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COMCAST’S SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAM EXPANDS ELIGIBILITY TO ALL WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS HIT HARDEST BY THE PANDEMIC

Comcast Houston

Comcast RISE, a small business support program that’s helped more than 500 Houston-area businesses with grants and no-cost marketing services and technology makeovers, is now expanding eligibility to all women business owners who have been impacted by the pandemic. All women business owners — regardless of race or ethnicity— can now apply through June 17, 2022 at www.ComcastRise.com. Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment, is a multi-year commitment to support small businesses owned by people of color through advancing digital equity — a concept that recognizes everyone’s life circumstances are different and underrepresented small businesses should have access to the digital and marketing tools necessary to be successful in a digital world. The expansion of eligibility comes after Comcast RISE celebrated its one-year anniversary. Nationally, the program provided more than $60 million in grants, no-cost marketing and technology services to more than 6,700 small businesses owned by people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian Americans, among others. Of the 6,700 Comcast RISE recipients to date, nearly 70% are businesses owned by women of color, which spurred Comcast to take a deeper look into the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. According to a study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, with more than 1,800 new businesses being started every day. That’s nearly five times the national average. However, according to the same study, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of those run by men, namely because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed. In 2021, Houston-area woman-owned small businesses like All Real Radio, LAMIK Beauty, and Connect The Dots PR, were awarded either grants and/or digital tools needed to thrive and support their respective communities. The business owners serve as ambassadors to the program. Over the next 10 years, Comcast is committing $1 billion to programs, like Comcast RISE, and partnerships to reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world. In addition to women-owned businesses, all businesses owned by people of color are encouraged to apply for the chance to receive no-cost consulting, media and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, or technology upgrades from Comcast Business. 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 broadband, 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. About Comcast Business Comcast Business offers a suite of Connectivity, Communications, Networking, Cybersecurity, Wireless, and Managed Solutions to help organizations of different sizes prepare for what’s next. Powered by the nation’s largest Gig-speed broadband network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and one of the leading service providers to the Enterprise market. Comcast Business has been consistently recognized by industry analysts and associations as a leader and innovator, and one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. For more information, call 866-429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social. About Effectv Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, helps local, regional, and national advertisers use the best of digital with the power of TV to grow their business. It provides multi-screen marketing solutions to make advertising campaigns more effective and easier to execute. Headquartered in New York with offices throughout the country, Effectv has a presence in 66 markets with nearly 35 million owned and represented subscribers. For more information, visit www.effectv.com. Contact Details Foti Kallergis +1 832-986-0196 Foti_Kallergis@comcast.com Company Website https://houston.comcast.com/

February 15, 2022 07:02 AM Central Standard Time

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News Direct, an Alternative Wire Service, Selects Texture Capital’s Online Marketplace for Digital Security Offering

