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This category includes articles that apply to crowdfunding in general and may include policy, practice and other stories relevant to everyone.

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Miracle Foundation Launches Unique Mother’s Day Campaign to Benefit Orphaned Children

Non-Profit Hopes to Raise Money to Support Children Who Don’t Have a Mom

Press Release – AUSTIN, TX – There are millions of orphaned children in the developing world, many of whom languish in sub-standard institutions with deplorable conditions, where even their most basic needs are not met. That’s why Miracle Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers orphans to reach their full potential, is launching its unique Mother’s Day campaign. The 501(c)(3) charity, which brings life-changing care to the world’s orphans, hopes to raise funds by May 14th to provide clean water, nutritious food, healthcare and a quality education for mother-less children—all in a stable, loving, nurturing environment.

“This Mother’s Day, we invite you to honor your mom in a very meaningful way, by participating in our campaign,” said Caroline Boudreaux, Founder of Miracle Foundation. “Doing so will engage both you and your mom in the lives of less fortunate children in the developing world. What better way to pay tribute to your mother than by giving to children who don’t have one?”

To honor a mom, gift-givers simply visit www.MiracleFoundation.org/mothers. There, they can make a tax-deductible donation in the name of their mother—or other special woman in their lives. Supporters at all donation levels will receive a beautiful certificate they can share with their honoree for Mother’s Day.

In addition to the special Mother’s Day certificate, donors at two levels will receive additional perks:

  • $60 & up: eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store (electronic code sent to donors via email, within 1 business day after donation)
  • $125 & up: Gourmet chocolates from Maggie Louise Confections (chocolates sent to honorees via mail, within 2 business days after donation)

“We believe in quality over quantity, in supporting the whole child and breaking the cycle of poverty. Our Mother’s Day campaign represents a meaningful new way that every person can make miracles for orphans and honor their mother at the same time,” added Boudreaux. “Helping children go from hopeless and head-down, to empowered and standing tall, with bright futures ahead of them, is one of the most fulfilling endeavors in the world.”

Launched on Mother’s Day in 2000, Miracle Foundation turns struggling, institutional orphanages into stable, loving, nurturing homes where children thrive. The Austin, TX-based organization partners with existing orphanages to implement its proven and systematic method for providing a home where the fundamental needs and rights of growing children are met, from the day they arrive until the day they graduate into adulthood.

“While our goal is to find a loving family for every orphaned child, that isn’t always possible. For orphans with nowhere else to go, we ensure that orphanages are in line with international standards and guidelines. And we provide excellent training for caregivers, a top-notch education for the children, nutritious food and plenty of love,” added Boudreaux.

Currently, Miracle Foundation supports 24 orphanages in the developing world (starting with India), and offers its wide range of capacity-building training—focused on child protection, child rights, caregivers, life skills education, governance and more—to anyone running or donating to an orphanage around the world. With an increasingly global focus, Miracle Foundation is also partnering with organizations in Egypt, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and more to redefine the role of orphanages and bring life-changing care to the world’s orphans.

Miracle Foundation is unique in that its metric-driven method is measurable, scalable and transparent, guarding against corruption and ensuring that all donations go directly into nurturing and transforming the lives of orphaned children. Through its work, Miracle Foundation has given thousands of children without parental care a childhood that would have otherwise been impossible.

“Miracle Foundation proves that one person can make a difference,” said Shelley Seale, donor. “I have witnessed first-hand what my monthly donation can do to change the lives of many. I’ve traveled to India and visited the orphanages and have seen the difference my investment makes in orphans’ lives. We are empowering children to be the best that they can be.”

Miracle Foundation has been honored with the highest possible rating of four stars by Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates U.S. charities’ effectiveness and financial transparency: http://bit.ly/1nJC7wq

About Miracle Foundation

Miracle Foundation is an Austin, TX-based non-profit organization that brings life-changing care to the world’s orphans. The ultimate goal of the Miracle Foundation is to find a loving family for every orphaned child. That means we explore every possible avenue to reunite children with a parent or relative, if possible. In fact, we have reunited approximately 25% of our children with their families. We do this by allocating resources to more efficiently support alternative care options and ensuring that excellent family support services are in place. And, for orphans who have nowhere else to go, we ensure that orphanages are in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and international standards and guidelines. We provide excellent training for caregivers, a top-notch education for the children, nutritious food and plenty of love for them to thrive.

