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Chia Launches Eco-Friendly Blockchain & New Digital Currency

Chia Network

Highlights Chia Reinvents Digital Money with Energy Efficient At-Home Farming Rewards Chia Blockchain Full Node Count approximates 2,000 in the last 24 hours and exceeds 12,500 since Launch Chia Network Inc. (“Chia”) today introduced its revolutionary eco-friendly blockchain, its new digital currency known as “chia,” as well as a new breakthrough smart transaction on-chain programming language called “Chialisp”. Chia’s blockchain is a global open-source decentralized network that operates a payment settlement system using chia, its native cryptocurrency. The Company expects its blockchain will be used in a range of transactions, including cross border payments, issuing financial assets, and stable coin issuance. Chia intends to sell software service and support for its open source blockchain and smart transaction software to governments, financial institutions, corporations, and large buyers and sellers of storage. “We are very excited to launch Chia’s new blockchain and smart transaction platform which is easier to use, more energy efficient, and more secure than existing digital money alternatives. Improving upon Proof of Work’s shortcomings around centralization, electricity consumption and poor programmability, Chia’s blockchain has the potential to become the core of a new monetary architecture,” said Bram Cohen, Chia’s CEO. As of March 2021, Chia’s blockchain has approximately 2,000 full nodes in the last 24 hours and 12,500 full nodes since launch as compared to Ethereum with 6,800 full nodes. According to Bram Cohen, a robust amount of independently-operated nodes is considered essential to the success of Chia, as its fundamental value relies upon its ability to remain decentralized. Farming will allow even the smallest farmer running a node a chance to win rewards for validating the network. Running a node is also a more secure way to self-custody chia. "Bram Cohen is one of the greatest living protocol designers (BitTorrent), right up there with Satoshi and Vitalik” -- Naval Ravikant Chia is the answer to Bitcoin’s climate problem Banks and currencies are susceptible to routine shocks from governmental mismanagement, global financial crises, and generally run on antiquated technologies. Bitcoin was launched during one of these banking crises to try to address these ongoing issues. But Bitcoin now expends approximately 64 terawatt-hours per year, a level of energy consumption comparable to the nation of Switzerland. This level of energy usage is controversial and could get worse as bitcoin adoption and energy prices increase. Further, Bitcoin script is very limited, slow to develop, and has generally required significant changes in the Bitcoin protocol that can take years to be deployed. These delays and limitations have hampered building custody and controls into the Bitcoin blockchain. Ethereum shares Bitcoin’s reliance on “wasteful” mining and has additional problems. Almost every deployed Solidity smart contract that has attracted large balances has in some way been compromised. The Solidity scripting language makes it easier to write software than to secure it. Ethereum has mostly become known for the fundraising mechanism known as an “ICO”, where the fundraiser creates new tokens on the Ethereum network to sell for bitcoin and ether - many of which have uncertain regulatory compliance. Environmentally green chia (XCH) aims to save the planet Chia ’s blockchain offers functional and environmental advantages to Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple’s existing platforms. The Chia blockchain is more open and accessible than existing financial institutions, more efficient and less wasteful than the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain, and better designed for secure smart financial transactions than the Ethereum blockchain while being more decentralized than Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple. Chia’s blockchain replaces “Proof of Work” which is the consensus method that Bitcoin and Ethereum use, with the first of its kind “Proof of Space and Time” which uses significantly less energy and leads to a more decentralized and more secure blockchain. Proofs of Space harnesses unused disk space, rewarding owners of empty space for “ farming ” and Proofs of Time add security and time predictability to the network. As Bitcoin uses Bitcoin Script and Ethereum uses Solidity for programming transactions, Chia’s blockchain uses Chialisp. Chialisp, is a newly developed blockchain programming language and on-chain smart transaction development environment that will unleash the security, transparency, and ease of use that cryptocurrencies promise. Applications running on Chia’s blockchain are intended to have functionality appropriate for banking. The primary focus for the initial launch will be on core functionality such as financial controls, payments clearing and settlement, and managing the issuance of various assets. One of the primary use cases for chia is in international payments - especially in regions whose governments or financial systems are particularly volatile. The Company expects that the Chia blockchain and Chialisp will facilitate a range of transactions, including facilitating cross border payments, issuing financial assets, and stable coin issuance with best in class custody and controls. Chia - the easiest digital money to farm - is “the people’s choice” Compared to the existing modern finance platforms, chia is the easiest digital money to farm. In contrast to the technically proficient skills required to join a miner community, all people can “farm” chia at home for a fraction of the cost. Learn more about chia farming and the chia farmer reward schedule in Chia’s business Whitepaper. Earn your chia (XCH) rewards today It is straightforward to install the Chia blockchain for Windows, MacOS, and many other platforms as well. Download the Chia blockchain and earn your chia (XCH) rewards now. To learn more about Chia’s blockchain, please watch the Company’s mainnet launch video. Exchange trading - stay tuned Please expect an initial six week period where transactions will be frozen and farmers will only be receiving farming rewards. The Chia blockchain will soft fork in final transaction capabilities during this period in a 1.1 release. The soft fork will be a required upgrade before the six-week period ends. Read all about it in Chia's release notes. About Chia Network Chia Network Inc. was founded by Bram Cohen, the inventor of the BitTorrent protocol. Chia is a state-of-the-art open-source decentralized blockchain, digital currency, and smart transaction platform. Using the first new secure Nakamoto consensus algorithm invented since Bitcoin, Chia aims to operate an eco-friendly, more secure and user-friendly payment system for cross border payments, issuing financial assets, lending, escrow payments, institutional custody, and distributed identity. Chia’s “Proof of Space and Proof of Time”-based blockchain reduces waste in “Proof of Work”-based blockchains. Built to run Chialisp, the company’s newly developed on-chain smart transaction programming language, Chia’s blockchain allows its users to build and execute smart contracts and enable peer-to-peer applications. Chia believes that “digital money” should be easier to use than cash, harder to lose, and nearly impossible to steal. The Company is funded by leading venture capitalists including Slow Ventures, a16z, Naval Ravikant, Galaxy Digital, Greylock, True Ventures, MetaStable, Stillmark, DCM, and others. The Company’s Advisors include Dr. Dan Boneh, Research Partner at a16z and Applied Cryptography Professor at Stanford University; and Dr. Krzysztof Pietrzak, Cryptography Professor of IST Austria; and Ms. Katie Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Investor Relations Contact: Gretchen Lium. For more information, visit https://chia.net and connect with us on Twitter (@chia_project), Facebook, GitHub and LinkedIn. Contact Details Gretchen Lium +1 303-638-9185 gretchen@chia.net Company Website https://www.chia.net/

