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Alan Schneider Celebrates 15 Years as Owner of Minuteman Press Franchise in Northvale, NJ

Minuteman Press International Inc

The Minuteman Press franchise in Northvale, NJ has been operating for over 40 years. Alan Schneider and his wife Nadine are celebrating 15 years as owners and share their insights and reflections. Minuteman Press in Northvale, NJ is located at 202 Livingston Street, Northvale, NJ 07647. Congrats on 15 years! What does this milestone mean to you and what are the keys to your success and longevity? Nadine and Alan: “This is a tremendous milestone for us. Although we have hit this milestone in our tenure, the shop has been in business for over 40 years in this community. We are well known and very involved in the town. For years, people were saying the printing industry was dying. Then the pandemic hit and I think everyone feared a little bit for the future. However, I have to say that I never expected the bounce back from the pandemic to be such a boon for business. I think people realized that community is important, supporting local business is important, and although online marketing has a place, it’s not the only game in town. Print is still king. The keys to our success and longevity are: providing a warm and friendly place to do business; being knowledgeable about our products and services; letting our clients know that their success is important to us and we are here to help them; caring about our clients as people—not just as customers; and, most importantly, reliability and integrity.” What are some of the key ways you’ve grown your business? Nadine and Alan: “Believe it or not, the pandemic was a blessing for our business. It forced us to take critical look at how we were operating. We took a hard look at our numbers, and strategized on what we could do better in both operations and marketing. On the operational side, we cut out some of the fat and streamlined things where needed.” Alan: “My wife, Nadine, has an MBA in marketing and has owned a marketing and graphic design business for 15+ years. She joined me in our Northvale, NJ location and is providing all the graphic design services. Not only was this a strategic financial/operational move, it was the best marketing move we could have made. We are now truly a marketing, design and printing company – a one-stop shop!” Nadine and Alan: “Our clients are provided with a free consultation on the best ways to market their business. We do the strategy, design and printing. When the clients see the results, they come back for additional products and services—and they tell their friends! The savings we realized from our reduction in payroll was also reinvested in the business by increasing our participation in the SEO/Internet marketing program. We are starting to see an uptick in our internet leads! A couple of other cool things… Last year, we expanded our marketing strategy by promoting ourselves as a local family business. Our holiday cards now feature our family photo – myself, Nadine, and our 4 grown children. The theme is, Family is everything. We appreciate you being part of ours. I can’t tell you how many compliments we received on that card. People feel like they know our family, and always ask how our kids are doing. This year, we will be planning a marketing program to celebrate my birthday on October 26 th. Why? Because we found out that it’s also National Printing Day! We are going to have a lot of fun with that. We also do a lot of in-person networking by being active in our home and business communities. We are BNI members and directors, are involved with many not-for-profits, serve on the boards of the local Chambers of Commerce, and are Auxiliary Police Officers in our hometown. We are always visible helping the community in whatever way we can.” What are your high-demand products and services? Nadine and Alan: “We do a ton of direct mail, particularly EDDM. Although the program has been around for years, it’s really been gaining traction since the pandemic. Once our clients see how well direct mail works for them, they either expand their reach or frequency…or both. We help them build their customer lists as a result of their EDDM efforts, then assist them with targeted direct mail programs to these new customers. We are proud to say that many of our clients credit us with helping them build their businesses through direct mail. They refer to us as the direct mail experts! We also began heavily promoting branded apparel. It’s featured in the front of our store, and we make a point of mentioning it to our clients when they come into the shop. Once we learn about their business, we suggest what types of apparel and promotional items they may want to consider to boost their brand awareness.” What are your key growth areas? Nadine and Alan: “Again, direct mail and apparel are huge for us. Design as well. Our previous graphic designer was more of a layout/production person. Nadine is a true creative. Everything we do for a client now has a marketing strategy behind it, and a creative, eye-catching design. Clients who come in with their ideas are truly blown away by how we bring their visions to life. One successful campaign for a client usually snowballs into more business—and more referrals! But our true measure of success is knowing how we are helping our clients grow their businesses.” How would you best describe your community? Nadine and Alan: “Northvale, NJ is one square mile in area, right on the New York State border. The community is comprised of mostly residential homes, a small downtown with shopping and a handful of light industrial/manufacturing. Since it’s a small-town area, we focus on serving the local trades, retail stores, restaurants, professional services and industrial businesses. We have also built a client list outside of our small regional area by creating relationships with professionals that can provide us with ongoing business.” Why do you think printing remains so vital to businesses today? What are the benefits of print? Nadine and Alan: “Several years ago, email marketing became extremely popular because it was free. Today, in-boxes are flooded with messages that are deleted before they are even opened. A wasted marketing effort, even though it is ‘free.’ With print, your message is tangible. A direct mail piece in someone’s mailbox is handled – even if it is eventually discarded. Someone saw it, and handled it. Print is the ultimate conversation-starter. Hand someone a brochure, mail them a postcard, or even embroider your company name on your polo – and you are now visible to them. The most successful businesses rely on print for the majority of their marketing, so it is definitely here to stay.” What was your background before franchising? Alan: “I owned a food distribution company prior to owning a Minuteman Press. I wanted something new, but I still wanted to be a business owner. I chose Minuteman Press because of the company’s reputation for training and support of its franchisees. Also, printing is a consumable business which means repeat business.” What has the support from Minuteman Press International been like for you? Nadine and Alan: “Pick up the phone, send an email, and someone is there to help. The conventions are invaluable. We always come back learning something new, whether it’s from corporate or fellow owners. We look forward to seeing everyone, and meeting new people. It’s like a family reunion! We’ve also come back with new vendors to try which really had an impact on our business.” What are the biggest rewards of owning your business? Nadine and Alan: “Being an integral part of other people’s businesses and helping them achieve their goals. Also, being part of the community.” What advice would you give to others? Nadine and Alan: “Be professional and be persistent!” Minuteman Press in Northvale, NJ is located at 202 Livingston Street, Northvale, NJ 07647. For more information, visit their website: https://minuteman.com/us/locations/nj/northvale/ Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and read Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com. Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

