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Inovo catalyses global investors as it closes new fund on €54m, to scale Polish startups

Inovo

Inovo, the venture capital fund investing in technology startups across Poland and Central & Eastern European region (CEE), has today announced the final close of its second fund, Inovo II, at €54m. A range of global funds, entrepreneurs and family offices joined the European Investment Fund (EIF) as the cornerstone investor. Inovo specialises in identifying disruptive tech startups and supporting their development and growth through participation in early-stage, post-traction seed and Series A funding. Having a diverse range of LPs in the fund will enable portfolio companies to secure global funding as they scale and expand abroad. The new fund has already committed funding to several investment opportunities with leading international investors, including European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Andreessen Horowitz, Hoxton Ventures and Point Nine Capital. Notable investments include: Spacelift, Infermedica, Jutro Medical, AI Clearing, Zowie, Preply, Packhelp, Intiaro, Tidio, Allset and Eyerim. This fundraise follows the success of Inovo I which generated 3.2x return on investments from a portfolio of 15 high-growth tech startups, most of which have since been sold profitably, two have IPO’d, and three top-performing remain in the portfolio. One of the remaining investments is Booksy, the marketplace for beauty services where Inovo invested at the Seed stage. Now the company is one of the world’s top 100 marketplaces with 10 million app downloads and raised $70m in a Series C round (led by CatRock). Booksy is widely considered to become one of the first unicorn startups (those that have a valuation of $1b) from Poland. Tomasz Swieboda, Managing Partner at Inovo commented: “The tech ecosystem in the CEE region is growing at an exceptional pace. In Poland the growth rate is 70% year-on-year. In 2020, almost €500m in venture capital was deployed to 300 companies, which will almost certainly grow this year. It is our expectation that this decade will produce 10 unicorns and a few decacorns from Poland.” With the launch of its second fund, Inovo is aiming to cement its reputation as one of the leading early stage investors in Poland and the CEE region, while helping enterprising startups realize their potential, paving the way for later-stage funding from international VCs. “With 38 million people, Poland is a large market itself. Last year we've seen IPOs of two tech companies valued at over $1bn and focused on the domestic market - Allegro and InPost. Market size is both an advantage and an obstacle, resulting in Polish ecosystem being not very well connected to the West. At Inovo we strive to change that. We are perfectly placed to act as a catalyst to accommodate the new wave of ambitious local founders who want to follow in the footsteps of Booksy, Brainly and Docplanner and target global markets. Through our collaborative approach and international network we can help bridge them to larger investors ” added Tomasz Swieboda. Stefan Batory, Cofounder & CEO at Booksy commented: “The growth of the Polish startup ecosystem will accelerate after seeing success stories, proving that it’s possible to build global businesses out of the CEE region. I am certain that Booksy will serve as one such example, and then many will follow in our footsteps. However, for this to happen, startups need access to VCs like Inovo, which will provide not only capital, but also guidance and international connections for businesses to scale rapidly.” About Inovo Inovo is a venture capital fund investing in rapidly growing tech companies at Seed / Series A across Poland and the Central and Eastern Europe region (CEE). We back early-stage, post-traction startups with up to €3M of initial investment, and help them build global brands, while driving growth of the local startup ecosystem. We take great pride in being close to top founders who think big. We’re investors in: Booksy, Restaumatic, Sotrender, Infermedica, Spacelift, Tidio, AI Clearing, Zowie, Jutro Medical, Intiaro, Packhelp, Preply, Eyerim, Allset. Contact Details Inovo Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://inovo.vc/

April 22, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Comcast Increases Its Fastest Internet Speeds Over WiFi Across Kansas City Service Area

