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Fincraft Group head Kenges Rakishev discusses investment strategy; Borealis Foods IPO

Fincraft Group

Fincraft Group head Kenges Rakishev joins Proactive's Stephen Gunnion with more details about the company following the successful IPO of Borealis Foods on NASDAQ through a combination with Fincraft's Oxus Acquisition Corp. Fincraft, a privately-owned Kazakhstan holding company, focuses on investments both within Kazakhstan and internationally, boasting a diverse portfolio that includes mining companies such as Kaznickel, which holds large deposits of nickel and cobalt, and oil and gas production entities. Fincraft Group has also ventured into refinery trading, education by owning private schools, and financial services, including ownership of a significant financial institute and a brokerage company. Rakishev, with a background spanning over 20 years in private business, including investments in the machinery industry, petrochemicals, and real estate, highlighted the opportunities in diverse sectors, especially given the geopolitical risks and the transitional phase of Kazakhstan's transportation system. Kazakhstan, being rich in natural resources and the ninth largest country globally, presents significant investment opportunities in oil, gas, and minerals like nickel and cobalt, crucial for renewable energy technologies. Fincraft is a long-term investor in Kazakhstan, with strategic interests varying based on the sector and opportunity. Rakishev said the listing of Borealis Foods, a food tech company focusing on protein-rich, healthy food products, marks a significant milestone as part of Fincraft's investment strategy. Looking forward, Rakishev is optimistic about the prospects in oil and gas, nickel, cobalt, and the broader Kazakh economy, emphasising the potential in transportation and logistics. Contact Details Proactive North America Proactive North America +1 604-688-8158 NA-editorial@proactiveinvestors.com

February 28, 2024 07:10 AM Eastern Standard Time

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CSD Social Venture Fund and Gallaudet University Present "Holographic Horizons: Bridging the Educational Divide" at SXSW

Communication Service for the Deaf

CSD Social Venture Fund and Gallaudet University have partnered with Proto Inc., to utilize Proto’s “Epic” holoportation technology as a groundbreaking tool in delivering lifelike, interactive American Sign Language (ASL) education for students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. "Deaf education is on the brink of a transformative leap, where geographical, socioeconomic, and communication disparities will no longer be barriers to quality learning," said Rosa Lee Timm, Division President of CSD Social Venture Fund. “Epic allows students to see and interact with remote instructors as if they are present in the same space, making it an inclusive environment that celebrates and nurtures diversity.” The demo and event, “Holographic Horizons: Bridging the Educational Divide” is set to debut at the Southwest (SXSW) festival on March 4th, 2024, led by panelists Rosavetta Jackson, CSD Social Venture Fund Program Manager; Topher Myers, an educational technology expert; and Dr. Laurene E. Simms, a leading voice for inclusive learning. The panelists will discuss how the Epic holoportation device from Proto Inc can serve as a medium for improving educational accessibility, including how it allows for greater clarity of information exchanged in ASL due to its usage of 3D space over more traditional 2D spaces found in video conferencing platforms. Epic’s lack of physical proximity will be highlighted to show how it opens doors to unimaginable use within the realm of universal design in classroom environments, creating far more learning opportunities and accessibility for students affected by inequity and geopolitics. For more information and to register for the event, please visit: https://sxswedu.com About CSD Social Venture Fund Founded in 2017, the CSD Social Venture Fund aims to support Deaf entrepreneurs in creating jobs, breaking down barriers, and serving as positive representations within the Deaf community. By investing in Deaf-owned businesses and providing resources for entrepreneurs, they seek to strengthen the community of Deaf entrepreneurs and, in turn, the Deaf community at large. About Gallaudet University Gallaudet University has been a cornerstone of the deaf and signing community for over 150 years, promoting the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. It upholds a proud tradition of research, scholarly activity, and prepares its graduates for careers in a dynamic, technological world. Gallaudet's vision is to be the university of first choice for the most qualified deaf and hard of hearing students globally. Contact Details Communication Service for the Deaf Rosa Lee Timm +1 518-569-1841 svf@csdsvf.com Company Website https://www.csd.org/

February 27, 2024 11:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Photography and Videography Jobs Soar in 2023, Finds Freelancer.com

