Liverpool star ‘can beat any player in this league’ says defender Toure

first_imgLiverpool defender Kolo Toure has hailed Raheem Sterling following the Harlesden teenager’s recent performances. The 19-year-old has gone from strength to strength this season and has made nine consecutive starts for Brendan Rodgers’ side.Sterling has been touted as a strong contender for England’s World Cup squad, particularly as Arsenal’s Theo Walcott has been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.“For me at the moment Raheem is one of the best players in our team,” Toure told the Liverpool Echo.“He can beat any player in this league with his pace and skill. He’s very strong and compact. He works so hard for the team and this boy certainly has a very bright future.“He’s playing more games now and when you play a number of games in a row you get a lot of confidence. For a young player like that to be playing at that level is amazing.”See also:Sterling assured over Liverpool role Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Warriors’ Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes, Clifford Ray share what made Oakland fanbase unique

first_imgOAKLAND – For a moment, Rick Barry feared for his life.The Warriors had won the 1975 NBA championship over the former Washington Bullets, and had landed in Oakland after an oversized crowd at San Francisco International Airport forced them to change their travel itinerary. When Barry and his teammates took a cab from Oakland to San Francisco to greet those fans, other Warriors fans almost prevented them from doing so.“They jumped up on top of the cabs. The roof of the cab I was in was …last_img

SA set for young ‘Pimps’

first_img17 August 2007In an effort to boost self-employment in the country, the Usobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) is assisting 250 youngsters with start-up capital to sell prepaid airtime vouchers and energy drinks, as well as to become “Pimps” – positively intelligently motivated persons.The 250 were chosen from various UYF databases.The government-endorsed youth organisation has entered into a partnership with local company Mojalife that will see Pimps around South Africa distributing prepaid airtime and PimpJuice, a non-carbonated energy drink created by US rapper Nelly.The St Louis-based musician, whose real name is Cornell Haynes junior, has also released a song named after the drink, which sells over 2-million cans a month in the US.“We have a very big year planned for Derrty ENT (Nelly’s record label), Apple Bottoms, and Pimp Juice,” Nelly explained on the official PimpJuice website earlier this year.“I am very excited about the new pimp juice flavour coming out this summer. I am continuously amazed by PimpJuice and hip hop’s success overseas, and am very excited about visiting South Africa for personal and promotional reasons,” Nelly said.PimpJuice will be distributed and licensed under Mojalife, a company headed by local businessman Matthews Phosa. It will be produced and manufactured in South Africa, with plans to supply Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Israel.“The person that sells the most PimpJuice at the end of 24 months will receive a BMW 116i vehicle and will have their entire loan paid back to UYF by Mojalife,” Phosa said in a statement earlier this month.“The person who comes second will receive a holiday valued at R25 000, while number three will receive an X-Box and games valued at R5 000.”There is also a retail distribution opportunity for youth-owned companies who want to start or expand their businesses. Distributors will also be given rights per area to supply retail chain stores, pubs, restaurant other prospective buyers.The partnership between the two organisations will provide youngsters with a unique opportunity of being part of an international brand and will help them establish business with large companies and other world brands.Pimp My RideThe relationship will also see Mojalife, using the branding of PimpJuice, venturing into television. The partners recently signed a deal with UK-based Screen Ventures and MTV Networks to shoot 52 episodes of the international television series “Pimp My Ride” in South Africa.The popular show sees young people writing in to have their old, damaged and sometimes written-off cars given a new lease on life by being re-vamped, customised and made better than new by a team of motor mechanics and customisers.“Pimp My Ride” is currently screened in the original US version and as “Pimp My Ride UK” and “Pimp My Ride International”, which focuses on Europe. Also mooted for local television audiences is a hip-hop reality show based on the “Idols” format.The winner could possibly receive a two-year recording contract with Nelly’s Derrty ENT record company.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Eating, earning from city farms

