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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: September 2017

Cook County Land Bank Authority Putting Affordable Homeownership within Reach of Residents with New Homebuyer Direct Program

CCLBA makes available dozens of properties through program, launches free home giveaway

Press Release – CHICAGO, IL – This fall, the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) launched the Homebuyer Direct Program to break down barriers to homeownership and help transform communities by offering fixer-upper homes at below-market prices in neighborhoods across Cook County. As part of launching this program, the Land Bank will give away a fully rehabbed single-family home in Auburn Gresham.

The new initiative helps prospective homebuyers buy, rehab and ultimately move in to the home of their dreams. The program serves two important functions for buyers: it helps them build equity during the purchase process and lets them incorporate their own ideas into the design of their new home. Homeownership is one of the primary ways Americans accumulate wealth – buyers build equity as the home’s property value increases.

“In launching this new program, the Land Bank Authority will play a transformative role in building strong and sustainable communities,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Providing our residents with an affordable path to the American Dream – which for most is home ownership – can only serve a positive purpose for our County and City. I congratulate the Land Bank Authority’s staff and Board for their vision in seeking to better the lives of many.”

Traditionally, CCLBA has sold delinquent, vacant or abandoned properties to developers. This new initiative lets CCLBA reach out directly to the homebuyers, who then can guide the development process (including the schedule, choice of contractors and aesthetic choices about the rehab) in accordance with their preferences.

“One of the best ways to impact a neighborhood for the long term is to expand home ownership. Home ownership – especially when the mortgage is ethical – builds generational wealth. Families in neighborhoods across Chicago missed out on this opportunity over the last 40 years, and that has to change,” said CCLBA Chairwoman and Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer. “This initiative builds upon the Land Bank’s mission to reduce the number vacant buildings by filling them with not just residents, but homeowners, especially in communities hit hardest by the mortgage crisis.”

Homeownership is one of the primary ways Americans accumulate wealth, and a recent Harvard study shows black homeownership rates in Chicago have dropped to levels not seen since the 1960s. With this in mind, the CCLBA is offering properties throughout Cook County to prospective owner-occupants at below-market prices.

Through this new initiative, about 30 to 40 CCLBA properties are available to prospective owner-occupants at below-market prices. The homes, which primarily run between $50,000 and $170,000, are located in neighborhoods such as Avalon Park, Roseland and South Shore. Suburban properties are also available.

“The Homebuyer Direct Program lets us help folks who have thought about purchasing a fixer-upper before but may have been intimidated by logistical, financial or other obstacles,” said Rob Rose, Executive Director of the CCLBA. “This program helps those prospective homebuyers and targets neighborhoods where the mortgage crisis stifled a lot of community potential.”

All properties eligible for the Homebuyer Direct Program are available on the Land Bank’s website and will be updated on a daily basis. Answers to homebuyers’ frequently asked questions, recommendations for lenders and down payment assistance and an application for the program are all listed on the CCLBA website.

Potential homebuyers can work with a broker, and homes may be purchased via cash or financing. The Land Bank does not impose any income restrictions on buyers.

The Land Bank will start accepting entries for the home giveaway on October 2, 2017. Cook County residents can enter either online at the CCLBA website or in person at the Land Bank offices at 69 W Washington Street on the 29th floor.

The CCLBA is working to empower local developers, community groups and potential homeowners by giving them tools to transform their own communities from within. The Land Bank obtains tax delinquent properties for rehab and sells them at below-market rates to qualified, community-based developers to lead the rehab work. This not only helps keep revenue and jobs in the community, but it also helps these local developers grow their businesses. Then, these homes are sold to pre-qualified homebuyers, getting the once-vacant properties back onto the tax rolls.

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From Boston To Birmingham: 25 Historic Main Street Districts Across America Vie For $2 Million In Grants Decided By Public Vote During Partners In Preservation Campaign

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Have Provided $19 Million in Funding Through This Program

Press Release – New York, NY — September 25, 2017 — American Express and The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in collaboration with Main Street America, announced today that Partners in Preservation is headed to Main Street. Partners in Preservation is a community-based partnership to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places and their role in sustaining local communities. This year’s program, Partners in Preservation: Main Streets, will award $2 million in grants to Main Street districts in need of preservation support across America.

The public will determine which sites will receive preservation grants by voting for their favorite main streets today through October 31 at, hosted by National Geographic Travel. On November 2, the sites with the most votes at the end of the voting period will be announced and awarded grants for restoration projects. In addition, the public will also have the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip of their choice to New York, Los Angeles, or Miami, sponsored by this year’s media partner National Geographic.

