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Velocity Global’s 2022 Work In Progress Report: Businesses and talent benefit from distributed work

Velocity Global

1,000 surveyed tech leaders say distributed work increases productivity and diversity Most remote talent to remain untethered to an office post-pandemic Tech leaders desire to increase remote work for themselves 72% utilize a distributed workforce but face hurdles to expand it Remote and distributed workforces are here to stay due to the mutual benefits to both businesses and talent according to a new study from Velocity Global, the leading provider of global employment solutions. The 2022 Work In Progress — The State of Distributed Work: Tech Sector published today touts multiple benefits of distributed work, shows optimism for growth in the tech sector, but also names challenges for businesses to increase their global workforce. More than 1,000 U.S. and UK tech company decision-makers participated in the study and 72% say their business utilizes a substantial distributed workforce; 59% say more than half of their workforce is remote, and 61% of U.S. tech leaders report more than half of their remote workers will remain that way for the foreseeable future. “The world of work is forever changed. The global pandemic accelerated the desire to work from anywhere, and it lit a fire for employers to embrace a truly distributed workforce,” said Velocity Global founder and CEO Ben Wright. “The untethered nature of work was on the rise before COVID-19, but the tailwinds accelerated this new way of work as businesses tapped into new talent pools and workers themselves embraced a new freedom. Neither is going back - this change is here to stay.” Despite the growth of distributed and remote work, businesses cite several challenges to embrace the change even further. “This dramatic shift accelerated faster than the legacy ecosystem built to support the employment infrastructure was capable of handling,” added Wright. “We remove the roadblocks to grow businesses and connect employers and talent to simply get work done anywhere and anyhow.” Organizational and personal benefits of remote and distributed work Remote work refers to talent working at a location other than a company-owned office. Related to the concept of remote work is distributed work, in which companies employ talent that is located in multiple locations domestically or internationally. The majority of companies (72%) employ a distributed workforce and 79% of these organizations’ talent also works remotely. Respondents who utilize a distributed workforce report clear advantages: 95% say a distributed workforce model benefits their company by increasing productivity (54%), securing top talent (40%), and building a more diverse team (37%). Respondents indicate talent prefers remote work for similar reasons, reinforcing the mutual benefits. Interestingly, 3 in 4 of the tech leaders themselves work remotely at least one day per week and desire to increase the amount of time they work remotely. “Business leaders are people too, and they see the benefits in their personal life as well to their broader organization,” said Wright. “Flexibility and mobility are now must-haves for workers fresh out of school or in upper management, and lead to greater productivity and long-term talent retention. It’s a win-win.” Optimism for growth with an untethered workforce The increase in remote and distributed work drove unprecedented demand in the tech sector and organizations feel optimistic about expansion. The survey reports 96% are very or somewhat confident about their company’s financial growth over the next year, and 83% believe their industry will grow as well. That growth is realized by a remote and distributed workforce that mostly will not return to an office. More than half (54%) of respondents say 51-75% of their remote workforce will remain remote over the next year. Roadblocks create disconnect between employers and talent The data indicates a brewing dilemma regarding remote work. Talent and businesses both recognize significant benefits, but logistical challenges drive businesses to initiate a return to the office for some. The implications for this disconnect are great, considering the difficulties of finding skilled talent and employees’ desired flexibility. One factor contributing to that discord is the lack of involvement of talent in the decision to return to the office. Eighty-seven percent of organization leaders say their company decides whether remote talent transitions back to working at a company-owned office, as opposed to it being a joint decision. Only 12% report that both the company and talent make that determination. Tech leaders point to a pivotal moment for distributed work as both businesses and talent desire the benefits. The pandemic increased distributed work for most tech businesses, and 43% will maintain their current distributed workforce. However, the next stage is in question: 21% say they will expand their distributed workforce, 26% plan to reduce it. These decision-makers cite several forces that challenge their ability to grow their distributed workforce domestically and internationally, particularly among U.S. companies. Ninety-three percent of U.S. tech leaders say they do not have plans to expand their domestic distributed workforce. They point to recruiting, legal registrations in other states, and managing multiple vendors among other challenges. The growth of international distributed work faces similar roadblocks. Again, 93% of U.S. and UK tech leaders say they do not plan to expand their worldwide distributed workforce, adding foreign entity set-up, global payroll and immigration challenges to a similar list of difficulties. “The same friction comes up over and over again. Finding the right talent tops both lists and businesses want to tap larger talent pools across the country and the world,” said Wright. “Add in the bureaucracy of global regulation and the multiple vendors to navigate it on disparate platforms, and businesses get skittish. We built an end-to-end platform that removes all of this friction because the data is clear: employers and talent just want to work with anyone, anywhere, and anyhow.” Click here to download the full report: 2022 Work in Progress — The State of Distributed Work: Tech Sector. Methodology To gather the data in this report, Velocity Global surveyed 506 U.S. and 505 UK business leaders in the technology industry (e.g., software, hardware, and IT) who are employed at companies with 50–1,000 employees. The respondents work in a wide range of technology subsectors, including technology, media, and telecom; biotech; mortgage technology, property technology, and real estate technology; insurance technology; cryptocurrency; cybersecurity; and more. Respondents are in director-level and higher positions, including C-suite officers and business owners. Their job functions include human resources, finance, legal, IT/ technology, and operations. About Velocity Global Velocity Global accelerates the future of work beyond borders. Its global work platform simplifies the employer and employee experience to employ any talent anywhere with just a click through its proprietary cloud-based workforce management technology, backed by personalized expertise and unmatched global scale. As the largest global Employer of Record (also known as International PEO) in 185 countries and all 50 United States, more than 1,000 brands rely on Velocity Global to build global teams without the cost or complexity of setting up foreign legal entities or state registrations. The company offers additional services including Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce, and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors. Velocity Global was named a “Leader” in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall. Founded in 2014, the company has hundreds of employees across six continents. For more information visit Contact Details Velocity Global John Hall +1 720-650-4348 Company Website