FREELANCER.COM

Freelancer.com (ASX: FLN), the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and jobs posted, today published the fastest growing online jobs for 2023 based on data from more than 1 million projects posted to the platform. The data reveals that jobs related to video content creation are in high demand. Videography ranked as the second fastest growing skill of 2023, with Video Production and Video Editing jobs also growing significantly and placing in the top growing jobs. Other video-related jobs, such as YouTube Video Editing and TikTok, were also amongst the top 25 fastest growing jobs on Freelancer.com for 2023. Fueling this demand is an increase of brands incorporating video in their marketing strategies. According to Wyzowl, video content marketing is an essential part of a majority (88%) of marketers strategies with most (85%) planning to increase spending on video in 2024. Demand for skills in photography and photo editing was also a driver for new jobs. Adobe Lightroom projects saw the highest percentage growth across the year, while Photography as a skill grew by 3,625 total jobs. In terms of earning potential, freelancers in the United States are charging up to $300/hour for Photography skills, $200/hour for Videography and Video Editing, and $160/hour to create TikTok content. “Advances in generative AI are changing the way businesses are communicating and marketing themselves. A boom in video and photography services is a clear indication that there’s a shift towards visual, highly-produced content as opposed to reliance on legacy forms of internet marketing, such as a reliance on blog posts and articles to generate traffic. We expect this trend to continue and are already seeing signs of video and marketing categories continuing to increase in 2024,” said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive at Freelancer.com. One example of how businesses are shifting towards video and moving away from written content is evident when looking at the decreasing skills of 2023. Blog writing ranked as 13th in the top falling jobs on Freelancer.com, decreasing by 66% from 4,872 to 1,648 jobs posted in 2023. While some may speculate that the introduction of generative AI tools is impacting writing, blog writing was the only writing skill present in the falling jobs. In fact, other forms of writing such as Fiction Writing (up 36.1%), Creative Writing (up 18.8%) and Microsoft Word (up 16.8%) were both amongst the fastest growing jobs of the year. “AI can’t replace creativity, yet. Although this may emerge with model scale. We said this in the middle of the year when we saw creative writing jobs increase in Q2 2023 and the sentiment remains the same in 2024. What we are seeing is that our freelancers are moving up the stack. They’re evolving from just blog writers to editors. Moving from just illustrators to directors. Ultimately, AI is elevating our talent and improving efficiency and productivity in the process,” added Barrie. Top Freelance Jobs The most popular job in 2023 was graphic design, with more than a quarter million projects requiring the skill. Graphic design has always historically been the number one job type on Freelancer.com for over a decade. Jobs related to graphic design are also the best way for new freelancers to break into freelancing, as there is an abundance of projects offering Website Design, Logo Design, Icon Design, and other forms of graphic design available. Best Paid Skills Per Hour on Freelancer.com in 2023 Marketing, photography and video related jobs took out the top spots for the best paid skills per hour on the platform for 2023. These skills being paid the most is consistent with these categories also being the most in-demand for the year Best Paid Jobs per Project on Freelancer.com in 2023 As for jobs paid per project, internet marketing takes out the top spot, followed by website design, graphic design, data entry and video services. ###### Freelancer Fast 50 Freelancer Fast 50 The Freelancer Fast 50 index is the world’s largest forward indicator of trends in online jobs related to industries, technologies, products, and companies. The data is based on 1,122,000 jobs posted to the Freelancer platform between 1 January to 31 December 2023. 2023 Growing Skills 2023 Falling Skills About Freelancer Twelve-time Webby award-winning Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. More than 71 million registered users have posted over 23 million projects and contests to date in over 2,000 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer also owns Escrow.com, the leading provider of secure online payments and online transaction management, and Loadshift, an Australian enterprise freight marketplace. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN and is quoted on OTCQX Best Market under the ticker FLNCF. Contact Details Freelancer.com Marko Zitko +61 404 574 830 mzitko@freelancer.com

February 27, 2024 08:23 AM Eastern Standard Time

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College Sports to Be One of the Best Media Investments in 2024, per Big Chalk