Together with our supporters, we work toward a common goal of providing a loving home, a quality education and a promising future to each and every orphan. Because when you bring together those who have, with those who have not—miracles happen.

For more information, please visit www.MiracleFoundation.org.

About Maggie Louise Confections

Maggie Louise Confections is a creative confections company that brings haute couture designs to the world of chocolate by combining handcrafted creations with nostalgic flavors, modern design, and meaningful bespoke details. Made in Austin and packed with personality, MLC chocolates and candies are gifting perfection.

Launched in 2013, Maggie Louise Confections has reinvented the classic sampler box with color, personality and a unique customization platform making each box of chocolate a fun and memorable experience to both create and gift. The collection is designed seasonally and takes cues from the fashion and entertaining worlds to create a collection that feels fresh, fun and spirited.

For more information, please visit http://www.maggielouiseconfections.com/

Social Bluebook Invites The Crowd To Invest Alongside Top Content Creators

Company Seeks Growth Capital; Launches Reg A+ “mini-IPO”

Press Release – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — April 18th, 2017 — Today Social Bluebook, the social media technology company that provides the tools for content creators to make social media their full-time business, announced a Regulation A+ initial public offering. In line with Social Bluebook’s democratic values, the offering is open to both accredited and unaccredited investors. Investing in Social Bluebook is an investment in the creative community as well as the future of creator-led marketing.

Started in 2014 by creators for creators, Social Bluebook simplifies and streamlines the process of executing influencer marketing, connecting thousands of online content creators and advertisers on their platform. Their proprietary algorithm produces a dollar value that can be used as a starting point for negotiating branded deals.

Per their “for creators by creators” mantra, Social Bluebook’s Reg A+ offering is intended to open the door for creators to invest in their own careers. Notable creators investing include Eh Bee family, Shaytards, Furious Pete, Ellie and Jared, and more. The funding will accelerate Social Bluebook’s expansion via strategic acquisitions and marketing. This strategy is aimed to cement their platform as the leading space for advertisers and creators to connect, negotiate deals, and build together.

“Marketing professionals, including Fortune 500 companies using Social Bluebook, are now realizing there is a tremendous value to teaming up with online video personalities who are drawing millions of viewers with the content they post on platforms like YouTube and Instagram,” said Chad Sahley, CEO of Social Bluebook.

“We are very excited to share this investment opportunity with creators and other like-minded individuals,” said Sahley. “While early stage offerings before an IPO would generally allow only accredited investors to invest at this stage, we are taking advantage of new SEC regulations and opening up the door to the crowd in an effort to level the playing field for all creators.”

Social Bluebook was the first to introduce patent-pending valuation formulas for YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and blogs, with more on the way. As of June 2016, over 33,000 social media platforms with an audience reach of over 2.87 billion people and over 400 brands have registered with Social Bluebook and growing daily.

The company seeks to raise up to $12 million in its “mini IPO” under Regulation A+. Individuals interested in learning more about the Social Bluebook Regulation A+ investment opportunity can visit http://invest.socialbluebook.com.

About Social Bluebook

Social Bluebook was started by creators for creators in order to bring transparency to influencer marketing and specifically the content creator community. It was designed to simplify and streamline the process of executing influencer marketing for online content creators and advertisers with the goal to help creators make the money they deserve so they can do what they love.

SEC Disclaimer

An offering statement regarding this offering has been filed with the SEC. The SEC has qualified that offering statement which only means that Social Bluebook may make sales of the securities described by that offering statement. It does not mean that the SEC has approved, passed upon the merits or passed upon the accuracy or completeness of the information in the offering statement. You may obtain a copy of the offering circular that is part of that offering statement HERE. You should read the offering circular before making any investment.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements regarding projected business performance, operating results, financial condition and other aspects of the company, expressed by such language as “expected,” “anticipated,” “projected” and “forecasted.” Please be advised that such statements are estimates only and there is no assurance that the results stated or implied by forward-looking statements will actually be realized by the company. Forward-looking statements may be based on management assumptions that prove to be wrong. The company and its business are subject to substantial risks and potential events beyond its control that would cause material differences between predicted results and actual results, including the company incurring operating losses and experiencing unexpected material adverse events. Please see the Offering Circular for the discussion of these risks.