November 19, 2021 07:02 AM Mountain Standard Time

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Comcast Colorado

Comcast today announced it invested more than $16 million to expand its network and connect more rural communities in Colorado since the end of 2020, including major projects in the towns of Eagle, Gypsum and Kremmling. These network expansions are the most recent examples of the company’s investment in Colorado to ensure residents and businesses have access to innovative, reliable, fast and secure broadband services. Since 2017, Comcast invested more than $1.3 billion in technology and infrastructure developments in Colorado, including upgrades to its broadband network. “We live and work in Colorado, and our commitment is to deliver innovative media and technology experiences and an incredible customer experience with our broadband. It is what we do,” said J.D. Keller, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Mountain West Region, which covers Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. “We’re innovating to bring you incredible products you can use to connect and protect, entertain and communicate now and into the future.” Comcast is a leader in the global 10G initiative, which leverages new standards and technology to dramatically increase speeds. In 2020, the company demonstrated 1.25-gigabit-per-second (Gbps) symmetrical speeds over a live network. Earlier this year in Colorado, the company conducted a lab test of “Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0” technology and showed the ability to deliver 4-Gbps upload and download speeds. “Since Comcast’s founding more than 50 years ago, our mission and purpose has been to connect people to the moments and experiences that matter most,” said Stephanie Rideau, Senior Director of Business Development for Comcast’s Mountain West Region. “Thriving communities are built on connections whether they are hard wired or through experiences that bring us together. The more that people in our communities are connected with each other, the more we share, grow, and succeed.” “Broadband intersects with Economic Development in many ways. It can be the deciding factor for expanding or relocating businesses, effectively creating or eliminating the opportunity to retain and grow jobs,” said Kim Woodworth, Executive Director for the Economic Development Council of Colorado. “Reliable broadband services are essential to competitive communities. Comcast’s network investment ensures that our community can support any healthcare, educational or business data needs, and keep pace with the broader economy,” added Jeremy Rietmann, Gypsum Town Manager. The network expansions Comcast is currently completing in Eagle, Gypsum and Kremmling, bring the entire suite of Xfinity and Comcast Business services to these communities. In addition to Gigabit Internet service and unique home WiFi control capabilities with xFi, residential customers in these communities have access to all Xfinity services, including the award-winning Xfinity X1 video platform, Xfinity Home, and Xfinity Mobile. Comcast provides unmatched value to Xfinity Internet customers through superior WiFi coverage, control of connected devices with xFi in the Xfinity App, xFi Advanced Security for cyber security protection at the gateway level, a free Xfinity Flex 4K streaming device, as well as access to Peacock Premium and thousands of hours of free content. Businesses in these areas can get the full suite of Comcast Business products and services, including Ethernet network speeds up to 100 Gbps. Comcast continues to invest in its Colorado network to meet consumer demand, providing among the fastest, most reliable Internet speeds over its fiber-rich network, and one of the fastest in-home WiFi experiences. Comcast also offers Internet Essentials, the national’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program, providing low-cost broadband service, digital literacy training and discounted computers. In the last 10 years, more than half a million people in Colorado have been connected through Internet Essentials. ### Media contact Leslie Oliver, Comcast Colorado Email: Mobile: 303.810.6326 About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest high-speed internet, video, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit for more information. Contact Details Leslie Oliver +1 303-810-6326 Company Website