February 06, 2023 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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AI-Generated Cover Art and Article Surprise Readers of NCMA’s Contract Management Magazine

National Contract Management Association

Only by reading to the end of “AI Is Coming for Contracting,” the February cover story, did Contract Management Magazine readers learn the truth about author Annaliese Trenchfield. “She” was an amalgam of generative artificial intelligences. In a first-ever test, the editors of the National Contract Management Association’s (NCMA) flagship magazine used Open AI’s DALL-E2 to create the cover image and the same company’s Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT3) model to write the cover story. “What better way to bring home to government and industry contracting professionals AI’s growing potential to alter their work and careers than by showing them what it can do?” said NCMA CEO Kraig Conrad. “The slightly ominous nature of the cover art was intentional,” he added. “All of us quickly must adjust to AI augmenting our work. But as “Ms. Trenchfield” made clear, rumors of human replacement are greatly exaggerated... for now.” The cover package details current AI applications in government contracting. It was brought to life by Contract Management Editor in Chief Anne Laurent with the support of John Ferry, CEO of Trenchant Analytics, (TAC), which is prototyping an AI-powered contract writing application, AcqBot, for the Department of Defense. “I had seen Cosmopolitan magazine’s DALL-E2-generated astronaut cover, and I thought, why not go all the way, and have AI generate a cover image and story about AI in contracting,” Laurent said. “Almost immediately after ChatGPT went public last November, contracting folks began musing on social media about using at work. So, I knew there was an appetite for exploring AI.” Just a day after Laurent posted it on LinkedIn, the cover package had attracted thousand of impressions, the equivalent of going viral for an article about contracting. “It was averaging 100 hits an hour for the first day or so,” she said. “My post didn’t give away the surprise, but I did advise people to read all the way to the end of the story where Trenchfield’s “bio” appeared.” Ferry, who prompted DALL-E2 to produce the cover illustration and article, generated 1,580 images to find the cover image. “Each prompt produces four images, so that comes to 395 individual prompts,” he said. Like many ChatGPT users, Ferry quickly discovered the limits of AI language models. Asked to write about the use of robotic process automation in government and provide web links and citations, “GPT-3 gave me 50 or more very official-sounding system names complete with acronyms, military service sponsors, and website links. All were completely fictitious,” he said. View the full February issue. For more on the story behind the February cover, look for the March issue of Contract Management, coming soon. # # # The National Contract Management Association (NCMA), founded in 1959, is the world's leading association in the contract management field. With more than 18,000 members, NCMA is dedicated to the professional growth and educational advancement of procurement and acquisition personnel worldwide. NCMA strives to serve and inform the profession in government and industry by offering opportunities for open exchange of ideas in neutral forums. NCMA's Contract Management Standard is the foundation of foundation contracting training for the entire U.S. government. To learn more, please visit www.ncmahq.org. Contact Details Dominick Belfiore, Director of Operations and Special Projects +1 571-207-5151 dominick.belfiore@ncmahq.org Company Website https://www.ncmahq.org/

February 06, 2023 10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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NASDAQ-Listed HeartCore Inc. Looks Back On The Past Year With Pride