Twin Cities

Comcast today announced that, starting April 22, it will increase speeds of the fastest Xfinity Internet tier in the company’s Kansas City service area. Customers will be able to take advantage of advanced WiFi technology capable of delivering speeds faster than one Gigabit per second (Gbps) to support the ever-increasing number of connected devices in their homes. The upgrade to Xfinity Gigabit service is part of a national rollout that began this year. Additionally, Xfinity Performance Starter customers in the Kansas City area will see their download speed increase from 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 50 Mbps. These upgrades will be made at no additional cost to customers who will benefit from the new speeds. “We recognize that Comcast plays an important role in helping our customers stay connected, so we are constantly advancing our Internet product with new innovation,” said J.D. Keller, regional senior vice president, Comcast. “Our state-of-the-art gateways with WiFi 6 technology, wall-to-wall WiFi coverage, personalized tools and controls, and advanced cybersecurity are all helping to make our customers’ connectivity experience better than ever.” Comcast is also one of the first U.S. Internet service providers to offer a WiFi 6 Certified gateway with the latest version of its xFi Advanced Gateway, which is capable of delivering multi-Gigabit speeds via ethernet and laying the groundwork for Gigabit speeds over WiFi. Customers on the new upgraded Xfinity Gigabit tier will require an xFi Advanced Gateway, or one of the WiFi 6 capable devices approved to work with the Xfinity network to receive the faster speeds. Comcast will reach out to Gigabit Internet customers who need to upgrade their equipment at no additional cost if they don’t have a capable device in their home. Performance Starter customers will not require new equipment to take advantage of this speed increase. Increased internet speeds support faster connections and more capacity to support the growing number of smart home devices that are being added to home WiFi networks today and in the future. According to The Xfinity Cyber Health Report, some customers have dozens of devices in their homes. In fact, Xfinity xFi users have on average 12 devices per home, adding two devices over the past year; meanwhile, high-end users have as many as 33 devices and with five added over the past year. Comcast’s Xfinity Gigabit Internet service is delivered using Comcast’s existing network architecture and the connections already in most customers’ homes. In its Kansas City area footprint, the company also offers Gigabit Pro, a 2Gbps fiber-based synchronous broadband service that is twice as fast as any other offering available in the residential market. Since 2017 alone, Comcast has devoted more than $15 billion to strengthening and expanding its network – including building more than 33,000 new route miles of fiber. Every 2.5 years the company adds as much capacity to the network as in all previous years combined. Comcast’s residential broadband service is powered by xFi – a simple, digital dashboard for Xfinity customers to control their home WiFi network. In addition to parental control features like pausing WiFi and screen time scheduling, xFi provides content filters that ensure younger children can only access age-appropriate content. xFi also comes with xFi Advanced Security, which protects all the devices connected to a customer's home network from malware and other security threats. xFi can be accessed via the Xfinity mobile app (iOS and Android), or on the TV, on X1 and Flex, with the Xfinity Voice Remote. The feature is available at no extra cost to Xfinity Internet customers who lease a compatible xFi gateway. 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 over 56 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 Comcast Dave Nyberg +1 651-341-6401 Dave_Nyberg@Comcast.com Comcast Jill Hornbacher +16514251695 Jill_Hornbacher@Comcast.com

April 20, 2021 09:00 AM Central Daylight Time

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D8 Holdings to Accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin for Delta-8 THC Products

D8 Holdings, Inc.

D8 Holdings, Inc., the market leader in hemp-derived Delta-8 THC —today announced it will start accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin as payment methods on their site. “Our customers are early adopters, many of whom are heavily involved in the crypto market,” said Chris Duffield, CEO of D8. “With $2 trillion dollars sitting in crypto assets, and $45 billion parked in Dogecoin, the ability to accept crypto currency presents a big opportunity for our company.” D8.co will integrate Bitpay into their online platform, and all transactions will be settled in Doge. With the click of a button, customers can trade Doge for delta-8 gummies, delta-8 carts and delta-8 disposables as long as they are over 21 years of age. “Anyone paying with crypto will get a free pack of Delta-8 gummies as a bonus. We are looking long-term, and don’t plan on selling a single Doge,” concluded Duffield. About D8 Holdings Inc. The D8 Holdings team based in Colorado and Miami—with satellite offices in Las Vegas and Los Angeles—is an assembly of the top hemp and cannabis minds in the country. With backgrounds in extraction, chemistry, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and legal, the D8 Holdings team came together organically around this elusive, but extremely powerful molecule to create a new category of products. More info at www.d8.co. # # # Contact Details D8 Holdings Chris Duffield +1 424-333-2112 chris@d8.co

April 20, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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CMMC Center of Excellence Announces Engagement Agreement with CICER ONE TECHNOLOGIES