“Historic preservation and the Shop Small Movement are cornerstones of American Express’ longstanding commitment to serving communities around the world,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “This campaign aligns these two commitments. By rallying citizens to learn about and vote for their favorite local historic treasures, we hope to create broad-scale awareness of the connection between preservation and our country’s thriving main streets.”

This year’s campaign coincides with the 40th anniversary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s work to revitalize main streets. Partners in Preservation: Main Streets emphasizes the importance of these districts around the U.S. and their positive impact on local communities and economies.

“From first dates to family dinners and shopping trips to nights on the town, America’s thriving historic main streets are where we come together and share experiences that shape our lives and communities,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We are delighted to celebrate historic main streets across America through this year’s Partners in Preservation program. These historic downtowns are central to our local and national identity and should be preserved for generations to come.”

According to 2016 data from Main Street America, investments in Main Street districts have a significant impact on local economies – encouraging real estate development as well as the creation of new businesses and jobs. In 2016, $4.65 billion reinvested in Main Street improvement programs resulted in 8,042 building rehabilitations, 5,616 business openings, and 27,462 new jobs. Main Street revitalization efforts also help to make our neighborhoods more interesting and welcoming places to live, work and play.

Since the program’s inception in 2006, Partners in Preservation has awarded over $19 million in support of more than 200 historic sites across the country.

From theaters and museums to plazas and marquees from Seattle to Miami, Partners in Preservation: Main Streets will inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places in Main Street corridors. Each local partner received a grant of $20,000 to increase public awareness of the importance of these historic places and build grassroots support for their Main Street district.

The 25 cities with Main Street districts in contention for Partners in Preservation: Main Streets grants include:

Atlanta, Georgia
Sweet Auburn Works seeks to transform Bryant Graves House into an information center for visitors. This project would help introduce visitors to the local businesses and organizations that define Sweet Auburn.

Birmingham, Alabama
REV Birmingham seeks to install a 42-foot vertical marquee on the Historic Alabama Theatre. This project would restore the façade of the theatre to its original appearance and light-up downtown Birmingham.

Boston, Massachusetts
Upham’s Corner Main Street seeks to transform the Pierce Building into a business incubator and convert the Streetcar Comfort Station into a bike repair store and coffee shop. This project would create a vibrant hub within Dorchester’s Arts and Culture Innovation District.

Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Old Town Cape, Inc. seeks to revitalize the bandstand and surrounding park landscape in Ivers Square. This project would honor the neighborhood’s history and attract visitors.

Casa Grande, Arizona
Casa Grande Main Street seeks to create a new Vintage Neon Sign Park by salvaging historic neon signs from throughout the community. The park would serve as a vibrant downtown destination for visitors.

Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Preservation Association seeks to restore the Woodward Theater’s historic marquee. This project would attract visitors and make the theater a shining beacon in Over-the-Rhine.

Detroit, Michigan
Live6 seeks to transform The Treehouse into a unique gathering and performance space. This project would create a much-needed venue for the Livernois/6 Mile community to come together.

Franklin, Tennessee
The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County seeks to rehabilitate Dr. McPhail Office as a space for local programming and visitor services. This project would share Franklin’s history and highlight the positive impact of preservation on the community.

Greensboro, North Carolina
Downtown Greensboro, Inc. seeks to replace the iconic Carolina Theatre’s worn seats with art deco-style seats that increase capacity and restore historic charm. This project would ensure the theatre remains the “Showplace of the Carolinas” for years to come.

Hyde Park, Illinois
The Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce and Hyde Park Historical Society seek to complete renovations on the Cable Car Building. Through this project, the community would continue to have access to a museum and meeting space.

Las Vegas, New Mexico
Main Street de Las Vegas seeks to restore the E. Romero Hose and Fire Building to serve as a firefighting and acequia system museum. This project would commemorate the stories of the town’s founders and their efforts to protect their community.

Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Conservancy seeks to rehabilitate the trolley car of the Formosa Cafe along Route 66. This project would ensure a beloved West Hollywood icon is saved for future generations.

McKinney, Texas
Main Street McKinney seeks to rehabilitate the exterior of the McKinney Performing Arts Center in the Collin County Courthouse. This project would enhance visitors’ experiences for generations to come.

Miami, Florida
The City of Miami seeks to renovate and paint the exterior of the Manuel Artime Theater. This project would ensure the theater continues to be a place where the vibrancy of Little Havana comes alive.