November 18, 2021 09:00 AM Mountain Standard Time

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Akeneo Partners with ChannelEngine to Drive Multichannel eCommerce Growth


Product experience management (PXM) leader Akeneo, announced a new strategic partnership with marketplace syndication pioneer, ChannelEngine. Together, the two companies will provide a scalable and flexible solution for brands, retailers and distributors to unlock growth opportunities from global marketplaces and 200+ sales channels while ensuring consistently engaging product experiences across all customer touchpoints. Global marketplace sales surged 29% in 2020 to $2.68 trillion, representing almost two-thirds of all eCommerce spending. Direct to consumer (DTC) brands, omnichannel retailers, and distributors are rushing to capitalize on the opportunity, with six out of ten online retailers now selling on marketplaces, up from less than half in 2017. But the marketplace boom also brings new challenges; brands must manage and syndicate product information — including SKUs, product specs, and variant products — across an ever-expanding global ecosystem. To solve that problem, Akeneo and ChannelEngine are joining forces to create a single centralized source of truth capable of aggregating, standardizing, enriching, localizing, and managing product content for experience-optimized syndication. With support for all the world’s most powerful marketplaces — including Amazon, Shopify, eBay and many others — the new partnership empowers brands to deliver consistent but tailored product information wherever they meet their customers. While giving users native plugins for eCommerce platforms and marketplaces, the partnership enables them to manage all aspects of their multichannel product content with a single connection. The result is a dramatic increase in productivity, enhanced sales conversion rates, and a reduction in product returns due to richer and more accurate product data. Helping global brands, retailers, and distributors to rapidly bring products to new markets, the Akeneo and ChannelEngine partnership also facilitates more responsive holiday-season sales strategies. Meanwhile, automated localization workflows streamline the process of launching in international markets and enable teams to easily translate and customize product data for use in new markets and regions. “Product information is the lifeblood of eCommerce, and the key to delivering amazing customer experiences,” said Scott Rogers, Akeneo’s Vice President Global Channels & Alliances. “The marketplace boom represents a huge opportunity for global merchants, but only if they can win customers’ loyalty and trust by delivering brand consistency and product content synchronization across all channels. We’re excited to partner with ChannelEngine to provide our clients with peace of mind and scalability, so that wherever customers interact with their products, and however many marketplace channels they operate in, they can provide unbeatable product experiences.” "With the eCommerce market rapidly shifting towards global marketplaces and other third-party sales channels, for brands and retailers, selling on and keeping control of these marketplaces is a huge opportunity as well as a complex challenge,” said Niels Floors, Head of Partnerships & Sales at ChannelEngine. “Akeneo and ChannelEngine represent the perfect partnership for helping brands and retailers to control content over all these global sales channels. This results in faster time-to-market, revenue growth and technology alignment." About Akeneo Akeneo is a global leader in Product Experience Management (PXM) helping businesses with products to sell to unlock growth opportunities by delivering a consistent and compelling product experience across all channels, including eCommerce, mobile, print, points of sale and beyond. With its open platform, leading PIM, add-ons, connectors and marketplace, Akeneo PXM Studio dramatically improves product data quality and accuracy, simplifies catalog management, and accelerates the sharing of product information across channels and locales. Leading global brands, manufacturers, distributors and retailers, including Staples Canada, Fossil, Air Liquide and Myer trust Akeneo to scale and customize their omnichannel commerce initiatives. Using Akeneo, brands and retailers can improve customer experience, increase sales, reduce time to market, go global, and boost team productivity. About ChannelEngine: ChannelEngine makes the rapidly globalizing e-commerce world accessible to all brands, distributors, and retailers. By building a complete solution for companies of all sizes, ChannelEngine enables companies to expand their reach, connect with more consumers and grow their business. Currently, ChannelEngine enables the sale of more than three million products from 1,500 brands in more than 200 marketplaces and other 3rd party sales channels. There is the ability to integrate the store, WMS, ERP, or PIM with major marketplaces, click & ad channels, or product feeds. Contact Details Ran Xu +1 213-309-2373 Company Website