Student Entrepreneurs Launch New Round of Ventures through Suffolk Crowdfunding Course

Press Release – BOSTON — Savory waffles sold from a food cart, a cinch-locking bag that deters theft of package deliveries and a children’s book about a guppy who tries too hard to fit in are three of the latest Suffolk University student-run ventures that launched crowdfunding campaigns April 7.

Suffolk’s Sawyer Business School introduced one of the nation’s first experiential courses on crowdfunding in fall 2016, where students launched campaigns to fund their own startup companies through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The acclaimed course is now in its second semester with a new group of student entrepreneurs launching campaigns to fund their businesses. Campaigns will conclude with the end of National Small Business Week on May 6.

“Crowdfunding is shaping up to be an important factor for startup success,” said Sawyer Entrepreneurship Professor Chaim Letwin. “To run a successful campaign one must be passionate about their venture. That is why it is important to not only teach our students why some campaigns are successful while others are not, but also to give them the opportunity to dig in, get their hands dirty and run a campaign of their own.”

The concept for the crowdfunding course came out of conversations between Letwin and Professor Jenni Dinger, a colleague in the Sawyer Business School’s Management and Entrepreneurship department. Dinger and Letwin co-teach the course and both study crowdfunding and how campaign components relate to people’s decisions to contribute money to a particular project.

“This course is still quite young, only the second time through, so we are continuously adjusting and learning as a group,” Dinger said. “It’s very exciting to see how this group of students has built on what was accomplished last year.”

This semester’s ventures include:

  • Waffleholics, founded by Suffolk junior Carmen Reddick and senior Max Taylor, aims to create the most delicious sweet and savory waffles, starting with a Boston food cart business. Reddick graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate in science degree. Both students are from Boston.
  • Beyond Borders is a full-length documentary film by David Apostolides and John Moran. The film seeks to incorporate the perspectives of those living outside of the U.S. in the current American political conversation.
  • Baggabox prevents package theft by securing deliveries to your door in a cut-resistant and waterproof cinch-locking bag. Baggabox was founded by Jamie Manning, a Suffolk MBA alumnus, and is being supported by seniors Faisal Janahi and Alonso Villarreal. Janahi is from Manama, Bahrain, and Villarreal is from San Antonio, Texas.
  • Goliath Gallon, founded by Suffolk senior Zack Smith of Methuen, Mass., makes a reusable, BPA-free and easily cleaned gallon bottle for ice, fruits, amino acids, etc.
  • Cosmic Eye, founded by Ashton Viqueras-LaRochelle, utilizes augmented reality technology to bridge the gap between what you see through a telescope and what actually exists in the cosmos. Viqueras-LaRochelle, a Suffolk junior, is from Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Kwapis Can’t Hang is a children’s book about a guppy that enters a new bowl and pretends to be someone she is not in a misguided attempt to fit in. The book is authored and edited by Dana Prandato, a Suffolk junior and Marketing major from Sandpoint, Idaho.
  • Claude and the Magic Garden is a children’s book that tells a magical story of two brothers living in a foreign land and trying to fit in. Their community helps uncover the magic of true friendship. The book is authored and edited by Suffolk junior Christopher Hassapis. He is from North Reading, Mass.
  • Pup Picnic, founded by Joe Tassinari, is a 2-in-1 dog bowl with a water bottle attachment. This allows any disposable water bottle to attach to the bowl and act as a feeder. Tassinari is a Suffolk senior from East Boston, Mass.

More information on the student startup businesses and crowdfunding campaigns may be found at www.suffolk.edu/business/undergraduate/71487.php.

Star Wars: Force For Change Celebrates 40 Years Of Star Wars With Epic Fundraising Event

Prizes Include A Visit To A Star Wars Movie Set, Tickets To The Premiere Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, An Overnight Stay At Skywalker Ranch, And More!