Texture Capital

Texture Capital Inc., a leading digital asset securities broker-dealer, today announced that News Direct, an advanced news and content distribution service designed to meet the demands of modern media outreach, has selected Texture’s online marketplace for their digital security offering. Texture Capital will support capital raising News Direct digital securities, which can also become eligible for trading on Texture's marketplace in the future providing News Direct investors with secondary market liquidity opportunities not typically available to investors in private securities. News Direct aims to redefine the staid, decades-old newswire industry with access to an expansive global network of media agencies, news outlets, and trade press—via an automated, secure, and collaborative workflow that eliminates the costly, time-consuming, and outdated editorial layer of traditional providers, all with no word count or geographic-based pricing parameters. The company is dedicated to providing a best-in-class distribution platform to support the communications needs of a diverse customer base, including PR, investor relations, corporate communications professionals, and content marketers, to help manage, execute, and measure their communications programs. Unique functionality supports the dissemination of expanded multimedia formats such as infographics, video, and images as independent, standalone assets, and the organization places an emphasis on secure access and robust analytics. “News Direct’s comprehensive and API-driven, cloud-based platform is the model for services organizations today,” said Richard Johnson, CEO of Texture Capital. “Having used the platform ourselves, we believe the team has struck a chord with the market and appreciate their focuses on security, workflow, analytics, and overall ease of use. We are proud to welcome News Direct to our platform, and are excited to continue working with them throughout 2022 and beyond.” “Having spent more than 32 years at one of the industry's leading providers, including the last seven as president, I started News Direct because I knew the category was dominated by incumbents that had grown change-averse and overly protective of a historically lucrative, but increasingly outdated, business and service model," said Gregg Castano, Founder and CEO of News Direct. “We’re delivering a novel, reimagined, and simplified workflow to meet the needs of 21st century professionals across communications, PR, investor relations, content marketing, and other segments. As we continue to invest in expanding our team and breaking new ground technologically, working with a partner like Texture Capital—whose entrepreneurial philosophy reflects our own—is an exciting milestone for News Direct.” To learn more about how News Direct plans to shake up the legacy newswire industry, please register here for our informational webinar. About Texture Capital Texture Capital, the institutional marketplace for private capital, is a technology-driven marketplace for institutions and issuers to more efficiently and directly participate in the private markets, improving liquidity, transparency, and access. We leverage blockchain technology and smart contracts to streamline the current market structure for private placements; supporting the primary issuance and secondary trading of digital securities through a regulated broker- dealer and a registered ATS. Please visit https://texture.capital for more information and to stay informed of future updates. About News Direct News Direct is an advanced news and content distribution service designed to meet the demands of modern media outreach. News Direct delivers a completely reimagined distribution workflow, revitalized measurement, and high quality service for highly dynamic, efficient, and flexible distribution. News Direct was founded by Gregg Castano, longtime president of Business Wire. With an insider’s understanding of media outreach, and expertise in strategic planning and management, Gregg leveraged his unique perspective and insight to create a brand new, purpose-built platform for news distribution—News Direct. Investment disclaimer: An investment in News Direct is speculative, involves a high degree of risk and that investors must be prepared to bear the economic risk of their investment for an indefinite period of time and be able to withstand a total loss of their investment. Blockchain is a new technology and unproven in financial markets. There is no guarantee that tokenization will enable any secondary market liquidity in the future and your investment may remain illiquid. Potential investors are strongly advised to consult their legal, tax and financial advisors before investing. Contact Details Karen Morgan +1 917-921-8685 kmorgan@texture.capital Company Website https://www.texture.capital

February 15, 2022 07:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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The Botanist Debuts First-Ever Tv Commercial, “The Spirit of Community,” at Super Bowl LVI In Support of Local Restaurants and Bars Nationwide

