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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

Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

SRI Capital Announces $100M Early Stage US-India VC Fund, Brings Reach and Skillset not Available with Most US and Indian VCs

Press Release – PHILADELPHIA & HYDERABAD, India–(BUSINESS WIRE)SRI Capital (SRI), an early stage venture capital firm focused on funding innovative startups primarily in the US and in India, today announced the launch of its maiden $100M early stage VC fund focused on tech opportunities in the US and India. Anchored by a $20M commitment from the family office of Sashi Reddi, managing partner, SRI, the fund is raising capital primarily from investors in the US and Europe.

“There is a funding gap for Indian start-ups targeting US enterprise customers,” says Reddi. “While Indian VCs have struggled to support these US-focused startups, US VCs typically do not understand India-based tech teams. SRI Capital will fill this gap.”

Additional partners in the fund include Doc Parghi, based in Philadelphia, as well as two advisory partners based in India, to be announced. The team brings a unique mix of operating and investing experience, a long history of working together and partners based in both the US and India. This combination of talent and resources delivers a reach and skillset that are not available with most US and Indian VCs.

The fund will typically invest $1M to $3M in a start-up, with the potential to invest in future rounds to support the growth of the company. It expects to complete six to eight investments annually.

Utilizing this US-India model, SRI has backed over 15 startups over the last five years, with successful investments including: ThinCI, a chip company for autonomous driving that recently raised over $20M from Japanese auto supplier Denso and a clutch of high profile industry veterans; and PhenomPeople, a new age recruitment SaaS offering, leveraging social media and machine learning that recently raised $22M from multiple investors, including Sierra Ventures and AXA Ventures. SRI Capital invested at the seed stage in both companies.

SRI also backs startups founded by entrepreneurs who have studied and/or worked in the US and relocate to India to launch their companies. Some examples of successful investments with this US-India model are: YuppTV, a leading OTT player for Indian content that recently raised $50 M from Emerald Ventures, a media fund backed by KKR; HealthifyMe, a healthy lifestyle startup that raised nearly $20M from IDG Ventures, Samsung NEXT, Sistema Asia Fund, Inventus Capital, Blume and others; and FabHotels. founded by two Wharton MBAs who relocated to India to launch one of India’s leading budget hotel brands, which recently raised $25M from Goldman Sachs. Again, SRI was the first outside investor in all three companies.

Tushar Vashist, founder/CEO of HealthifyMe, says, “One of the first investors I approached when launching HealthifyMe was SRI Capital, given its reputation as being entrepreneur-friendly. They’ve stuck with us through some early difficult periods as we pivoted multiple times to find the right business model.”

To date, the fund has completed three investments including, IndianMoney, LetsMD, and Sports Flashes.

About SRI Capital

SRI Capital is an early stage venture capital firm focused on funding innovative startups primarily in the US and in India, and global startups that are looking to enter the US or Indian market. SRI Capital is a US registered fund which launched its operations in January 2018. Visit http://sricapital.com/.


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Carbon Engineering Raises $11M To Commercialize Its Technology That Creates Clean Fuel From Air

Press Release – Squamish, B.C. ­ July 12, 2018: ­ Carbon Engineering Ltd. (CE) announced today it has raised gross proceeds of CAD $11 million in its recently closed convertible loan bridge financing round. This investment provides the funding for CE to expand its existing pilot plant and design its first commercial AIR TO FUELS™ plant, which will be the first in the world to commercially sell transportation fuels synthesized from air and clean electricity.

The $11 million convertible loan bridge financing round was raised from both existing CE stakeholders, including board members and employees, and from new investors. This financing was concluded in anticipation of an equity financing, which is expected to be completed as soon as possible.

“We’ve seen a very high level of interest and have had to ask many interested investors to wait for future investment rounds,” said Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering. “The response we’ve seen signals a big step forward not only for CE, but for the wider carbon capture and advanced fuels industry, as the scope and size of the business opportunity these technologies offer becomes clear.

“For CE, this investment enables us to aggressively accelerate our go-to-market strategy. We are now actively seeking strategic partners to work with us to build full-scale commercial facilities and customers interested in supply agreements for our ultra-low carbon fuel.”

Closing of the bridge financing round comes just over a month after the firm released research showing that its Direct Air Capture technology ­ demonstrated in CE’s existing pilot plant ­ can capture CO₂ from the atmosphere at scale for less than USD$100 per ton. This price point, coupled with recent advances in renewable electricity, is what enables the economic viability of CE’s AIR TO FUELS™ process and the ultra-low carbon fuels it can produce.

The proceeds will be used to expand the company’s working pilot plant in Squamish, B.C and to establish the design and partnerships for the company’s initial commercial AIR TO FUELS™ plants. A full commercial AIR TO FUELS™ facility will be capable of producing 320,000 litres of synthetic fuel per day, and capturing one million tons of CO₂ per year ­ the equivalent of the annual emissions of 250,000 average cars.