Big Chalk

Many industry watchers believe issues like conference realignment, the Transfer Portal, and NIL will damage the long-term value of college sports as a media asset. New consumer research from Big Chalk, a marketing analytics company, shows these fears to be unfounded. On the contrary, growth in consumer engagement with college sports may never be higher than in 2024. “College sports are undergoing drastic and rapid changes,” said Rick Miller, Big Chalk’s Marketing Effectiveness Practice Lead. “We wondered if consumers would react poorly to these changes and begin to tune college sports out. Nothing could be further from the truth.” Big Chalk surveyed nearly 2,000 U.S. consumers regarding their viewership levels across college sports in general, with specific questions about college football. The data indicate fans will increase viewership from an average of about 11 games per viewer in 2023 to 13 games in 2024 – an uptick of almost 17%. To see if storm clouds are gathering on the horizon, Big Chalk also gathered net sentiment scores for NIL, the Transfer Portal, and conference realignment – but despite rumblings from some pundits, these issues are not driving fans away from the product. Perhaps one of the more eye-opening findings from the research is the level of influence college sports provides its sponsor brands. “More than 13% of respondents say they prioritize college sports sponsor brands during their purchase process,” said Miller, “and another 30% say brand sponsorship positively influences their purchase decision, even if it doesn’t automatically make the brand a shopper’s number-one priority.” Some college football sponsors continued to see double-digit unaided brand awareness weeks after the football season ended. “Perceptions of College Sports 2024: What CMOs and Media Strategists Need to Know” is the first of a two-part release of Big Chalk’s research. It is available for free download at: https://dust.bigchalk.co/perceptionsofcollegesports About Big Chalk Big Chalk is a marketing analytics and outsourcing company that specializes in CPG companies and similar consumer-facing brands. Big Chalk’s blend of consumer marketing experts and data scientists provide the tools and consulting services that brands of all sizes need to grow sales and build connections with their customers. Contact Details Big Chalk Cristina Itze +1 847-957-1861 cristina.itze@bigchalk.co Company Website https://www.bigchalk.co

February 22, 2024 12:59 PM Eastern Standard Time

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FuelRod Installs Swappable Charger Kiosks at Union Station in DC

Fuel Rod

FuelRod, a leading provider of portable power solutions, today announced the installation of their innovative swappable charger kiosks at Union Station in Washington, DC. FuelRod’s patented two-way exchange mobile charging program will help to keep travelers connected as they pass through the station, and act as the latest addition to their growing network of kiosks both within DC and Nationwide. FuelRod’s installation at Washington Union Station—their second within an Amtrak-serving hub, following a 2023 installation at Los Angeles Union Station—will provide city residents and long-distance travelers alike with portable, environmentally friendly power within the railway station. Visitors will now be able to purchase a FuelRod charging kit or swap an empty charger for a fresh, fully charged replacement at the kiosks to be installed. Washington Union Station is the latest FuelRod location to join an already established network throughout the nation’s capital city. Examples of existing stations in DC include the Walter E Washington Convention Center, Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington Dulles International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), and Six Flags America. “We are extremely proud of the expansion of our FuelRod mobile charging program into Union Station, Washington DC. We have a strong commitment to the traveling public and are focused on continued growth in transportation hubs across the United States,” said COO Joe Yeagley regarding this newest deployment in the nation’s capital. “Staying connected in today’s fast-paced world is more essential than ever, and people on the go should have convenient access to mobile charging regardless of where they happen to be.” The company’s presence in Washington, in turn, is part of a nationwide effort by FuelRod toward a network that people can rely on to stay powered and connected wherever they go. About FuelRod FuelRod is a California-based portable power solutions company and developer of the FuelRod kit—the first reusable, portable charging system that allows you to charge your mobile device on the go, and then recharge or swap for a fresh one. With a growing network of kiosks nationwide, FuelRod can keep your devices powered virtually anywhere you go. Learn more at www.fuel-rod.com. Contact Details Claudio Frescas +1 423-914-9647 claudio@fuel-rod.com Company Website https://www.fuel-rod.com/

February 20, 2024 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Crypto Analysis Platform yPredict Completes All 8 Rounds of Presale Successfully, Expands Team to Accelerate Growth