New Orleans, Louisiana
Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants and Business Association seeks to restore the façade of Old McCrory’s Store. This project would repurpose the space for retail and nonprofit business use and commemorate the 1960 boycott of discriminatory hiring practices.

New York, New York
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation seeks to rehabilitate the façade and make structural improvements to the Sheffield Farms Bottling Plant in Restoration Plaza. This project would ensure that the plaza remains at the heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Downtown OKC Initiatives seeks to restore the Yale Theatre to its original appearance. This project would breathe new life into a key attraction, providing a draw for tourism and new entertainment opportunities to the surrounding area.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Germantown United CDC seeks to rehabilitate the façade and make structural improvements to significant 20th-century African-American landmarks in the Germantown neighborhood, including the Trower Building and Parker Hall. This project would increase visitation to Germantown and community pride.

Richmond, California
The Richmond Main Street Initiative seeks to install a marquee on the Market Street Mall’s Façade. This project would create a bright light illuminating the neighborhood’s charm and welcoming visitors.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Studio Elevn seeks to rehabilitate three historic buildings in the Granary District. This project would provide space for artists, designers and entrepreneurs to gather, work and celebrate.

San Diego, California
North Park Main Street seeks to reveal the original façade of the Stevens-Hartley Annex, which has been hidden behind a wall for decades. This project would further beautify one of San Diego’s most celebrated streets.

Seattle, Washington
Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area seeks to restore disappearing historic signs throughout Seattle’s historic Chinatown-International District. This project would help tell the story of this iconic, diverse neighborhood.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Main Street Steamboat Springs seeks to restore and repurpose a historic caboose as an artist-in-residence studio and gateway to Main Street. This project would serve as a landmark for the city’s Creative District.

Washington, D.C.
Shaw Main Streets seeks to restore the original storefront façade of the James Hughes Building. This project would transform a hidden treasure into a gem for visitors to Shaw.

West Des Moines, Iowa
The Historic Valley Junction Foundation seeks to restore the façade, first-floor storefront and marquee of the Lyric Theater. This project would further emphasize the historic gathering place as an icon of main street.

For more information and to vote daily through October 31, the public is encouraged to visit

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Chesapeake Conservancy Joins 1% for the Planet Network

Press Release – (Annapolis, Md.) – Chesapeake Conservancy today was accepted as a nonprofit partner of the 1% for the Planet network, an initiative that connects businesses, individuals, and nonprofits to accelerate environmental giving.

The 1% for the Planet network includes more than 1,200 member businesses, hundreds of individual members, and thousands of nonprofit partners in more than 40 countries. After vetting environmental nonprofits, 1% for the Planet connects them to business members aligned with their business goals. The network’s business and individual members engage directly with approved nonprofit partners, providing financial donations, volunteer time, in-kind donations, and other shared-value collaborations.

“Nonprofit organizations play a unique and critical role in solving the many challenges facing our planet. Our driving goal is to increase support for these activist organizations by engaging businesses as funders and partners in the work. We believe deeply that by coming together, by connecting dollars with doers, we can create positive solutions to the complex environmental problems of our time,” 1% for the Planet CEO Kate Williams said.

Chesapeake Conservancy was nominated as a nonprofit partner by Patagonia, the founding member of the 1% for the Planet initiative. The clothing company and Annapolis-based environmental nonprofit partnered together to promote the designation of Mallows Bay-Potomac River as a National Marine Sanctuary at REI’s flagship store in Washington, D.C.

Chesapeake Conservancy Director of Development Melissa Ehrenreich said the organization looks forward to connecting with member businesses and individuals that share the Conservancy’s vision of conservation through innovation.

“Chesapeake Conservancy is honored to join the 1% for the Planet network where membership is measured by impact. We leverage technology to get results for conservation in ways that make sense for the planet, people, and local businesses,” Ehrenreich said. “We are proud to have been nominated as a 1% for the Planet nonprofit partner by Patagonia. We share their vision that with smart, effective strategies we can all be part of the solution to help save the places that matter for future generations.”

