share and interact with Audubon’s posts. And the organization’s 2014 birds and climate change campaign, which earned more than two billion media impressions, recently won a Diamond SABRE award from public relations industry leaders.

To learn more about Audubon and its new strategic direction, please visit here.

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at and @audubonsociety.

Autism Guardian Angels to Honor Matt Asner at Autfest April 23

Autism Guardian Angels and the Goody Awards for social good will honor Matt Asner (Autism Society of America) with a Golden Goody Award (lifetime achievement award) this Sunday, April 23, 2017, at Autfest.

Autism Guardian Angels to honor Matt Asner at Autfest VIP Reception on Sunday, April 23, L to R: ASA Matt Asner, AGA Liz H Kelly, AGA Founder David M Luber, Autism Advocate Dani Bowman

Press Release – SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) APRIL 19, 2017: Matt Asner, Autism Advocate and VP of Development at Autism Society of America, will be honored with a Golden Goody Award (top humanitarian award) this Sunday, April 23, 2017 during the VIP Reception at Autfest in Orange, California. This lifetime achievement award will be presented to Matt Asner by Autism Guardian Angels Founder David Luber and Matt’s father Actor Ed Asner.

“We’re honored to recognize Matt Asner with a Golden Goody Award for dedicating over 20 years to raising autism awareness, helping millions impacted by autism, and as a parent of six autistic children,” shared Autism Guardian Angels (“AGA”) Founder David Luber. As a Gold Sponsor of this event, AGA is also running an Autism Awareness Campaign focused on Autfest through digital media and an iPad Mini Sweepstakes.

Autism Society of America (“ASA”) President and CEO Scott Badesch sent cheers to Matt, “We are so honored that Autism Guardian Angels is recognizing one of our great staff members Matt Asner. Matt is awesome in what he does, and his commitment to helping every person with autism shows each and every day.”

After a successful TV and Film production career for decades, Matt Asner chose to apply his skills to where they could really make a difference. In 2012, Matt Asner became the Executive Director of Autism Speaks for Southern California, and later became the Director of Corporate Development. Through Matt’s leadership, he helped Autism Speaks raise the bar of awareness with the “Light It Up Blue” campaign, organizing Autism Speaks walks, fundraising and more marketing initiatives.

In September 2016, Matt joined the Autism Society of America as the National VP of Development, with a mission to help families with loved ones on the spectrum. During Autism Awareness Month (April 2017), Matt is hosting ASA’s First Ever Annual Autfest with films about autistic people, along with films made by autistic filmmakers.

To help raise autism awareness across the US, Matt also just released a 2017 Autism Society of America PSA by Autism Advocate and Animator Dani Bowman in over 4,000 AMC Movie Theaters across the US.

Goody Awards Founder and Autism Guardian Angels Board Member Liz H Kelly shared, “We started the Goody Awards five years ago with an autism awareness campaign, and our board felt strongly about honoring Matt Asner with our top award at Autfest.”

This lifetime achievement award is usually presented at live events to raise awareness of social impact leaders and great causes. Previous Golden Goody Award winners have included Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Sir Nicholas Winton, Amma The Hugging Saint, UN Goodwill Ambassador and Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder (Ian Somerhalder Foundation), Unlikely Heroes Founder Erica Greve (who travels globally to rehabilitate women), Louie Psihoyos (Director of Academy Award Winning Documentary, “The Cove”) and more.


AutFest International Film Festival’s mission is to further advance the wellbeing of all with an autism diagnosis, as well as to educate our nation about autism and the important need to fully respect and value each person with autism. We wish to celebrate films that promote autism awareness and that have the power to enhance the lives of our community. We also wish to honor and support Autistic filmmakers and artists that have chosen film as their profession. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Founded in 1965, the Autism Society is the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, and exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the autism spectrum, advocation for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education and research. The Society maintains a strong nationwide network of affiliates to provide support and grassroots advocacy at local, state and federal levels.


Goody Awards™ mission is to inspire positive change by recognizing and promoting the good in the world in four Eco Social areas: Environment, Education, Health and Women Empowerment. A Golden Goody Award is their top humanitarian award. The Goody Awards has an international Advisory Board, and fans tweet @GoodyAwards from 30+ countries to recognize good daily 24×7 using 20 different award categories with hashtags (ex. #HeroGoody).