first_imgEarning cash from garden vegetables at Siyazama Community Garden at Macassar in Khayelitsha, the vast township outside Cape Town in the Western Cape. (Image: Harvest of Hope) At Abalimi Bezekhaya’s packing centre in Philippi township vegetables are packed in boxes for sale to more affluent families in Cape Town as part of the Harvest of Hope project. (Image: Irin Photo)Nestled among shacks set on the sea-sand soil of the Cape Flats, an impoverished region of informal settlements and townships near Cape Town in the Western Cape, there is a life-saving 5 000-square-metre patch of green.“This garden has changed my life,” said Phillipina Ndamane, 74, a member of the Fezeka Community Garden (FCG) in Gugulethu township. “We were suffering; we had no food to eat so we tried to make a garden.”The FCG, beneath towering electricity pylons, is one of 800 community and home gardens nurtured into existence by Abalimi Bezekhaya, an urban agriculture and environmental action association.Since its inception in 1982 as a Catholic Church project, from which it separated in 1994, Abalimi Bezekhaya, meaning “farmers of home” in isiXhosa, has helped individuals, groups and community-based organisations develop permanent organic food-growing and conservation projects as the basis for sustainable livelihoods, job creation and poverty alleviation.Abalimi provides training and low-cost, subsidised gardening resources like manure, seeds, tools, and organic pest control at its two gardens in Nyanga and Khayelitsha townships, which are staffed by fieldworkers from those communities.Some 3 000 micro-farmers use of the gardens, but the benefits spill over into the wider target of roughly 1-million people who live in the vast informal sprawl on the outskirts of metropolitan Cape Town, where unemployment is around 40%.Growing self-sufficiencyAbalimi helps farmers develop their own organic vegetable gardens to supplement their diet, improve household food and nutritional security, and provide sustainable additional income. The personal satisfaction, community building, and heightened self-esteem that come from growing food are added benefits.“We didn’t know a lot of things like spinach, which is a healthy thing; we didn’t even know the green pepper! Now I eat green beans, and the children, they also like all these vegetables,” said Phillipina, who helps care for at least a dozen grandchildren.For some, the gardens are a better alternative to conventional employment. “If this garden had been here before, I wouldn’t have gone to work outside as a domestic worker,” said Shaba Esitang, 78. “As a domestic worker, you’re working for the money to pay for the vegetables. But in the garden, you grow your own veggies to eat or sell. You own it.”The advantages manifest not only on the dinner table: those who grow more than they need sell the surplus.“They employ themselves – we’re there only to motivate and help,” said Abalimi operations manager Christina Kaba.A hopeful harvestAt Abalimi’s packing centre in Philippi township, half a dozen women and one young man wash and sort piles of brightly coloured vegetables and pack them into “weekly boxes” of produce that are pre-ordered by families in well-off suburbs of Cape Town.With the assistance of the South African Institute of Entrepreneurship, Harvest of Hope was created in early 2008 to provide a new market for excess produce. As a result, nearly 10% of the farming groups now earn a secure monthly income.A box of vegetables sells for R95 (US$9.50), half of which goes directly to the farmer. Current output is around 120 boxes a week, according to Abalimi’s director, Rob Small, who maintains that the project could create one full-time job earning up to R3 000 ($300) a month on just 500 square meters of land.“But it’s a farming job, not a nine-to-five, so that’s the tricky part: to inspire people to work that hard, and that’s where the limiting factor comes in – most people are waiting for something easier.”“The biggest limiting factor is poor people not gaining quickly enough the skills and tools with which to supply the market. We’ve got enough farmers, but most are uneducated or semi-educated – some don’t know what a square meter is,” Small commented.“If they had those skills and tools, and the ability to work consistently at a disciplined level, we could be supplying 600 boxes and more in the next month. The demand is definitely there.”Despite the lack of alternative jobs, the youth have not shown any great enthusiasm. “Young people don’t want to even see the garden – they think gardens are done by poor and uneducated people. When I started, people laughed at me; they said, ‘How can you come to Cape Town to work in the soil like a rural area?’” Kaba said.Small agreed. “Probably there wouldn’t be an urban agricultural movement in Cape Town if there wasn’t 40% unemployment, but it’s starting to be the case that bigger rewards are coming, and lately a lot of young faces are checking in,” he commented. “They’ve heard, and smelled the money, and once they get involved, who knows? They might even find they love farming.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.comSource: Irin NewsRelated articlesParprika farming boosts economy An infusion of innovation Sweet deal for cocoa farmers Natural fibre takes off Growing the organic business Useful linksAbalimi BezekhayaHarvest of Hopelast_img read more