Interoperability Clearinghouse

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Center of Excellence ( CMMC COE ), hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public-private partnership serving the public and private sectors for more than 15 years, is excited to announce a partnership with Cicer One Technologies, an innovative company with a suite of communications and data management and protection tools that are specifically designed to end 3rd party exposure of sensitive information, to protect CUI, intellectual property and sensitive financial, customer, and employee data. Decentralized Autonomous Edge Computing by Cicer One Technologies Inc provides turn-key compliance solutions for CMMC, NIST 800-171, ITAR and Federal or State level privacy requirements. Zero-trust, jurisdictionally controlled management of users, documents, and chat communications enables non-technical business owners the confidence and ease-of-use required to achieve compliance in a cost-effective manner. This unique partnership will extend efforts to identify and include proven capabilities within the CMMC COE Marketplace to improve cybersecurity protection and resilience for the global defense industrial base network of contractors, vendors, and suppliers. The executed Engagement Agreement establishes a collaborative engagement between Cicer One Technologies and the CMMC COE to partner in the furthering of their respective and complementary missions and objectives regarding the adoption, use, and expansion of CMMC based cybersecurity practices, risk management, and compliance for the DIB contractor, vendor, and supplier community of providers creating a broader CMMC ecosystem globally to improve security and resilience. Specific actions will include: The co-development of CMMC advisory services, cyber training and education programs to accelerate CMMC certification, increase cyber adoption and improve cyber protection & resilience. Co-sponsor symposiums, training programs and podcasts leveraging their combined cyber and IT expertise. Host regular working groups, with other partners, to enable collaboration and communications. Establish an independent Industry Cyber Security Advisory Council with peer organizations to advise and educate leaders across government and industry on the continued evolution and effectiveness of CMMC. The CMMC-COE ( http://cmmc-coe.org ) and Cicer One Technologies ( https://ciceronetech.com ) partnership will focus on bringing together the many disparate cyber and national security communities of interest to reduce complexity, improve awareness, and accelerate industry effort to become more cyber resilient against the growing threats from nation states and criminal enterprises. “We are excited to embark on this journey with Cicer”, said John Weiler, Chairman of the Board at CMMC Center of Excellence, “The foundation of CMMC starts with visibility into devices in the network and the risks they bring. This new partnership will further help advance the goals and objectives for improving the supply chain security and resilience for the US Department of Defense (DoD)”. Cicer One Technologies adds to the growing list of recognized technology providers contributing to the growth and advancement of the CMMC compliance knowledge base, product refinement, and education collateral. Together we share the responsibility to accurately disseminate knowledge and education thereby building cyber resiliency across the DIB supply chain. “This new partnership further enables important and critical discussions regarding cybersecurity and the protection of the DIB supply chain. We are excited to contribute in the development and education of policy, products, and services throughout the adoption of the CMMC protocol supporting contractors across the country,” said Robert Embleton, CEO. The CMMC-COE establishes both a Market Place and Knowledge Clearinghouse that will include resources that support the overall effort, including white papers; tutorials; recorded webcasts; presentations; and more that will help reduce the cost and burden on small and medium size contractors already struggling from the impact of COVID. For more information on the CMMC Center of Excellence, please visit http://cmmc-coe.org, email info@cmmc-coe.org or call 703-863-3766 For more information on Cicer One Technologies, please visit https://ciceronetech.com/ email info@ciceronetech.com or call 512-582-7009 About Us ---------- CMMC-COE.ORG is a unique non-profit public-private partnership, with a vision to accelerate Cybersecurity Maturity Model (CMM) adoption, and reduce time & cost for security compliance for our partners by leveraging commercial best practices, CMMC standards, and innovative solutions for a measurable success. Our mission, focused on DOD mission objectives, cost containment and expeditious CMMC compliance, is to help the DIB improve cyber posture and resilience, and simplify its acquisition. The CMMC-COE is hosted by the Information Technology Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC), a public/private partnership (P3) chartered in 2007 as an honest broker to reach outside the confines of the Federal IT advisories that lack dynamic reach into the Global IT Market, and dedicated to the adoption of commercial IT management standards of practice and innovations emanating from the Global IT market. Team IT-AAC has already demonstrated the value of its decade long investment, and provides a unique value to agencies seeking to achieve accelerate the transformation of legacy processes and systems. Our Just-in-Time SMEs apply an innovative suite of Technology Business Management and Agile Acquisition Processes needed to assure the business value of commercial IT. The Interoperability Clearinghouse (ICH), is the managing partner that make up the 24 NGO/SDO organizations that make up the IT-AAC. ICH provides the contract vehicles, clearances, and critical resources proven to guide sustainable, measurable and repeatable processes needed to drive better investment decisions as the speed of mission need, while aligning existing processes, methods and workforce with IT reform mandates contained in Clinger Cohen Act, FITARA, IT MGT Act, EO13838. Contact Details Bob Dix +1 703-975-6633 bob.dix@it-aac.org Company Website https://cmmc-coe.org