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Apr. 11, 2017) – Star Wars: Force For Change in collaboration with Omaze will launch the Star Wars “Past, Present and Future” fundraising campaign to benefit UNICEF and Starlight Children’s Foundation. The campaign is themed around the timeless appeal of Star Wars, with experiences inspired by the saga’s past, present, and future. Lucky winners will receive prizes, like the chance to appear in the upcoming Han Solo movie, tickets to the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, or, an overnight stay at the fabled Skywalker Ranch.

Over the course of four weeks between April 11th and May 11th, 2017, fans may enter at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to win these once-in-a-lifetime Star Wars experiences, with each week bringing a new prize to be awarded to a randomly-selected winner. Additionally, at the end of the campaign, one randomly-selected grand prize winner will be awarded all three amazing experiences.

Starlight Children’s Foundation is joining Star Wars: Force for Change as the initiative’s newest charity beneficiary in 2017. Through a $1 million grant, Star Wars: Force for Change supports the foundation’s core programs which are designed to bring comfort and joy and comfort to hospitalized kids through Starlight’s network of more than 700 children’s hospitals, clinics, camps and other partners across the US. Star Wars: Force for Change and fan donations through this campaign will also provide new Starlight programs, like fun, comfortable Star Wars-themed Starlight Brave Gowns, to tens of thousands of hospitalized children across the country.

Since 2014, Star Wars: Force for Change and UNICEF have joined together to help improve the lives of children around the world. With the support of Star Wars fans, the collaboration has raised more than $9 million to help the world’s most vulnerable children. To date, Star Wars: Force for Change has helped UNICEF save the lives of over 30,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition through the distribution of over 4 million packets of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food Packets (RUTF) around the world.

“In a year that we celebrate 40 years of the Star Wars saga, I continue to be inspired by the incredible generosity and charitable efforts of our fans,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “We are so proud of their tireless dedication to positively impact the lives of children and others around the world, and hope this year’s Force For Change campaign will offer a few of those wonderful fans an experience they will never forget.”

Star Wars “Past, Present, and Future” Winner Experiences:

  • Past – Stay at Skywalker Inn, tour of the archives & the Ranch, and a screening of Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Present – Join the cast and attend the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere and exclusive after party
  • Future – Visit the set, meet the directors and have the chance to appear in the untitled Han Solo movie
  • Grand Prize – One winner will receive the Past, Present AND Future prizes!

Fans are encouraged to follow the campaign at Omaze.com/StarWars for exclusive updates each week.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited. Promotion begins 12:01 AM Pacific Time (PT) on April 11, 2017 and ends at 11:59 PM PT on May 11, 2017. Must be at least eighteen (18) years old and a resident of an eligible domicile to enter and win prizes. Residents of of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Malta, North Korea, Singapore, Sudan, Syria, or Thailand are not eligible to enter. Sweepstakes consists of four (4) prize drawings; odds of winning a prize depend on number of entries received for each drawing. For free entry: (i) send postcard to Sponsor at P.O. Box 866, 9942 Culver Blvd, Culver City, California 90232 and write the following statement: “I have read and agree to the Star Wars: Force For Change Official Rules” and send by applicable mail date; or (ii) visit www.omaze.com/starwars. Prizes that include being filmed in a movie scene do not guarantee that such footage will be included in the final movie. Travel and accommodations are at Sponsor’s discretion and subject to availability and change. Winner and guest may be required to pass a background screening or security check to receive a prize and/or reward. Visa conditions may apply. All taxes are winner’s responsibility.

Rewards are separate from sweepstakes prizes. Some rewards are limited in quantity. Not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook®. Residents of certain territories may be required to successfully complete a trivia question to qualify. For full sweepstakes entry requirements, methods & entry periods, prize details, list of rewards and all limitations & restrictions, see Official rules at www.omaze.com/starwars. Sole Sponsor: Omaze, Inc., P.O. Box 866, 9942 Culver Blvd, Culver City, California 90232.