HeartCore Enterprises

By David Willey, Benzinga As the market settles into its new year, companies are gearing up for the fresh challenge of a new quarter and are looking to build on the successes of the past twelve months. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company HeartCore Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: HTCR) may have every reason to look back with pride as it takes stock of a previous year filled with exciting developments that could point to a promising 2023. The looming recession has given the 2022 market its share of difficulties, but Japan-based HeartCore has had some wins throughout the year. A digital transformation, customer experience management and IPO consulting company, HeartCore has established itself in a software business and services market worth over $121 billion. Other companies in the space include Infobird Co. (NASDAQ: IFBD), Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN) and HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS). The first half of the year saw exciting developments for the company as HeartCore became only the third Japanese company to list on the NASDAQ market. It has since launched “ Go IPO ” - a consulting service to help other Japanese companies navigate the complex processes of making an initial public offering (IPO). As part of its consultancy expertise, HeartCore signed a consulting and services agreement with SBC Medical Group, Inc. (SBC) to aid in SBC’s uplisting process. The company expects to generate $900,000 in sales fees through this and several similar service agreements. Looking Back On 2022 - And Forward To 2023 As per the company’s Q1 report for 2022, the company saw a gross profit increase of 74%, gross proceeds from the IPO totaling $15 million, and a global enterprise customer base increase to 858 over the first quarter. Confident in the trajectory of the company’s growth, the board then authorized a share buyback of $3.5 million. The company launched a couple of major products and services over the year, including its e-commerce Robot Store which provides Robot Automation Processes (RPA) services. These RPA bots are part of HeartCore’s digital transformative services to help clients automate and integrate key tasks, such as invoice processing, employee onboarding, ERP data entry, and more. It also launched its truRes-12K. The company says this product is the first 360° real-time virtual reality (VR) camera that is compatible with 12k resolution. Compared with alternative cameras that capture in 4 or 8k, the product offers a high-resolution VR experience which the company especially markets to the medical, manufacturing, aerospace, e-commerce and travel sectors. HeartCore also recently acquired the American information technology (IT) company Sigmaways. This important acquisition represents a vertical integration for the company, providing HeartCore with in-house solutions it previously outsourced. It extends the company’s digital solutions, and both companies profit from cross-selling and upselling to their respective client bases. At the end of October, the company licensed its product Apromore to Japanese tech company Transcosmos Digital Technology Inc. (TCDT). This advanced process mining tool will provide TCDT with increased business visualization and is part of HeartCore’s commitment to providing businesses with cutting-edge digital transformations. The company has plans to build on this past year of development and growth as it advances into 2023. To learn more about HeartCore, visit its website. This article was originally published on Benzinga here. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, HeartCore Enterprises, Inc. is a leading software development company offering Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to enterprise customers in Japan and worldwide. The Company also provides data analytics to create tailored web experiences for their enterprise clients. HeartCore’s customer experience management platform (CXM Platform) includes marketing, sales, service, and content management systems, as well as other tools and integrations, which enable companies to enhance the customer experience and drive engagement. HeartCore also operates a digital transformation business that provides customers with robotics process automation, process mining, and task mining to accelerate the digital transformation of enterprises. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice. Contact Details TraDigital IR - Malaika Temu malaika@tradigitalir.com Company Website https://heartcore-enterprises.com/

February 06, 2023 09:45 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Inkle raises $1.5M to power tax & accounting for US cross-border companies