The financing indicates a period of strong growth for CE, also evident in the company’s increased headcount. Within the last six months, CE has seen a 33 per cent rise in full-time staff numbers with new positions spanning operations, engineering, research and development, business development, and public relations and marketing. The company plans to continue building its employee base in 2018 as it accelerates towards commercial deployment. A list of current opportunities can be found on the company’s website.


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Closed Loop Fund Invests In TemperPack To Drive Innovation In Ecommerce Packaging Solutions And Reduce MRF Contamination.

Press Release – July 10, 2018 – More than 52 million Americans currently buy their groceries online. The rapid growth of online food and beverage sales is putting pressure on the recycling system with more insulated packaging, primarily Styrofoam, being found in curbside recycling bins. Closed Loop Fund has invested $4.5 million in TemperPack, a packaging innovation company that has created a line of insulated packaging that is recyclable in curbside programs as part of the paper and corrugated materials stream. Closed Loop Fund joins SJF Ventures in this investment.

TemperPack’s products provide significant (est. 10x) GHG benefits over expanded polystyrene materials used in insulated shipping today and will help reduce contamination at Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). According to Bob Milligan, VP of Operations Due Diligence at Closed Loop Fund, “From our MRF testing, we’ve seen that TemperPack’s ClimaCell packaging can greatly reduce the burden of Styrofoam ending up in the recycling streams and the packaging has proven to make it through the OCC lines at MRFs.”

While other cold-chain packaging claims to be recyclable, the reality does not support the claims. In a recent study by the Association of Plastics Recyclers, APR found that innovation in this packaging category is sorely needed: https://resource-recycling.com/recycling/2018/02/26/investigating-the-ingredients/

TemperPack currently has two manufacturing plants, operating in Richmond, VA, and Las Vegas, NV. Closed Loop Fund’s investment will support the expansion of a new production line at its facility in Las Vegas, NV to help scale its impact in assisting companies that ship perishable goods using more sustainable options and reducing the amount of plastic insulation currently in the market.

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Closed Loop Fund to expand production of our new curbside recyclable line of products at our west coast operations in Las Vegas,” commented Brian Powers, TemperPack’s co-CEO and co-founder. “Bringing a second manufacturing operation for ClimaCell online will allow us to better serve our clients’ growing needs for insulated packaging.”

About Closed Loop Fund

Founded in 2014, Closed Loop Fund is a social impact investment fund that provides cities access to the capital required to build comprehensive recycling programs. Closed Loop Fund aims to invest $100 million by 2020 with the goal to create economic value for cities by increasing recycling rates in communities across America and build circular supply chains. Closed Loop Fund brings together the world’s largest consumer product, retail, and financial companies committed to finding a national solution to divert waste from landfills into the recycling stream in order to be used in the manufacturing supply chain. Closed Loop Fund investors include 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Dr Pepper Snapple, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Keurig Green Mountain, Nestle Waters North America, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and the Walmart Foundation. For more information, visit www.closedloopfund.com

About TemperPack

Founded in 2015, TemperPack solves thermal packaging problems through sustainable design. The company was born out of a desire to reduce the amount of unsustainable packaging that correlated with the rising world of e-commerce delivery. They specialize in bringing custom solutions for clients to scale in the perishable food and life sciences industries. Today, TemperPack operates two facilities in Virginia and Nevada and is rapidly expanding its reach in the perishable and cold chain shipping market, all with the goal of reducing the amount of packaging that ends up in landfills.


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Among Social Investing Approaches, Racial Equity Strategies Stand out for the Need They Serve and the Compelling Economic Opportunity, Says Cambridge Associates

Institutional Investors That Can Parse the Vast Landscape of Racial Equity Issues and Ask the Right Questions of Investment Managers Will Have Leg up

Press Release – BOSTON, July 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new report by investment firm Cambridge Associates on social equity investing – the practice of making financial investments that promote equal opportunity for all, regardless of background – points out that when those allocations focus on racial equity, the potential social-problem solving and financial benefits are accentuated.

Social equity opportunities for institutional investors span such issues as education, civil rights, transportation, affordable housing, financial inclusion and health – and racial equity cuts across all of them, according to “Social Equity Investing: Righting Institutional Wrongs.”

“The legacies of racism and racial barriers are deep and complex, and data indicates that inequities of nearly any kind tend to be more pronounced for people of color. Investing to advance racial equity demands particular attention to and understanding of the interconnectedness of social equity’s underlying themes,” says report coauthor Erin Harkless, a Senior Investment Director focused on Mission-Related Investing at Cambridge Associates.