ABOUT STAR WARS: FORCE FOR CHANGE

Star Wars: Force for Change, a charitable initiative from Lucasfilm and Disney, harnesses the strength of Star Wars to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. Born in 2014, it was inspired by Star Wars fans, and the countless hours they have dedicated to
philanthropy over the past four decades. To date, over $13 million has been raised for charitable causes around the world on behalf of Star Wars: Force for Change, including $9 million towards UNICEF’s programs to put children first. This year, Force for Change is proud to announce Starlight Children’s Foundation as its newest charitable beneficiary. As a founding sponsor of Starlight Children’s Foundation’s VR program, Force for Change will continue to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. With a bright future ahead, and new Star Wars stories to be told, Force for Change aims to continue collaborating with causes and encouraging others to be forces for change in their own community. To learn more, please visit ForceForChange.com.

ABOUT LUCASFILM LTD.

Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.

ABOUT STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION

Starlight creates moments of comfort and joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families. For 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. With your help, kids and their families will enjoy Starlight VR, Starlight Brave Gowns, Starlight Fun Centers and other Starlight programs at a children’s hospital or facility near you. Support Starlight’s work by visiting www.starlight.org and by following Starlight on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT OMAZE

Omaze is an online fundraising platform that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences and exclusive merchandise to support nonprofits around the world. Omaze is disrupting the charitable giving space by offering creative opportunities that make it fun and easy for anyone to give. Each of our fundraising and awareness campaigns brings together influencers, nonprofits and people across the globe and enables real, lasting impact. Since launching, Omaze has impacted more than 200 charities and received donations from over 175 countries.

Wefunder Launches Series of Themed, Local Funding Events For Small Businesses; First Will Focus on Women Founders

12-event series kicks off May 4 in Oakland; deadline for startups to apply is April 14

Press Release – San Francisco, Calif. – April 6, 2017Wefunder, the most popular platform for Regulation Crowdfunding, announced today that it is hosting a 12-city tour of live, in-person funding events for small businesses – much like the Demo Days hosted by accelerators. The objective is to help those small businesses connect with potential investors in their cities and within the broader Wefunder community – comprised of 90,000 individual investors around the world.

Regulation Crowdfunding, enabled by Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, enables startups and small businesses to raise up to $1M from unaccredited investors. Since the legislation took effect in May 2016, companies have raised more than $23M under Reg CF, and approximately two-thirds of that was raised via the Wefunder portal.

“We’re finding that many of our portfolio companies are drawing most of their investment dollars locally – often, from people who are already customers or fans of the company,” said Nick Tommarello, co-founder and CEO of Wefunder. “So we decided to launch a series of in-person events designed to draw in local investors and expose them to startup investment opportunities right in their area.”

The first event, taking place in Oakland, Calif. on May 4, will focus on startups founded by women. The deadline for startups to apply for the Oakland event is April 14; the deadline to apply for the other events in events is May 5.

Other events/themes in the series will include in the coming weeks:

  • New York City – Immigrants
  • Los Angeles – Food
  • New Orleans – Nightlife
  • Napa – Wine
  • New York City – Fashion
  • Portland, OR – Breweries
  • Denver – B Corps
  • Washington, DC – Veteran founders
  • Detroit – Makers (manufacturing)
  • Austin, TX – Music
  • Boston – Health tech

To learn more about attending or pitching at any of the events, visit https://wefunder.com/live_events. To register as a potential investor at Wefunder, visit wefunder.com. The minimum investment is $100.

About Wefunder

Wefunder helps anyone invest as little as $100 in startups you love, and is the most popular platform for Regulation Crowdfunding. Its vision is to build a new type of stock market (“a NASDAQ for riskier ventures”) that lets the public allocate capital to a wider range of businesses, more broadly and efficiently than banks or venture capitalists. Investors on Wefunder have invested more than $34 million into 150+ companies since 2013, including Zenefits, Checkr and Casetext. Learn more about Wefunder’s story at wefunder.com/wefunder or follow us @wefunder.

New York Common Pantry Named A Finalist For The 7th Annual Classy Awards

Press Release – New York ­- We are excited to announce that New York Common Pantry has been named a top 100 finalist for the 7th Annual Classy Awards. The ten 2017 winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during The Collaborative, a unique three-day experience that brings together top social innovators from around the world to share solutions and inspire change, this June 13-15, 2017.