November 18, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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1010data Announces Its First European Retail Customer: Convenience Giant, McColl’s


1010data, a leading provider of analytical intelligence, enterprise analytics and collaboration capabilities to the retail, consumer brands, and capital markets sectors, today announced its first European customer, McColl’s Retail Group, a British convenience retail chain and newsagent with over 1,200 managed retail locations across the U.K. 1010data continues to cut an innovative path to advanced sales and demand visibility through the addition of new data solutions, granular analytics, machine learning and the leveraging of disparate data sets, enhancing the sales and operations of its growing retail network. Bringing these capabilities to McColl’s, the objective is to use near real-time data feeds, AI (artificial intelligence) and analytics to help create more transparency and thus better visibility into supply and demand, for a smoother supply chain between the retailer and its key distributors. For McColl’s, it will encompass an improved understanding of regional differences in demand, and the ability to quickly respond to those changes. Faye Roth, Chief Information Officer of McColl’s, commented: “The ability to rapidly respond to fast-changing consumer behaviors, whether different volumes, purchasing patterns or basket mix is more critical now than ever. To that end, the first phase of our engagement with 1010data will focus on using its powerful Retail Analytics Suite to enhance our ability to understand customer behavior at the most granular level. This will enable us to draw out patterns which will help us adjust our product offering, range, or channels and marketing. Ultimately, we expect to use the tool to boost McColl’s’ sales forecasting ability, spotting out-of-stocks and identifying local/regional demand for certain products, moving the company toward a more enhanced forecasting model.” “The pandemic continues to cause rapid, hard-to-predict shifts in consumer demand across the retail landscape. Retailers are operating in a state of constant uncertainty, so the role of analytics and predictive capabilities driven by AI provides retailers with the tools to act decisively when the terrain ahead is hard to forecast,” commented Inna Kuznetsova, CEO of 1010data. “Our engagement with McColl’s is another step on the way toward 1010data’s vision to innovate and lead this market segment in data-driven decision-making. Broadening our leadership in the retail space, our relationship with McColl’s underscores 1010data’s innovative vision. “McColl’s is committed to serving millions of customers as effectively and conveniently as modern technology will allow,” said Faye Roth. “Having just celebrated 120 years of serving local communities, we’re pleased now to be tapping into 1010data’s analytics expertise, which will help to drive innovation across the business and prepare for a multitude of changing needs.” About 1010data For more than 20 years, 1010data has helped retail, consumer brands and capital markets customers monitor shifts in consumer demand and market conditions and rapidly respond with highly targeted strategies. The 1010data Insights Platform combines market intelligence, data management, granular enterprise analytics, and collaboration capabilities to empower better business outcomes. More than 900 of the world’s foremost companies partner with 1010data to power smarter decisions. To learn more, visit About McColl’s McColl's is a leading neighbourhood retailer, with an estate of over 1,200 managed convenience stores and newsagents. We operate McColl's and Morrisons Daily branded convenience stores as well as newsagents branded Martin's across the UK, except in Scotland where we operate under our heritage brand, RS McColl. # # # 1010data Contacts: Media: Meir Kahtan, MKPR Email: Phone: +1 917.864.0800 Industry: Frank Riva Email: McColl’s Contacts: Media: Charlie Twigg, Headland Email: Phone: +44 (0)203 805 4822 Contact Details Meir Kahtan Public Relations Meir Kahtan +1 917-864-0800 Company Website