For more information on 1% for the Planet visit

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The Y Highlights “Us” in Communities Across the U.S. Through Second Phase of Nationwide Campaign

“For a better us.” campaign creative focuses on uniting people and strengthening community bonds through programs and resources available at the Y

Press Release – CHICAGO, (September 25, 2017)—Today, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) launches the second phase of “For a better us.,” a multimedia positioning campaign that focuses on nationwide unity and strengthening community bonds through programs and resources available at 2,700 Ys across the country. The campaign, which first launched in 2016, aims to change perceptions about the Y and raise awareness that the Y is one of the most effective and enduring nonprofit organizations in the country. In more than 10,000 communities across the country, the Y focuses on strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

The campaign includes a powerful television commercial entitled, “Us.” “Us” takes viewers on a journey that explores what the idea of “us” means in our country, the ways in which our bonds are fraying, and how the Y helps make them whole again through safe spaces, community outreach, mentorship, volunteerism and more. “Us” builds off the spots “Places” and “Idle Hands,” each of which depicts different problems communities face today and how the work of the Y helps.

“’Us’ is based on a key insight about the things people across the country are experiencing, from anxiety to social isolation, to a lack of empathy,” said Valerie Barker Waller, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Y-USA. “We want the country to know that, among the daily struggles, the Y is there—to bring people together, to help find common ground and to address pressing social issues that so many communities are facing.”

Earlier today, the television commercial aired on multiple broadcast networks including ABC, CBS and NBC. The Y collaborated with New York City-based creative agency Droga5 to produce the commercial, which was directed by Malik Vitthal. In addition to Droga5, WME | IMG’s strategic communications group, Catalyst, along with Kelly Scott Madison Media (KSM) worked collaboratively to support and promote the campaign.

In addition to the television commercial, the campaign includes several radio spots, digital assets and social media content, all which feature kids, adults and families who are members of the Y. These assets will run across several radio and digital channels as well as a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To further raise awareness and socially spread the message, Ys across the country will challenge people to interact with someone new and share their stories via social media beginning in late September.

“This phase of our positioning campaign expresses exactly why the Y is an integral part of thousands of communities across the U.S.,” said Kevin Washington, President and CEO, Y-USA. “The Y is a safe space, a positive influence in the community and a bright spot in a sometimes-dark world. We aim to inspire communities and bring together people from all backgrounds, races, religions and more so everyone can find common ground and feel a sense of belonging.”

The “For a better us.” campaign is a multi-year, multi-faceted effort to engage more people with the Y and its cause of strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

For more information about the Y and to donate, visit

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Kaiser Permanente Pledges $1 Million to Mexico Earthquake Aid

Contributions to International Medical Corps will support immediate relief and recovery efforts

Press Release – OAKLAND, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente today pledged $1 million to support first responders’ efforts in Mexico following multiple destructive earthquakes in the last few weeks.

The contribution from the nation’s largest integrated health system will go to International Medical Corps, a global humanitarian nonprofit organization established by volunteer physicians in 1984. Kaiser Permanente’s contribution will help International Medical Corps conduct an on-the-ground assessment of needs in the affected areas and assist with local relief and recovery efforts, including support for the mental health and wellness needs of those impacted.

“Our hearts are with all those affected by the devastation and loss of life from the earthquakes that struck central Mexico,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief community health officer for Kaiser Permanente. “Many of our employees and members have loved ones in the areas that were impacted. We felt it was imperative that we offer our help and resources in this critical time of need.”

Both organizations are sending disaster response experts and medical professionals to Mexico City on Tuesday, September 26, to support immediate relief and recovery efforts.

“Kaiser Permanente’s extraordinary commitment to deploy staff and their swift and generous support will ensure that International Medical Corps can help meet families’ greatest needs and mobilize health care, supplies and other assistance that will help communities in Mexico as they begin to recover and rebuild,” said Nancy Aossey, President & CEO of International Medical Corps.

As Kaiser Permanente supports these efforts in Mexico, the organization continues to monitor the areas impacted by this year’s extreme hurricane season. On September 5, Kaiser Permanente gave a donation to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:

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DeVos Rescinds Critical Title IX Guidance

Press Release –


“Today’s Department of Education’s decision to rescind a Title IX guidance on sexual assault in schools truly fails victims of sexual violence. This interim guidance will place additional, undue burdens on survivors by changing the evidence standards of a case. While Secretary Betsy DeVos set out to create a fairer process for the accused, she is effectively tipping the scales even further in favor of assailants. By placing the burden of proof on the victim, this guidance ensures that fewer students will pursue justice and very few will receive it. In addition, her choice to continually refer to sexual assault as “sexual misconduct” undermines the experiences of survivors. Currently, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted during college, but 90 percent of them do not report the crime. We must end gender-based violence, but to do that, we must empower survivors.”