Inkle

Almost half of the 20,000 US companies created on Stripe’s Atlas incorporation platform alone (of which almost 10,000 were formed in the year leading up to June 2021) were created by non-US-based founders. In helping these founders (and those based in the US) navigate the US regulatory environment, human chat-based US CPA SaaS product Inkle is today announcing a $1.5 million pre-seed funding round to help these companies handle bookkeeping, tax, and compliance filings through its software solution for US cross-border companies. Picus Capital, Saison Capital and Force Ventures participated in the funding round. Cross-border companies with a US parent holding company often struggle with back-office administration. The Big Four are too expensive, and smaller CPA firms are not able to cover everything or use the legacy solutions and rely on email, Google Drives and third-party generic tools to meet the growing regulatory demands. As a result, small cross-border companies are left in a grossly underserved market with slow, expensive, disorganized, often unresponsive and unaffordable service providers. It also leaves gaps, requiring customers to patch together several consultants and solutions. Add multiple entities and time-zone issues, and it quickly becomes chaotic, resulting in missed deadlines and an unnecessary management burden. Inkle was co-founded in late 2021 by British entrepreneur Anand Krishna after experiencing the tedious headache of managing tax and bookkeeping for several US entities which he had launched, and Ranvir Singh joined him in 2022. In creating an efficient approach to regulatory demands, Anand felt human chat was the need of the day. Inkle is an asynchronous human chat platform that combines a strong accounting outsourcing industry (based in India), with an English-speaking workforce, cost arbitrage, and SaaS engineering know-how - creating the perfect ingredients to address a major pain point. Anand was most recently the Co-Founder & CEO of Index, a personal finance mobile app company which was acquired in 2021 by Tencent-backed Niyo. Prior to this, he co-founded a Y Combinator-backed fintech company having spent a decade at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Vedanta Resources Group. Ranvir Singh was the first employee at Inkle and has recently been appointed Co-Founder & CTO, having architected the Inkle tech stack. Previously he was at Paytm where he helped build and scale Paytm Chat to tens of millions of users. Inkle CEO and Co-Founder, Anand Krishna commented: “Just over a year into our journey, and despite us starting during the pandemic and a global recession, hundreds of US companies onboarded and are now happier with our human chat-based approach to handling their back-office headaches; our CPA teams are delighted with 10x new business volumes without a need to hire extra staff or put any effort into acquiring customers; and we’ve built a dominant position in one focused corridor with solid revenue growth. And yet the customer now gets to pay less than ever before. It’s a win-win-win situation. Software will revolutionise this massive space, which is perfect for disruption by Inkle - building and delivering from right here in Bengaluru for the world. We’re delighted to partner with our first investors to prove we can do the same in other corridors now. Inkle’s full-stack software and collaborative features creates a scalable, on-demand and affordable back office for global companies. It is powered by highly experienced independent US-licensed, India-based CPA teams with decades of global accounting and tax experience. These are independent practitioner-led outsourced teams who are able to rapidly scale up on demand. Customers can manage and track their filings from anywhere. The platform offers asynchronous human chat with bookkeepers and CPAs and clear dashboards with deadline alerts, team collaboration, secure corporate document vault, and transparent billing. Inkle’s newly launched bookkeeping ledger - Inkle Books - fills a glaring gap by synching to bank feeds on one side and recognised accounting softwares on the other. This gap frustrates bookkeepers and Inkle solves this by introducing transaction-level clarification human chat, merchant recognition and categorisation, attachment automation, transaction-level tax monitoring, a global compliance rule engine and more. The majority of Inkle customers have multiple group entities in various countries, Inkle Books tracks the various intercompany money movements inside the group: transfer pricing, foreign direct investment and royalty, as well as handling complex group consolidation. Inkle also facilitates compliances such as registered agent, mailroom, and state, federal and cross-border regulatory reporting. For its independent CPA team partners on the backend, Inkle superpowers them with advanced practice management and workflow solutions, replacing their reliance on Google Sheets and email. Both the customer and CPA softwares are constantly evolving their modern fresh SaaS interface to seamlessly connect all three sides. Inkle, which was bootstrapped and in stealth until now, has grown revenues 7x in the last year to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Inkle has quietly built a strong leadership position in the US-India corridor (half of all YC companies in India, 3% of all YC companies globally and hundreds of US companies overall use Inkle today). Inkle is now expanding into new corridors such as US-Canada, US-LATAM and new sectors such as crypto taxes. Customers include leading tech companies such as Salesken, Mailmodo, Zoko and DriveTrain. Florian Reichert (Partner and Managing Director at Picus Capital), added, “Given the obligatory nature and zero default requirements in accounting, tax and compliance software tooling is a major customer need and hence also in the current economic climate indispensable. With its full-stack SaaS offering Inkle sits at the intersection of customers, CPAs, accounting tools and authorities clearly making workflows more efficient and less error-prone. We are impressed by what Anand and the team has built in a very lean manner and are thrilled to be supporting Anand on his journey to revolutionize how cross-border companies manage their accounting, taxes and compliance." About Inkle Inkle is a global tax and accounting SaaS startup based in Bengaluru, India and headquartered in Delaware, USA. Inkle provides software to enable US companies created by overseas founders to easily and affordably handle tax, accounting and compliance. About Picus Capital Picus Capital is an international, privately financed venture capital company with headquarters in Munich and offices in New York, Beijing, Berlin, London, Bangalore, Stockholm and São Paulo. Picus predominantly invests in Pre-Seed, Seed and Series A rounds and focuses on technology companies in financial services, HR, energy & climate, healthcare, logistics & mobility, real estate & construction, crypto & web3, deeptech and e-commerce. As an entrepreneurial sparring partner, Picus Capital pursues a long-term investment philosophy and supports founders from the ideation phase to the IPO and beyond. For further information please visit www.picuscap.com and LinkedIn. Contact Details Inkle Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://www.inkle.io/

February 06, 2023 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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BIO-key’s Innovative IAM Solutions Address C-Suite Top Priority – Managing Cyber Risk

BIO-key International, Inc.