November 18, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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CSG Systems International Approves Quarterly Dividend


CSG ® (NASDAQ: CSGS) today announced that its Board of Directors approved the Company’s quarterly cash dividend payment of $0.25 per share of common stock to be paid on December 17, 2021 for shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 3, 2021. About CSG CSG is a leader in innovative customer engagement, revenue management and payments solutions that make ordinary customer experiences extraordinary. Our cloud-first architecture and customer-obsessed mindset help companies around the world launch new digital services, expand into new markets, and create dynamic experiences that capture new customers and build brand loyalty. For nearly 40 years, CSG’s technologies and people have helped some of the world’s most recognizable brands solve their toughest business challenges and evolve to meet the demands of today’s digital economy with future-ready solutions that drive exceptional customer experiences. With 5,000 employees in over 20 countries, CSG is the trusted technology provider for leading global brands in telecommunications, retail, financial services and healthcare. Our solutions deliver real world outcomes to more than 900 customers in over 120 countries. To learn more, visit us at and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter. Copyright © 2021 CSG Systems International, Inc. and/or its affiliates (“CSG”). All rights reserved. CSG® is a registered trademark of CSG Systems International, Inc. All third-party trademarks, service marks, and/or product names which are referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners, and all rights therein are reserved. Contacts: John Rea Investor Relations CSG +1 (210) 687 4409 Contact Details Tammy Hovey +1 917-520-2751 Company Website

November 18, 2021 06:30 AM Mountain Standard Time

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Gojek and TBS Energi Utama form a joint venture to accelerate the development of Indonesia’s two-wheel electric vehicle ecosystem