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more:

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Raul Russi Announces $1 Million Donation To Puerto Rico Relief

Acacia Launches DonatePuertoRico/AyudaPuertoRico Campaign

Press Release – New York, NY (September 22, 2017) – Acacia Network, Inc., in response to the most catastrophic hurricane to hit our beloved Island in almost a century, has launched a national relief effort to assist the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the devastation they are experiencing. Acacia Network, the largest Puerto Rican non-profit organization in the U.S., in partnership with Unidos por Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), other organizations, government, and private entities is mobilizing to provide critical relief directly to the victims of Hurricane Maria. Acacia’s leadership and Board have committed $1 million dollars to kick off the AyudaPuertoRico or DonatePuertoRico campaign and request everyone’s support.

The impact of Hurricane Maria will be felt, both on the Island and the mainland, for a long time to come. With the total loss of electric power and catastrophic flood waters, many parts of the Island are uninhabitable. The first response needed at this time is cash donations to assist with their immediate needs — clearing the roads, getting medicine to the sick and injured, and helping the most vulnerable residents, the elderly and the very young. “We plan to have the Acacia team on the first flights to Puerto Rico as a part of our initial response, and to keep you informed,” said Raul Russi, CEO Acacia Network. “We will work onsite with the various communities, people, and entities in Puerto Rico to best determine what is needed and where.”

Acacia has set up donation drop off locations across the city. At this time, there is greatest need for the following. EMERGENCY SUPPLIES: Bottled Water, Baby wipes, Hand sanitizer, Diapers, Canned foods, Dry foods, Baby formula, Garbage bags, Towels, Canned milk, Canned and dry pet food, Baby and adult pain relief medicine, Stomach and Diarrhea relief medicine, Mosquito repellant, Blankets, Pillows, First-aid kits, Laundry detergents, Dish soap, and Cots. CONSTRUCTION SUPPLIES: Extension cords, Ground fault protectors, Pop-up canopies, Shovels, Wheelbarrows, Crowbars, Hammers, Utility knives, Work gloves, Wood panels, Electric generators, Electric cables, Tarp, Ropes, Chainsaws, and Safety glasses. All donations must be 100% sealed and new. Please check expiration dates. We cannot accept donations other than these items or that have expired.

The Acacia team will be arriving into Puerto Rico shortly to ensure that all donations will be delivered immediately to those in need. Daily updates will be provided from the Island to keep you informed. “After the news stops reporting on the aftermath of the Hurricane, we will be there to let you know what is happening,” says Russi. “It will take months, if not years, for all of the people of Puerto Rico to bounce back from the devastation. AyudaPuertoRico will continue providing assistance for as long as our resources will allow.” 100% of ALL donations will go directly to victims of this hurricane. All contributions, no matter how large or small, make a difference. Please visit or for more details on the work being done.

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Launch of the 2nd Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Industry Report

Cultivating growth

Online alternative finance in the Asia-Pacific region grew 136 per cent last year to $245.3 billion, says the second Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Industry Report.

The online alternative finance market in the Asia-Pacific region grew 136 per cent last year to $245.3 billion, led by strong growth in China, the 2nd Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Industry Report reported today (20 September).

The report, entitled Cultivating Growth, was produced by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, the Australian Centre for Financial Studies at the University of Monash Business School in Australia and Tsinghua University in China. Financial support was provided by KPMG Australia, CME Group Foundation and HNA Capital.

China was by far the region’s largest alternative finance market in 2016, at $243.3 billion (up from $101.7 billion in 2015), including $136.5 billion in marketplace/peer-to-peer consumer lending and $57.8 billion in marketplace/peer-to-peer business lending.

After China, Australia emerged as the second largest market in the Asia Pacific with $610 million – a sizable increase on the $398 million from 2015. Combined with New Zealand, which totalled $223 million in 2016, Oceania was the largest regional market in the Asia Pacific outside of China. The Australian market largely consisted of balance sheet business lending ($217 million), peer-to-peer consumer lending ($158 million) and invoice financing ($130 million), while peer-to-peer consumer lending led the way in New Zealand with $163 million in 2016.

Other key markets in the Asia Pacific region in 2016 were Japan at $398 million, South Korea at $376 million, Singapore at $164 million, and India at $124 million.

The alternative finance sector in the Asia-Pacific totalled $102.8 billion in 2015, the first year for the survey, rising to $245.3 billion in 2016.