March 24, 2021 06:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Koalifyed Breaks New Ground In The Influencer Marketing Space With Innovative End-to-End Platform

Koalifyed

Koalifyed, an influencer marketing platform for social-first brands, today announced the release of its end-to-end solution for modern influencer campaign management. Koalifyed enables brands to centrally manage all parts of the influencer ecosystem – from identification, contract management and creative execution, to payment and performance tracking. This model creates efficiencies and deeper collaboration between in-house marketing teams, agencies and creators to come together in one workspace. The vision behind Koalifyed is what makes it different from other platforms in the marketplace – it is built to continuously evolve with the ever-changing influencer industry, providing more effective ways to strengthen relationships with creators, incorporate more transparent data and analytics, and ensure security and operational efficiencies are at the core. And no matter the campaign size, it’s designed to address critical issues like real fraud detection, ROI measurement and manual content reviews – with the end goal of more effective, results-driven content. This approach offers unique benefits: Fraud Detection: Koalifyed’s proprietary bot detection service S.N.I.F.F. applies the power of commercialized government intelligence agency technologies to identify up to 10 times more bots than other products. Negotiate Rates in Real-Time: By applying S.N.I.F.F.’s authenticity score to rate discussions, brands can make more informed investment decisions directly in the platform. Contract In-Platform: Contracts and transactions happen securely in-platform, making the process five times faster than contracting outside the platform. Collaborate Seamlessly: Versatile content features allow marketers and creators to review, edit, track changes and approve content all within Koalifyed. Prove Performance: With creators opting in to Koalifyed, brands gain instant access to proof of performance, minimizing the stress of compliance and governance requirements, and creators can ensure their campaign insights are easily accessed by brands. With the end-to-end nature of the platform, Koalifyed can minimize the time historically spent on manual-intensive tasks, enabling brands to shift their focus to building stronger relationships with their influencer communities and driving more powerful content. Koalifyed was developed by Stagwell Technologies in collaboration with leading consumer marketing agency MMI Agency. “As new social platforms emerge and influencers take up a greater share of marketing budgets, we saw an opportunity to create an innovative solution that allows brands to gain efficiencies while showing the business value of influencer marketing,” said Charles Hu, Partner & CTO at Stagwell Technologies. “The options available today simply have not evolved with the needs of our industry and its users. Koalifyed facilitates and enhances the relationships between brand and creator, and it’s built to iterate, learn and grow with the changing needs of all stakeholders.” Today there are nearly 300 active creators on the platform and that number is quickly growing. Active user and Houston Lifestyle and Fashion Blogger, Jordyn Rush said, “Having access to technology like Koalifyed isn’t just about making my everyday tasks as a creator faster and more seamless, it’s also about having access to opportunities that can become real business partnerships.” “This space is growing and changing, and I see myself as an increasingly important marketing medium for brands. Like many others in the creator community, I take what I do very seriously, and the more that platforms like Koalifyed can help me start conversations with brands that recognize my expertise and my value, the better the ecosystem will be for all parties.” Koalifyed is now available to all brands and offers solutions for influencer marketing budgets of all sizes. Creators can also sign up to join the Koalifyed creator database to get discovered by brands via Koalifyed’s website. To learn more, sign up to be a part of Koalifyed’s creator database or request a demo, visit koalifyed.com. About Koalifyed Koalifyed is an influencer marketing platform designed by and for social-first brands that are boldly shaping culture. Born out of Stagwell Technologies, a member of The Stagwell Group, and incubated within one of the world’s top 5 advertisers, Koalifyed’s technology offers more speed, efficiency and trust in influencer campaign management. As the only end-to-end platform of its kind, marketers can now leverage a single platform to identify influencers, negotiate and draft contracts, and measure the success of campaigns. Koalifyed provides greater insight and protection against bots through a proprietary bot detection engine called S.N.I.F.F, which provides brands and influencers insights into real reach, quality and engagement levels of social audiences, so brands’ influencer dollars work smarter. To learn more, visit koalifyed.com. Contact Details KWT Global for Koalifyed Olivia Janicelli +1 646-989-3919 koalifyed@kwtglobal.com Company Website https://www.koalifyed.com