JAKARTA, INDONESIA - Media OutReach - 18 November 2021 - Gojek, Southeast Asia’s leading mobile on-demand services platform, and PT TBS Energi Utama Tbk (TBS), a leading integrated energy company in Indonesia, today announced the formation of a joint venture to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Indonesia. The joint venture, known as Electrum, will act as a platform through which both companies will develop infrastructure for two-wheel EVs throughout the country. Leveraging Gojek’s deep presence in Indonesia and TBS’ capabilities in the energy sector, the two companies will work together to build a comprehensive and scalable EV ecosystem, including two-wheel EV manufacturing, battery packaging, battery swap infrastructure and financing for EV ownership. This joint venture is part of Gojek and TBS’ commitments to achieve Zero Emissions by 2030, which will see Gojek transition its fleet to 100% EVs and TBS invest in clean and renewable energy during the same time period. The collaboration is also in line with the Indonesian Government's plans to make the development of the EV industry a national priority. Gojek CEO and Co-founder, Kevin Aluwi, said, “We have always recognized that strong industry collaboration will be crucial to help solve the most pressing environmental challenges that society faces today. Gojek’s aim is to work together with partners to achieve our sustainability goals, including fully electrifying our transport fleet by 2030. By bringing together the best of Gojek and TBS’ strengths, we will be able to support Indonesia’s transition to building a cleaner, more accessible and sustainable mobility system - ultimately making EVs the norm in our country, contributing to the country’s emissions reduction targets and improving air quality in our cities.” Pandu Sjahrir, Vice President Director of TBS, said, “TBS is fully committed to sustainability and our target of achieving net zero emissions by 2030. This collaboration with Gojek is part of our commitment to reinvest our current earnings in clean and renewable energy, in line with our business transformation goals and aim to become a greener business.” Pandu Sjahrir added, “To enable large-scale adoption of EVs in Indonesia, it is crucial to develop a strong and comprehensive EV ecosystem. Our vast experience and deep understanding of the energy sector, combined with the large scale of the Gojek network, will be a catalyst for the development of the EV industry in Indonesia. As EVs become more widely available, we hope that this will inspire greater confidence in EVs from members of the public and encourage them to give it a try, so that they can also enjoy the many benefits of EVs.” Gojek recently announced an EV and battery swapping pilot scheme in Jakarta in collaboration with Gogoro, Gesit and Pertamina. This will initially comprise 500 EVs, with plans to scale to 5,000 EVs travelling a total of one million kilometers in the future. With this pilot, Gojek customers will be able to select EVs when using the GoRide service in South Jakarta. Driver partners using EVs can also go about their daily routines more efficiently, serving customers across Gojek services such as GoRide, GoFood, GoSend Instant, GoShop and GoMart. The data from this pilot will also be used to further develop the technology and infrastructure for EVs, in order to meet the needs of Gojek’s driver partners, customers and the wider Indonesian market. About Gojek Gojek is Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand platform and a pioneer of the multi-service ecosystem model, providing access to a wide range of services including transportation, food delivery, logistics and more. Gojek is founded on the principle of leveraging technology to remove life's daily frictions by connecting consumers to the best providers of goods and services in the market. The company was first established in 2010 focusing on courier and motorcycle ride-hailing services, before launching the app in January 2015 in Indonesia. Since then, Gojek has grown to become the leading on-demand platform in Southeast Asia, providing access to a wide range of services from transportation, to food delivery, logistics and many others. As of March 2021, Gojek’s application has been downloaded more than 190 million times by users across Southeast Asia. Gojek is dedicated to solving the daily challenges faced by consumers, while improving the quality of life for millions of people across Southeast Asia, especially those in the informal sector and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The Gojek application is available for download via iOS and Android. About TBS TBS is an integrated energy company which currently conducts business in power, mining and plantation sector through subsidiaries. In recent business development, TBS is committed to reduce carbon footprint and help contribute to the betterment of the environment and future generation, by setting a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. In the electricity sector, TBS has subsidiaries that developed the PLTU Sulut-3 2x50 MW project in North Sulawesi and the PLTU Sulbagut-1 2x50MW project in Gorontalo, as well as 1 subsidiary which developed a mini hydro power plant project of 2x3 MW in Lampung. In the mining sector, TBS has three subsidiaries that have Mining Business Permits in East Kalimantan, which are located close to each other with a total land area of 7,087 hectares. As part of its sustainability commitments, TBS committed to use its earnings into green investment opportunities while gradually reducing exposure to fossil fuel related business. Detailed information about TBS can be seen on the TBS website: #Gojek Contact Details Sharmaine Tan Gojek

November 18, 2021 01:43 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Variational AI Secures $US3.5 Million in Seed Funding to Apply State-of-the-Art AI Platform to Generate Novel Small Molecule Therapeutics for Drug Development