South Africa’s shoe-shine king

first_img18 December 2015“We’re the biggest shoe-shine company in Africa,” says Lere Mgayiya, the founder of Lere’s Shoe Shine Experience, which operates in three major South African airports, in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.Shoe-shine king Lere Mgayiya: a home-grown success story http://t.co/fA3p8DM4kg pic.twitter.com/ceQakIJIC3— Destiny Man (@Destiny_Man) July 14, 2015But starting a business wasn’t easy, Mgayiya says. A former South African Airways employee, he is a serial entrepreneur who started up several small businesses that were unsuccessful. In his life, Mgayiya has sold produce – he sold eggs to the Parliament canteen – as well as worked with livestock; he has also had a public mobile phone business and dabbled in stock market investment.Ultimately, those efforts proved fruitless. “I was considered a loser by my peers and family because I resigned from SAA and the money I invested was gone. That created a lot of pressure for me to look for a job. But I did not want to do that because it is not who I am at all,” Mgayiya says.In 2002, inspired by an article about a local shoe shiner, he invested in the man’s business. He also added its unique selling point – the airport locations.Lere’s Shoe Shine at OR Tambo are fantastic! Love these guys. Please support them they do a fantastic job! @pavlobiz pic.twitter.com/L222P8ufAL— Aki Anastasiou (@AkiAnastasiou) November 11, 2014Having worked in airports before, he understood that passenger traffic passing through would make it a strategic location for his service. He used his connections to negotiate a deal to operate at Cape Town International Airport. The company, initially named Airport Shoe Shine, started off slow but steady. Mgayiya sold most of his valuables to invest in his first luxury shiner’s chair and the company’s single employee.“We worked 18 hours a day, six days a week,” he remembers, with the hard work paying off in a substantial profit in the first two months, money he invested back into the company. With two more chairs and more shiners, the business soared.The company’s biggest break was when it received authorisation to open at OR Tambo International, South Africa’s largest airport, where the shiners became a popular feature for travelling businesspeople.Mgayiya partnered with Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), which operates the airports in the country, in his inevitable, unconventional way.“I had read about Acsa looking to encourage businesses within the airport and one day saw the chief executive walking around the Cape Town terminal. I walked up and told her how well she was doing; how I could see how she had turned the business around because I was at the airport every day. And she was so impressed that she asked me why I had not expanded to Johannesburg.”The rest is history.In 2008, the business expanded to OR Tambo and Durban’s King Shake airports and soon after into five other airports around South Africa. However, the stress of running eight detached locations on a limited budget led Mgayiya to close some and focus on the major airports in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.“We learnt our lesson. We expanded too quickly to inappropriate places, which almost killed our business. We had to kill those operations fast before they killed us,” Mgayiya says.But as these three continue to gain more customers, Lere’s Shoe Shine is now eyeing expansion again. This time, though, the business is looking to go global, with plans for partnerships in the US and UK, as well as in the rest of Africa.@pavlobiz @Radio702 staff treated to shoe shine from Elliot for Lere’s Shoe Shine @BDO_SA for the 1st #CEOSleepoutZA pic.twitter.com/wvfFQvTxt7— mich (@michalentweet) May 5, 2015Mgayiya’s business philosophy is simple: passion and clever thinking are more important to entrepreneurs than just money. The business’s customers – be they tourists arriving in South Africa for the first time or seasoned business travellers – always enjoy having someone to talk to. “They enjoy the experience of interacting with (the shoe shiner), (so all my) employees have extrovert personalities“They’re someone to connect with, talk to, when you’re far from home in a hard, cold place like an airport, it’s nice to find a quiet, relaxed space for a chance to stop and relax for a moment and maybe engage meaningfully with someone that you might not have met in any other situation. That’s what this business is really about, everything else will follow if you engage with the client.”Today, Mgayiya has 45 employees and he estimates his company shines the shoes of between 120 000 and 130 000 customers a year.His advice to budding entrepreneurs is to be prepared to commit themselves completely to their business, even if it means facing greater risks. “If you are not invested in that business, it changes the chances of success.”He firmly believes that good businesses are made from good ideas, from your head and heart. “It is the driving force which is generated from the love and passion for those ideas that makes it successful – it is not just the money,” Mgayiya says.“No matter how poor you are, no matter where you come from in life. it is your brain that makes you successful and your heart that drives you.”Source: AFKInsiderlast_img read more