By Gita Karunakaran, Benzinga In recent times, the potential threats of ransomware and data breaches have been gaining more attention among corporations around the world. Companies are constantly faced with the threat of loss of control over customer data and the adverse impact of an attack on their brand reputation. This has resulted in cybersecurity risk being elevated to discussions at the most senior levels of corporations. Despite the C-suite attention the subject has garnered in corporate boardrooms, the implementation of suitable risk-mitigating solutions in organizations has seemingly been lagging. Some of the reasons for this could be a lack of understanding of the level of cyber risk an organization is subject to and willing to accept, and thereafter the inability to decide on which cyber security solutions they would need to implement to stay ahead of potential attackers and protect critical data. Companies like BIO-key International Inc. (NASDAQ: BKYI) offer Identity and Access Management (IAM) cybersecurity solutions for enterprises and often play a key role in bridging this gap in understanding by providing their expertise to design customized solutions to suit the individual needs of organizations. Cybersecurity Risk Increasingly Ranks As A Top Corporate Risk Worldwide Potential cyber incidents and business interruption remained the two leading worldwide corporate risk concerns for the second year in a row, according to a report published by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. The report included IBM data showing that ransomware attacks remained the top threat, and the average cost of a data breach hit a record of $4.35 million in 2022, with the cost expected to surpass $5 million this year. While ransomware has become a serious concern – with threat actors engaging in double and triple extortion against companies resulting in reputational harm – another aspect that has equally become an area of consternation is the tightening of regulations surrounding the protection of customer data. Non-compliance with privacy laws and regulations, like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or state laws, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), could result in hefty privacy violation fines adding to the cost of data breaches. With all the attention that cybersecurity breaches and risks have been garnering, it is no wonder that the global cybersecurity market is booming and reportedly expected to reach $403 billion by 2027. What Can Organizations Do To Reduce Cybersecurity Risk? While cybersecurity and IAM are about ensuring that legitimate authenticated users are the ones gaining access to data and resources in an organization, risk management has always had a more strategic focus with the goal to understand the threat landscape and make informed decisions on the strategy that would work for the organization. It has been seen time and again that regardless of the sophisticated technologies being used to keep hackers out, no system is perfect or 100% risk-free. But organizations can indeed take steps to reduce the likelihood and potential impact of such threats, including educating employees, ensuring adequate housekeeping of software and hardware, and restricting staff access in accordance with job role-based needs. According to BIO-key, the method used to authenticate is a core area that organizations need to focus on when assessing risk and informing their IAM strategy. While relying on passwords to authenticate users may be an easy and inexpensive solution, it comes with the risk of weak security and easily breached networks. As a result, companies have begun adding an extra layer of security with Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), which is believed to prevent as much as 90% of cyberattacks. BIO-key says that it incorporates Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), Single Sign-on (SSO), and its one-of-a-kind biometric authentication option (Identity-Bound Biometrics) under a single, unified IAM platform, PortalGuard, to create holistic cybersecurity solutions for its customers. BIO-key has been a trusted provider of Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Identity-Bound Biometric solutions for over 25 years. The company has been playing an active part in changing mainstream Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) within IAM by offering easier and more secure ways to authenticate the identity of employees, customers, and suppliers, while managing access across devices and applications, for enterprises, educational institutions, and consumers. Its innovations are backed by years of research and expertise and its products and solutions are trusted by leading organizations across industries, including Fortune 500 companies in financial services, healthcare, education, manufacturing, communication, transportation, military and government sectors. With a burgeoning global cybersecurity market and increased cyber-risk awareness in organizations, BIO-key seems poised to thrive and grow by offering the most flexible, secure, and easy-to-use solutions to help organizations combat increasing threats. Learn more about BIO-key’s cybersecurity solutions here. This article was originally published on Benzinga here. BIO-key is revolutionizing authentication and cybersecurity with biometric-centric, multi-factor identity and access management (IAM) software managing millions of users. Its cloud-based PortalGuard IAM solution provides cost-effective, easy to deploy, convenient and secure access to devices, information, applications, and high-value transactions. BIO-key's patented software and hardware solutions, with industry-leading Identity-Bound Biometric (IBB) capabilities, enable large-scale Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions, as well as customized on premises solutions. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice. Contact Details Catalyst IR- William Jones, David Collins +1 212-924-9800 BKYI@catalyst-ir.com Company Website https://www.bio-key.com/

February 03, 2023 09:25 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Comcast Hosts Community Event and Makes a $50,000 Contribution to Santa Cruz Non-Profit Organizations for Storm Relief and Recovery