The report underlines the financial and economic upside of effectively addressing racial inequity, as communities of color represent the fastest growing US consumer markets. It cites research that shows that the combined buying power of blacks, Asians and Native Americans was $2.2 trillion, up 138% from 2000, and that of Hispanics increased by 181% to $1.4 trillion. Further, raising the average income of people of color to the average incomes of white people would generate an additional $1 trillion in earnings.

Given the economic potential of investments that help address racial inequality, parsing the avenues for effective allocations is a critically important step for institutional asset owners with social equity goals, the report says.

“In our view, investment strategies focused on racial equity can be divided into two areas. The first includes strategies that increase capital access for and allocations to communities of color and that begin to tackle the ongoing capital gap that besets these communities. The second area involves business lines and practices – in other words, strategies that aim to ensure that existing businesses, products, services and policies support communities of color,” said Ashley Cohen, coauthor of the report and Senior Investment Associate at Cambridge Associates.

Capital access and allocation strategies might include identifying and tilting the search for investment managers towards firms that are owned or led by people of color; investing in a venture strategy with a particular focus on racially and ethnically diverse entrepreneurs; or allocating to consumer services related to health, wellness and food systems, the report says.

Strategies that focus on business practices might include backing start-ups that create affordable and accessible financial tools; embarking on a public equity investing approach that favors companies with superior social practices; or using shareholder advocacy to encourage companies to improve their diversity approaches.

With that backdrop, the report highlights questions that institutions pursuing such allocations should ask about investment managers under consideration:

  • Do the managers have the cultural know-how and acumen to address the needs of racially diverse communities?
  • Are the managers themselves espousing inclusive principles throughout their organizations? Do they have programs around diversity and equity?
  • Are the managers acting to involve the community directly in the investment decision-making process and leveraging the expertise and voices of community members?
  • Have the managers thought about any undue risks that communities might bear that could run counter to institutional investors’ impact goals?

Harkless continued, “The discipline of racial equity investing is exciting and, we believe, of immense importance to society. There has been continued demand from our clients – endowments, foundations, private clients, and pensions – to develop portfolios that address diversity and equity. We expect that the growing prominence and focus on these allocations will yield a more robust opportunity set – due both to new entrants and existing players pivoting to address racial equity via their investment portfolios. Already we’ve seen more investment managers articulating strategies that have an impact on communities of color.”

About Cambridge Associates

Cambridge Associates is a leading global investment firm. We aim to help endowments & foundations, pension plans, and private clients implement and manage custom investment portfolios that generate outperformance so they can maximize their impact on the world. Working alongside its early clients, among them leading university endowments, the firm pioneered the strategy of high-equity orientation and broad diversification, which since the 1980s has been a primary driver of performance for institutional investors. Cambridge Associates delivers a range of services, including outsourced CIO, non-discretionary portfolio management, and investment consulting.

Cambridge Associates maintains offices in Boston; Arlington, VA; Beijing; Dallas; London; Menlo Park, CA; New York; San Francisco; Singapore; Sydney; and Toronto. Cambridge Associates consists of five global investment consulting affiliates that are all under common ownership and control. For more information, please visit www.cambridgeassociates.com.


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Peoria’s ‘Well Farm At Voris Field’, A National Model For Community-Driven Green Stormwater Infrastructure, Opens To Public

Press Release – Peoria, IL – Peoria’s Well Farm at Voris Field, one of the nation’s first “stormwater farms”, opened to the public with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 30, 2018. Though temperatures reached the mid-90s, Peoria’s Mayor, three City Council Members, and nearly 100 residents gathered to celebrate this new model for urban stormwater management and climate resilience. A USDA NRCS-funded pilot project, The Well Farm demonstrates how urban agriculture can reduce stormwater runoff, and showcases many of the community benefits that result from green stormwater infrastructure development.

Greenprint Partners (formerly Fresh Coast Capital), a national green infrastructure delivery partner, designed the site and programming in partnership with engineering firm AKRF, the City of Peoria, The Gifts in the Moment (gitm) Foundation, and a 20-member stakeholder advisory group representing residents of Peoria’s First District. The project team has been working since 2016 to bring the vision of a working “stormwater farm” to life. Site design and construction were completed on time and on budget in June, and attendees at the Ribbon Cutting received a guided tour of the site’s water management features, which include a stormwater forest with 126 hybrid poplar trees, a 3,000 square foot floriculture space, and 100 agricultural planter beds. Together, these features capture runoff from a 1.55 acre area, preventing an estimated 1.3 million gallons of stormwater from entering Peoria’s combined sewer system each year.

Greenprint Partners’ VP of Programs, April Mendez emphasized that her team’s “deep partnerships with Peoria organizations like The gitm Foundation have been critical to shaping the project designs to maximize community benefits. Our benefits-driven design approach to green infrastructure requires us to put down roots in this community, and it’s been such a rewarding process.”