Inclusive internet essential to Africa’s growth – Cwele

first_imgThe internet should be open, neutral, resilient, interoperable and responsive to the growth needs of all. This was the message Dr Siyabonga Cwele, South Africa’s telecoms minister, brought to the fifth annual meeting of the African Internet Governance Forum this week.The main theme of the meeting, held in Durban from 16 to 18 October, is “Inclusive development and the digital transformation of Africa”.”While the internet was first developed in the US, it has become a global resource for the development of all our citizens,” Cwele said.”The African continent believes internet governance should be multilateral and democratic. It should involve all governments and relevant stakeholders – such as academics, NGOs and ICT companies – in their respective roles.“The minister cited the launch of the first African Regional Internet Exchange in Johannesburg three weeks ago by African Union (AU) Commissioner Dr Elham M Ebrahim as an example of internet innovation on the continent.The African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGIF) annual meeting has been held every year since 2012. This year’s gathering aims to discuss and finalise African positions on the internet and its governance ahead of the December 2016 Global Internet Governance Forum in Mexico.”We are extremely grateful for your continuing partnership,” Cwele told delegates. This, he said, would “ensure that we build an inclusive continent by rolling out large infrastructure projects that connect Africans to opportunities – and each other”.A robust internet was essential to achieving the AU’s Agenda 2063, Cwele said. This 50-year plan aims to build effective institutions, enhance accountability, strengthen solidarity and integration, ensure gender equality and youth empowerment, and achieve peace and security across the continent.”AU infrastructure projects, particularly those of power and internet connectivity, are crucial for this continent to leapfrog in development to be on a par with the developed world,” he said.Locally, South Africa Connect, the country’s national broadband policy, has been prioritised as part of the Nine Point Plan to reignite growth after the global economic downturn.More than this, the South African government recently finalised the National Integrated ICT White Paper to guide the development of information technology. This was achieved, Cwele said, “after long consultations since 2012, and in line with our vision 2030, the National Development Plan”.The white paper, he said, outlined a policy framework for maintaining an open internet, to maximise the net’s potential to transform how citizens interact with their government, how government delivers services, and how businesses transact.”We need to ensure that the continent is empowered to take advantage of the internet and the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Cwele said.”I hope that after three days we will have an action plan that we can take to the Global Internet Governance Forum and show that Africa is ready to do business with the international internet community on an equal footing.”SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info material.last_img read more