YourUpdateTV

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin introduces its first-ever television commercial, “The Spirit of Community,” debuting at the Super Bowl, to drive awareness for local bars and restaurants who continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), the campaign urges all Americans to take action to help the IRC in its efforts to refill the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) and promote positive change for the industry. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/ud_lZY0ZiMA The Botanist hails from Bruichladdich Distillery on the Scottish Isle of Islay, one of the few distilleries in the world to be B Corp certified. The distillery believes in using business as a force for good, putting people and purpose in line with profit. The Botanist’s ongoing partnership with the IRC is rooted in its people-centric values, a demonstration of how its community extends far beyond Islay and into the bar and restaurant industry in the U.S. The goal of “The Spirit of Community” campaign is to raise awareness of the critical support still needed for the 500,000 independent restaurants and bars that remain at risk of closure – 90,000 of which initially closed during the first year of the pandemic. Through the campaign, The Botanist and the IRC are mobilizing Americans to show support for the bar and restaurant community in this continued time of hardship. “Local bars and restaurants across the U.S. have been supporting The Botanist since our first distillation on Islay over a decade ago,” said Ian McLernon, President and CEO at Rémy Cointreau Americas. “Thus it was natural for The Botanist, a brand that is an integral part of the community on the island of Islay, to leverage our first-ever TV commercial to help support the community of hospitality staff working at local bars and restaurants across the U.S. during their time of need. Now more than ever, we must do what we can to save the establishments we know and love. Our hope is that our campaign’s debut at the Super Bowl helps amplify the vital message of our partners at the Independent Restaurant Coalition.” The Botanist is proud to bring its community-focused spirit to life through its first-ever commercial debuting on the biggest night in television. The 30-second spot will urge Americans to take action and support their favorite local bars and restaurants. Created by documentary film production company Blacksmith & Jones, the commercial features real-life bar and restaurant staff, amplifying the continued need for support and encouraging viewers to get involved. “Local bars and restaurants are the fabric of our communities across the country. These beloved establishments are still facing potentially insurmountable hardships,” said Tom Colicchio, Founding Member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “Our industry is on life support right now, and the only way to avoid massive closures is for swift action to be taken by our elected officials. We are grateful to The Botanist for recognizing the spirit of our community and using their platform to help raise awareness of our industry’s struggles during a monumental event like the Super Bowl.” “Hospitality is at the heart of every independent restaurant and bar,” explained Erika Polmar, Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “While you will surely be welcomed with a warm smile as you’re seated in your favorite corner booth, beneath the surface restaurant owners continue to struggle with nearly two years of losses and little financial assistance. Hundreds of thousands of restaurants are at risk of closing permanently, threatening widespread job loss, a massive supply chain disruption, the loss of community gathering spots, and the destruction of family-owned businesses. It’s partners like The Botanist who are helping us fight to keep those businesses and dreams alive.” The Botanist’s “The Spirit of Community” creative will air in 18 TV markets nationwide and digitally across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Botanist chose to run the ad in some of the America’s most influential food and drink cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, and Miami. The campaign teaser is live now on YouTube. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVG15dSOCjY. To learn more about how to get involved to support your favorite local bars and restaurants visit saverestaurants.com. About Karen Grill: Karen Grill is The Botanist Islay Dry Gin Brand Ambassador. A beverage industry professional in Los Angeles for 12 years, Karen is originally from New Jersey, where she began her career in hospitality at 15. Karen has spent time behind some of Los Angeles' most notable bars and has competed in several bartending competitions throughout her bartending career, earning herself numerous national and global bartending titles. Named Zagat's '30 Under 30' Culinary Game Changer in 2016, Karen is committed to the education and support of the national bartending community in every capacity. About The Botanist: Founded in 2011, The Botanist Islay Dry Gin is distilled and hand-crafted at Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay, a remote island off the west coast of Scotland. It is the first and only Islay Dry Gin – a rare expression of the heart and soul of this wild Scottish isle. Hailing from one of the only B Corp certified distilleries in the world, The Botanist believes in using business as a force for good, putting people and planet in line with profit. The craft liquid is distilled with a unique combination of 22 wild Islay botanicals which are hand-foraged locally and sustainably on the island by The Botanist's professional forager, James Donaldson. The Islay botanicals are slow simmer distilled with pure Islay spring water in a unique Lomond Still, affectionately nicknamed Ugly Betty, by Head Distiller Adam Hannett. The result is a smooth yet complex gin that speaks of Islay. www.thebotanist.com | Instagram @TheBotanistGin_US |Twitter @TheBotanist_US About the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC): The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed by chefs and independent restaurant owners across the country who have built a grassroots movement to secure vital protections for the nation’s 500,000 independent restaurants and the more than 11 million restaurant workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. About Blacksmith & Jones: Production company Blacksmith & Jones is a motion picture concern focused on story driven filmmaking. Founded by Trevor Jones and Greg Swartz, the company recently produced the documentary feature film The Water of Life. About Rémy Cointreau: All around the world, there are clients seeking exceptional experiences; clients for whom a wide range of terroirs means a variety of flavors. Their exacting standards are proportional to our expertise – the finely-honed skills that we pass down from generation to generation. The time these clients devote to drinking our products is a tribute to all those who have worked to develop them. It is for these men and women that Rémy Cointreau, a family-owned French Group, protects its terroirs, cultivates exceptional multi-centenary spirits and undertakes to preserve their eternal modernity. The Group's portfolio includes 13 unique brands: Rémy Martin and Louis XIII cognacs, Cointreau liqueur, Champagne Telmont, METAXA Greek spirit, Mount Gay rum, St-Rémy brandy, The Botanist gin, and our collection of single-malt whiskies (Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore from Islay, Westland from Seattle and Domaine des Hautes Glaces from the French Alps). Rémy Cointreau has a single ambition: becoming the world leader in exceptional spirits. To this end, it relies on the commitment and creativity of its 1,900 employees and on its distribution subsidiaries established in the Group's strategic markets. Rémy Cointreau is listed on Euronext Paris. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

February 11, 2022 06:26 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Telos Spark Hackathon - Next Level Innovation on the Fastest EVM Can Win You 100,000 Crypto Coins(Tlos)!