“The online alternative finance platforms that have emerged across the Asia Pacific since around 2013 have changed the way people, businesses and institutions can access, raise and invest money,” the report says, noting that there was continued growth across most alternative finance platforms across the region last year.

The report is based on data collected from 628 platforms across the Asia-Pacific region, including 463 from China and 165 platforms from the wider region. The data covers around 20 parameters which have been standardised by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance since 2013.

Among the report’s other findings:

  • China continues to see “distinctively low levels” of institutional participation in alternative finance compared to other markets such as the US and UK, with only five per cent of peer-to-peer business lending coming from institutions in 2016. Online lending models in China are led by individual retail lenders.
  • In the Asia Pacific outside of China, about $1.5 billion was raised by businesses through alternative finance channels, up 72 per cent from the previous year, with an estimated 43,000 business entities utilising alternative channels of business finance.
  • In China, 72 per cent of peer-to-peer consumer lending platforms see cyber-attacks as the biggest threat to the industry, while more than 50 per cent across all platforms in China see current and proposed regulatory norms to be adequate.
  • Outside of China, 69 per cent of platforms in Japan see existing regulation as inadequate or too relaxed, while in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia around two thirds of platforms see current regulations as adequate.

“Reviewing these market trends, the alternative finance industry is fast taking root across the Asia Pacific region although with quite divergent and distinct characteristics,” the report says. “The question now going forward is what type of growth must now be cultivated across the Asia Pacific region over the coming years to realise the benefits offered by the alternative finance industry.”

Bryan Zhang

Bryan Zhang, Co-Founder and Interim Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, said: “As the online alternative finance market continues to grow, it is perhaps more imperative than ever to explore what kind of growth is desired and needs to be achieved…. To have a long-term, sustainable and inclusive growth, online alternative finance industry needs to adhere to best practices and cultivate trust, keep innovating in products and services and provide returns to investors.”

Ian Pollari, Global Co-Leader, KPMG FinTech Practice, added: “The innovative digitisation of financial services by Alt-Fi platforms is lowering transaction costs, enhancing convenience for customers, and increasing access to credit and investments for underserved segments. Australia has an opportunity to lead the way, but we must proceed mindfully. Regulation can have a profound impact on the development of the sector. For example, the uncertain regulatory environment for equity crowdfunding, ahead of legislation taking affect this year, no doubt contributed to a notable drop in activity in 2016. This underscores the vulnerabilities that might impede future growth which need to be identified, understood and prudently managed for the long-term viability of Australia’s alternative finance industry,” he said.

Kieran Garvey

Kieran Garvey, Head of Regulation & Policy at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance said: “The Asia Pacific region was the world’s largest online alternative finance market in 2016 as in 2015. This report however demonstrates vast differences between countries in this region. China leads the alternative finance industry in terms of total market activity and this has no doubt led to increased financial inclusion amongst businesses and consumers there. Perhaps one of the most interesting developments over the coming years will be the extent that China’s leading platforms can export their alternative finance models to the wider Asia Pacific region – a trend that is really yet to emerge.”


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Johns Hopkins All Children’s Welcomes New Board Officers for Hospital and Foundation

Press Release – St. Petersburg, Fla. – September 20, 2017 – Johns Hopkins All Children’s welcomes new officers to its two community boards for the hospital and foundation. The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees guides the vision of major hospital decisions and is led by Sandra Diamond, partner at Williamson, Diamond & Caton Law Firm. The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation Board of Trustees is responsible for guiding fundraising and is led by Courtland James, EVP, Eagle Asset Management.


  • Sandra Diamond Chair Partner, Williamson, Diamond & Caton Law Firm
  • William R. Lane, Jr. Vice Chair Partner, Holland & Knight
  • Jack W. Kirkland, Jr. Treasurer Director, Tax Group, CBIZ Kirkland, Russ, Murphy & Tapp
  • Darryl LeClair Secretary CEO/President/Chairman, Echelon, LLC


  • Courtland James Chair EVP, Eagle Asset Management
  • Bonnie Strickland Secretary President, The Strickland Property Group
  • Alex Shouppe Vice Chair EVP, Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc.
  • Ray E. Newton, III Treasurer Private Investor

About Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg is a leader in children’s health care, combining a legacy of compassionate care focused solely on children since 1926 with the innovation and experience of one of the world’s leading health care systems. The 259-bed teaching hospital, ranked as a U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital, stands at the forefront of discovery, leading innovative research to cure and prevent childhood diseases while training the next generation of pediatric experts. With a network of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care centers and collaborative care provided by All Children’s Specialty Physicians at regional hospitals, Johns Hopkins All Children’s brings care closer to home. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital consistently keeps the patient and family at the center of care while continuing to expand its mission in treatment, research, education and advocacy. For more information, visit

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PressureStim a Leonhardt Ventures Co. Announces Licensing of Patent Portfolio for Bioelectric Blood Pressure Management from Neuro Code Tech Holdings LLC Expanding Its Intellectual Property Estate.