Passive House is Looking for a Few Good Men (and Women)

first_imgUsing energy modeling, hygrothermal analysis, and cost data, the study identified U curves showing the cost/benefit analysis of energy efficiency improvements for the home in each location.PHIUS is seeking comments and intends to implement the new standard in the PHIUS certification protocol in early 2015.As my success in fully understanding the details in the paper was limited, I will leave it to the super geeks who troll this site to dig in deeper and criticize me for my ignorance. The U CurveThe U curve cost/benefit plots included in the paper show fairly consistent results in most locations: specifically, that energy improvements are cost-effective until you reach about 55% to 60% site energy savings. Above those levels, the hard costs of increased energy savings trends higher, suggesting that the bottom of the U curve is the point at which adding renewable energy systems is a more appropriate investment.One interesting observation, further reinforcing the value of adjusting the program for the U.S., was that in Europe typical HVAC systems are hydronic, powered by expensive boilers. When building envelope improvements can eliminate the need for an expensive HVAC system, they are appropriate investments. In the much of the U.S., however, HVAC systems are significantly less expensive than in Europe, making it far more challenging to realize significant savings by eliminating those systems through efficiency measures, a common practice in Passivhaus projects.One interesting observation was that in states with high electric costs, almost every energy upgrade was affordable. Conversely, where energy is cheap, few of the energy upgrades proved affordable. The paper concluded that regional differences in energy costs are much greater than differences in construction costs, suggesting that many decisions on efficiency improvements may be determined primarily based on local utility costs. Same core concepts, with some key changesAlthough the paper proposes some changes in Passive House requirements, it does not change the core concept, or “three pillars,” of the program – limit on space conditioning loads, limit on total source energy, and building airtightness standards. What the paper does propose is adapting the first two pillars to criteria more appropriate to the range of U.S. climate zones. It leaves building airtightness standards to others.One important change from the current standard being recommended is for maximum energy use to be calculated based on both building size and occupancy, rather than by size alone. It also suggests a different calculation of floor area, using the interior dimensions instead of calculating to the outside surface of the walls per the ANSI Z765 standard used by RESNET. The paper also recommends increasing allowances for plug loads, recognizing that the current allowances in the Passivhaus standard have been determined to be low when compared to actual use during occupancy.Regarding source versus site energy, the paper recommends changing the source energy factor for grid electricity from 2.7 to 3.1, roughly the average for the U.S. electric grid. In addition, source energy maximum allowances should be based on occupancy rather than building size, assuming an occupancy count of the number of bedrooms plus 1. Increasing adoption, but still a small market shareOne graph included in the paper shows annual and total Passive House projects in the U.S., with a projected total of 129 certified projects through 2014. It is amazing to me how much influence and press PHIUS gets for relatively little traction in marketplace.One interesting question in the online comment form asks for opinions on the current pass/fail system versus a potential tiered system of certification. The level names they suggest are quite amusing: Emerald, Gold, Plastic, and Coal. Everyone should go for the coal.I have known about Passive House for quite a while and follow most of the intrigues and developments in the program. The Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) offers several individual designations, including Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), Certified Builder, and PHIUS+ Rater. I completed the Rater training in 2014, and although I have yet to work on a project, I look forward to the opportunity to do so in the future. Anyone with the interest and time should read the paper and give their opinions on it to PHIUS. I make no claim to being an expert on Passive House, but ignorance has never stopped me from expressing my opinion before. Among the major complaints about the Passive House standard is that it has inflexible energy use requirements, and the European-designed program does not effectively address the wide range of U.S. climate zones. This inflexibility often leads those who pursue this certification to install enormous quantities of insulation, particularly under slabs, which raises a variety of questions and concerns about the usefulness of this practice.The Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) has heard these concerns and has recently released a paper, completed in conjunction with Building Science Corporation (BSC), which includes recommendations on altering the program to be better suited to U.S. climate zones. Succinctly titled “Climate-Specific Passive Building Standards,” this 72-page paper reports on energy and economic models created for a typical three-bedroom home in 111 different locations throughout the U.S. RELATED ARTICLES Redefining PassivhausNew Passive Building Standards for North AmericaA New Passivhaus Standard for North AmericaPossible Relaxation of Passivhaus Standard Stirs Debate A Petition Strives to Defend a Certain Definition of ‘Passive House’ A Proposed Passivhaus Amendment for New EnglandPHIUS PHloggingBuilding Science Corp. and PHIUS to CollaborateA Passivhaus Conference in GermanyA Post-Passivhaus Paradigm for Energy-Efficient Design Joseph Lstiburek Surprises Passive House Conference Attendeeslast_img read more

How Samsung Plans On Taking Over The U.S.