March 23, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise Owners Lynne and John Regas Show Print is Essential in Frankfort, Illinois

Minuteman Press International Inc

Minuteman Press Frankfort Has Remained Open As an Essential Business During Covid-19; Owners Lynne and John Regas Share Their Insights on Adapting During the Pandemic and Helping Local Businesses “Bounce Back” CHICAGO & FRANKFORT, Ill. – As Lynne and John Regas approach five years in business, no year has been more defining for their Minuteman Press printing franchise than this one. “We both feel very fortunate that we were considered essential and were able to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only to be there for other local businesses and organizations, but to help us stay sane and keep working,” says Lynne. Print is Essential Since the beginning of the pandemic, Minuteman Press Frankfort has continued to provide high-demand products and services that have been critical in helping local businesses reach out to customers while promoting community solidarity. “Early on in the pandemic, we saw high demand for yard signs. We were able to supply local schools with graduation signs, and now those same school districts are coming back to us since it was so popular. Banners and flags have been in high demand from businesses who simply want to let customers know, ‘We’re Open.’ Restaurants have also come to us for takeout menus as they update their specials, menu items, and safe pickup and delivery options.” Lynne continues, “We are also helping a number of businesses reach out to the community via direct mail postcards and flyers. We’ve already reached out to several business categories about the power of mailing campaigns. For example, we have recently helped a local chiropractic office, a local physical therapist, and a local small gym owner increase their visibility (and therefore their customer base) by designing and mailing flyers using both direct mail and Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). These are businesses that can really benefit from letting people know they are there and following every safety protocol to make sure they can provide their services and still keep you healthy.” “This pandemic really forced a lot of local businesses to rethink their paths forward, and we are here to help them do that and provide them with the design, print, marketing, and mailing services they need to do so. We are a local business ourselves, we support local businesses, and we are all in this together.” -Lynne Regas, Minuteman Press franchise owner, Frankfort, Illinois Helping Local Businesses Bounce Back When the pandemic first hit, Lynne and John launched Bounce Back Frankfort (part of Bounce Back USA by Minuteman Press International), a free community website that provides free local listings to businesses as well as free COVID-19 awareness and prevention posters. To date, 44 local businesses have signed up to reach out to community members with special offers. “The idea is simple,” says Lynne. “Let’s support local businesses, and let’s bounce back together as a community.” Lynne continues, “ We spent those first few weeks doing what we could to focus on a path forward and to give back to other businesses. Bounce Back Frankfort is special because it provides an uplifting message as well as a free way for people to advertise at a time where they could use that extra boost. It not only lifts our spirits, it also reminds everyone that it’s so important to communicate, connect, and engage with our community, especially right now.” “Our message to other local businesses is to hang in there. It’s important to remain calm and focused on the future while we navigate through these times. Knowing that everyone is in this together has caused a renewed sense of unity in the small business community we are a part of here in Frankfort. We’ve made sure that everyone knows we are here to support them – both now and in the future.” -Lynne Regas Adapting the Business and Receiving Ongoing Support Minuteman Press Frankfort is locally owned and operated but being part of the Minuteman Press franchise family has really helped Lynne and John learn and grow as business owners over the past five years and throughout the pandemic. Lynne says, “We have always been grateful for the support we’ve received from Minuteman Press, but 2020 and 2021 have really showed us that we made the right decision when we joined this family. The ongoing support during the pandemic has been above and beyond what we expected. From the Bounce Back program to the daily emails of suggestions and encouragement from Nick Titus (President of Minuteman Press International), we absorbed everything and did what we needed to do to adapt and pivot. It is so helpful to know what is happening with other franchises, both local and across the country, to know that we aren’t alone and to be reminded that there will be an end to this pandemic.” Lynne explains how she has learned and grown from this experience and is better positioned for the future. “We’ve started using social media much more to communicate and promote our business. We’ve had many businesses reach out to us as they start to reopen. For example, we ran a promotion for menus and restaurants responded.” She continues, “We have learned to incorporate marketing strategies and new ways of communicating so that we can reach and interact with clients safely. Whether it’s a promotion on Instagram or targeted local marketing, we are here to engage with customers across all touch-points.” “Lynne and John Regas have done a tremendous job supporting local businesses in their community and finding new ways to pivot and connect with their clients. They’ve followed the Minuteman Press franchise system closely and have built a solid foundation for their business over the past five years. They are great people and caring business owners, and I am proud to support them.” -Steve Szymanski, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, Midwest Reflections on Owning the Business and Advice for Others Prior to becoming business owners, Lynne and John worked in corporate sales. “ We were both involved in purchasing roles with different corporations. John had worked for the same company for almost 30 years and was laid off. I had worked for several different companies but was really just going through the motions. After John was laid off and began seriously thinking about opening his own business and being his own boss, I was supportive – but I’d be lying if I didn’t also say I was a little apprehensive. Looking back now, we certainly made the right decision.” She adds, “It’s so surreal that we’ve been doing this for almost five years because the time has gone by so quickly. We’re no longer in that ‘rut’ we were in when working our previous jobs, and every day is truly a new adventure. We are becoming the people we wanted to be – entrepreneurs who are doing what it takes to make their business successful, no matter what comes our way. The biggest reward, definitely, is no longer feeling like we are working hard for someone else. We’re working harder than we ever have but it’s for us and our business – and that makes it all worth it!” When asked what advice she would give to others, Lynne answers, “If you’re being honest with yourself, there is a lot of risk when you open your own business. Being a part of a company like Minuteman Press that really invests in its franchise owners helps mitigate that risk and should put any potential owners’ minds at ease.” She concludes, “We have potential new owners visit our center and we share our experiences as franchisees. We tell them how impressed we’ve been with the level of support we’ve received from day one. Ultimately, Minuteman Press International has always cared about us and their support during this pandemic has clearly demonstrated just how much they truly care.” For more information on Minuteman Press Frankfort, visit https://www.frankfort-il.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