April 20, 2021 06:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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XA Network expands and appoints senior advisory board, as Southeast Asia digital economy races ahead

XA Network

The XA Network [the X denotes any tech firm with $1b+ valuation and the A refers to Alumni], the leading member-based investment network of executives from prominent tech firms in Southeast Asia, has today appointed an advisory board. The appointments signal the organisation's growth and reach, as the Southeast Asian digital economy proves resilient and is racing ahead at full velocity. John Wood (ex-Microsoft, Room To Read), Steve Chen (co-founder of YouTube), Maya Hari (Twitter) and David Thevenon (Balderton Capital, ex-Google) have been appointed to advisory board positions. They will work directly with the members as the organisation scales and will champion the new purpose - to be an organisation that fosters inclusive innovation for the benefit of start-ups across Southeast Asia. On his appointment, John Wood, advisory board member at XA Network commented: “I’m delighted to join this esteemed board to support and drive the ambitious community of investors. The XA Network brilliantly embodies Metcalfe's law – e.g., the value of a network rises exponentially as the number of users grows. I believe this generation of technology leaders, by working together to support the start-up ecosystem in Southeast Asia, will have an immense impact on the region. We are all very committed to the power of smart capital, intense mentoring and fuelling inclusive innovation. This approach resonates with me on many levels and I look forward to helping XA Network scale to the next level”. The XA Network is made up of 100 tech leaders from companies including Alibaba, Gojek, Grab, Google, Amazon, Netflix, YouTube amongst others. These investors offer an unmatched array of skills and counsel to their portfolio companies from engineering advice, product management, to marketing and partnership building experience. As a collective, this is embodied in their purpose to foster inclusive innovation beyond simply investing in start-ups. The XA Network exists to empower the tech community in Southeast Asia with its inclusive innovation approach. The Southeast Asia digital economy is forging new ground every year* and 2020 was no different, despite COVID-19. Over 70% of the region is now online, accounting for 400 million people (of a total population of 580 million). Digital adoption of consumer-service businesses increased as more people spent time online during lockdowns. HealthTech and EdTech based companies are earmarked to take-off in the coming years. Overall, the digital economy added USD $100 billion to the region and is poised to grow to over USD $300 billion by 2025. The XA Network portfolio businesses are making a positive impact across the region such as Indonesian startups, Sampingan who enable access to the gig economy and Bukukas who enable small businesses to digitize their operations. Meanwhile, Singapore-based mentor platform Tigerhall is connecting the world’s most successful people with young professionals. Nellie Wartoft, CEO at Tigerhall commented: "We raised $2m in 2020, it was a huge milestone for the company but we had a lot to do. The XA Network members are some of the absolute most supportive investors I've ever had on my cap table. They're never afraid of rolling up their sleeves and doing real work either, which is rare to find amongst investors. They feel much more like an extended team than just financial investors to me, and have been key to Tigerhall's success." The appointments come at an exciting time for XA Network as they achieved their first exit. Lomotif, Singapore’s video-sharing service, was acquired by a syndicate for US$125 million. The deal is said to be one of the biggest exits by a tech startup in Singapore in recent years. XA Network highlights (last 12 months) Membership base increased from 50 to 100 people in March 2021 XA Network portfolio includes 30 start-ups in a range of sectors including mobility, healthtech, foodtech, edtech, adtech, fintech, social commerce, proptech Portfolio companies have also gone on to raise $82m in follow-on capital Notes to the editor * e-Conomy SEA 2020 Report About the XA Network The XA Network [the X denotes any tech firm with $1b+ valuation and the A refers to Alumni] is an investment network comprising senior executives from prominent tech companies including Alibaba, Gojek, Grab, Google, Amazon, Netflix and Twitter amongst others. Its mission is to invest and empower early-stage companies across Southeast Asia through their inclusive innovation approach, by exposing these businesses to the wide array of skills in the network. Since 2018, they have made 30 investments and expanded their member base to 100 people. XA Network has invested in a wide variety of promising companies including Bukukas, Tigerhall, Sampingan, Neuron, and Infradigital as well as the Vertex Southeast Asia and India fund. Contact Details XA Network Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 press@xanetwork.co Company Website https://xanetwork.co/