Spark Metro PR

yPredict, an AI-powered crypto analysis platform, today announced it has completed all its presale rounds to develop its platform further. The additional capital will support yPredict's continued growth as it evolves into a fully-fledged asset analysis platform. "We are thrilled to complete this last presale round, which demonstrates strong investor confidence in our vision," said Raj Sharma, CEO of yPredict. "These funds will enable us to accelerate the development of our AI-driven platform as we scale our capabilities to empower crypto & stocks investors with actionable, data-backed insights." With the presale complete, yPredict is expanding its team by hiring for several key roles, including Product Manager, Digital Marketing Specialist, Technical Stock Chart Analysis Content Writer, and Crypto Content Writer. These hires will be instrumental as yPredict cements itself as an industry-leading crypto analysis solution. yPredict leverages advanced AI and machine learning to analyze financial market data and identify profitable trading and investment opportunities. The platform delivers personalized, easy-to-understand analytics to help traders of all skill levels make smarter investment decisions. "We are at the forefront of leveraging AI to democratize access to sophisticated crypto market analysis. Our technology enables anyone, not just seasoned professionals, to trade with confidence," continued Raj Sharma. "With our strong funding base and expanded team, we are poised to take yPredict to new heights in 2024 and beyond." For more information on yPredict and its AI-powered crypto investing platform, visit ypredict.ai. About yPredict yPredict provides AI-powered crypto market analysis platform designed to uncover predictive insights and enable high-probability trading. Built by a team of AI and finance experts, yPredict helps crypto investors of all experience levels make smarter trading decisions through advanced analytics and machine learning. The company is based in Wilmington, DE. Contact Details yPredict Ankit Singh +1 302-597-6768 team@ypredict.ai Company Website https://ypredict.ai/

February 11, 2024 05:25 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Exciting Transition as Executive Director Prepares for New Chapter

National Contract Management Association

The NCMA Contract Management Institute (CMI) announces that Soraya Correa, who has served as the dedicated Executive Director for the past year, will be joining the team at National Industries for the Blind as their new President and CEO-Elect. Ms. Correa will be transitioning into a governance role, maintaining a crucial connection with CMI and its strategic direction. This shift reflects her continued dedication to the institute's mission and the desire to contribute to its future success at a governance level. Kraig Conrad, CEO of NCMA and Chair of the CMI Governance Board, "We express our gratitude for the invaluable contributions Soraya has made to the relaunch of the Contract Management Institute. Her enduring legacy is marked by a steadfast commitment to remaining actively engaged in the NCMA community and continuing her involvement in the governance of CMI." Amid expressions of gratitude for her contributions, Ms. Correa reflected on her time at the Institute, underscoring the impact she has had on its relaunch, community engagement, and governance. “While I am excited about this new opportunity with the National Industries for the Blind (NIB), I am sad to leave CMI. As Executive Director of CMI I had the opportunity to work with the outstanding leadership, team, and members of NCMA, an experience I will always appreciate and remember fondly. I remain committed to the success of CMI and the vital role it plays in advancing the contract management profession. As I embark in my new role at NIB, I will continue to support NCMA initiatives, especially those of the CMI!” In the interim, taking over the Executive Director position for CMI will be Mr. Conrad. Stay tuned for more updates and CMI’s research projects begin this Spring. For inquiries and paper submissions, please contact info@ncmahq.org. The Contract Management Institute (CMI) is a leading professional organization dedicated to advancing the field of contract management. With a mission to drive innovation, promote excellence, and enhance the role of the contracting professional, CMI provides valuable resources including collaboration and partnership opportunities for individuals and organizations involved in contract management across government, industry, and academia. The Institute serves as a catalyst for the study of the profession to elevate engagement, standards, and professional development. The CMI mission and vision are aligned with its parent, NCMA. CMI is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) - www.ncmahq.org - stands as the premier contract management organization whose mission is to collaborate towards a globally recognized contract management profession that strengthens its nexus with related acquisition communities. Serving approximately 20,000 members in both the public and private sectors, NCMA propels the growth, advancement, and impact of practitioners through a steadfast commitment to serve through the open exchange of ideas in neutral forums. Contact Details NCMA Holly DeHesa +1 281-865-3296 holly.dehesa@ncmahq.org Company Website https://www.ncmahq.org