Telos Foundation

The Telos Spark Hackathon centers itself on the tEVM, a Web3.0 next level Ethereum Virtual Machine that is ready to generate instant blocks at the most affordable rates. Register today and prepare to deploy your Solidity contracts on the most robust and affordable EVM to date. GameFi, DeFi, NFTs, FilmFi, literally AnyFi, bring it forward. Deploy your contracts and watch them race at speeds and rates never experienced before. Here is video proof of just how fast and inexpensive the tEVM actually is: Telos vs Fantom Telos vs BInance Smart Chain vs Avalanche vs Ethereum *Not paid for -Thank you, Sean Davis! Telos Spark began on February 7th (lasting for a minimum of 4 weeks) and is scheduled to end on March 6th. Spark Hackathon winners will be announced on March 14th, 2022. This being our initial Telos Spark Hackathon, we will not be narrowing this specific competition down into different themes. Although we have a wishlist of sorts, we unanimously decided to leave the competition open so that the innovations pave the path. Developers can Register Here. Telos Foundation is encouraging Solidity developers to bring their best tools and dApps to the tEVM and potentially win a game changing prize which could even possibly evolve into a grant (Telos has it’s Ignite Grant program running in sync to its Spark Hackathon ). Telos has worked diligently to develop the tEVM from the ground up (non-Ethereum Fork) to remedy all of the pitfalls associated with all other EVMs. We have made the tEVM ludicrously fast, implemented fixed nano-sized gas fees, made sure dApps can scale without congestion and have insulated all end users from Front Running / Mev. “This is an incredible opportunity for Ethereum developers to gain a first mover advantage on the fastest, most scalable EVM in the World and win significant prize money. The Telos EVM ecosystem is set to explode in the coming months in a similar fashion to Avalanche, Fantom and Polygon, only bigger with reduced scalability concerns - who wouldn't want to be a part of that?” Justin Giudici, Acting CEO at Telos Foundation. We’re open to feedback from the Ethereum community and would love for you to participate in helping to build towards a better user experience on Telos. You could build EVM Tools to improve the UI or Backend such as: Charts and Statistics Snapshots Airdrops Display, Collection for NFT ́s You could build dApps or Forks applications like: DeFi and DEX innovation (Pancake or similar) Staking and Lending contracts or tools (Maker, Aave, Compound or similar) Innovative NFT Minting contracts (utility, liquidity, timelock...) Ethereum Name Service Fork (yourname.tlos) MultiSig tools or vaults (Gnosis or similar) Play 2 Earn fork / concept Or just bring your cool idea! In partnership with one of our favorite dApps within the Telos ecosystem, Taikai, and our recently launched Mentor support team, we are eager to make the deployment of your Solidity contracts as seamless as possible. Taikai itself is a dApp which specializes in creating streamlined and highly organized hackathons for both the developers and the platforms, and alongside them, hosting Telos Spark will be a breeze. Our mentors are all seasoned and eager to help make the simple deployment process painless. Prizes 1st place: 100,000 TLOS tokens to be sent to a wallet provided by the winning team. 2nd place: 50,000 TLOS tokens to be sent to a wallet provided by the 2nd place team. 3rd – 5th place: 10,000 TLOS tokens to be sent to a wallet provided by each team ranked in 3rd - 5th place. *Think of the odds. Register now. Telos EVM The Telos EVM (tEVM) is a non-Ethereum Fork EVM that is built from the ground up. It is the most robust EVM to date and by many multiples. It is extremely efficient, compiles Solidity and Vyper in a Wasm runtime environment and has been meticulously audited. The tEVM also insulates all DeFi and NFT trades from any Front Running / MEV due to its first in first out mempool protocol, governance, and ludicrous speed. Highlights Energy efficient (currently less than.000002 kWh per transaction and moving towards below zero numbers via offsets) Fastest EVM (instant transactions - half second blocktimes) Super scalable (sustainably capable of hundreds of millions of transactions per day) Truly decentralized (in both its technical architecture and its financial structure - No ICO) Most affordable with the most stable gas fees (stable because gas fees are fixed, while said gas fees are independent and do not move linearly with TLOS coin price) Next level governance (the only layer 1 to make its governance available to any dApp or chain. It can be downloaded in the App Store - Telos Decide) ESG focused - Environmental (striving for carbon neutral), Social (Truly Decentralized - a sanctuary platform), Governance (the only platform to extend the use of its truly democratic governance platform to its entire ecosystem and beyond - Telos Decide) About Telos Telos is a 3rd generation smart contract platform that offers compatibility with Solidity, Vyper and Native C++ smart contracts, providing full EVM/Solidity support as well as a fee-less native smart contract layer upon which the EVM is built. Telos performance is unrivaled in the industry and was purpose-built to offer speed, scalability, cost-effectiveness, decentralization and end-user fairness. The network can sustainably support hundreds of millions of transactions per day, produces blocks in 0.5 second intervals on a first-in-first-out basis (eliminating frontrunning on the network), offers a fee-less native and low per transaction cost EVM (<$0.10), and a fully decentralized block producer network. About The Foundation The Telos Foundation is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization established as a promotional and funding body to advance the Telos Blockchain Network and provide support to network applications. Contact Details Telos Foundation The Team hello@telosfoundation.io Company Website https://www.telos.net/