Comcast California

As Santa Cruz County works to recover and rebuild from the recent historic rainstorms that caused massive flooding, downed trees, landslides and other devastation, Comcast yesterday hosted a free event to support the community and made a $50,000 donation to the United Way of Santa Cruz and Community Bridges of Santa Cruz. “The Santa Cruz area has suffered so much from the recent storms – the devastation has been heart wrenching to experience and witness,” said Ray Cancino, CEO, Community Bridges. “This partnership and financial support from Comcast is coming at the ideal time and will provide important, valuable resources as the community strives to get back on its feet.” “We appreciate Comcast hosting yesterday’s event. It was so nice to enable this hard-hit community to take a break, come together and support each other, while having some fun.” said Keisha Browden, CEO, United Way of Santa Cruz County. “Comcast’s financial contribution to our community will help us not only expand our recovery efforts but also help us rebuild from this catastrophic disaster.” A unique feature at the Scotts Valley community event was the Xfinity Experience trailer, which features a 12 foot by 18-foot LED screen on which the movies Sing 2 and Minions: Rise of Gru were screened. The trailer also enabled free WiFi access and power so attendees could get online and charge their devices. Attendees can enjoy free food and beverages from local restaurants and there will be raffles with a variety of door prizes and special giveaways. Throughout the series of dangerous and severe storms, Comcast provided a range of services to evacuation and community support centers in Northern and Central California. Comcast’s network and engineering technicians monitored the storms’ impacts and worked diligently to restore Xfinity and Comcast Business services that were impacted as quickly and safely as possible so customers could stay connected. Comcast also made available for free use by anyone its 147,000 public Xfinity WiFi hotspots throughout Northern and Central California. This helped residents and emergency personnel stay connected during the rainstorms. # # # About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on connectivity, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. Contact Details Adriana Arvizo +1 925-200-1919 Adriana_Arvizo@comcast.com

February 02, 2023 02:01 PM Pacific Standard Time

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Bill Introduced in Senate Calls for NMTC to Receive Permanent Extension at $5 Billion

New Markets Tax Credit Coalition

Today, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Extension Act of 2023, joined by co-sponsoring Senators Cantwell (D-WA), T. Scott (R-SC), Schumer (D-NY), Cassidy (R- LA), Menendez (D-NJ), and Blackburn (R-TN). The legislation permanently extends the NMTC at $5 billion in annual credit authority, adjusts that amount for inflation in future years and provides an exception from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for New Markets investments. “In Maryland and across the country, the New Markets Tax Credit has demonstrated its strength in encouraging a diverse range of infrastructure and community development efforts in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. New Markets Tax Credits provide a strategic tool for the transformation of historically under-invested communities,” said Senator Cardin. “I thank Senator Daines and all of our cosponsors for joining this effort to make permanent this tax credit that will continue to create jobs and stimulate our economy in communities nationwide.” “The New Markets Tax Credit is a win-win-win – it has been an invaluable tool for encouraging investment into our communities, creating good-paying jobs in Montana, and spurring growth in local economies across the nation. It’s time we make a permanent commitment to helping our Montana communities thrive and economies grow,” said Senator Daines. In recent years, Congress has taken action to expand and sustain the NMTC. In 2019, Congress increased the annual allocation of Credits to $5 billion, a 44 percent increase over the previous years. In 2020, Congress enacted a five extension of the NMTC, the largest in the program’s history. The NMTC Extension Act of 2023 establishes the NMTC as a permanent part of the tax code, which will provide certainty in delivering resources to low-income and marginalized communities, creating jobs, increasing economic opportunity, and improving lives at a time when the economic frailty of our underserved communities has never been more apparent. “With bipartisan and bicameral support, coupled with its track record of creating jobs and bringing much-needed economic development to underserved areas, we believe the NMTC is an effective program deserving of a permanent home in our tax code,” said Aisha Benson, President of the NMTC Coalition and President and CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund Established in 2000 in the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act (P.L.106-554), the New Markets Tax Credit is a bipartisan effort to stimulate investment and economic growth in low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities. Since 2021, $63.4 billion in NMTC allocation has been deployed to 7,615 projects and businesses, totaling $120.5 billion in total project investment, resulted in: More than one million total jobs in all 50 states; 228 million sq. ft. of real estate; 1,073 mixed-use projects; More than 3,500 federally qualified health centers, schools, daycare centers, vocational programs, treatment facilities, and other service providers benefiting tens of millions of low-income people; and 1,803 manufacturing projects. “The New Markets Tax Credit has been and remains absolutely vital for many of America’s urban neighborhoods and rural communities and will provide billions of dollars for high-impact, community revitalization projects,” said Bob Rapoza, spokesperson for the NMTC Coalition. “Over the years, the credit has been instrumental in financing plant and equipment for small manufacturing businesses and patient, flexible capital to other small businesses, hospitals, healthcare centers, homeless shelters and other transformative projects that improve communities, create jobs and economic opportunity. We appreciate the leadership of several members of the U.S. Senate in championing this effort for communities across the U.S. We expect the U.S. House of Representatives to follow suit with a bill in the very near future.” The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) was enacted in 2000 to stimulate private investment and economic growth in low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities that lack access to the patient capital needed to support and grow businesses, create jobs and sustain healthy local economies. Since its inception, the NMTC has generated more than one million jobs. Today due to NMTC, more than $120 billion is hard at work in underserved communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. For examples of how the NMTC is making an impact in each state, see the NMTC Coalition's newly released report, NMTC at Work in Communities Across America, featuring updated state statistics sheets on NMTC efficacy and more than 80 Tax Credit success stories. For more information, visit www.NMTCCoalition.org. Contact Details Bob Rapoza +1 202-498-9921 bob@rapoza.org Company Website https://nmtccoalition.org/