“The Classy Awards has become one of the top forums for recognizing global social innovation,” said Pat Walsh, Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer of Classy. “Classy Awards Finalists are pioneering innovative ideas and technologies addressing some of our greatest social problems, and we’re honored to play a role in recognizing their incredible accomplishments.”

Finalists were selected based on scale and scope of the problem, innovative approach, ability to solve the problem, and organizational effectiveness. From here, 10 winners from the 100 finalists will be chosen by the Leadership Council and announced on stage at the awards ceremony in June. Classy, the world¹s leading online fundraising platform for social enterprises, has hosted this event and award ceremony for years in San Diego and has recently expanded the footprint into Boston¹s Innovation District for the last two years.

New York Common Pantry (NYCP) is dedicated to reducing hunger throughout New York City, while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency. NYCP works toward the reduction of hunger and food insecurity through an array of programs that help establish long-term independence for those it serves. Since opening in 1980, as a small neighborhood pantry serving 30 families, NYCP has become one of New York City¹s most innovative emergency food providers, offering meals and support services to over 300,000 individuals a year. Every week, NYCP’s Choice Pantry serves approximately 1,500 families and redistributes thousands of pounds of produce. NYCP served over 3,000,000 meals in 2016.

New York Common Pantry was one of several hundred programs nominated to this year’s Classy Awards and then went on to complete a comprehensive program application. “New York Common Pantry is honored to have been selected as a top 100 finalist for the 7th Annual Classy Awards in recognition of our commitment to innovation, problem-solving, and effectiveness,” says Stephen Grimaldi, New York Common Pantry¹s Executive Director. “We are proud to be positioned alongside many esteemed global organizations as we work to increase access to vital resources for New Yorkers in need.”

The Collaborative is presented by Classy, Southwest Airlines, Fluxx, Plenty Consulting and The Boston Foundation, alongside Salesforce and Guidestar. For more information on the Collaborative and the Classy Awards, visit www.classy.org/collaborative.

Leverage PR Sells to Caliber Corporate Advisers

Thought Leader Schoffler to Remain Active in Business Development and Client Strategy for Newly Merged Agency

Press Release – AUSTIN, Texas – April 4, 2017Leverage PR, an Austin-based marketing and public relations firm specializing in the financial services, technology and real estate sectors founded by Joy Schoffler in 2010, has been acquired by leading strategic marketing and public relations firm Caliber Corporate Advisers.

“I am incredibly proud of everyone who has been a part of the Leverage PR team over the years. It was their hard work and dedication that propelled Leverage and its clients to the forefront of the financial services, technology and real estate communities,” said Schoffler, Principal, Leverage PR. “This is definitely a testament to Leverage’s reputation and success in the industry.”

Leverage PR is an award-winning agency that has served over one hundred brands throughout the years. The company partners and provides support for several well-known financial services, technology, and real estate companies and industry events around the globe, including Finovate, Empire Startups, and South by Southwest® Interactive.

Caliber Corporate Advisers was founded seven years ago and has served more than one hundred clients globally, providing strategic marketing advisory, public relations, and content marketing services that support clients’ specific business goals.

“By combining Caliber’s extensive industry experience across the financial services, technology and professional services’ sectors with Leverage’s proven track record in similar spaces, we’re able to provide clients with a deeper bench of industry experts under one umbrella,” said Harvey Hudes, Founder and CEO, Caliber Corporate Advisers. “This is a true example of building strength upon strength.”

As Leverage PR’s principal, Schoffler will continue to represent the agency and remain actively involved in business development and client strategy, as well as continuing her many leadership roles in the FinTech community.

Schoffler currently serves as the Executive Chair of the FinTech Professionals Association, as well as serving as an advisory board member for SXSWs Accelerator Pitch Event, AARP’s FinTech Advisory board, and Yodlee’s FinTech incubator.

Regarding her reasons for the transaction, Schoffler stated, “Partnering with a team with an East Coast presence was a natural transition to offering our clients even more value and resources,” said Schoffler. “Knowing Harvey and I were aligned in our passion for creating a best in class agency that allowed room for growth for employees, access to more resources and an expansive network for our clients won me over, and I am excited for all the opportunities to come.”