February 11, 2022 10:20 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Carlos Musquez Joins Catalyst Marketing Agency

Catalyst Marketing Agency

Catalyst, a Denver-based creative marketing agency, adds creative leader, Carlos Musquez, to the agency team. As executive creative director, Musquez will lead the agency’s creative culture and drive the creative direction for Catalyst’s clients, including Microsoft, Adobe, and World Kinect. “This pivotal new role for Catalyst will catapult our position as a true creative agency that is driven by strategy and known for delighting our clients,” said Catalyst CEO, Gem Swartz. “Catalyst is experiencing an exciting creative metamorphosis that brings us into 2022 with a renewed focus on exceeding our clients’ expectations with fresh, bold thinking.” Musquez joins Catalyst from ELA Advertising, a Los Angeles-based creative ad agency, after a long history at Omnicom agencies. He has created work for brands including Starbucks, TikTok, Paramount, Nestle, Logitech, Disney, eBay, Sony, Netflix, and Coca-Cola. “I’m not joining the Catalyst team to work at ‘another agency,’” said Musquez. “I am joining a team that is building a transformative creative agency. The vision of the agency’s partners, Gem Swartz and Robin Emiliani, is to build a creative agency that jolts the creativity of our clients, our industry peers, and future friends. That is inspiring. I want to be part of the journey and infuse my global brand experience and passion for delivering breakthrough creative to the team and our clients.” Musquez has been globally recognized by the Addy’s, Creativity, Effie’s, New York Festivals, Communication Arts, Art Directors Club, Clios, and Cannes. When he’s not creating, Musquez is spending time with his family, cooking, or indulging in his passion for cars and auto racing. About Catalyst Catalyst is a creative marketing agency devoted to helping you reach your most audacious marketing goals. We exist to jolt your creativity—giving you the strategy and unexpected creative direction your business needs to capture your customers' attention. Learn more at catalystmarketing.io. Contact Details Catalyst Marketing Agency Robin Emiliani +1 303-842-1189 robin@catalystmarketing.io Company Website https://catalystmarketing.io/

February 10, 2022 07:00 AM Mountain Standard Time

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FreshEdge Launches New Website

FreshEdge

FreshEdge, a family of produce and specialty food companies, has launched a refreshed and expanded www.freshedgefoods.com. FreshEdge partnered with DMA Solutions (Dallas, Texas), a marketing agency dedicated to exclusively serving the fresh produce industry. The website creates opportunities for connecting with FreshEdge’s operating companies and engaging in what makes their family unique. FreshEdge now operates with 1,640 employees, approximately 700,250 square feet of warehouse space, with a fleet of more than 650 trucks, delivering fresh food to customers in 22 states. Through rapid growth and consistent execution, FreshEdge has quickly amassed a reputation for adding value throughout the fresh foods industry. “FreshEdge’s new website is a splash of freshness,” said Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge. “It also symbolizes who we are – a growing family of customer-obsessed fresh food companies who care.” Greg Corsaro, President and COO of FreshEdge, added, “The revamped website reflects FreshEdge’s value proposition of providing dependable, customized solutions with cutting-edge technology for consistent, reliable delivery of fresh food with a sense of family and trust.” “We’re excited about the unique space this new website delivers for connecting FreshEdge, its family, and our industry partners,” said Daniel Corsaro, President of Indianapolis Fruit (FreshEdge retail operating company) and participant in the development of the new site. About FreshEdge FreshEdge was formed in 2019 through the combination of Get Fresh Produce (Bartlett, IL, founded in 1982) and the IF&P Foods family of companies, primarily composed of Indianapolis Fruit (founded 1947) and Piazza Produce (founded 1970). McCartney Produce (Paris, TN) joined the FreshEdge family in November 2020 followed by Valley Produce (Knoxville, TN) in June 2021, Vine Line (Grand Rapids, MI) in October 2021, and Monteverde’s (Pittsburgh, PA) in November 2021. Collectively, these leading fresh food distribution companies have several hundred years’ combined experience serving the grocery and food service industries. In addition, FreshEdge includes two Garden Cut branded fresh-cut processing facilities, a tomato re-packer, a USDA fresh kitchen (CIBUS Fresh), and two transportation companies. Today, FreshEdge is a category leader in providing both the foodservice and retail industries with fruit, vegetables, fresh grab-n-go offerings, dairy, floral and specialty products. For more, visit www.freshedgefoods.com. Contact Details FreshEdge Greg Corsaro +1 317-981-3440 gcorsaro@freshedgefoods.com Company Website https://www.freshedgefoods.com/