April 19, 2021 08:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise Owner Joseph Lee Shows Print is Essential to Boosting Local Businesses in San Bernardino

Minuteman Press International Inc

Celebrating 5 years in business and overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic with 20% year-over-year sales growth to date in 2021, Joseph Lee has grown his Minuteman Press franchise in San Bernardino by providing essential printing and marketing services with a personal touch. “I always put myself in the customer’s shoes, and I am always sincere. I ask them, ‘What are you trying to accomplish?’ Then, I let them know how we can help them while also doing everything I can to save them time, stress, and money. I let them know how they can promote their business, and more importantly I listen and get to know them.” Joseph’s personal approach and empathy for his clients and community is especially refreshing at a time where local businesses need to work together as the local economy recovers from the pandemic. Joseph says, “Over the past year, whenever I reach out, our customers are very appreciative and glad we are still open and operating, and still growing. The reason I am growing and operating is because of them. No matter how many clients I have, I try to know them by their first names and what they do for a living. Providing a personal touch and showing you care, then proving it time and again, means everything.” “I get to know my clients as people, not just as customers. That has been the biggest key to our growth.” Joseph Lee, Owner, Minuteman Press in San Bernardino Print is Essential At the beginning of the pandemic, print was classified as an essential business, and with good reason. Joseph explains, “One of the first things I did was keep in contact with customers by letting them know I was operating. This included providing printing for other essential businesses like doctor’s offices, hospitals, and city organizations. I was following guidelines and told everyone I reached out to that we are open and I am here if there’s anything they needed. We printed everything from custom embroidered masks to help keep people safe to critical COVID-19 safety posters, and more.” Reflecting on the past year, Joseph continues, “During the pandemic, what I see is that paper materials and tangible items are here to stay. People might have missed the human connection this year, but print was and always will be there to keep us connected in a meaningful and powerful way.” Local Business Recovery Trending Upwards Today, Minuteman Press in San Bernardino is seeing more and more local businesses reopening and ordering more printing products and marketing services. Joseph says, “I think there was a point in time that printing might not have seemed like it was trending. However, the more you really look at it, printing is always trending and it’s not a passing fad. Today, I’m selling more business cards than before, more flyers than before (we are working on an order for 5,000 flyers that just came in), and more mailers than before (we are working on an order for 3,500 postcards that will be mailed out soon, which is actually seven versions of 500 postcards each).” He adds, “Our current growth has been a case of providing a little bit of everything that has worked together. For example, we have an envelope printer and envelope stuffer, with one client doing 10,000 mailers every quarter. We’ve enhanced our in-house wide format printing capabilities for banners. We’ve upgraded in all areas of printing, finishing, and bindery. This speeds up the process for us and meets our clients’ needs quicker. Ultimately, by investing in equipment, I am solidifying my base. My business has grown and is growing today. Even during the pandemic, we remained steady, and now we are already 20% ahead of last year.” “Our business has been servicing San Bernardino for 35 years and I have been the owner for 5 years. I know I can help by listening and seeing what our clients need. Whether it’s a fresh banner outside their shop or 10,000 mailers, I have positioned our business so that we never have to turn a client away for something we can’t do. I want to take care of everything no matter the industry. Local businesses, hospitals, engineers, we can do it all.” -Joseph Lee 3 Keys to Growth & Benefits of Franchising As part of the Minuteman Press franchise family, Joseph is able to utilize various resources to grow his business. He says, “The three keys for me have been following the Minuteman Press system, investing in Minuteman Press’ Internet marketing program, and simply talking to customers and generating word of mouth referrals. Nothing is more powerful or gratifying than gaining new business from customer recommendations. We’ve proven that the high quality and personal service we provide is what leaves the most lasting impression.” Another huge benefit of franchising with Minuteman Press is the support they provide to Joseph. He explains, “The reason I am with Minuteman Press is because I share their core values of what a business is supposed to be. I receive more than just support, instead I like to say I receive ‘kind’ support. Everyone is very honest and genuinely trying to help each other.” Joseph also attended the Minuteman Press International World Expo in 2019, where franchisees, vendors, corporate and regional teams all came together to share ideas, insights, and innovations. “I attended the World Expo and came back home to San Bernardino with so much knowledge and information. Two things that stuck with me were to become an expert on direct mail and to invest in areas such as large format printing, digital production, and digital bindery. I applied these concepts and it really helped me grow and better serve my clients.” “The corporate and regional support they provide and the relationships Minuteman Press International has built with me is huge. We all work together, from my Regional Vice President Dan Byers and the field team to the other owners I’ve had the pleasure of knowing over the past five years. What this all means is that I am in business for myself, but not by myself.” -Joseph Lee Entrepreneurship Runs in the Family For Joseph Lee, owning a business is a concept he learned from his family. He explains, “I grew up in Houston and was a pre-med student. My father owned a gas station business but he unfortunately passed away. My mother sold the business and then started a deli shop. Owning a business was something I was familiar with as was hard work.” He continues, “While I was still in Houston, I worked my up from part-time sales to VP Sales/Marketing for a cutlery company, where I even brought the business to South Korea. After I left that company, I bought and grew two copy centers in 1996 and 2000 before coming to San Bernardino.” “I sold the copy centers and moved to San Bernardino in 2005 when I landed the opportunity to work as COO & VP Sales/Marketing for another company. I have lived here for 16 years and bought my Minuteman Press franchise in 2016. I haven’t looked back since.” “Before I chose Minuteman Press, I looked at so many franchises: pizza parlors, nail salons, and other printing franchises. I looked at this opportunity and saw the greatest potential. I started turning the business around after two months and now it’s been five years of consistent growth.” As for the rewards of owning his franchise, Joseph says, “I don’t like people telling me what to do so the most rewarding thing is that I am the decision-maker. There are responsibilities but also the freedom to decide for yourself what you want to do. Also, I like to be proactive rather than reactive, and I have trained my employees to be the same way. I feel like we have been successful taking that approach to go above and beyond for our clients.” Advice for Others When asked what advice he would give to other aspiring business owners, Joseph answers, “For me, there are three keys to building a successful business: 1. Provide the highest quality; 2. Build rapport and develop personal relationships with clients while providing personal service; and 3. Have competitive pricing but don’t operate on price alone. Focus on those three things and that will really help spark long-term growth.” For more information about Minuteman Press in San Bernardino, visit https://www.sb.minutemanpress.com. 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