Autism Guardian Angels is an investment group focused on raising autism awareness and funding behavioral therapy products and services for autistic children that are ready for the market. With 1 in 68 U.S. children estimated now to be born on the autism spectrum (CDC 2014), Autism Guardian Angels mission is to “bring out the brilliance in exceptional children with autism by investing in tools that increase their smiles, confidence and independence.” To enter the AGA iPad Mini Sweepstakes (1 winner April 1 – May 15, 2017 online and 1 winner at Autfest thru a door prize drawing), visit the Autism Guardian Angels Facebook or


Launching Earth Day 2017, MOTEV is the First Luxury Car Service to Integrate Social Impact by Planting a Tree for Every Ride Booked

Press Release – Los Angeles, CA. (April 20, 2017) – MOTEV, a groundbreaking luxury black car service comprised solely of environmentally-friendly, zero emissions Teslas, today publicly launched the first social impact partnership in its industry to support tree-planting and pioneer an ecosystem of sustainability. Through a new partnership powered by Pledgeling, MOTEV will donate money towards the planting of one tree in the Greater Los Angeles & surrounding areas for every ride booked by customers. MOTEV will show the real-time impact of the brand’s commitment to the cause on its website,

“We believe technology has the power to change the world for the better, and that premium service should not come at the expense of the environment,” explained Robert Gaskill, CEO and Co-Founder of MOTEV. “We embrace and champion the advancement of technologies that help us achieve our sustainability goals, such as partnering with Pledgeling to power the social impact of our customer experience. Now, every customer can feel they are doing their part to help the environment simply by choosing to book a MOTEV.”

MOTEV chose to launch its new commitment to the environment ahead of Earth Day 2017 through a service day (April 8) of tree-planting and tree care, in partnership with Tree Musketeers and Pledgeling in Los Angeles, California. The impact of MOTEV’s tree-planting to date is displayed on its homepage through an Impact Calculator, powered by Pledgeling. Every time a ride is booked through MOTEV’s online platform, the Impact Calculator automatically updates the number of trees to be planted in local communities and American forests by nonprofit partners. Customers will receive quarterly updates and photos about the cause to keep them connected to the impact they’re making through MOTEV.

About 19.64 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced from burning a gallon of gasoline that does not contain ethanol. About 22.38 pounds of CO2 are produced from burning a gallon of diesel fuel. Although MOTEV operates a zero emissions fleet, they understand their cars are only making a small impact on the environment. They believe they can do more to help offset the effects that gasoline vehicles have on the air quality of Los Angeles. Planting trees clears the air – as the tree matures, it can consume close to 48 pounds of CO2 per year turning it into parts of itself. A tree also releases enough oxygen to supply the needs of one person for two years. These two effects can help give the earth a healthier climate & Angelenos cleaner air to breathe.

To join MOTEV & Pledgeling in taking a stand for the environment and to experience MOTEV’s luxury black car service, please visit


MOTEV ( is a Los Angeles-based boutique black car company with a fleet made up of solely top-of-the-line P90DL TESLA vehicles – making them the company with the largest model X fleet in the US. Rooted in sustainability, MOTEV offers their high-profile clientele a unique & luxurious experience unmatched by other car services. Committed to the environment and their staff, MOTEV not only gets their customers where they’re going in style – but they provide them with an experience they can feel good about on every level.

About Pledgeling

Pledgeling ( is the world’s first social enterprise and SaaS platform that powers purpose and social impact. Thousands of brands and nonprofits utilize Pledgeling’s platform to build stronger relationships with their audiences, grow their businesses and organizations, and demonstrate social impact. Launched in 2014, Pledgeling’s SaaS platform has powered over $3.5MM in donations to date for causes around the world from their headquarters in Venice Beach, California. #PledgeToDoGood

Collegiate Inventors Awarded Lemelson-MIT Student Prize

Students recognized for inventive solutions to challenges in health care, transportation, food and agriculture, and consumer devices

Press Release – CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 19, 2017 – The Lemelson-MIT Program today announced the winners of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize after a nationwide search for the most inventive college students. The Lemelson-MIT Program awarded $115,000 in prizes to nine collegiate inventors. Each winning team of undergraduates received $10,000, and each graduate student winner received $15,000. The winners of this year’s competition were selected from a diverse and highly competitive applicant pool of students from colleges and universities across the country.

“The 2017 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winners show exceptional inventiveness and creativity in solving real world problems,” said Stephanie Couch, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “Through their outstanding accomplishments and commitment to mentoring younger students, these promising inventors are inspiring a new generation of problem-solvers.”