March 22, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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CMMC Center of Excellence Announces Engagement Agreement with TechnoGen & TechnoGen Cybersecurity

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 TechnoGen, Inc., an ISO 9001:2015, ISO 20000-1:2011, ISO 27001:2013 and CMMI Level 3 Global IT Services and Consulting Company headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia and Offshore Development Center in Hyderabad, India. 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. In addition, the partnership with TechnoGen and TechnoGen Cybersecurity establishes a presence for the CMMC COE in India with a future plan for a Center of Excellence- India in collaboration with the CMMC COE APAC. With over 16 years of experience providing end to end IT Services and Solutions to the Public and Private sectors, TGI provides highly skilled and certified professionals committed to helping clients solve complex problems and achieve their goals, on time and under budget. “This is exciting opportunity for us”, said Mr. John Weiler, Chairman of the Board at CMMC Center of Excellence, “This new partnership will further help advance the goals and objectives for improving the supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD)”. Mr. Lax Chepuri, CEO of TechnoGen, Inc. expressed confidence and delight in the newly formed relationship with the CMMC COE saying, “Both TechnoGen, Inc. and TechnoGen Cybersecurity and will bring enthusiastic support for the goals and standards of the CMMC COE in both the U.S. and India Defense sectors.” The executed Engagement Agreement establishes a collaborative engagement between TechnoGen 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 TechnoGen 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. 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 COE, please visit http://cmmc-coe.org, email info@cmmc-coe.org or call 703-863-3766 For more information on TechnoGen, please visit https://www.technogeninc.com/ 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

March 22, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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TeamSnap Announces New Technology Partnership with NFL FLAG

TeamSnap

TeamSnap, the industry-leading sports management platform provider for youth sports, today announced a new technology partnership with NFL FLAG, the official flag football league of the National Football League (NFL) and the largest youth flag football organization in the United States. With a multi-year agreement, TeamSnap Tournaments will serve as the official tournament app of NFL FLAG. NFL FLAG organizes and operates 12 marquee tournaments in partnership with NFL clubs and eight expanded tournaments, NFL FLAG Opens, each year. This includes the NFL FLAG Bowl and NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl which attract hundreds of teams from across the country. NFL FLAG is operated by Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX). TeamSnap is a long-time partner of Next College Student Athlete (NCSA), sister company to RCX. Both businesses are owned by Reigning Champs. “As the NFL FLAG Tournament Series continues to expand, we need the best technology partners to support our growing event infrastructure,” said Garland Cooper, Vice President of Event Operations for Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX). “TeamSnap’s customizable platform allows us the flexibility to create exactly what we need to help NFL FLAG provide a world class flag football experience.” “NFL FLAG is a fun and accessible way to get kids across the country involved in football. TeamSnap is thrilled to provide a comprehensive management solution to support NFL FLAG’s tournaments and scheduling needs,” said Dave DuPont, TeamSnap co-founder and CEO. “Reigning Champs has been a leader in the youth sports industry. We look forward to expanding our relationship by working with RCX and supporting the iconic NFL FLAG brand.” NFL FLAG is a NFL-licensed property of more than 1,600 leagues and 500,000 youth athletes across 50 states. TeamSnap supports more than 24 million users, 3 million unique teams and 19,000 clubs across 100 different sports. ABOUT TEAMSNAP Since its formation in 2009, TeamSnap has been single-mindedly focused on taking the work out of play. 24 million coaches, administrators, players and parents rely on TeamSnap’s powerful and easy-to-use tools for communication, scheduling, payment collection and registration, organizing every sport and group activity in the world. For more information, visit https://www.teamsnap.com/. About NFL FLAG NFL FLAG is an NFL-licensed property of more than 1,600 locally operated leagues and over 500,000 youth athletes across all 50 states. NFL FLAG is a fun and accessible non-contact program available for girls and boys ages 5-17. Players benefit by being physically active through non-contact, continuous action while learning the fundamentals of football as well as lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship. Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) is the official operator of NFL FLAG. About Reigning Champs Experiences Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) is the premier youth-sports experiences business, running and operating leagues, camps, combines, tournaments and events. Part of Reigning Champs LLC, RCX works with professional leagues, national governing bodies, sports-centric businesses and brands to reimagine youth sports experiences. RCX produces events with world-class partners including the NFL, Jr. NBA, NAIA, Rivals.com and the 2022 World Games. RCX is committed to improving the accessibility and inclusivity of sports by enhancing the youth sports experience and creating opportunities for all athletes to play. We believe sports have the power to transform lives and that every athlete should have the opportunity to experience the value of sports. For more information, visit www.rcxexperiences.com. Contact Details TeamSnap Greg McIsaac +1 416-458-3591 greg.mcisaac@teamsnap.com Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) Lauren Pulte 248-885-2607 lpulte@reigningchamps.com Company Website https://www.teamsnap.com/