Variational AI

Variational AI, developer of state-of-the-art generative AI technology to redefine the economics of drug development by accelerating the discovery of novel and optimized small molecules, today announced that it has raised $US3.5 million ($CDN4.3 million) in seed funding. The investment round was led by Flying Fish Ventures, Alliance of Angels and A&E Investments, with participation from Lip-Bu Tan and Amarjit Gill, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors and advisors. Variational AI’s Enki algorithm learns from a training set of molecules screened against drug targets from both experimental and computational sources and then generates novel molecular structures with multiple pre-defined parameters/properties optimized to avoid common causes of drug attrition. This optimization is performed in parallel and can deliver results in months versus years and requires significantly less data than competing AI offerings. “The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of accelerating drug discovery and reducing the cost and risk to developing therapeutics,” said Frank Chang managing partner, Flying Fish. “We are thrilled to invest in Variational AI’s machine learning approach to discovering new molecules, which has the potential to dramatically impact the biopharma industry.” The seed funding will enable Variational AI to accelerate existing discovery programs for COVID-19, cancer and other disease areas. The company will also utilize the new capital to hire additional leaders in medicinal chemistry, cheminformatics, and machine learning, and recruit a Scientific Advisory Board. “The Variational AI team is excited to welcome our investors in sharing our vision for redefining the economics of drug development,” said Handol Kim, co-founder and CEO, Variational AI. “We look forward to accelerating our current programs and identifying new drug targets that Enki is uniquely suited to tackle to rapidly address unmet medical needs.” About Variational AI Variational AI uses state-of-the-art machine learning in a data-efficient method to rapidly generate novel and diverse compounds that are optimized for multiple properties to avoid the most common causes of drug attrition and increase clinical probability of success. Variational AI works with leading biopharmaceutical partners and is developing its own internal pipeline. To learn more, visit Contact Details Sage Morander +1 401-490-9700 Company Website

November 17, 2021 10:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

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SmartCone Technologies to Deliver Critical Process Validation Systems for a Safer Workplace

SmartCone Technologies, Inc.

SmartCone Technologies, Canada’s leader in IoT (Internet of Things) solutions announces a license agreement that integrates proprietary Disney technology into SmartCone’s technology eco system to create multiple critical process validation systems. Developed in collaboration with Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, this technology will push forward a more connected experience to ensure the highest level of safety at Disney Parks and beyond. “Working with Disney is a dream come true. They recognize SmartCone’s ecosystem has the ability to solve multiple use cases and are collaborating with us on a handful of projects already, which is very exciting and rewarding.” Said Jason Lee, CEO of SmartCone. By integrating Disney’s world class safety practices with SmartCone’s advanced technology solutions, a system is being created to integrate various sensors to guide users through critical processes, with visual and audible validation along the way. For example, using artificial intelligence, the system can ensure all steps of any desired process are met according to the company’s standards. In the event there is a discrepancy, the system can recognize and communicate any issue via visual and audio alerting both directly to an employee or customer so they can correct the issue. Basically, creating a “virtual guide” with an extra set of eyes. All events can be documented automatically for digital record keeping. “We have made a commitment of sharing our safety best practices and solutions with other industries and are pleased to be able to work with SmartCone to collaborate in ways to bring safety solutions to both our Disney Parks and other industries,” said Greg Hale, Chief Safety Officer and Vice President of Worldwide Safety and Assurance Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. About Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Disney Parks, Experiences and Products brings the magic of The Walt Disney Company’s powerful brands and franchises—including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, ESPN, Twentieth Century Studios and National Geographic—into the daily lives of families and fans around the world to create magical memories that last a lifetime. When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on July 17, 1955, he created a unique destination built around storytelling and immersive experiences, ushering in a new era of family entertainment. More than 60 years later, Disney has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of family travel and leisure experiences, with iconic businesses including six resort destinations with 12 theme parks and 53 resorts in the United States, Europe and Asia with more than 170,000 cast members; a top-rated cruise line with four ships and plans for three more to be completed in 2021, 2022 and 2023; a luxurious family beach resort in Hawaii; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business; one of the world’s largest children’s publishing brands; one of the world’s largest licensors of games across platforms; more than 300 Disney store locations around the world; and the shop Disney e-commerce platform. These experiences are created by Disney Imagineers, the creative force behind experiences found in Disney theme parks, resort hotels, cruise ships and consumer products—including books, games and merchandise. About SmartCone SmartCone Technologies Inc. (SCTI) is a unique data sensory company that commercializes new Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies powering a wide array of sensors, edge computing, sensor fusion and artificial intelligence (AI). TheSmartCone™ solutions have been used most recently in “ Return to Work ” solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as securing dangerous work sites, controlling bicycle lane traffic, managing vehicle fleets, smart warehouses, crowd control, and more. Visit us at For more information, please contact Tenille Houston at 1 (343) 804-0727 or Contact Details SmartCone Tenille Houston +1 343-804-0727 Company Website