April 19, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE LEADERS LAUNCH A GLOBAL PLEDGE TO TRUST SCIENCE

International Day of Light Steering Committee

Ahead of this year’s International Day of Light celebration on 16 May, the International Day of Light Steering Committee announces the launch of the Trust Science pledge, a worldwide campaign to promote support for the scientific process and to acknowledge the many benefits of science for society. Crises such as the coronavirus pandemic demonstrate the importance of scientific research and remind us how much we depend on dedicated professionals to find evidence-based solutions to global challenges. To recognize the central role played by science in society, the Trust Science pledge invites the general public to join leading scientists worldwide to affirm confidence in the process of scientific research and discovery. To date, the pledge has seen enthusiastic support worldwide with founding signatories including Nobel laureates, UNESCO L’Oréal For Women in Science prize winners, Presidents and CEOs of major scientific bodies, as well as scientists and students from more than 20 different countries. The pledge is now being shared widely to invite all interested individuals to take part. The Trust Science pledge states: “Trust in evidence-based, scientific facts is essential for providing sustainable solutions to today’s challenges. By adding my name to this declaration and pledge, I recognize the key role that scientific research and discovery plays in improving quality of life for all.” The Trust Science campaign is organized by the IEEE Photonics Society, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and The Optical Society (OSA), together with the International Day of Light Steering Committee. “The events of the past year have spotlighted science’s crucial role in solving critical global problems,” said Steering Committee Chair John Dudley from the Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté in France. “This campaign will allow people around the world to join us in affirming support for science and the scientific process. We encourage all to sign, and our hope is that this will stimulate valuable discussions within families, at the workplace and in educational settings.” In the context of the International Day of Light, the campaign will also highlight a number of Champions, research leaders in broad areas of light science and technology, including solar energy, the study of cultural heritage and healthcare. To sign the pledge and to learn more, please go to https://www.trust-science.org Contacts For questions about how you can engage with the campaign, please contact: info@trust-science.org For media enquiries, please contact: pr@trust-science.org Social media: please share using #TrustScience and #LightDay2021 Social media links: Facebook; Instagram; Twitter About the International Day of Light The International Day of Light (IDL) is a worldwide initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications and energy. The International Day of Light is administered from the International Basic Science Programme (IBSP) of UNESCO by a Steering Committee that includes representatives from a broad range of international partners: the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), Bosca, the China International Optoelectronic Exhibition (CIOE), Chinese Optical Society (COS), the European Centres for Outreach in Photonics (ECOP), the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), lightsources.org - the international network of accelerator based light sources, Light: Science and Applications, The Optical Society (OSA), Tampere University, SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, SESAME, Signify, Tampere University, Transitions, the Université de Franche-Comté and Velux. For information about the International Day of Light, please visit www.lightday.org Contacts for IDL: John Dudley and Joseph Niemela 2021 Steering Committee Chairs Email: contact@lightday.org Bethany Downer 2021 Communications Coordinator Email: contact@lightday.org Media Contact for Trust Science: pr@trust-science.org About IEEE Photonics Society The IEEE Photonics Society is the professional home for a global network of scientists, engineers and allied professionals who advance laser, optoelectronics, and photonics technology. As a technical society representing the IEEE, it is a vital part of the world’s largest technical professional organization of more than 400,000 members dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, educational activities, and humanitarian initiatives, the IEEE Photonics Society provides its members in more than 160 countries the opportunity to grow professionally and stay on the forefront of transformational breakthroughs in photonics. PhotonicsSociety.org About SPIE SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 255,000 constituents from 183 countries, the not-for-profit society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. In 2020, SPIE provided more than $5 million in support of education and outreach programs. www.spie.org About The Optical Society Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders in light science and technology. The society serves over 432,000 customers and 22,000 members from more than 100 countries who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the field. OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts through world-renowned publications. For more information, visit osa.org. Contact Details pr@trust-science.org +1 703-907-0010 pr@trust-science.org