March 16, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Location-Based Services Innovator GeoSolutions Alleges RICO Violations and Unfair Competition by Weibo Corporation, Sina Corporation, and Others

GeoSolutions

This is a statement issued by GeoSolutions: "Chinese media conglomerate Sina Corporation (NASDAQ: SINA) and its subsidiary Weibo Corporation (NASDAQ: WB) used their unusually complex corporate structure to steal technology to enhance and monetize their leading “Weibo” social network—a Chinese-based hybrid of Twitter and Facebook. This is according to a new lawsuit filed on March 15, 2021 in a California court. The scheme enabled the Chinese companies to avoid paying rightful revenues to the creators of the software, GeoSolutions B.V. and GeoSolutions Holdings N.V. ( GeoSolutions ), the companies who filed the lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California in Santa Clara County. GeoSolutions’ location-based services (LBS) technology is the driving force behind Weibo’s nearly $12 billion market cap. The lawsuit alleges that Sina Corporation (Sina), Weibo Corporation (Weibo), and at least 10 other related entities and two individuals at the top of the organization, carried out an elaborate scheme over several years to pilfer the technology and know-how of GeoSolutions, particularly its effective integration of LBS into social networking. This was done through a series of misrepresentations using subsidiaries and Variable Interest Entities (VIEs) to conceal Sina’s agenda and play a corporate shell game to hide the generated revenue. “As numerous market observers and scholars have maintained, Sina’s complex corporate structure is neither honest nor transparent,” said Adam Fox, lead counsel for GeoSolutions. “Its peculiar corporate structure circumvents the law and hides the truth by design.” Central to the claims in the case is the fact that GeoSolutions entered into a series of agreements with various members of the larger Sina group of companies to allow access to GeoSolutions’ LBS technology and the know-how of its effective use in social networking. Sina then deployed this software on its Weibo platform without paying any remuneration. GeoSolutions has never been paid any compensation from Weibo and alleges that various other Sina companies are also using the LBS technology and claiming it as their own. LBS technology has become essential to most mobile device users. It powers user queries for restaurants or other businesses “near me,” enables “check ins” at a location, tracks packages ordered online, locates your ride-share driver, and much more. This makes it valuable to many companies who want to advertise or offer additional services to consumers. In a prospectus for investors ahead of the Weibo initial public offering (IPO) in April 2014, Sina credited the LBS platform as a substantial means to generate revenue from its Weibo app. Sina now claims it created the platform when in fact it is really GeoSolutions’ technology. Weibo’s market value has grown dramatically since its joint venture with GeoSolutions. At the time of its IPO, Weibo was valued at $3.6 billion. Today its market cap is nearly $12 billion. However, GeoSolutions has never received any compensation from Weibo. “Our experience and engineering know-how allowed us to identify the early market opportunity in mobile location and to invest in developing the GeoSolutions LBS platform. We had a growing client base, operational experience, and the ability to utilize our GyPSii subsidiary. We were extremely well positioned. It made sense that Sina and Weibo saw us as a target," said Jay Cahill, co-founder and general partner at Bluefin Technology Partners and former Vice President of Operations for GeoSolutions. “In the end, deception by Sina and Weibo and the harm it did to GyPSii, GeoSolutions, and our team was devastating. We lost jobs and severances. To see something into which so many of us put years of effort, know-how, and our hearts be so diminished is deeply saddening.” The “sham” corporate structure GeoSolutions alleges in the complaint reflects a series of Chinese VIEs. This case is the first time a United States court has been asked to rule on the legality of this structure, which numerous legal and financial commentators say is used to evade Chinese law that prevents foreign ownership of domestic businesses in certain industries. Some of these commentators also say the VIE structure overstates company assets and exposes investors to underappreciated risks. GeoSolutions claims that Sina used its network of VIEs to steal its technology and hide revenue from GeoSolutions. “Sina used a series of