February 10, 2022 07:43 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Draft2Digital to Acquire Smashwords, Creating Self-Publishing Juggernaut

Draft2Digital

Draft2Digital, LLC and Smashwords, Inc., two pioneers in ebook self-publishing, today announced that Draft2Digital will acquire Smashwords. The acquisition unites the industry’s two most innovative and author-friendly publishing platforms into one, enabling the new Draft2Digital to drive even greater success for authors, publishers, and sales partners. Draft2Digital and Smashwords are key catalysts behind the dramatic rise of self-publishing over the last fourteen years. Their publishing platforms enable 250,000 authors and publishers around the world to publish, distribute, market, and manage over 800,000 ebooks and 11,000 print on demand paperback books. The combined company will operate under the Draft2Digital name and will be headquartered in Oklahoma City. All Smashwords and Draft2Digital employees are expected to join the combination. Kris Austin, co-founder and CEO of Draft2Digital, will lead the combined company as CEO. Mark Coker, founder and former CEO of Smashwords, will join the Draft2Digital management team as Chief Strategy Officer and board member. Both companies are entering the acquisition profitable and debt-free. “I’m pleased to welcome Smashwords authors, publishers, employees and partners to the D2D family,” said Kris Austin. “Early in our discussions with Smashwords, we each immediately realized we can accomplish so much more for the indie author community by working together than working as competitors. The resources we once expended creating duplicative systems can now be redeployed to ramp up our R&D investments in next generation tools to empower authors and publishers.” “I’m thrilled to join forces with Draft2Digital,” said Mark Coker. “Over the last decade, I’ve come to deeply admire Draft2Digital’s team, technology, and commitment to authors. Our shared business model is a key to our two companies’ success. We put authors first. By design, we only make money when our authors make money. This aligns our interests with the interests of our authors. Together we will lead the next chapter of the indie author revolution.” The combination is expected to yield significant benefits for authors, publishers, retail and library partners, and readers. Draft2Digital authors will gain access to the Smashwords Store and its myriad exclusive book marketing tools, including Smashwords Coupons, self-serve merchandising, Author Interviews, and the patent pending Smashwords Presales tool for book launches. Sales at the Smashwords Store have grown consecutively each of the last five years, with December 2021 sales up 20% over December 2020. Draft2Digital’s erotica authors can look forward to expanded distribution enabled by Smashwords’ proprietary erotica certification system, which allows retailers to carry erotic romance and mainstream erotica with greater confidence. Smashwords authors will gain access to new tools that simplify print and digital publishing and drive greater success. Among these tools are D2D Print, the company’s Print on Demand service for paperbacks (currently in beta, which authors can join at https://draft2digital.com/printbeta/); improved metadata management tools for better book discoverability at retailers; automated end-matter for series books; payment splitting for co-authors and collaborations; and more payment options, including direct bank deposits. Retailers and libraries served by the companies can expect greater title selection and unmatched merchandising recommendations. The new, merged company will offer retailers, subscription services, and libraries unprecedented data-driven insights into the world’s largest dedicated catalog of independently published books. This represents a unique and first-of-its-kind offering that Draft2Digital believes will improve the publishing industry. Customers of the Smashwords Store can look forward to an improved store experience and an increased selection of books from the many great authors and publishers distributed by Draft2Digital. “This acquisition is great news for indie authors,” said Joanna Penn, host of the Creative Penn podcast and bestselling author who has followed each company since its founding. “Two of the industry’s strongest advocates for indie authors are combining their unique toolsets, technologies, and energy to do more for the indie community. There are exciting years ahead!” What’s Coming Next The acquisition is expected to close on March 1, 2022. To minimize workflow disruption for authors, publishers, and sales partners, the two platforms will combine their systems in gradual and incremental steps. Authors and publishers of both companies can continue utilizing their current platform of choice with the understanding that over time the authors and publishers of both companies will gain access to a common dashboard, common distribution outlets (including distribution to the Smashwords Store for current D2D authors), and an expanded suite of new and improved tools for book publishing, distribution, and marketing. Draft2Digital will broadcast a live Q&A session for authors and publishers on Wednesday, February 9 th, at Noon Central, with Kris Austin and Mark Coker, moderated by Kevin Tumlinson, Draft2Digital’s VP of Marketing & PR. Kris and Mark will share additional insight about their plans to support the indie publishing community and welcome questions from the audience. Visit https://D2DLive.com for links and launch time, and to attend live on either Facebook or YouTube. The live broadcast will be recorded for future inclusion in the Draft2Digital podcast, Self Publishing Insiders, and will be available as a blog post at Draft2Digital.com/blog. Additional FAQs about the acquisition can be found at: https://smashwords.com/united https://draft2digital.com/united About Draft2Digital Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Draft2Digital is the world’s leading publishing platform for self-published authors and independent presses. The company offers a broad suite of free and powerful automated and self-serve tools that authors and publishers can use to build and grow their publishing businesses. This includes tools to simplify ebook and print publishing, distribution, metadata management, and marketing. Following its acquisition of Smashwords, Draft2Digital will serve more than 250,000 authors and publishers that collectively publish over 800,000 books worldwide. Visit Draft2Digital at https://draft2digital.com or follow on Twitter @Draft2Digital. About Smashwords, Inc. Founded in 2008 by Mark Coker, Smashwords was an early pioneer in ebook self-publishing. The company’s platform made it possible for writers to professionally produce, publish, and distribute ebooks at no cost. As a distributor, Smashwords was the first to open multiple major retailers and library ebook services to self-published authors, and worked in partnership with sales partners and payment processors to establish systems, standards, and professional best practices to foster a thriving ecosystem of indie-friendly booksellers and libraries. As of December 31, 2021, Smashwords was publishing 590,000 ebooks supplied by 150,000 authors, publishers and literary agents. The company was originally headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif, and most recently based in Pacific Grove, Calif. Visit Smashwords at https://smashwords.com, or follow the store at @Smashwords. For media inquiries, please contact: Kevin Tumlinson, Director of Marketing & PR kevin.tumlinson@draft2digital.com ### Contact Details Draft2Digital Kevin Tumlinson, Director of Marketing & PR kevin.tumlinson@draft2digital.com Company Website https://draft2digital.com/