The idea to pursue an urban farm concept began with Greenprint Partners’ goal to pioneer green stormwater infrastructure solutions that maximize benefits to the local community, and engage residents in design, construction, and maintenance to ensure the long-term success of installations. First district residents’ desires to increase access to fresh produce and create new jobs made the urban farm concept an ideal fit for the community.

The working urban farm, which produces locally grown flowers, food and timber, and provides youth internships and adult apprenticeships, offered a lush backdrop to the Ribbon Cutting ceremony. Raised beds were overflowing with thriving crops of kale, collard greens, and okra. The gitm Foundation’s Urban Agriculture Apprenticeship Program will take up to 20 participants each year to cultivate produce, cut flowers, and learn how to sell their products at local farmers markets. The gitm Foundation’s Dwayne Harris, who oversees the apprenticeship program, proudly stated that his apprentices had sold out of Well Farm-grown produce that morning at the farmers market. He said, “Our first twelve apprentices come from many walks of life, but they will leave this program with the same thing: real skills and experience that will allow them to pursue a fulfilling career and benefit their local community.”

At the Ribbon Cutting, Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, addressed the crowd saying, “We’ve actually developed a 100% green solution for our [combined sewer overflow] issue…and it’s the first one in the country.” At Large Council Member Sid Ruckreigel added that “Peoria should be proud today. I think it’s important to recognize that we’re standing on a piece of property that was vacant for a lot of years, and we’re seeing crops grow, and we’re talking about them growing from stormwater.”

The Well Farm is supported by a USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant, a federal program that stimulates the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands. In 2016, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Greenprint Partners in partnership with the City of Peoria, gitm Foundation, and AKRF $1 million in funds to install an urban agriculture and stormwater management project in Peoria. This grant funding was met with $1 million in matching funds and resources.

Kari Cohen, Director of the Conservation Innovations Team at NRCS brought greetings from USDA in Washington D.C., remarking that “This project here today ticks a lot of boxes for us; we have agroforestry, we have urban agriculture, we have innovative financing solutions to natural resource challenges, and we’ve got community development. There are many people around the country watching this project who are interested in using it as a model.” He added, “There’s a lot of excitement about green infrastructure in urban areas…but no one’s doing it quite like this.”

Greenprint Partners (formerly Fresh Coast Capital) is a green infrastructure delivery partner that helps cities achieve high-impact, community-driven stormwater solutions at scale. Our green infrastructure projects are designed to maximize community benefits, delivered at scale, and maintained for the long-term. Greenprint Partners is a women-owned, certified B-Corp. Additional information available at: greenprintpartners.com.


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Green Alpha Advisors Identifies Six Key Trends Driving Sustainable and Impact Investing

Press Release – BOULDER, CO — June 09, 2018 — Green Alpha Advisors, an asset manager specializing in innovation-driven, fossil fuel free equity portfolios, has identified six key trends that will influence sustainable and impact investing in the second half of 2018 and beyond.

Investors have been on a see-saw thus far in 2018, and sustainability-focused investors have been no exception. Tariffs, market surprises and global energy policies have driven some uncertainty in green investing sectors, while technology breakthroughs and state-driven actions in California and elsewhere have partly counterbalanced the Trump Administration’s most extreme measures. Look for this dynamic to continue, which could result in spikes of volatility – and potential buying opportunities for long-term investors.

“The first half of 2018 has been some of the most volatile market activity in recent history. The unpredictability of the Trump Administration has led to a lot of near-term market anxiety,” said Garvin Jabusch, Green Alpha Chief Investment Officer. “Our response has been to focus on the long-term, remaining invested in multi-year growth trends that will ultimately be impacted less by short-term policy machinations and more by innovation.”

Key trends for sustainable and impact investors include:

Gender and diversity investing elevated: Gender and diversity investing is one of the fast-growing categories of sustainable and impact investing, with public equity assets in these strategies growing from $100 million in 2014 to more than $900 million in 2017. One key reason investors find these firms so appealing: research demonstrates that diverse management teams outperform homogeneous teams in a variety of material ways, from creative problem solving to executing on short- and long-term goals.

Infrastructure inflection point: Traditional infrastructure—like bridges, roads, water mains, and water treatment—desperately need upgrades. Companies that supply and utilize waste-to-value materials, like recycled steel, are meeting critical infrastructure and sustainability needs. A tech-driven economy also requires infrastructure to support the twenty first century’s most precious commodity: data. Global fiber networks, wireless networks (including 5G), cloud services, and satellite communications (including internet) will continue to be key areas to watch.