shell companies to hide GeoSolutions’ technology and keep the company from knowing how widely its software was being shared – and monetized – across the labyrinth of Sina entities,” added Fox. “GeoSolutions entered the agreements in good faith. Now the company has lost its intellectual property and its expected stream of income. Most of its employees had to be laid off due to Sina’s greed.” Sina Corporation reports ownership of more than 20 “significant subsidiaries and VIEs,” including Palo Alto-based SINA.COM Online, one of the other defendants. In its own 2019 annual report, Sina admits that its use of VIEs is intended to circumvent Chinese law while exercising (in theory) operational control over the business. In the same report, Sina states that it “cannot be sure that the PRC government would view our contractual arrangements to be in compliance with PRC licensing, registration, or other regulatory requirements.” It is this questionable, and some commentators argue illegal, corporate structure that allowed Sina and Weibo to misrepresent their intentions to GeoSolutions. Impartial third-party experts agree that GeoSolutions’ LBS technology was stolen. In December 2019, a distinguished international arbitration tribunal unanimously ruled in favor of GeoSolutions. Among other things, the award held that Sina Hong Kong Limited, one of many subsidiaries of Sina and also a defendant in this new lawsuit, facilitated the unlawful use of GeoSolutions’ technology. Sina Hong Kong was ordered to pay GeoSolutions damages of more than $115 million, plus interest. The award was limited to damages incurred by GeoSolutions from August 11, 2014 through August 10, 2017, the time period defined in the terms of a 2014 software license agreement. More than a year later, Sina Hong Kong has still not paid the award. This is despite the fact that Sina publicly announced shortly after the ruling that it had set the money aside. The tribunal’s ruling also concluded that “evidence shows that other Sina entities made use of the Licensed Software, had possession of servers on which the software was based, and controlled usage data.” These facts had been hidden from GeoSolutions until December 2018 when they were revealed in testimony compelled from Sina witnesses during the arbitration. The complaint filed by GeoSolutions on March 15 lists six causes of action against Weibo and Sina: 1) Declaratory Relief, 2) Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 1961, et seq.); 3) Violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. § 1836 et seq.); 4) Intentional Misrepresentation; 5) Negligent Misrepresentation; and 6) Unfair Competition (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200, et seq.). The other entities named as defendants in the suit are part of the web of VIE entities and include SINA.COM Online, Weibo R&D Limited, New Wave MMXV Ltd., Sina Hong Kong Limited, GyPSii (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., Beijing Sina Internet Information Service Company Ltd., Beijing New Media Technology Information Company, Beijing Weimeng Technology Co., Ltd., Sina (Beijing) Information Technology Co. Ltd., SINA.COM Technology (China) Co., Ltd., and individuals Cao Guowei (aka Chao Guowei aka Charles Chao) and Wang Gaofei, respectively the CEOs of Sina Corporation and Weibo Corporation. Among the relief GeoSolutions is seeking are damages for all injuries suffered as a result of the defendants’ conduct, treble damages pursuant to RICO claims, disgorgement of wrongfully obtained profits, and injunctive relief prohibiting the defendants from engaging in the conduct described herein." To view the full complaint, visit www.GeoSolutionsTech.com. About GeoSolutions GeoSolutions Holdings N.V. and its subsidiary GeoSolutions B.V. (GeoSolutions) are the creators of location-based services (LBS) and social networking services (SNS) software, primarily for use on cell phones, laptops, notebooks, and other portable devices. LBS technology allows device users to search for and identify their contacts by location in real time. This functionality pioneered a significant, new functionality to SNS and created a way to monetize social media that is used extensively today across the world’s most popular platforms. For more information, go to www.GeoSolutionsTech.com. Contact Details GeoSolutions Melissa Arnoff kglobal for GeoSolutions +1 301-785-3329 GeoSolutions@kglobal.com Company Website https://geosolutionstech.com/

March 16, 2021 09:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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CMMC Center of Excellence Announces Engagement Agreement with DRAGOS