April 15, 2021 10:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Osmo For Schools Receives Prestigious 2021 EdTech Digest Award in “Curriculum and Instruction Solution” Category

Osmo for Schools

Osmo for Schools proudly announces that its Osmo Learning System is the recipient of the 2021 EdTech Digest Award in the “Curriculum and Instruction Solution” category, while its Osmo Projector App has placed as a finalist in the “New Product or Service” category, and its Osmo STEAM Learning System has placed as a finalist in the “STEM Solution” category. “It’s a very pleasant surprise to hear that Osmo for Schools won the 2021 EdTech Digest Award for best Curriculum and Instruction Solution, and came in as a finalist in two other categories,” says Jan Richards, head of education sales and marketing at Osmo for Schools, the division of Tangible Play that promotes in-classroom usage of Osmo’s learning tools. “This validates our incredible, hard work to make Osmo for Schools’ educational products widely available and more visible to educators nationwide.” Now celebrating its eleventh year, the EdTech Digest Awards recognize people in and around education for outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere. Featuring EdTech’s best and brightest, the annual program shines a spotlight on cool tools, inspiring leaders and innovative trendsetters across the K-12, Higher Education, and Skills and Workforce sectors. This year’s finalists and winners were narrowed from the larger field and judged based on various criteria, including: pedagogical workability, efficacy and results, support, clarity, value and potential. To introduce educators to Osmo’s educational technology, Osmo for Schools will also host a FREE webinar on Wednesday, June 16 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (5:00 pm Pacific Time) via Zoom, for pre-K to grade 5 teachers to learn more about how to implement Osmo for Schools learning systems, and make the most of their Osmo products. The webinar will help teachers maximize Osmo’s potential for English Language Arts (ELA), Math, and STEAM/STEM stations. Sign up URL. About Osmo for Schools Osmo for Schools, a division of Tangible Play, Inc., focuses on building in-classroom usage of Osmo’s award-winning educational systems. Using proprietary AI technology, these systems help teachers foster collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and increased engagement in learning, in students. Osmo is used in more than 30,000 schools in North America. Tangible Play is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. For more information about Osmo for Schools and its products, visit schools.playosmo.com. Contact Details Carolyn Kamii PR +1 310-251-0550 carolynkpr@gmail.com Company Website http://schools.playosmo.com

April 15, 2021 04:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise Owner Barry Landowski Sparks Local Business Growth in Germantown, Wisconsin During COVID-19 Pandemic