The Lemelson-MIT Student Prize is a national collegiate invention prize program, supported by The Lemelson Foundation, which celebrates young inventors that have designed and built prototypes of inventions to solve social problems.

“These students display the brilliance and hope of their generation,” said Dorothy Lemelson, Lemelson Foundation chair. “We are proud to recognize them for their achievements.”

2017 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Winners

The “Drive it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize: Rewarding students working on technology-based inventions that can improve transportation.

  • Tomás Vega Gálvez and Corten Singer, University of California, Berkeley, $10,000 Lemelson-MIT “Drive it!” Undergraduate Team Winner: An Open-Source Smart Add-On System for Wheelchairs
    Vega and Singer created WheelSense, a modular, customizable add-on system for wheelchairs that provides spatial awareness for visually impaired users to identify obstacles and ease their navigation. It has three features; frontal staircase detection through auditory feedback, backward obstacle-avoidance assistance through auditory feedback, and lateral ramp-edge detection through haptic feedback. They hope to disrupt the expensive market for assistive technologies for the disabled community by making their technology open source.
  • Tony Tao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $15,000 Lemelson-MIT “Drive it!” Graduate Winner: A Small, Mid-Air-Deployable, Folding Electric Drone, and Adaptable Aircraft Manufacturing (AAM) Architecture
    Tao led the development of a small electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV folds to the size of a dollar bill and can be jettisoned from a mothership at high speeds and altitudes. The UAV and its canister are designed to deploy in freefall and fly autonomously to gather data and radio it back to the mothership or to personnel on the ground. Tao’s second invention, AAM architecture, has the potential to reduce manufacturing costs and increase speed of development of new aircraft by generating parts on demand.

The “Use it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize: Rewarding students working on technology-based inventions that can improve consumer devices.

  • Chandani Doshi, Grace Li, Jessica (Jialin) Shi, Chen (Bonnie) Wang, Charlene Xia and Tania Yu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $10,000 Lemelson-MIT “Use it!” Undergraduate Team Winner: A Portable, Real-Time Text to Braille Converter
    Doshi, Li, Shi, Wang, Xia and Yu are developing a portable, real-time text to braille converter called Tactile. This device allows people who are visually impaired to take a picture of printed text, and the text will be transcribed to braille on a refreshable display.
  • Apoorva Murarka, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $15,000 Lemelson-MIT “Use it!” Graduate Winner: Contact-Printed Nano-Membrane Transducers for Sound Production
    Murarka invented an electrostatic transducer that uses a 125 nanometer thick membrane – which is approximately one thousandth the width of a human hair – to produce high-fidelity sound more efficiently. This technology can be applied to hearing aids, earphones, or other consumer electronic devices, resulting in superior sound quality and longer battery life.

The “Eat it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize: Rewarding students working on technology-based inventions that can improve food and agriculture.

  • Matthew Rooda and Abraham Espinoza, University of Iowa, $10,000 Lemelson-MIT “Eat it!” Undergraduate Team Winner: SmartGuard Device – Real-time Health Analysis for Farmers
    Rooda and Espinoza founded SwineTech, and developed their first product, SmartGuard, a real-time health analysis for pigs, which reduces the incidence of piglet mortality due to “lay-on/crushing” by the mother pig. The device monitors the temperature in the crate and adjusts it to optimize the health environment for the piglet. The proprietary technology also detects when a piglet is getting laid on, and then communicates to a belt on the sow. It will allow farmers to receive real time health analysis of each sow and whether any abnormal activities are occurring within the facility.
  • Natasha Wright, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $15,000 Lemelson-MIT “Eat it!” Graduate Winner: Solar-Powered Desalination System for Off-Grid Water Production in India and Gaza, and Usage Sensor for Household Water Treatment Devices 
Wright invented a solar powered desalination system for off-grid water production in communities in India and Gaza that reduces the required amount of energy and the amount of wasted water. She is working to provide affordable, safe drinking water. Wright was also part of a team that developed Smart Spout, a small, inexpensive, low energy consumption usage sensor that measures the long-term use of household water treatment and safe storage devices. The sensor allows for the collection of large, quantitative data sets, replacing less-reliable, self-reported survey data.

The “Cure it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize: Rewarding students working on technology-based inventions that can improve health care.