U.S. China solar flare-up: China’s recently announced changes to national solar policies have rocked the global PV market. With the resulting oversupply of panels, prices may fall 35% or further–more than nixing the impact of U.S. trade tariffs. Stock prices of panel manufacturers are following suit, offering some fantastic buying opportunities for investors. Adding to the momentum, the US Internal Revenue Service handed down new guidance allowing solar developers to claim a 30% investment tax credit on any project they begin by the end of 2019 and complete by 2023. Since the US administration’s section 201 tariff on panels sunsets in February 2022, this means developers can both enjoy their ITC tax credit and avoid nearly all tariffs on imported panels. Long term, solar’s prospects shine bright.

Battery tech fully charged: With their ability to power electric vehicles and offer dependable electricity storage, batteries are exponentially growing. Storage can provide a critical service during sudden electricity demand peaks and offers stability in the presence of intermittent renewable energy. Due to improvements in technology and increases in scale of battery production at an increasing number of companies around the world, the price of lithium-ion battery storage has fallen from US$1,000 per kilowatt hour of storage (kWh) in 2010 to US$209 per kWh in 2017, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That price is projected to fall to less than US$100 per kWh by 2025, making both grid storage and EVs much less expensive, potentially catalyzing explosive demand.

Is genomics investment-worthy? Genomics technology continues to achieve significant medical and scientific breakthroughs. For investors, new opportunities and risks are unfolding in diagnostics, treatment and direct IP resulting from the development of gene-editing techniques. Although potentially transformative for medicine and human well-being, the industry faces some political headwinds and both questions and backing from sustainable and impact investors.

Information asymmetry and climate change investing: As special interests drive the climate discussion astray and sustainability-driving technologies continue to rapidly progress, the ‘climate change sector’ remains a ripe area for value investors. Reality is always far more complicated than equity markets and assimilate, and climate information is certainly no exception. For those willing to do the research and assimilate underutilized data, such market inefficiencies will continue to generate opportunity.

“We’re still in the first inning of this global economic shift toward sustainability, but the pieces are coming together almost faster than we can keep up with them,” said Jeremy Deems, Green Alpha Chief Financial Officer. “It’s times like these where you have to ask: are you primarily invested in the legacy economy and ‘what was,’ or are you preserving your client’s purchasing power by investing in ‘what’s next’?”

About Green Alpha Advisors, LLC

Green Alpha’s investment philosophy is straight forward: don’t invest in companies that cause global systemic risks; instead, invest in the solutions. That’s investing in the Next Economy.

Green Alpha Advisors is led by three pioneering executives who each have over 20 years of asset management experience. Green Alpha has been redefining asset management since 2007 by investing in the Next Economy – an indefinitely thriving economy driven by companies that are developing innovative solutions to major systemic risks, like climate change, resource scarcity and widening inequality. As these threats continue to materialize and risk-mitigating solutions rapidly develop, the economy of the next decade is unlikely to look like that of the past. It’s time to advance beyond backward-looking, 20th century views of portfolio risks and invest in what’s next. Green Alpha manages $125 million for individuals, advisors, and institutions.


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Games are changing our lives… for good!

By Corey Harnish, CEO of Better World International.

How playing games can actually improve your life, leave you feeling better than ever, and create a social impact

Are you someone who is skeptical about games? Do you believe that they are bad for our youth or can cause social issues among people?

You’re not alone.

This debate over whether or not games negatively affect us has been going on for years, however it turns out that it depends on what games you are playing.

There is great evidence that some games actually are GOOD and can positively impact us!

These are called Games for Change.

There’s a community of amazing people who have been working on these types of games for the last 15 years through the Games for Change festival that’s happening right now in NYC!

Creators and social innovators are driving real-world change by empowering people to take social action through games!

These savvy techies are working on cutting-edge technology that leverages games for change making an impact in the civic sector, directly addressing issues around social justice, human development, as well as environment and responsible citizenship.

Beyond this, games are being used to transform education in and out of school, making learning a fun and easy process!

And even more, gaming is being explored to improve health, fitness, cognitive skills, and mindfulness through interactive experiences and new technologies.

Pretty versatile or what?!

So what kind of positive impact do games have?

Playing games can bring together fundamental aspects of psychology, sociology, and technology to engage people for social change.

For starters, it allows children to develop and experience life in a safe environment. Additionally, it encourages people in general to pursue their ambitions, develop a realistic framework for achieving them, and improves our emotional intelligence. [1]

And what’s great, game designer Mary Flanagan outlines four ways video games can have a positive behavioural and social impact:

  1. Encourages open-mindedness
  2. Provides an easier way to spread messages and tell stories
  3. Develops new mental associations
  4. Provides multiple perspectives for people to view situations [2]

Any cool examples of these Games for Change?

Yes, of course!

One that Better World International has developed, and that I have been working on directly, is a great example:

The Good Cards: a digital platform and mobile app that empowers and motivates people to do good deeds and track the ripple effect they’ve inspired.