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts dan rowinski Tags:#Apple#Galaxy S4#iPhone#Samsung The first salvos have already been launched. Samsung enlisted A-list U.S. actors Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen (and Lebron James) for its Super Bowl commercial. The company has been teasing the Galaxy S4 launch with a series of videos starring the preppy brat known as Jeremy Maxwell. Once the Galaxy S4 hits shelves, look for Samsung-specific commercials to come from T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Samsung thinks it can win the advertising and marketing war and will spend a ton to do so.That’s all well and good (especially to ad-hungry U.S. media corporations), but Samsung’s ideas of what plays in the U.S. might be slightly off-kilter. Exhibit A: Jeremy Maxwell. Really, who the hell is this kid? Is this what Samsung thinks of when it imagines the prototypical American child? This Richie Rich clone has his own butler and power ties. It is like something out of a Wes Anderson movie. If Samsung wants to conquer the U.S., it cannot pander to the white elite demographic represented by such figures as Jeremy Maxwell. The Smartphone Battle Of America will definitely be intriguing as 2013 progresses. Can the Koreans unseat the Almighty Apple? We will be at Radio City in New York on Thursday to see the first shots fired. Top image: Samsung Galaxy S4 teaser photo from Samsung Mobile US Twitter account What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img A rogue Korean group has professed a desire to take over the United States.No, we are not talking about Kim Jong Un, nuclear missiles or an army of North Koreans on U.S. soil. This rogue Korean group is decidedly more friendly. Some might even call them downright pleasant. Samsung, the South Korean gadget manufacturer, is launching its new Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone Thursday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. And it is most definitely gunning for the iPhone on Apple’s home turf.Attack Apple On Its Home TurfThe Korea Times, citing insider sources at Samsung, reports that the company wants to dethrone the iPhone in the U.S. Samsung apparently chose New York City for the launch event because it, “is nicknamed the Big Apple, which is also the symbol and heart of the United States, Samsung picked that city for the event.’’“By releasing the S4 on Apple’s home-turf, Samsung wants to show we can effectively manage our smartphone business even in the United States,’’ said an insider in The Korea Times interview. Samsung is the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Everywhere on the globe it kicks the snot out of Apple with multiple smartphones at varying prices and sizes. Everywhere, that is, except for the United States. Ah, America. Baseball. Apple pie. Carolina barbecue. And… the iPhone. Apple dominates the U.S. through the top three carriers – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon – selling subsidized smartphones to hungry masses. In the last quarter of 2012, Verizon sold more iPhones than Androids for the first time ever. About 50% of Sprint’s smartphone sales are of the Apple derivation and AT&T (which launched the iPhone and had exclusivity for years) sells between 70%-80% iPhones in any given quarter. See the chart from mobile analyst Ben Evans below. According to a recent report from research firm comScore, Apple holds 38% of the U.S. smartphone market. Samsung places a distant second at 21% (HTC, Motorola and LG round out the top five). So, you can understand Samsung’s desire. Hardware, Software & Marketing, Oh MySamsung thinks it can conquer the U.S. with great hardware and software features. For the upcoming Galaxy S4, that includes the alleged Exynos “Octa-core” processor, a five-inch display and 2GB of RAM, according to The Korea Times. Samsung’s approach will also include custom-built apps and software features, which may or may not include “Eye Scrolling.” Eye Scrolling is supposed to be a way to navigate your smartphone with visual cues, as opposed to touch. “These wow factors will draw attention. If we can beat Apple on its home turf, then we will be seen as the real global leader in smartphones by consumers,” the Samsung insider said. We firmly expect the Samsung to come out with some interesting features at Radio City on Thursday. But, whatever the Galaxy S4 entails, that will be window dressing to the marketing that will erupt from Samsung in the U.S. this year. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