Press Release – Santa Monica, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 22nd, 2017 – PressureStim, an emerging leader in bioelectric blood pressure management announced today that the Company has entered into an option agreement that leads to an exclusive license with Neuro Code Tech Holdings LLC for key pioneering patents in the field of bioelectric management of blood pressure. PressureStim is a unit of Leonhardt Ventures which is incubating in Leonhardt’s Launchpads by Cal-X Star Business Accelerator, Inc. and Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc.

Implantable method to regulate blood pressure by means of coded nerve signals

Patent number: 6957106
Abstract: A method and device for modulating blood pressure. The method comprises selecting waveforms from a storage area that are representative of body organ function. The selected waveforms are then transmitted to a treatment member, which is in direct contact with the body, and which then broadcasts the waveforms to a blood pressure regulatory points within the body to modulate blood pressure. A control module is provided for transmission to the treatment member. The control module contains the waveforms which are selected and transmitted to the treatment member, and computer storage can be provided for greater storage capacity and manipulation of the waveforms.

Type: Grant
Filed: February 18, 2004
Date of Patent: October 18, 2005
Inventors: Eleanor Schuler, Claude K. Lee

Implantable method to regulate blood pressure by means of coded nerve signals

Publication number: 20040236238

Abstract: A method and device for modulating blood pressure. The method comprises selecting waveforms from a storage area that are representative of body organ function. The selected waveforms are then transmitted to a treatment member, which is in direct contact with the body, and which then broadcasts the waveforms to a blood pressure regulatory points within the body to modulate blood pressure. A control module is provided for transmission to the treatment member. The control module contains the waveforms which are selected and transmitted to the treatment member, and computer storage can be provided for greater storage capacity and manipulation of the waveforms.

Type: Application
Filed: February 18, 2004
Publication date: November 25, 2004
Inventors: Eleanor Schuler, Claude K. Lee

“By licensing these patents that relate to PressureStim bioelectric blood pressure management technology, PressureStim continues to build upon its emerging technology and defend its platform technology platform as we simultaneously move forward step by step to meet all requirements with regulatory authorities to be able initiate studies that will investigate the PressureStim device in both OUS and U.S. clinical trials.” stated Howard J. Leonhardt, Founder, Executive Chairman and CEO.

“Hypertension is an enormous healthcare problem, with 30% of American adults having hypertension. About half of hypertensive adults in the US have their blood pressure under control while the other half remain at an unhealthy level. Hypertension is a major and independent contributor to cardiovascular events, increasing the risk of CHD, heart failure, and stroke from two- to four-fold. Isolated systolic hypertension is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular mortality and is the most prevalent precursor to heart failure in the elderly population. Treatment of isolated systolic hypertension has been shown to decrease the incidence of stroke, MI, heart failure, and kidney failure in a number of clinical trials in older patients. The high rate of un-manageable hypertension despite all the drugs on the market targeting this condition strongly suggests that a better alternative is needed. We are prepared to enter careful pre-clinical and then clinical studies over the next many years to determine whether PressureStim is indeed a worthy alternative. Independent studies in China and other locations by earlier investigators of bioelectric stimulation have demonstrated improvement in blood pressure management – see for additional information. We believe, based on our internal lab studies, we have refined the preciseness of bioelectric signaling beyond those earlier studies to have more accurate control of expressions of particular beneficial proteins on demand.” stated Dr. Leslie Miller, Chief Medical Officer, PressureStim

“This additional intellectual property from Neuro Code Tech Holdings LLC and Science Medicus, Inc. expands the breadth of the Company’s already comprehensive bioelectric organ regeneration and recovery patent portfolio, which portfolio includes inventions relating to critical aspects of bioelectric stimulation controlled stem cell homing, proliferation and differentiation as well as more than 16 different regeneration promoting proteins, cancer tumor treatment and accelerated tooth movement and stabilization.” states Asli Gozoren Director of Investor Relations.