  • Maria Filsinger Interrante, Zachary Rosenthal and Christian Choe, Stanford University, $10,000 Lemelson-MIT “Cure it!” Undergraduate Team Winner: Novel Proteins to Fight Superbug Bacterial Infections
    Filsinger Interrante, Rosenthal and Choe developed novel protein drugs to kill multi-drug resistant, gram-negative bacteria – or “superbugs.” Their engineered protein molecules offer a new strategy to combat an urgent global problem projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050.
  • Lisa Tostanoski, University of Maryland, $15,000 Lemelson-MIT “Cure it!” Graduate Winner: Innovative Biomaterials-based Strategies to Combat Autoimmune Disease
    Tostanoski, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Jewell lab, developed an innovative approach to deposit microparticles in lymph nodes (LNs) – the tissues that orchestrate immune responses. These particles control the local release of regulatory immune signals and program cells not to attack “self” tissues. Her studies in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS) demonstrate that a single intra-LN dose reverses disease-induced paralysis. These effects were permanent for the duration of the studies and were specific, aiming to eliminate the broad immunosuppressive effects that plague current clinical therapies.
  • Katy Olesnavage, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $15,000 Lemelson-MIT “Cure it!” Graduate Winner: Method to Design a Better Prosthetic Foot
    Olesnavage invented a process to create high-performance, mass-producible, low cost prosthetic feet. This process gives prosthetic foot designers rules and guidelines about how to produce a product that will most closely replicate typical walking motion. Her process looks to reproduce the behavior of a biological ankle and foot by determining the shape, size and material of a prosthetic foot structure and then calculating how it will bend in response to a certain amount of weight.

Lemelson-MIT Student Prize applicants were evaluated by screening committees with expertise in the invention categories as well as a national judging panel of industry leaders – who also select the annual $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize winner. Screeners and judges assessed candidates on breadth and depth of inventiveness and creativity; potential for societal benefit and economic commercial success; community and environmental systems impact; and experience as a role model for youth.

Students interested in applying for the 2018 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize can find more information here.

The Lemelson-MIT Program is also seeking partners with interest in sponsoring the competition, in addition to supporting the execution and scaling into new categories. Interested sponsors can find more information here.


Celebrating invention, inspiring youth

The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering at MIT, an institution with a strong ongoing commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for K-12 STEM education. For more information, visit


Based in Portland, The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives. Inspired by the belief that invention can solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time, the Foundation helps the next generation of inventors and invention-based businesses to flourish. The Lemelson Foundation was established in the early 1990s by prolific inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy. To date the Foundation has made grants totaling over $200 million in support of its mission. For more information, visit

First Non-Profit International Volunteer Program Launched In The Paradise Of The Azores Islands

  • Non-profit now accepting applications for its Summer 2017 International Volunteer Program
  • Opportunities available in organic farming, art, business development and natural preservation programs
  • Volunteers will reside on the beautiful Azores Island of Flores

Press Release – DALLAS – April 18, 2017 – The international non-profit organization Choki is now accepting applicants for its new European Volunteer Program for summer 2017. The program will invite selected applicants to Flores, of the Azores islands off the coast of Portugal, to work alongside community members, to stimulate economic opportunity and encourage natural preservation. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work on various culturally enriching projects from farming to art, micro businesses and international event planning.

“We’re giving extraordinary people the chance to benefit humanity and beautify the world,” said Casey Hartnett, founder of Choki. “This is our first international incubator where thought leaders will have the opportunity to live in paradise and be part of this amazing journey of beautification, preservation and economic stimulation to the local artisans and farmers.”

Flores is relatively small, with a population of about 4,000. Rich with natural beauty, the island is crawling with deep valleys, high peaks, endless rivers, waterfalls, and natural aesthetics. One of Choki’s goals is to re-establish Flores’ cultural identity through art and by creating micro industries that can stimulate economic growth.

Choki will support devoted volunteers from across the world who want to stay temporarily in Flores and help drive in this mission.

“This is the perfect opportunity for the individual who craves far more than sightseeing and sampling the local cuisine,” said, Jessica Pinto, Choki Volunteer Coordinator. “Our new program is a rewarding learning experience aimed at helping people in all walks of life. We are seeking volunteers with a wide array of talents and expertise in areas such as fine arts murals, botanic gardens, museums, sustainable micro industries and organic farming.”

The application process is thorough, but selective. An applicant must be 18 years or older and the resident must have a plan for the stay including a value application. The selection of projects will be based on artistic skills/competency, innovation potential, contribution to the community and other expertise that could be of value.