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 Dragos, Inc., the global leader in cybersecurity for industrial controls systems (ICS)/operational technology (OT) environments. 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. Far too often, the cybersecurity protection and resilience discussion fails to include any true focus on industrial control systems or operational technology. Dragos has a deep bench of expert ICS/OT cybersecurity practitioners committed to helping its customers detect, prevent, investigate and respond to attacks from threat actors. “This is exciting opportunity for us”, said Mr. John Weiler, Chairman of the Board at CMMC Center of Excellence, “This new partnership will further help advance the goals and objectives for improving the supply chain security and resilience of the US Department of Defense (DoD)”. “Dragos believes the adoption of the CMMC model for ICS / OT cybersecurity is a critical step in our mission to safeguard civilization,” said Steve Applegate, Chief Information Security Officer, Dragos, Inc. “We are excited to join the CMMC COE Global Cyber Policy & Governance Working Group and lend our expertise to this vital initiative.” The executed Engagement Agreement establishes a collaborative engagement between Dragos 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: 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. Work across industry, government, and academia to build on CMMC requirements to include and focus on attention to security and resilience of industrial control systems and operational technology. The CMMC-COE and Dragos 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. 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 COE, please visit http://cmmc-coe.org email info@cmmc-coe.org or call 703-863-3766 About Dragos, Inc Dragos has a global mission: to safeguard civilization from those trying to disrupt the industrial infrastructure we depend on every day. The practitioners who founded Dragos were drawn to this mission through decades of government and private sector experience. Dragos codifies the knowledge of our cybersecurity experts into an integrated software platform that provides customers critical visibility into ICS and OT networks so that threats are identified and can be addressed before they become significant events. Our solutions protect organizations across a range of industries, including electric and water utilities, energy, and manufacturing, and are optimized for emerging applications like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). Dragos is privately held and headquartered in the Washington, DC area with regional presence around the world, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the Middle East. For more information on Dragos, please visit https://www.dragos.com/ 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

March 15, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Cloud Conventions 2021 Redefines the Attendee Experience

Convey Services

Engagement will be the big focus of the Cloud Conventions 2021 virtual trade expo, as channel partners and professionals from across the telecom/cloud, mobility, MSP and IT services industries converge one of the largest and most innovative virtual events, May 12-14, 2021. Unlike other industry tradeshows that have failed to deliver attendee engagement and promised sales leads for exhibitors, Cloud Conventions 2021 is built on the next generation virtual event platform that redefines the exhibitor experience to allow companies to provide easy access to in-depth product information, showcase their brand with graphics and videos, create calls to action and generate immediate sales leads. "Everyone had to quickly pivot to virtual events in 2020, but there was a lack of focus on motivational design that resulted in boring, uninspired attendee experiences,” said Carolyn Bradfield, CEO of Convey Services, the platform provider for Cloud Conventions 2021. “Virtual events often deliver a stream of self-promoting webinars packaged and sold as a virtual event, when they’re really just a bunch of webinars. Cloud Conventions 2021 provides one of the most unique vendor showcase environments, coupled with content devoted to business strategy and opportunities for attendees to connect with their peers and exhibitors. Effective events need to inform, educate and engage, not just lecture. We keep attendees engaged and interested, connect them to others and give all parties a return on investment for both their time and money.” Under the umbrella of Community™, Convey’s suite of proprietary engagement tools, attendees have searchable attendee and exhibitor directories, access to discussion forums and a way to filter results to find the best match. Coupled with a message center to organize communications, booths feature one-on-one text chat along a one-click links to enter a live video discussion with booth staff. “2020 was a learning experience for everyone in what audiences expect from a virtual event,” added Bradfield. “We have to elevate our game in 2021 as tradeshows and conferences continue to have a virtual or hybrid component. Cloud Conventions 2021 makes the most of the virtual event platform powered by Convey Services. It incorporates motivational design to turn attendees and exhibitors into active participants. Attendees are invited to engage in forums, roundtable discussions, participate in networking events, register for prizes and access live or on-demand content.” Cloud Conventions 2021 is co-sponsored by TR Publications and managed by the MCI Group. MCI Group is committed to growing the Cloud Conventions 2021 event and returning in the spring of 2022 with a live and hybrid industry expo. Attendance at Cloud Conventions 2021 is free to qualified industry professionals. Exhibitors and attendees can sign up at Cloud Conventions 2021. The Cloud Conventions 2021 expo is hosted and managed on the industry-leading Cloud Conventions virtual event platform, powered by Convey Services. About TR Publications TR Publications reaches 50,000 telecom/cloud professionals from across the communications delivery community: enterprise end users, channel partners, MSPs, carriers and CLECs. It is the only publication that penetrates deeply into the core UC markets, both channel and IT management: 37,000 readers monthly by hard copy, 1,800 readers daily by online, 13,000 readers every week by eBulletin, 2,500 listeners each week by podcast. Channel readership represent the twelve largest OEM and solution providing communities, together reflecting 96% of all UC sales by revenues on equipment, services, premises, hosted, software solutions and other platforms.  www.telecomreseller.com.  About MCI Group MCI is a global engagement and marketing agency. We design human-centric solutions that unleash the power of people to deliver innovation and growth for our clients. Our offering includes live & virtual events, strategic & digital communications, consulting & community solutions. We help brands, companies, associations and not-for-profits solve their challenges, bringing their people together to shape their tomorrow. MCI is an independently owned company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with a global presence in 60 offices across 31 countries.  www.mci-group.com   About Cloud Conventions Cloud Conventions is a Virtual Trade Show and Conference Platform from Convey Services that brings new capabilities to a marketplace looking for solutions to replace the thousands of live trade shows, annual conferences and association meetings cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. Cloud Conventions automates exhibitors and virtual booths, attendee registration, speaker sessions and reminders, invitations and email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on attendee, session and exhibitor activity.  Trade Associations and event managers can explore all of the Cloud Conventions solutions by visiting  https://cloudconventions.com  or contacting info@cloudconventions.com or call 888-975-1382. Contact Details Convey Services Bruce Ahern +1 770-580-0810 bahern@conveyservices.com Company Website https://cloudconventions.com

