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CROWDROOSTER LAUNCHES PRODUCT AND DESIGN DRIVEN CROWDFUNDING COMMUNITY

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Crowdrooster launches product and design driven crowdfunding community

London tech city challenger Crowdrooster offers first end-to-end, design-led crowdfunding community and reveals 6 professional projects seeking £135,000 in funding

London, UK – November 15 2013 –Crowdrooster, a product focused crowdfunding community with an e-commerce twist, launches [6] projects internationally. Crowdrooster fuses micro-finance with retail therapy and empowers shoppers to shake up the financial order by pre-purchasing the products of tomorrow. Launch projects include new concepts and designs from bespoke Italian skateboard brand ATYPICAL and eclectic handcrafted furniture company Experience de Vita.

Crowdrooster launches product and design driven crowdfunding community

Crowdrooster launches product and design driven crowdfunding community

Crowdrooster is based in the heart of London’s TechCity at the exclusive technology incubator Level39. Level 39 selected Crowdrooster through an application process of 160 startup companies. The reasoning behind Crowdrooster’s selection is due to their innovative approach to crowdfunding and ecommerce. Crowdrooster is founded by young entrepreneurs Alessandro Rovati, Francesco Fumagalli and Francesco Gatti.

Influenced heavily by the design community, Crowdrooster has been launched to offer trend-setters the opportunity to invest and own high-end bespoke, pre-production technology and lifestyle products. Crowdrooster also offers established brands a lower risk environment in which to fund and test consumer appetite for unique product designs. In total the 6 launch projects are seeking £135,000 in crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is an alternative funding model en vogue, raising £1.7 billion in 2012 alone. Hardware projects are regularly the most popular and highest-funded, yet 85%[1] fail to deliver the finished article. With this in mind, it’s Crowdrooster’s mission to further professionalize crowdfunding. Backed by an advisory board and mentors within the Level 39 technology incubator, which includes VP of Finance at JP Morgan, Michele Barbara, each project is carefully vetted to ensure the highest possible completion rates. All projects featuring on Crowdrooster are from registered companies, with proven prototypes, a clear business plan and established supply chains.

Michele Barbara, Vice President – Finance at JPMorgan, explains why Crowdrooster is an exciting addition to the finance world: “As an alternative to traditional finance options, crowdfunding has huge potential. However, for hardware projects seeking large sums of investment, featuring alongside a mix of unvetted personal projects has a limiting effect. By carefully vetting projects to ensure the highest possible completion rates, Crowdrooster is tackling this obstacle head-on creating a more professional environment in which to seek investment.”

Crowdrooster quote: Alessandro Rovati, co-founder, Crowdrooster said “What started as a simple idea for a crowd funded e-commerce app, rapidly evolved into a fully fledged community where designers and innovators can gather to access funding, endorsement and support for their project ideas. In a few years’ time we want Crowdrooster to be a robust and trusted source of social capital for brands, as well as playing a vital role in delivering trend-setting and best-selling products of the future.”

Crowdrooster project, Luca Boffi, commented on the launch: “We’re thrilled to be one of the first companies to launch on the platform. We’ve been looking for a way to test out our new products and gain feedback from savvy shoppers in an environment that echoes our own customer experience as well as providing a professional approach to crowdfunding in line with our company’s quality standards. Crowdrooster provides the perfect springboard for us to do just that”.

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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