About PressureStim LTP

PressureStim LTP is a Licensable Technology Platform startup incubating within the Leonhardt’s Launchpads innovation and startup accelerators in California and Utah. It is focused on bioelectric treatment of hypertension via a patented and patent pending bioelectric stimulator technology platform. PressureStim LTP is majority owned by Leonhardt Ventures (Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures). See

About Leonhardt’s Launchpads by Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc.

Leonhardt’s Launchpads is an innovation and startup launch accelerator focused on regenerative medtech innovations which began operations in Northern California in 2008 and opened up in Santa Monica, California in 2012 and in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2015. Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. was incorporated in California in 2013 and in Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc was incorporated in Utah in 2016. The accelerator/incubators in three locations currently have 26 regenerative medtech and 4 regenerative economy startups and licensable technology platforms (LTP’s) in their 2017 portfolio. Nearly all of the organ regeneration and recovery startups are based on the same core patented and patent pending technology of a bioelectric stimulator often combined with a micro infusion pump and a multi component stem cell + growth factor based organ regeneration composition. The business model of our innovation and startup accelerators is to advance each organ specific startup through first-in-man studies and then seek a strategic buyer/parter preferably with a 3% royalty forward on net sales. The maximum amount of time a startup normally stays within the innovation & startup accelerators is 5 years. The innovation accelerators have access to research labs in Santa Monica, Salt Lake City and Petaluma California. In Utah we are a member of USTAR’s BioInnovation Gateway laboratory with access to a number of other research facilities. See + for more information.

About Leonhardt Ventures

Leonhardt Ventures was originally founded in 1982 as H.J. Leonhardt & Co. and was formed into a California LLC (Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures) in 2005. It is 100% owned by Howard J. Leonhardt and is the origin firm for his innovations, patents, concepts and startups. Howard J. Leonhardt is an inventor with over 20 issued patents and dozens of new patent claims pending. In the 1980’s he patented and developed a market leading predictably compliant cardiovascular balloon catheter – PolyCath, in the 1990’s the first percutaneous heart valve – ValveStent, the first intravascular lung catheter – PENSIL, one of the first stem cell delivery catheters – ProCell, a electromagentic radiation delivery catheter – RadiCath and the first commercially successful stent graft – TALENT and one of the first biological pacemakers – BioPace. In 1995 he led a team the completed the world’s first percutaneous repair of an aortic aneurysm in Australia with Dr. Kenneth Thomson. In 1998 he lead a team that published the first paper in the New England Journal of Medicine with Dr. Christof Niebaber of endovascular repair of aortic Type B dissections, in 1999 he helped lead a team that published the first paper on bioelectric regeneration of blood flow in ischemic legs in CIRCULATION and resulting U.S. issued patent claims working with Dr. Shinichi Kanno, In 2000 he began filing the first series of patents on bioelectric driven organ regeneration combined when necessary with a micro infusion pump and repeat deliveries of a mixed stem cell + growth factor organ regeneration composition. In 2001 he helped lead the historic landmark world’s first non-surgical stem cell repair of a human heart in The Netherlands with Prof. Patrick Serruys. Over 400,000 patients have been treated with Leonhardt inventions to date in over 40 countries.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations, as of the date of this press release, and involve certain risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include statements herein with respect to the successful execution of the Company’s business strategy, the Company’s ability to develop and grow its business, the successful development of bioelectric or cellular therapies with respect to the Company’s research and development and pre-clinical + clinical evaluation efforts in connection with the Company’s bioelectric organ regeneration and recovery programs (including whether or not PressureStim will successfully be developed to treat metastatic melanoma or any other cancer indications), Ischemic Repair Program, Immune Modulation Program and other cell therapies, the future of the regenerative medicine industry and the role of stem cells and cellular therapy in that industry and the performance and planned expansion of the Company’s contract development and manufacturing business. The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that could cause future results to materially differ from the recent results or those projected in forward-looking statements include the “Risk Factors” described in the Company’s Annual Report, Private Placement Memorandums and newsletter updates and in the Company’s other periodic filings with the SEC and state agencies. The Company’s further development is highly dependent on future medical and research developments and market acceptance, which is outside its control. The innovation accelerator business model based on simultaneously developing 30+ products and startups at once with a small staff and a small budget leaves the company at greater risks than other stand alone startups. Information on all associated web sites may not always be up to date and accurate. If you have any specific questions please write directly to our CEO at or Asli Gozoren our Director of Investor Relations at

Link to Leonhardt Ventures 2017 Annual Report >

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