Through partnerships with schools and community groups, we create customized missions for social action like our environmental cleanup mission we did with EliteYouthTour. The Good Cards also guides individuals in doing good for themselves and those around them to make a positive impact in their community.

Or there’s SuperBetter which is an meaningful creation from Jane McGonigal, a leader in the field of gamification. “SuperBetter increases resilience – the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of difficult obstacles. Playing SuperBetter makes you more capable of getting through any tough situation—and more likely to achieve the goals that matter most to you.” [3]

And one other impressive example is Zombies, Run!, a mobile app that makes fitness and running fun! Players have to complete a sequence of missions to rescue survivors, pick up supplies, and defend their home all while trying to avoid the zombies. It’s a neat little way to make running more exciting.

Woah, that’s awesome! What does the future look like?

This is something that is absolutely limitless with the technological advancements we are experiencing. At the moment, the field of gamification is trending.

Briefly, gamification is the application of motivation psychology with game mechanics to inspire people to engage in a specific behavior that they might not have been motivated enough to do on their own.

This has the potential to result in applications that help improve productivity and office culture in companies, empower people to build the daily habits they strive to have, and make learning a seamless process.

Yet there’s more!

Virtual Reality (VR) is going to change the future of gaming.

This rapidly evolving technology will have an incredible impact whether in healthcare, entertainment, or space exploration. For example, VR is to be used to train surgeons, helping them receive substantial practice before they move on to live humans. [4]

There’s a lot of groundbreaking stuff going on. It’s not just about making money anymore; there are a lot of people and organizations out there who want to make a difference to the world we live in.

One last thing, how can I get involved?

  1. Grab a Good Card and see how far your ripple effect of kindness will last.
  2. Find a game from the list at Games for Change and start making a difference by having fun!

Links:

[1]: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/media-spotlight/201402/are-there-benefits-in-playing-video-games

[2] http://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/video-games-can-have-a-meaningful-social-impact

[3] https://www.superbetter.com/

[4] http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/future-tech/7-ways-virtual-reality-will-change-the-world-11363913841925

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/games-changing-our-lives-good-corey-harnish/


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Women In Business Awards 2018 – Finalists Announced

Winner to be named at World Investment Forum in October 2018

Press Release – Geneva, 6 July 2018 – The finalists of the sixth Empretec Women in Business Awards have been announced by UNCTAD.

The awards celebrate exceptional businesswomen who have benefitted from UNCTAD’s global entrepreneurship training network, Empretec, and become role models for their outstanding achievements in running micro and small businesses.

The winners will be announced on 25 October at the World Investment Forum, taking place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 22–26 October 2018.

More than 50 nominations were submitted by Empretec centers from 19 countries. The 10 finalists were selected by a panel of experts based on the innovation, leadership and impact on their communities the nominees demonstrated.

Since its launch in 1988, the Empretec programme has trained and motivated more than 400,000 entrepreneurs in more than 40 countries.

The 2018 finalists (in alphabetical order, by country) are:

  • Rosana Marques (Brazil): Ouseuse, swimwear and lingerie
  • Rocio Castro Fernandez (Ecuador): Momoa, clothes for breastfeeding mothers
  • Ndey Fatou Njie (The Gambia): TiGA, swimwear products
  • Chandra Vadhana (India): Skill development, training, assessments and human resources consulting
  • Lama Sha’sha’a (Jordan): International Robotics Academy, education for 6–16-year-olds in robotics and science, technology, engineering and mathematics
  • Uneiza Ali lssufo (Mozambique): ConsMoz Lda – Building Mozambique Limited, construction
  • Barbara Ofwono Buyondo (Uganda): Victorious Education Services, kindergarten through primary school education
  • Ana de León (Uruguay): Ruta 10 Upcycling, up-cycling design company (bags, accessories from recycled materials)
  • Rina Arráez (Venezuela): Inversiones Alces 1012 C.A., handmade accessories from recycled materials
  • Leah Diana Mitaba (Zambia): Butterfly Initiatives, cooperative for the production of vegetables and fruits

Thanks to the sponsors of the awards, the winner and two runners-up will win the chance to attend an executive course in digital marketing by IMD Lausanne, mentoring by the MBA Business School in Grenoble, France, and a watch by Delance of Switzerland among other gifts.

Previous winners of the Empretec Women in Business award include:

  • 2016: Tran Thi Viet, Viet Tranf Handicraft, Vietnam
  • 2014: Lina Jalil Khalifeh, SheFighter, Jordan,
  • 2012: Melissa de Leon, Panama Gourmet, Panama,
  • 2010: Beatrice Ayuru Byaruhanga, Lira Integrated School, Uganda
  • 2008: Sana Zaal Burgan, Med Grant, Jordan.