February 08, 2022 10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Velocity Global becomes Official Partner of the DP World Tour

Velocity Global

Velocity Global becomes first global technology company to sponsor the DP World Tour, PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour DP World Tour to utilise the Global Work Platform from Velocity Global to enable employees to work anywhere in the world Multi-year agreement with elevated partnership status at three additional tournaments The DP World Tour today announces that Velocity Global, the world’s leading provider of global talent solutions, has become an Official Tour Partner in a multi-year agreement. Velocity Global serves as the Official Global Work Platform of the DP World Tour. Speaking about the partnership Rob Wellner, Chief Revenue Officer of Velocity Global said; “We are excited to become an Official Tour Partner and the Official Global Work Platform for the DP World Tour. Golf is truly a global game that spans national boundaries, leading to increased competition in an effort to find the best golf talent wherever it is. Finding and hiring top talent - anyone, anywhere - is at the heart of what Velocity Global provides to our customers. We give a competitive edge to leading companies to get ahead in the global marketplace. This partnership is a perfect embodiment of that work." Max Hamilton, Commercial Director of the European Tour group, added; “The DP World Tour has a truly global footprint, with 45 tournaments across 25 countries in our 2022 schedule - and in Velocity Global, we have found a partner who matches that globality. As an ever-expanding Tour, their Global Work Platform will support our business operations for DP World Tour personnel working abroad. Their footprint in golf is substantial and given our close ties to the PGA TOUR and both the LPGA and Ladies European Tour with our mixed events, Velocity Global can create synergies through its deep partnerships across golf’s biggest tours. We look forward to supporting each other in the years ahead.” As an Official Tour Partner, Velocity Global benefits from a range of marketing opportunities to grow its brand, including on-course signage and live television branding during DP World Tour events, bespoke social media content and access to tournament hospitality services. Throughout the partnership Velocity Global and the DP World Tour will develop a multi-channel content series to showcase some of the top players in the world and share their Work from Anywhere story. Velocity Global also enjoys elevated partnership status at three of the DP World Tour’s premier tournaments each season. These are two Rolex Series tournaments - the BMW PGA Championship and the DP World Tour Championship - plus the ISPS Handa World Invitational, which is an innovative mixed gender tournament run in partnership with the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour. The company’s Global Work Platform TM enables employers to grow compliant distributed workforces in more than 185 countries. Serving as the Official Global Work Platform for the DP World Tour, this partnership will see the Tour use Velocity Global’s services to help its employees work anywhere in the world. With this announcement, Velocity Global is now a partner of the four leading Tours in the men’s and women’s professional game – the first global tech company to have such a presence in elite golf. The company is already the Official Global Workforce Solutions Platform of the PGA TOUR, as well as the presenting sponsor of the PGA TOUR University. Last month, Velocity Global also announced a new agreement as the Official Global Work Platform of the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour. In addition, Billy Horschel, the winner of the 2021 BMW PGA Championship on the DP World Tour and a six-time PGA TOUR winner, is a Velocity Global brand ambassador, along with 12th-ranked Lexi Thompson and Albane Valenzuela on the LPGA Tour. Kevin Hall, a four-time APGA Tour champion, is also a Velocity Global brand ambassador. About Velocity Global Velocity Global accelerates the future of work for anyone, anywhere, anyhow. Its Global Work Platform simplifies the employer and talent experience through its proprietary cloud-based talent management technology, backed by personalized expertise and unmatched global scale. With talent solutions in more than 185 countries and all 50 United States, the platform combines global Employer of Record and Contractor Management to onboard, manage, and pay talent worldwide. 