It’s Not Just Coffee: Technology Now Fueling Massive Growth in Seattle

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#AI#Big Data#coffee#Entrepreneur#Growth Hacking#Salesforce#Seattle#startups#technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage John BoitnottCEO, Boitnott Consulting LLC Related Posts A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked at TV, print, radio and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s an advisor at StartupGrind and has written for BusinessInsider, Fortune, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur and Venturebeat. Follow the Puck Seattle has long been known for inciting the country’s coffee culture, but now that we’re all sufficiently caffeinated, these days it’s the technology scene that’s causing a buzz. Situated well north of the traditional tech enclave known as Silicon Valley, Seattle has come into its own as a magnet for innovative companies and a supportive community that’s mission-driven to improve the status quo.Seattle’s recent growth trajectory looks something like the Space Needle — tall and lean as it extends quietly into the open sky.Not a city to be pigeonholed, its growth represents a rainbow of industries. According to Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED), the city’s key industries now span from manufacturing, maritime, life sciences, and technology to green energy, music, entertainment, and hospitality. There’s just no way to put on a label on that kind of diversity.Seattle’s Super Sonic Technology According to a 2018 report from CBRE, no city has added more tech jobs in the last two years than Seattle. The greater Seattle area added 33,803 tech jobs in 2017 and 2016, outpacing even Silicon Valley (which came in second at 24,971 jobs added). While some of those numbers represent big firms expanding outside their HQ cities or new compelling jobs, roles and responsibilities within large corporations — the most significant area of growth is in startups and smaller businesses.The level of innovation is growing by the day, and several of these startups have achieved bonafide success — particularly in developing fields such as Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI).One such success story is Validar, an event marketing software company. “Quality data was a constant struggle,” says Validar CEO Victor Kippes. “So we decided to do something about it. Fortunately, the Seattle tech scene was on the rise, so there was some excitement and experience around town. It became the perfect backdrop for our success.”The technology revolution paved the way for other startups, too.Consider Yapta, for example, a travel management site that uses intelligent technology to help consumers streamline travel expenses and save money. Valerie Layman, Yapta’s Chief Product & Services Officer, believes Seattle’s reputation as a laidback city works in its favor: “Seattle’s reputation for being laidback is indicative of our willingness to collaborate and our desire to see others in the community succeed, versus the hyper-competitive edges we’ve seen from small businesses in Seattle is both impressive and inspiring.”Says Enrique Ortegon, SVP of SMB Sales at Salesforce, “Companies are breaking new ground in meaningful ways. It was an easy decision for Salesforce to direct more efforts here.” To that end, Salesforce is hosting one of its acclaimed Growth Camp events in Seattle on May 30 at Block 41. Any startup or small business looking for free help, advice, and resources is invited to attend.Higher Grounds: Escalating Performances Several high-growth startups are truly jolting the national scene. Leading that charge is Groopit, a Seattle-based software company that helps leaders engage teams outside their four walls. After twenty years at Microsoft building products used by hundreds of millions of users, Groopit Co-Founder and CEO Tammy Savage saw a void in how organizations manage indirect people.“The growth of cloud computing in Seattle has been impressive,” says Savage. “But at the end of the day, all this technology needs to help companies engage their networks to tackle the hardest problems that will bring the next wave of progress.” The surge of advancement can be seen in the Groopit app, which lets you manage teams outside your organization and collect the corresponding data.That data might be a corporation identifying the on-the-ground security issues — and a government asking citizens to help them understand a problem.A nonprofit tracking volunteer services has always been an issue for the volunteer and the for the company they’re serving. The community, public, and society want their stats to compare themselves against for self-improvement or productivity. And a company engaging key customers to expand their footprint is a must.Another rising startup is Dreambox Learning, an interactive AI-based student learning tool. Lorenzo Pasqualis, Dreambox’s VP of Engineering, believes the company’s success stems from a combination of two factors: Seattle’s willingness to think beyond what’s possible with new technology, plus its rapidly increasing concentration of engineering talent.Seattle’s savvy talent engineering business talent has the expertise and capacity along with the skills to design and build those necessary solutions.Pasqualis conveys, “At Dreambox Learning, we constantly explore new frontiers of adaptive learning technology designed to personalize every student’s educational journey. Sure, most people see the value that technology adds to a school environment; however, they usually don’t realize how rapidly evolving disciplines such as AI, machine learning, and cloud computing can increase the value students achieve from the limited time they spend using technology.”Seattle’s Best: A New Breed of Empathetic Entrepreneurs But Seattle’s emergence as a technology hotbed isn’t confined to corporate applications and big data. There’s a growing subset of entrepreneurs who are passionate about helping others — and creating businesses to prove it.Among these skilled entrepreneurs is Dani Cone, the founder of Cone & Steiner General and Fuel Coffee. Cone is the chair of the Seattle Entrepreneurship Committee for the Greater Seattle Business Association — the largest LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce in North America. He is passionate about equality and inclusion and believes community is what sets Seattle apart: “Seattle’s such a strong and vibrant city, economically and socially.“At its roots are the people who build everything from airplanes to tech, people who believe that the impossible is possible, and people who believe in community. Community is what drives me each day to create spaces where ideas are shared, and people come together over good food and drink.”Another enviable expert is Saif Hakim, Vice President and Senior Business Lender at Craft3; a regional nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Craft3 extends loans to strengthen the local economies in both Oregon and Washington.After nearly two decades in commercial banking in the Puget Sound Area, Hakim saw the discrepancies in those who are able to achieve funding.Now at Craft3, he’s able to target an underserved population, including startups and growing businesses that are not traditionally ready for bank capital. “It just felt right to move into a more flexible area of lending,” says Hakim. “The Pacific-Northwest is inspiring in so many ways, and Craft3 is really focused on doing everything we can to make this a vibrant, growing area of the country.”Fueling Up: Seattle Runs on TechnologySeattle may be famous for rainy days and coffee, but today’s entrepreneurs and tech startups are working hard to change that association. Is Seattle posed to be the country’s new Tech Town? All signs point to the affirmative. Maybe that free Salesforce Growth Camp conference can help you get in on the action.last_img read more