Leverage will operate as “Leverage PR, A Caliber Corporate Advisers Company” and will continue to hold offices in Austin.

“Having worked closely with both Leverage and Caliber, we see this combination creating a powerhouse in the FinTech world and beyond,” said Jason Henrichs, Managing Director at FinTech Forge. “The combined capabilities and experience are unparalleled. Clients will get the benefit of a PR firm that understands the nuances of fintech and the ability to execute.”

The acquisition of Leverage PR by Caliber Corporate Advisers was facilitated by the expert legal team at Spiro Harrison and the counsel of Gould+Partners.

About Caliber Corporate Advisers

Caliber Corporate Advisers is a strategic marketing advisory firm that helps companies tell their story and connect with key stakeholders. Caliber is a trusted partner focused on driving growth of organizations within the financial services, technology (FinTech, LegalTech, MarTech) and professional services sectors. We provide best-in-class strategy and tactical execution of public relations and content marketing initiatives, as well as contacts’ database research. To find out more, visit www.calibercorporate.com.

About Leverage PR

Leverage PR is a full-service marketing and public relations firm delivering strategic planning, media relations and communications services within the financial services, technology, and real estate sectors. With extensive experience in internal and external communications and media relations, Leverage PR’s team possesses a deep understanding of opportunities and challenges facing innovators. For more information, visit www.leverage-pr.com.

The Public Can Now Invest in Cornerstone Kids, the First Truly Eco-Friendly Childcare Center

Press Release – AIKEN, S.C., March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Cornerstone Kids is pleased to announce that it has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign, making investments in the company available to the general public. Terms of the offering can be found at: https://jumpstartmicro.com

Investing in a venture isn’t just for the wealthy anymore. Now is your chance to invest in a socially significant company setting out to change the childcare industry from the ground up. Cornerstone Kids is raising money to begin construction of its first green energy facility and has plans to nationally franchise. “I’ve been in the childcare industry for more than 25 years. This new facility we are constructing is totally eco-friendly, runs on green energy, built to reduce germs in the air and physical environment with a focus on early childhood education with all of the tools a child needs to start off right,” said Lynne Fleming, CEO.

The Company’s vision is a physical environment designed from the ground up to significantly reduce bacterium, viruses, and other microorganisms as small and viscous as the flu virus. It will also run using green energy and clean-air systems. To accomplish this they have partnered with Insulsteel™, Inc., which is uniquely qualified to build these facilities using their patented EcoShell™ designs.

For early childhood education, the center will provide programs for all pre-school levels with advanced learning through Khan Academy as well as after school programs like karate, dance, and music. So, in addition to being designed to keep kids healthy, these facilities will also foster early childhood development.

“We are excited to be partnering with Lynne and her team at Cornerstone Kids to build what we believe will be a totally new eco-friendly concept for this industry. Before getting involved we commissioned an environmental study, which can be found on the Jumpstart Micro site,” said Steve Bostic, CEO of Insulsteel.

Investors receive stock and profit sharing for investments as low as $500 through regulation crowdfunding which allows nearly anyone to make investments in startup ventures. SEC regulations prohibit us from providing more information about our offering here. To get more information and learn how you can become an investor, visit: https://jumpstartmicro.com/deal-show/id-241.html

About Cornerstone Kids

Cornerstone Kids is located in Aiken, South Carolina. The founders have been operating successful childcare services for over 25 years. Cornerstone Kids, Inc. is a newly formed entity to develop a new brand of eco-friendly childcare facilities. http://www.aikencornerstonekids.com

About Insulsteel

Insulsteel™ building enclosures offers the EcoShell™, which is an innovative building enclosure system that withstands hurricane winds up to 200 MPH, and provides thermal insulation values 4-times greater than traditional wood framing. www.insulsteel.com

About Crowd Smart Marketing

Crowd marketing agency provides marketing strategic crowd marketing services. http://www.crowdsmartmarketing.com

About Jumpstart Micro

Jumpstart Micro™, is a Registered Funding Portal under SEC regulation Crowdfunding 4(6)(a) and a member of FINRA. Jumpstart Micro does not provide investment advice. Please see investor disclosure and risk statement at https://www.jumpstartmicro.com