Minuteman Press International Inc

As Barry Landowski begins his 30th year in business this month, the long-time owner of Minuteman Press in Germantown, WI has spent the past year leading the charge to support local businesses in his community. “The pandemic has created a close bond between all small business owners around here. We’re all in this together and we need to stick together. That’s the feeling I get. No one wants to see anyone fail.” Print is Essential Barry’s Minuteman Press franchise is an essential business providing critical printing, marketing, and direct mail services. “Because I’ve been a leader in the community for so long, I’ve had several owners asking how we are doing and telling me they need us. I’ve tried to be very compassionate with them and I tell them not to give up.” Because of his empathy as well as his ability to offer high-demand products and services, Minuteman Press in Germantown has continued to remain open and stay strong throughout the pandemic. “One of the smartest things I’ve done was triple our investment in Minuteman Press International’s internet marketing program. This year, we have received more requests and orders from companies I hadn’t heard of before. This was really helpful while everyone has been on lockdown, as buyers have found us online. We then work to turn them into satisfied clients who want to continue to do business with us.” To be in business for nearly 30 years, Barry has successfully adapted his business to meet the needs of his clients. “I listen, learn, and change with the times. My Minuteman Press franchise of 2021 is a different business from my shop in 1992. Based on Minuteman Press’ recommendations, I have diversified my products and services. We added a large format printer to produce signs and banners in-house as well as a dye sublimation system and an embroidery machine for custom apparel orders.” Barry continues, “We are now a certified USPS mailing center fulfilling bulk mailing and Every Door Direct Mail orders several times per week. These services are in high demand right now from our clients looking to reach out to their target customers, and we can do the entire project from custom design and printing to mailing.” He adds, “For several years, we have also been selling many different types of custom promotional products. There are so many different ways companies can benefit from branded items, and customers always like receiving a little something extra for free.” Barry also credits Minuteman Press International for supporting him all the years he has been in business including during the pandemic. “Minuteman Press is always there for me. This past year, we have had constant communications and additional resources to help us market our business. We have amazing vendor relationships with suppliers. Every time I attend the Minuteman Press World Expo, I come back with new ideas and ways to grow. Just when I think I know everything Minuteman Press gives me incredible advice or rolls out a new product and shows me why it’s important to always keep learning.” Owning a Business vs. Having a Job Barry reflects on his journey to entrepreneurship and his life before owning his own business. “In my prior life, I was on the corporate ladder. My last position was Corporate Director of Procurement for a billion dollar corporation. I was responsible for about $250 million in annual purchases. I simply got sick and tired of the toxic corporate culture so I decided that I’d rather work hard for myself and be my own boss.” He continues, “I had a pre-law degree but had no desire to go to law. I also had a real estate license but didn’t have the time to build an empire on my own. A friend and I went to a franchise show in Milwaukee in 1991. I didn’t like much of what I saw until I met with Minuteman Press. The wheels started turning and I liked the idea of printing. It’s simple to follow and everyone is a potential customer. I knew nothing about printing or running a business, and yet here I am 29 years later thanks to Minuteman Press.” “Barry Landowski has done a fantastic job with his Minuteman Press franchise in Germantown. He truly cares about his clients and today he continues to be a community leader and an inspiration to other local businesses,” says Steve Szymanski, Minuteman Press International Midwest Regional Vice President. Rewards & Advice to Others When asked about the rewards of owning his own business, Barry answers, “I’ve had some really good times and made some mistakes, but they were my mistakes and I got smarter and tougher when learning from them. My biggest reward has been the opportunity to work with my daughter for 2 years, my son for the past 15 years, and my brother for 25 years. I probably should have retired 7 years ago, but I love to come to work.” Barry adds, “As I’ve tried to illustrate, the support from Minuteman Press is the only way that I could have started up and continued to operate for the past 29 years. They have laid the foundation and provided ongoing support, programs, and advice on products, equipment, marketing and staffing. This has all been essential to my existence.” For people who ask Barry what it’s like to get started in business, he says, “Starting your own business is like cliff diving. You stand on the cliff looking down at all of the rocks below and it can seem scary. However, once you jump, never look back, and focus on what’s ahead of you.” He concludes, “Minuteman Press will give you everything you need to operate a successful business with the exception of one thing – work ethic. You’ve got to get that yourself.” For more information on Minuteman Press Germantown, Wisconsin, visit https://www.germantown.minutemanpress.com. Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com. Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

April 12, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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