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. 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 velocityglobal.com. About the DP World Tour The DP World Tour is the main men’s professional golf Tour of the European Tour group, with a global schedule featuring a minimum of 45 tournaments in 25 different countries across the 2022 season. Formerly known as the European Tour, which was established in 1972, the 2022 DP World Tour schedule includes five Rolex Series events, along with four Major Championships, two World Golf Championship events and three tournaments co-sanctioned with the PGA TOUR, as well as tournaments staged around the world with a minimum prize of $2million for all events solely sanctioned by the DP World Tour. The season concludes with the final Rolex Series event, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where the winner of the Tour’s season-long competition, the DP World Tour Rankings, will be crowned. DP World, the leading provider of global smart end-to-end supply chain and logistics solutions, is the title partner of the DP World Tour, which is administered by the European Tour group. Contact Details Velocity Global Chris McGrath +1 720-650-4348 news@velocityglobal.com Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

February 08, 2022 07:01 AM Mountain Standard Time

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How The US is Leading the World to End COVID

YourUpdateTV

After two years of dealing with COVID issues, everyone is sick of arguing about masks and wants the supply chain fixed, the economy to rebound and kids to stay in school. The United States has been the global leader in the fight donating more than a half a billion vaccine doses and hundreds of millions of dollars. More needs to be done, and it’s in the hands of Congress to pass an emergency plan to End COVID Now. YourUpdateTV spoke to Michelle Nunn, President & CEO of CARE USA and Dr. Angela Wakhweya, CARE USA Senior Director, Health Equity and Rights Team to discuss how the US is leading the world to end COVID. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/vbbO4zX15Qw An emergency plan being considered by Congress will put billions of dollars into vaccines that could help reduce the risk of new variants developing that could threaten the United States and finally allow us to get back to normal. END COVID NOW is up with new advertisements across the country starting today, Lead The World and Variants are running nationwide on TV and cable as well as digital and streaming platforms. The Campaign to End COVID Now says This pandemic isn’t going away. Instead, it is a chronic disaster for everyone – families, communities, the whole country. The solution is straightforward and staring us in the face – we must achieve global immunity through ensuring everyone in the world has access to vaccines as quickly as possible. If not, we will continue to see variant after variant spread through our neighborhoods, disrupting and threatening our lives and our children’s lives. To learn more, visit EndCovidNow.com About the Campaign to End Covid: The End Covid Now campaign was formed by public health experts, scientists, and other concerned Americans to pressure our nation’s leaders and pharmaceutical companies to ensure future variants don’t shut down America. The plan to end COVID-19 consists of investing more money in vaccine manufacturing, sharing the vaccine formula so other countries can manufacture and distribute them, and working with allied countries to get more people vaccinated so Americans are safe from future variants. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

February 07, 2022 12:03 PM Eastern Standard Time

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