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Case Foundation Welcomes Veteran Impact Investing Leader Lisa Hall To Team

Press Release – Washington, D.C. – Today, Case Foundation CEO Jean Case announced that Lisa Green Hall is joining the organization as a Senior Fellow to lead the Foundation’s Impact Investing work in collaboration with the Beeck Center at Georgetown University. Hall will focus on expanding and targeting the Case Foundation’s long-term efforts to drive more investors and capital into the sector and to break down barriers to entry so new investors have the information, learnings and insights they need when seeking both financial and social returns.

“The Case Foundation has worked for many years to do our part to help drive the Impact Investing movement from niche to mainstream. As a highly respected, global leader in Impact Investing, Lisa’s deep expertise will help guide our work moving forward to capitalize on the growth of the movement and ensure we have the greatest impact,” said Case. “Lisa’s experience spanning the financial, philanthropic and public sectors will be a great asset as we work to bring more investors into the fold, build out the Impact Investing ecosystem and position the sector for long-term growth.”

Hall previously served as Managing Director at Anthos Asset Management, headquartered in the Netherlands and served as CEO and President of Calvert Foundation from 2010 to 2013, following her tenure as head of the investment portfolio from 2005 to 2010. She served in the Clinton Administration in 1999 as a policy advisor at the National Economic Council where she worked on the creation of the New Markets Investment Tax Credit.

In this role, Hall will serve as a joint Senior Fellow at both the Case Foundation and the Beeck Center, which mobilizes talent to drive social impact at scale by leveraging data, technology, policy, and finance to improve people’s lives. She also serves on several boards including City First Bank and Habitat for Humanity International.

About the Case Foundation

The Case Foundation, created by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case, invests in people and ideas that can change the world. The Foundation’s work embraces a Be Fearless approach to seek to spur innovation, bring about transformational breakthroughs and harnesses the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact. In particular, we focus on catalyzing movements. Currently, we are driving at two major movements—impact investing and inclusive entrepreneurship. For more information, visit casefoundation.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

About the Beeck Center

The Beeck Center at Georgetown engages global leaders to drive social change at scale. Through our research, workshops, classes, and convenings, we provide innovative tools that leverage the power of capital, data, technology and policy to improve lives. We invite a diverse community of thinkers to join us in looking beyond the obvious, to ask the unasked questions and find adaptable solutions in today’s changing world.


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Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah Medtech Innovation Accelerator Expands in Salt Lake City

Press Release – SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – 07-03-2018 (Press Release Jet) — Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc., an innovation and startup accelerator focused on organ regeneration and recovery technologies, is expanding its research laboratory space and personnel in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company is adding a new dedicated research lab at BioInnovations Gateway and has acquired additional lab research space in Research Park at 417 S. Wakara Way, Suite 3321, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 adjacent to the University of Utah campus. 20 employees and contract researchers will work out of these locations.

This in addition to office space rented at the C&S Business Incubator and shared lab space previously rented at BioInnovations Gateway. Most of the startups in the innovation accelerator are based on the core IP platform of bioelectric stimulation, micro pumps, endovascular catheters, micro implants and stem cell based organ regeneration compositions.

The company is in the process of launching clinical trials for skin, hair, knees, teeth, diabetic ulcer treatment and heart support in 2018. Eye, brain, liver, kidney, pancreas, breast, aorta, heart, biological pacing and heart valve regeneration technologies are currently in pre-clinical studies in preparation for clinical studies in the future. CancerCell www.cancercellinc.com one of the startups in the accelerator is launching studies in rodents now to test a seven part bioelectric therapy for shrinking cancer tumors without using toxic radiation or chemo therapies. The company has two issued patents in this area already and many more pending. InStim www.instimcell.com has developed a patent pending bioelectric real time treatment for chronic inflammation. PolypStim www.polyp-stim.com is working on technologies intended to shrink polyps, fibroids and cysts and heal associated tissues more rapidly with bioelectric energy. Second Heart Assist, Inc. www.secondheartinc.com is finishing pre-clinical studies with intent to launch clinical trials first in Australia and later in the USA for its circulatory assist support technologies. OrthdodontiCell www.orthodonticell.com is finishing pre-clincial studies with intent to launch clinical trials soon for bioelectric tooth movement acceleration and stabilization, with hope to prove they can safely reduce brace or aligner wearing time by 2/3rds to straighten teeth.

This expansion will increase research and development operations, enabling the company to employ more engineers and biologists, and will provide a foundation to better host visiting research collaborators. Leonhardt inventions – https://patents.justia.com/inventor/howard-j-leonhardt have been used to treat more than 400,000 patients to date and the Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah team is determined to help build upon Utah’s place on the map already known as leading life science hub.

“Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah has been operating in the Salt Lake City area since 2015. During that time, we’ve benefited from the amazing talented workforce and first-rate education, research, and healthcare facilities in the area, especially from the University of Utah. After three years we are convinced there may be no better place in the world to build a medical technology enterprise and to do world class research than Utah.” state Howard J. Leonhardt, Executive Chairman & CEO

“We have recruited nearly our entire lab team from graduates of bioengineering, biology or entrepreneurship programs at the University of Utah. They have entered our fast paced research lab running with the skills necessary to help us succeed. We have multiple research initiatives right here in Utah in collaboration with world class researchers at the University of Utah which greatly enhances the communication loop of turning what we learn from early stage tests into continuous product improvements.” stated Dr. Brett Burton, Executive Director of R&D and Startup Launches at Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. a Ph.D. graduate of the U of Utah Bioengineering Program himself.

“Utah is a place were good science, innovative design and quality manufacturing are practiced. We are proud to be growing our presence in this community and look forward to moving forward our multiple research initiatives in collaboration with local scientists, clinicians and partners.” states Dr. Leslie Miller, Chief Medical Officer for Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc.

“Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. is the best place to experience an accelerated crash course of the medtech industry for new University of Utah graduates such as myself. From direct hands-on research, to bench-top prototyping, to effective business commercialization and direct communication with the C-suite, Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. is the ideal stimulating experience for career growth with unlimited amounts of exposure that simultaneously fosters learning. With over 20 research projects in various stages of development, the pace is simply astounding. We feel we do more here in a month than many other companies do in a year,” states Kapil K. Sharma, Startup Launch Supervisor & Staff R&D Bioengineer, currently a Professional MBA student, a recent Masters graduate from the Bioengineering BioInnovate program, and the former Co-President of the Bench-to-Bedside Health Entrepreneurship Program all at the University of Utah.

Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. and its Utah based spin out startup Second Heart Assist, Inc. utilize Biomerics a local Utah headquartered contract engineering and OEM manufacturing firm for a number of services for a number of products including heart pacing and infusion leads and circulatory assist pump catheters.

“USTAR, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, The University of Utah and BioUtah have all been instrumental in fostering our growth in Utah since landing here in 2015. The infrastructure and talent here are outstanding and we believe there may be no better place to grow a medtech company than here.” further stated Howard J. Leonhardt, Executive Chairman & CEO

The grandest long vision project of the team is early stage work to build and test a whole body regeneration chamber – https://vimeo.com/179280204. The accelerator is currently working on a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant application with hope to gain seed stage funding for this research.

The innovation and startup accelerator business model is to accelerate each innovation and startup through first-in-man clinical results and then seek out a strategic partner to help develop the product the rest of the way to commercialization.

About Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc.:

Founded in 2015 and incorporated in Utah in 2016 an innovation and startup accelerator focused on organ regeneration and recovery technologies primarily based on a core platform of bioelectric stimulators, micro pumps, endovascular catheters, implantable micro devices and stem cell based organ regeneration composition. Web site – https://leonhardtventures.com/leonhardts-launchpads-utah/

About Leonhardt Ventures:

Leonhardt Ventures is the commercialization arm for the inventions of Howard J. Leonhardt and the majority owner of Leonhardt’s Launchpads by Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. In the 1980’s the team patented and pioneered cardiovascular balloon catheters, in the 1990’s stent grafts and percutaneous heart valves and since 1999 the focus has been on organ regeneration with a combination of bioelectrics and biologics. There are currently 31 startups in the Leonhardt’s Launchpads 2018 portfolio class. Web sites – www.leonhardtventures.com + www.calxstars.com

Selected mentioned startup web sites: www.bioleonhardt.com, www.vascustim.com, www.valvublator.com, www.cerebracell.com, www.cancercellinc.com, www.ear-cell.com, www.polypstim.com www.kidney-cell.com, www.ortho-stim.com, www.skin-stim.com, www.haircellstim.com, www.instimcell.com, www.orthodonticell.com, www.dentacellaccelerator.com, https://leonhardtventures.com/aortacell/, https://leonhardtventures.com/bio-pace/ – others may be found at www.leonhardtventures.com

Disclaimer:

All product developments mentioned are early stage and unproven yet to be either safe or effective. Any product performance claims implied are not meant to be absolute or deemed proven via statistically significant and powered evaluations. These are early stage optimistic observations only. The company may not have the resources to fully develop these products. Any patents licensed, issued or pending may not be kept active or held. Any strategic partnerships mentioned may not be maintained. Any forward looking statements may be subject to change forward without notice. The communication reflects the optimism of founders and developers only. As an investment these startups must be considered very high risk not suitable for many and restricted to verified accredited and sophisticated experienced investors only at this time. A substantial portion of the engaged team derives sources of income from other sources and may not be fully focused on accomplishing the goals of the organization which may impede or delay progress.


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