Match fixing is life-threatening, says Rice

first_imgThe menace of match-fixing is life threatening and it’s time the ICC steps in and take stringent action to wipe out the menace for once and all, feels former South Africa captain Clive Rice.Match-fixing is so rife in international cricket these days that it’s only a matter of time before a player, coach or an umpire paid with their life, Rice said today.”These mafia betting syndicates do not stop at anything and they do not care who gets in their way,” Rice was quoted as saying in the “Courier Mail”.”People have been murdered because of it in the past and it could happen again unless the ICC do something about it.”To permanently eradicate the menace, Rice felt, the ICC should bring in reforms and enforce strict policing on players.”Players have to be told there will now be undercover officials trying to trap them,” Rice said from his Johannesburg home.”They won’t know whether they are dealing with a bookmaker or an undercover official.”Rice, 61, suspects the role of mafia betting syndicates in the mysterious deaths of Hansie Cronje and Bob Woolmer — both close friends of Rice.Cronje died in a plane crash in 2002, two years after being banned for his role in a match-fixing scandal, while late Pakistan coach Woolmer was found dead in a Jamaican hotel room, following his team’s shocking defeat to Ireland in the 2007 World Cup.Rice said the latest allegations of Pakistani players’ involvement in spot-fixing before the Lord’s Test did not surprise him.advertisement”My first response was: ‘What’s new?’ Once a player becomes involved with these bookmakers and the match-fixing, they can never escape. You’re in it for life. The ICC needs to take a stronger stand and let players know if you do this you’re out.”Rice also felt that if corruption in international cricket is not tackled, the sport will suffer in terms of credibility, sponsors and television coverage.last_img read more