November 17, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Crown Media Taps into Mirriad’s In-Video Advertising Opportunities for Holiday Season


Mirriad, the leading in-video advertising company powered by Academy Award Winning technology, today announced its partnership with Crown Media, enabling in-content advertising as a new avenue for brands and advertisers to engage with audiences including access to Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas in 2021. The partnership has yielded early success across key advertising categories such as, Automotive, Financial and Retail and more. Utilizing a mix of creative executions enables wider category participation for in-content advertising campaigns vs. traditional product placements. This capability has resulted in new advertisers for Crown Media and has become a powerful tool for Crown Media’s sales team to extend value to existing clients. “Our partnership with Crown Media has accelerated quickly to include so many leading brands, which proves the growing demand for in-content advertising,” said Mark Melvin, EVP Sales and Brand Partnerships U.S. at Mirriad. “Brands are seeking new solutions to contextually target their consumers in a seamless and authentic way. We’re seeing massive brand interest for quality programming, such as Hallmark’s original movies.” Through the partnership, brands now have access to content on one of the highest-rated cable networks in the U.S. The success of the partnership will expand into Hallmark Channel's marquee event of the year Countdown to Christmas, which kicked off on October 24 and features an extensive slate of holiday content, including new movie premieres every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and fan-favorite original seasonal films from years past. “We’re always looking for new technology that will enable our marketing partners to incorporate their brand messages into our programming and reach viewers in an organic way that optimizes impact,” said Chris Ward, SVP of Midwest Ad Sales at Crown Media. “Mirriad has quickly experienced great success in the first few months of our partnership. We’re excited to build on these results by expanding our partnership to enable advertisers to leverage this newly unlocked inventory during the holiday season – the most popular, highest-rated time of the year on our channels.” About Mirriad Mirriad's award-winning solution unleashes new revenue for content producers and distributors by creating new advertising inventory in content. Our patented, AI and computer vision technology dynamically inserts products and innovative signage formats after content is produced. Mirriad's market-first solution seamlessly integrates with existing subscription and advertising models, and dramatically improves the viewer experience by limiting commercial interruptions. Mirriad currently operates in the US, Europe and China. About Crown Media Family NetworksOwned and operated by Hallmark Cards, Inc., Crown Media Family Networks is home to Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. Hallmark Channel features an ambitious slate of new, original content, including movies, scripted series, and annual specials. Hallmark Channel is also home to the popular annual holiday franchise Countdown to Christmas featuring a 24/7 lineup of holiday programming. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is a 24-hour cable network featuring a unique mix of new, original movies and acquired series focused on the lighter side of the suspense and mystery genres. The network also features its own annual holiday programming franchise, Miracles of Christmas. Hallmark Drama showcases the rich legacy of the Hallmark Hall of Fame library and spotlights movies and series from Crown Media’s collection of original dramatic content. Crown Media Family Networks is also home to Hallmark Movies Now, the company’s subscription streaming service, which offers commercial-free, feel-good movies and series from Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and more, including exclusive content you can’t find anywhere else. Crown Media Family Networks’ publishing extension, Hallmark Publishing, offers original novels, as well as books adapted from Hallmark original movies. Contact Details Kite Hill Shania Roper +1 843-693-7161 Company Website

November 17, 2021 09:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

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