February 05, 2024 07:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Hercules Site Services says new construction academy aims to address skills shortage in the UK

Hercules Site Services PLC

Hercules Site Services PLC CEO Brusk Korkmaz tells Proactive's Stephen Gunnion that the newly-launched Hercules Construction Academy is a pivotal move to address the significant skill shortage in the UK construction industry, particularly exacerbated after the UK's departure from the European Union. Korkmaz highlighted the academy's aim to not only provide a solution for Hercules but also to contribute nationally. With the construction sector facing a dire need for skilled labour, the academy promises to offer a wide range of courses including all accredited by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the National Open College Network. The academy is set to embrace modern construction methods, aiming to make the sector smarter, greener, and more efficient. In its first year, the academy plans to train over 400 individuals, emphasising construction as a career choice and not just a temporary job. With the capacity to expand staff and student intake, the academy is well-positioned to support the UK's growing infrastructure projects, including HS2 and various billion-pound developments, underscoring Hercules' commitment to training the next generation of construction workers and engineers. Contact Details Proactive UK Ltd +44 20 7989 0813 uk@proactiveinvestors.com

February 05, 2024 12:40 PM Eastern Standard Time

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National Day of Action Spurs 280,000+ Calls, Emails, and Tweets to Save Critical Broadband Subsidy

Raynor Ave.

Today, the Affordable Broadband Campaign shared the outputs from its national day of action: Americans made more than 280,000 calls, emails, and social media posts to Congress in support of funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The program provides discounts to nearly 23 million American households and needs $7 billion in funding from Congress to ensure people aren’t disconnected from the internet this year. Don’t Disconnect US Day, which took place on January 25, spurred those who care about affordable internet to contact their congressional representatives by phone or email by visiting www.dontdisconnectus.org or partner platforms. The resulting actions from supporters calling for Congress to fund the program included: More than 281,000 emails, calls, and tweets to Congress in one week More than 225,000 emails and calls to Congress in one week More than 114,000 emails and calls to Congress on one day alone (January 25) More than 55,000 posts on social media, including from Sen. Peter Welch (VT) and Rep. Yvette Clark (NY-09) Dozens of op-eds, blogs, and news reports published in a variety of publications, including The Dallas Morning News, News Center Maine, Broadband Breakfast, Benton Institute, and more Don’t Disconnect US also coincided with the date the Federal Communications Commission instructed internet service providers to inform customers that the ACP credit on their bill is ending. One in six U.S. households is currently enrolled in the program, including approximately 960,000 veterans, 3.1 million families with a K-12 student receiving free or reduced-price lunch, and 5 million seniors. “Phones were ringing off the hook in Congressional Offices, plus inboxes were flooded with emails from all 50 states,” said Gigi Sohn, spokesperson for the ‍Affordable Broadband Campaign. “We launched Don’t Disconnect US Day because the situation facing 23 million American households is dire: unless Congress acts now, approximately 50 million Americans could be without their internet. Members of Congress need to listen to their constituents and fund this program now.” A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers has introduced a path forward with the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024, which would provide $7 billion to extend the ACP through the end of the year. The effort is led by Sen. Peter Welch (VT), Sen. J.D. Vance (OH), Sen. Jacky Rosen (NV), Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND), Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (NY-04), Rep. Marcus Molinaro (NY-19), and Rep. Mike Lawler (NY-17). Don’t Disconnect US was led by the Affordable Broadband Campaign, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring affordable and robust broadband for all. About the Affordable Broadband Campaign The Affordable Broadband Campaign is a group of like-minded nonprofit, industry, civil society, and public interest groups that have come together around one issue: sustainable broadband affordability. The U.S. needs a sustainable policy solution to the problem, and the Affordable Broadband Campaign is focused on securing that through an informed, deliberate strategy. Contact Details Aaron Alberico +1 202-744-0786 aalberico@raynoravenue.com Company Website https://www.dontdisconnectus.org/

February 01, 2024 03:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

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