Upon selection, the volunteer will receive a contact person in Flores who will be their local host and help them transition into becoming a part of the island community. Volunteers will receive free accommodations and food during their stay, but will be responsible for all travel expenses.

Choki has secured housing accommodations within the community, as well as a budget for food and other expenses. In addition, Choki will help find local resources needed to realize projects including reasonable material costs. Information about the Flores program is available at

“We are inviting extraordinary people to join us in one of the most beautiful locations in the world to grow, learn and change the world,” said Hartnett. “Volunteers can bring their best ideas to reality as they contribute to the preservation of the environment, culture and community.”

About Choki

Founded by Casey Hartnett, Choki is a nonprofit organization founded to protect the cultures and traditions of some of the most special places in the world that are under the threat of “globalization.” Through Choki’s support, beneficiaries will receive opportunities for human sustainability, security and empowerment. Choki wants to accomplish a world of “I believe,” with the purpose to share the beauty of traditional arts and culture with the world. Additional information is available at

New ReFED Innovation And Policy Tools

New ReFED Innovation and Policy Tools prove food waste reduction creates businesses and jobs; reveal opportunity to simplify regulation

Innovator Database tracks more than 400 commercial and nonprofit organizations that fight food waste while creating more than 2,000 new jobs. Over the last 5 years, more than 200 organizations have been founded, doubling the pace of innovation in food waste reduction.

Policy Finder identifies opportunities to simplify federal and state policy to prevent food waste. For example, 43 states could remove burdensome date labeling restrictions, saving consumers and businesses more than $29 billion per year.

Press Release – San Francisco, CA (April 18, 2017) – Today, ReFED, a collaborative, cross-sector nonprofit committed to reducing the $218 billion of food waste in the United States, unveiled two new tools: a database of innovative food waste solutions, and an interactive map that centralizes federal- and state-level food waste policy to assist advocates and policymakers.

“ReFED’s 2016 Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste identified concrete opportunities to save money and resources, feed people and create jobs,” said Chris Cochran, Executive Director of ReFED. “The Innovator Database and Policy Finder build on the Roadmap by creating a one-stop shop for stakeholders interested in understanding food waste policy and innovation – two levers that have the power to make change across sectors. These tools reveal that food waste reduction is both a source of viable, scalable business enterprise and a potentially significant job generator.”

ReFED’s Food Waste Innovator Database []– a living compilation of 400+ commercial and nonprofit entities focused on reducing and preventing food waste – enables users to explore the dynamic and expanding food waste innovation sector, with solutions broken down by type and geography. The database will also help connect innovators to the private sector, government, foundations and investors to collaborate, fundraise and accelerate impact.

The fastest growing solution areas include donations, new products, and secondary marketplaces for food that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. Most innovators in ReFED’s database are for-profit (70%) with services offered nationally (55%), representing an emerging opportunity. ReFED will use existing insights and new data gleaned from the database to identify trends, growth areas and gaps in food waste innovation, ultimately helping drive development of more efficient, scalable solutions.

ReFED’s Food Waste Policy Finder [] features an interactive map allowing users to navigate the landscape of federal and state laws and policies. Developed in partnership with Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, the Policy Finder will help food businesses and food recovery organizations better navigate laws on liability protection, date labeling, tax incentives, animal feed and waste bans. At the same time, the tool highlights inconsistencies in existing legal frameworks and the opportunities for state and federal action.

“To reach the national 50 percent food waste reduction target, we need supportive policies at all levels of government. This year, more than a dozen states are considering new food waste legislation,” said Emily Broad Leib, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of the Food Law and Policy Clinic. “We hope this tool will help businesses and food recovery organizations better understand the applicable laws so that they can make better food recovery decisions, while also helping policymakers implement better laws and even experiment with new policies to reduce the waste of healthy, wholesome food.”

The tool affords unique insight into the state-level policy landscape, revealing positive trends in implementation, while highlighting clear opportunities for common-sense policy improvements. For instance, nearly half of all states have enacted food donation liability protections above the federal baseline, encouraging businesses to donate foods that might otherwise be wasted. On the other hand, of the ten states that generate the most food waste, California is the only one to offer state-level tax incentives to promote food donation, and is the only of the top ten food waste-generating states to accelerate the adoption of food waste solutions by establishing an organics waste recycling law.