February 02, 2023 04:53 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Who Needs VC? How One SaaS Startup Bucked the Trend and Beat the Odds

NetReputation.com

By Caroline Hunter, Content Writer (at NetReputation) In the world of tech startups, venture capital (VC) often acts as a gatekeeper, providing the keys to market entry and the pathway to eventual success. The initial investments from VC groups can come at a high price for many entrepreneurs, typically with significant ownership stakes. Despite the costs, most startups do not have the necessary experience and financial backing to build and operate their company, leaving them vulnerable to VC interests. Although it’s mutually beneficial, venture capitalists do have the upper hand in the relationship with green founders. VCs understand the anxiety that comes from bringing new ideas to market and VCs can exploit the situation for ownership. The percentage of startups partnering with VC groups in early growth stages is, in reality, considerably low. According to Marc Andreessen of VC giant Andreesseen Horowitz, of the 4,000 startups seeking funding from major VCs each year, only about 200, or 5%. Despite the low percentage of startups who qualify for and receive outside funding, it's a common misconception that in order to succeed in the tech sector VC endorsement is necessary. The VC stamp of approval can open more doors and provide the fuel to accelerated growth, but brute growth isn’t always the better path. Despite the familiar pattern of VC and startup relationships, occasionally, a business comes along that balks at convention. Invoice Home is an innovative company with two experienced co-founders funding the operation out of pocket. It is not often you see two individuals opt for a bootstrapping approach in competitive sectors like the tech industry. VC vs. Bootstrapping and the Invoice Home Choice Despite notable exceptions like GoPro, VC is the traditional financing method among tech startups. The approach is less risky and provides greater opportunities for success, but it is not all rainbows and unicorns. Venture capital arrangements usually stipulate new founders to give up some control in their company in exchange for funding and mentorship. In some of the worst deals, product creators lose most, if not all, controlling interests in their company. That said, VC is not all bad, and it definitely has many benefits over the bootstrapping approach, including fewer risks. The Invoice Home founders chose to bootstrap after their own experience dealing with big investors and corporate institutions in their previous companies. The owners reviewed their financing options, concluding that the deemed more difficult and longer road was best for them and their business model as they wanted full control in shaping the product from its inception. Venture Capital Venture capital is financing, a form of private equity, that can fund companies at any stage, but investments in tech startups or small businesses have been on the rise in recent years. Capital investments usually come from wealthy investors, financial institutions or other investment banks. That said, VC is not always monetary. Sometimes, capital comes in less tangible forms, such as talent, knowledge, and experience. Regardless of the capital form, investing in a startup is risky, even if it has potential. Founders also face considerable risks with how potential partners justify ownership asks. Many VC deals include limited partnerships, which a VC firm defines. Venture capital agreements have pros and cons. The pros include: Early-stage financing for bootstrap operations No proof of cash flow or assets needed to secure funding Mentoring and network often part of the arrangements Despite the benefits, VC agreements can lead to a few cons. Some of the possible negatives include: The demand for company equity Loss of creative control of product Pressure to exit the investment ahead of growth Bootstrapping The founders of Invoice Home, Jiri Hradil and Petr Marek, weighed the pros and cons of VC and decided the traditional route of other tech startups was not for them or their idea. These two entrepreneurs chose a more challenging road to success, bootstrapping. Bootstrapping is usually a more gradual road to success and presents greater risks earlier on for startup owners. A person bootstraps when they attempt to build and grow their business using only personal finances or operational revenue. Both Hradil and Marek have extensive professional experience in the tech industry, specifically with building niche financial software in the FinTech space. Their expertise, independent finances, and knowledge in the current market likely played a role in the decision to step away from VC. Invoice Home Throws Norms Out the Window To Hradil and Marek, relinquishing any control of their business, especially during the beginning phase of product development, was premature. The partners knew what they wanted from their program and service — a simple way to create, organize, and send invoices to customers. The pair knew that partnering with VC firms would cut into their controlling interests. The last thing they wanted was to create a platform that didn't conform to their initial thought for the startup. Because each of them had several years in leadership roles at their own successful businesses previously, they knew the risks involved with starting a company without private equity financiers. However, because of their experience, they understood they could mitigate some risks. The primary issue was patience. The co-founders knew that without VC, the business could take time to mature and reach its potential. After proving the concept and fully committing to operations in 2013, Invoice Home now has over 7 million global users, retaining and growing its user base through the pandemic. Not giving up the control on the product proved to be the right decision, as the simplified invoicing tool found a perfect product market fit with freelancers and micro-businesses. VC Is the Norm, But It Doesn't Have To Be Venture capital is the traditional way of making it in the tech industry, but it doesn't have to be. Invoice Home is only one example of startup owners making the right decision for their product and bootstrapping their way to success. True, not every startup or tech creator can afford to take on the personal financial risks associated with starting a business. Also, many startups do not have the leadership experience to bring a product to market or identify lucrative channels. There is a place for VC in the tech industry, but it shouldn't be the automatic approach and sole path to launching a tech business. For young startups or creators, there is a lot to overcome when starting a new company. First-time founders often rush into VC partnerships in the beginning, particularly if they have the opportunity. But the faster road to success doesn't always mean it's the better option long term. Other financing and operational pathways may seem out of reach, depending on the founders and their circumstances. Before committing down a set path, try market testing a product on a smaller scale. Put the operational revenue back into the company to see if the product concept works in the current market. Creating a tech product and building a company without VC funding will be slower, but steady, consistent growth can prove to have a better long term outcome. This article was originally published on Benzinga here. NetReputation.com is an industry-leading online reputation management solutions provider focused on helping businesses and individuals repair, improve, and maintain positive brands on the web. Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, NetReputation.com utilizes the latest in digital processes and technology to restore online reputations and empower long-term success online. NetReputation was established by online services innovator Adam Petrilli in 2015. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice. Contact Details Caroline Hunter Caroline@netreputation.com Company Website https://www.netreputation.com/