March 10, 2021 02:15 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Velocity Global Report: Tech companies push remote work global

Velocity Global

65% of U.S. companies will increase or maintain global remote workforces this year 61% of U.S. companies to increase or maintain domestic remote teams Growth companies compete with enterprises for global talent Technology companies seek more global remote talent as a result of COVID-19 according to a new report from Velocity Global, the leading provider of global expansion solutions. Responses from 1,000 U.S. and UK tech company decision-makers highlight that 65% of U.S. tech companies and 46% of UK tech companies will maintain or increase their global remote workforce this year. “The global pandemic forced the biggest workforce shift in modern history as businesses adopted remote work en masse overnight, and the changes are permanent,” said Velocity Global founder and CEO Ben Wright. “The worker fundamentally separated from the workplace, including transcending borders. Companies now use the tech tools and manage remote teams almost exclusively. The comfort level rose in 2020 and companies seek top talent around the world like never before.” Remote Work By the Numbers The switch to remote work in response to the pandemic inspired lasting change for tech companies to seek and employ talent outside of their headquarters or employee centers. Remote work at home. Tech companies immediately enabled work from home with the onset of the pandemic. With the tools in place, 61% of U.S. tech companies and 52% of UK tech companies intend to maintain or increase a domestic remote workforce. Scale aids global remote shift. Of the U.S. tech companies (65%) and UK tech companies (46%) with plans to maintain or increase a global remote workforce, large companies lead the charge. However, smaller companies are not far behind. 34% of tech businesses with more than 500 employees are more likely to hire remote workers overseas 27% of companies with 200-500 employees 21% for companies with 100-199 employees 10% for companies with fewer than 100 employees “The global scale of the pandemic forced large enterprises to invest in remote work at scale, but smaller companies are positioned to accelerate the trend going forward,” added Wright. “Growth companies are built with agility to compete with larger companies in all facets of business, and these numbers indicate they must compete for top global talent. That competition forces businesses of all sizes to hire quickly and compliantly in any global market.” Benefits of a Remote Workforce The shift to remote work increases productivity, supplements the bottom line, and engages employees. Employee preference. 74% of U.S. employees prefer to work from home at least two days per week once COVID-19 is no longer a concern, according to a PwC survey this year. Nearly a third (29%) prefer to work remotely five days per week. In the UK, only 7% of UK workers want to return to the office following pandemic restrictions, according to leading international research data and analytics group, UK YouGov. Improved productivity. More than half (52%) of executives in the PwC research report an increase in productivity for remote teams during the stress of the pandemic. Culturally diverse teams earn better returns. Geographically dispersed teams bring diversity of culture, race, and ethnicity. Companies that rank higher in diversity are 35% more likely to see above-average financial performance in their industries, according to longstanding research by McKinsey & Company. Access to skilled talent. Access to the global talent pools allows companies to hire the best candidate for the position, not the candidates closest to the office. Increased recruitment and retention. Remote work improves recruitment and retention for employers. A recent LiveCareer study of remote employees during the pandemic found that 62% stated that in the future they will give preference to employers who offer remote work; while 29% said they will leave their current job if they are not allowed to continue working remotely. Lower costs. A company can save tens of thousands of dollars annually per remote worker who telecommutes half of the time. Last year Global Workplace Analytics found that companies identified real estate savings with full-time telework to equal $10,000 per employee (annually). That research points to companies like Sun Microsystems that saves $68 million annually in real estate costs due to its telecommuting policy. “The benefits of a global remote workforce span business metrics from the employee experience to the bottom line, which go hand in hand” said Wright. “The past year introduced a widespread benefit to employees - work from anywhere. Spend more time with family or friends, save time and money on a commute, live anywhere and get a job in any market. When that benefit matches increased productivity, retention, and lower costs businesses must move quickly to implement remote teams on a global scale or risk losing talent to competitors.” Download the complete infographic here. Methodology Velocity Global surveyed 500 U.S. and 500 UK decision-makers from companies with 50-1,000 employees, focused on the IT, software, hardware, and technology industries. Respondents are director level and above, including C-suite, in the following job functions: business development, legal and business management, finance, operations, and HR. Independent survey consultant, Censuswide, conducted the research. ABOUT VELOCITY GLOBAL Velocity Global helps companies grow globally. Founded in 2014, Velocity Global’s clients rely on its expertise and global infrastructure in 185 countries to hire compliantly around the world, increase revenue, scale efficiently, and access global talent. Named a “Leader” in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall, Velocity Global is a strategic partner to its clients with comprehensive services led by its core offering of International PEO as well as Immigration, Entity Setup and Support, Global Talent Acquisition, and Consulting. Velocity Global is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with regional headquarters in Amsterdam and Singapore, and local employees in 14 countries. Contact Details Velocity Global John Hall +1 720-650-4348 johnhall@velocityglobal.com Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

March 10, 2021 07:01 AM Mountain Standard Time

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