“Tools like the Innovator Database and Policy Finder give public and private sector stakeholders the insights they need to make smart decisions that generate the most impact,” said Devon Klatell, Associate Director at The Rockefeller Foundation. “Food is wasted at every broken link in the supply chain, giving all of us a role to play in tackling this critical issue. Repairing those links depends on collaboration across sectors, and we need organizations like ReFED to identify and encourage the opportunities to do so.”

The new ReFED tools will build upon existing resources by more clearly identifying opportunities for impact. For example, the ReFED Roadmap estimates that of the $18 billion in new financing needed to achieve a 20% food waste reduction in the U.S., $800 million will come from private early-stage and growth equity, and $1 billion from philanthropic impact investments.

“Meeting our national food waste reduction goal depends on the entrepreneurial spirit of innovators, action across the food system, and the strong commitment of funders like The Rockefeller Foundation and Walmart Foundation, and many others. We hope these tools will convene stakeholders who haven’t – or otherwise wouldn’t – collaborate on food system challenges, and guide them to use insights, backed by robust economics and data analysis, to identify proven solutions to immediately cut food waste,” said Cochran.

About ReFED

ReFED is a multi-stakeholder nonprofit, powered by an influential network of the nation’s leading business, nonprofit, foundation and government leaders committed to reducing U.S. food waste. It takes a data-driven approach to move the food system from acting on instinct to insights to solve our national food waste problem. Solutions already exist to cut food waste by 20% nationwide as identified from the Roadmap to Reduce US Food Waste. ReFED has revolutionized the way the industry looks at food waste, by going beyond challenges to identify concrete opportunities to save money and resources, feed people and create jobs. In addition to the Roadmap, ReFED’s tools and resources help businesses, nonprofits, government, and investors put the most impactful solutions to reduce food waste into action and makes it easier for the food supply chain to meet the national 50% reduction goal by 2030.

Viola Davis Reads Children’s Book Rent Party Jazz for Storyline Online® in Honor of Jazz Appreciation Month

Oscar winning actress lends her voice to support SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s children’s literacy initiative

Press Release – LOS ANGELES (April 17, 2017) – Academy Award winner Viola Davis (Fences, How to Get Away With Murder) shines a light on the unsung tradition of rent parties for Jazz Appreciation Month in the newest Storyline Online® ( video released today by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Davis reads the critically acclaimed children’s book Rent Party Jazz ( written by William Miller, illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb and published by Lee & Low Books.

Rent Party Jazz tells the story of Sonny Comeaux, a young boy living in New Orleans during the 1930’s. Sonny works before school and during the weekends to help his mother make ends meet, but they continuously struggle to make the monthly rent. When Sonny’s mother loses her job, all seems lost – until Sonny encounters and befriends jazz trumpeter Smilin’ Jack. When Jack hears about Sonny’s troubles, the musician offers to help Sonny and his mother put on a party consisting of tasty food, good company and great music in order to raise the rent money.

Highlighting the rent party custom that originated in Harlem, New York, during the 1920’s, Rent Party Jazz showcases profound morals about compassion, family and supporting your friends and neighbors in times of need. It’s an all-embracing, poignant and uplifting story detailing the influence of jazz on African-American communities during an unheralded point in American history.

Davis concludes her reading by sharing, “I love Rent Party Jazz because African-American characters are the focus of the story. It’s about jazz and it’s about people helping one another. Great message.”

Viola Davis is just the latest actor to join an expanding cast of Storyline Online® readers. Previous supporters include Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and Rita Moreno. Storyline Online® features beloved performers reading cherished children’s books out loud alongside inventively animated, original illustrations. The site is available 24 hours a day at no cost to children, parents, and educators worldwide, and receives over 13 million views every month.

“Viola Davis is a true champion for children’s literacy. She is one of the most in-demand and celebrated actors of our time, and yet she carved the time out of her jam-packed schedule to read for Storyline Online,” said Cyd Wilson, Executive Director of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. “Rent Party Jazz is an incredible addition to our digital library, and we think children all over the world will enjoy this quintessential American story and its message of community.”

Rent Party Jazz comes with supplemental activity guides for both home and school that strengthen verbal, written and comprehension skills. Aimed at students in the 2nd-4th grades, these activities encourage students to engage in critical thinking and ponder the themes from the book including giving, empathy and friendship.

To view Rent Party Jazz and all of Storyline Online’s videos, visit, and subscribe to Keep up with new videos to be released in 2017 by following @StorylineOnline on Twitter and /StorylineOnline on Facebook.

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