February 02, 2023 09:25 AM Eastern Standard Time

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FatBrain Is Providing Real-Time Strategic Cash Management For SMEs

FatBrAin

By Faith Ashmore, Benzinga For small-to-medium-sized enterprises, also known as SMEs, protecting, predicting, and increasing cash flow is the lifeboat that will allow a business to succeed and flourish. However, data collection and analysis is essential to understanding cash management, and not every SME has the resources to predict accurately. SMEs actually make up over 90% of businesses around the world and approximately half of employment. In the U.S., SMEs account for 44% of all US economic activity and produce the bulk of GDP output. SMEs are a huge part of the economy but are fundamentally lacking the tools to compete with larger companies that use AI and outsource accounting concerns to entire teams of specialists. FatBrain AI (LZG International, Inc.) (OTCQB: LZGI) (“FatBrain”) is looking to change this reality and use AI to give SMEs an edge to succeed in cash management. FatBrain is known for widening AI options for SMEs. The company has created a RansomProof AI software that ensures small businesses will be safe from cyberattacks; the free program is leveling the playing field between big businesses and SMEs. FatBrain has also launched an FX Transaction product that allows SMEs to optimize their foreign transactions and save money. Recently, FatBrain acquired FinTech Alliance company, Predictive Black. Predictive Black supports SMEs in the UK with real-time cash management and financial insights, which helps promote overall business wellness. The SaaS platform uses AI to forecast revenue, costs, and cash for SMEs. Why Is Predicting Revenue, Costs, And Cash Important For SMEs SMEs oftentimes do not have the same emergency infrastructure as larger corporations and as such, they are more vulnerable to fluctuating economic changes. Whereas large companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), IBM (NYSE: IBM), and Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) may have entire teams dedicated to making sense of economic data and planning accordingly, SMEs may not have the manpower or expertise to excel at predictive treasury management. This is where FatBrain’s Predictive Black comes in. Predictive Black uses the latest AI to compile relevant industry and market data based on a company’s sector, peers, clients, and suppliers. The AI then creates a baseline and users have access to a “Scenario Planning” function that allows for “what-if” scenarios to be calculated and accounted for. For example, you can calculate if a supplier increases their prices or if you lose a few clients and how that impacts your revenue. Each function is designed to improve speed, reduce risk and analyze real-time cash data​. These tools can provide ease of mind for SMEs and give them the analysis needed to make safe and sound business decisions. This article was originally published on Benzinga here. FatBrain AI (LZG International, Inc.; OTC: LZGI) is the first and leading provider of powerful and easy-to-use AI solutions to millions of businesses of tomorrow driving the majority of the global economy, empowering them to grow, innovate faster and savemoney. FatBrain’s innovative solutions transform continuous learning, narrative reasoning, cloud, blockchain and Web3 technologies into auditable, explainable and easy to integrate products. FatBrain’ssubscription model allows all companies to deploy its advanced AI solutions quickly and easily, securely utilizing them on premises behind their firewalls or via cloud. The AI 2.0 pioneered by our teams is like WAZE for business growth, using advanced peerdynamics technology to automatically learn patterns from individual and peer behavior. This allows us to deliver coached, personalized AI solutions at hyperscale. FatBrain unifies insights from SaaS applications, turbo-charged by peer and market dynamics: 1) Realize attainable goals from explainable peer performance. 2)Turbo-charge human expertise with superhuman AI insights. 3) Accelerate growth through the contributory network effects. 4) Simplify harnessing data across common apps and market signals. This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice. Contact Details Shawn Carey ir@fatbrain.ai Company Website https://fatbrain.ai/

February 02, 2023 09:25 AM Eastern Standard Time

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