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-public-can-now-invest-in-cornerstone-kids-the-first-truly-eco-friendly-childcare-center-300431759.html

Coding Autism Begins Crowdfunding To Develop Career Transitioning Program For Adults With Autism

Press Release – LOS ANGELES (March 31, 2017) – Coding Autism, a Los Angeles-based startup providing career transitioning programs for adults on the autism spectrum, starts their crowdfunding campaign today. The funds from this campaign will be used to finance their first class in the Greater Los Angeles area, the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive. The ASPIRE Web Development Immersive is a 15-week, full-time course where students will be learning the fundamental skills necessary to secure an entry-level web developer job. It covers both front-end and back-end skills, along with Quality Assurance and SCRUM principles. By the end of the course, students will walk away with a portfolio of full-stack web applications which they can use when applying to their first developer jobs.

Coding Autism is looking to raise a minimum of $50,000 on through its rewards-based campaign, and another $50,000 through its equity campaign. To help support this cause, people can donate at Coding Autism’s Start Some Good page here: https://startsomegood.com/projects/coding-autism-training-adults-with-autism-in-code/. Accredited investors can contribute to Coding Autism’s Crowdfunder equity campaign here: https://www.crowdfunder.com/coding-autism.

To better cater to the specialized needs of autistic learners, classes are kept small (15 students maximum) and an on-site occupational therapist will be present to tailor each class to the unique needs of each group. According to Evelyn Peña, director of the Cal Lutheran Univeristy Autism and Communication Center, “We see a natural fit for people on the spectrum and jobs in the tech space. Oftentimes it isn’t the abilities or knowledge that creates the greatest barrier, but soft skills like eye contact and communication that prevent them from even being considered for a role they may otherwise be qualified for. For that reason, we place an emphasis on these skills that would otherwise be skipped by similar programs.”

CEO and co-founder, Oliver Thornton, having been diagnosed with a form of ASD himself. Having two brothers that are also on the spectrum, he experienced firsthand the challenges people like him and his brothers face integrating into the professional world. With statistics as high as 80% un/underemployment among adults on the spectrum, and with 1 in 68 children in the US being diagnosed with ASD, he saw an urgent need to find a way to integrate this ever-growing demographic into the workplace, and alleviate fears about self-sufficiency held by both people with autism and their families.

When asked why employers should consider hiring more employees on the autism spectrum, Thornton had this to say: “Adults with autism tend to be very engaged and dedicated employees who contain intrinsic characteristics such as attention to detail, fascination for repetitive tasks, and introversion. In recent years, there has been an influx of research proving that adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome tend to thrive at software development related professions. As a result many technology companies such as Microsoft and SAP have implemented autism hiring initiatives to hire experienced software developers on the autism spectrum. By training adults with autism through our autism specialized coding immersive program, we are opening doors for companies to diversity their work forces, broaden the culture of their company and teams, and drive innovation within their operations.”

About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Globally, autism is estimated to affect 21.7 million people as of 2013. As of 2010, the number of people affected is estimated at about 1–2 per 1,000 worldwide. About 1.5% of children in the United States (one in 68) are diagnosed with ASD as of 2014, a 30% increase from one in 88 in 2012. The number of people diagnosed has been increasing dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice.

About Coding Autism:

Coding Autism is a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance, and web development. They also assist our graduates in finding employment within the software and technology industries. Coding Autism does so by providing services such as immersive programs and bootcamps, resume workshops, career counseling, interview preparation, and coaching/mentorship, all of which is designed around providing an environment where people on the spectrum can thrive.

The Anka Cooperative, An Initiative That Empowers And Employs Syrian Refugees By Making The Highest Quality Rugs In The World, Turns To Kickstarter To Expand And To Impact The Lives Of Even More Refugee Women

Press Release – Adiyaman, Turkey––March 14, 2017––The Anka Cooperative empowers Syrian women refugees by providing dignifying work creating fine carpets and traditional crafts in a safe workplace for fair compensation.

In 2012, when co-founder Neslihan Jevremovic started the cooperative, 10,000 refugees lived in Turkey. In just five years, as the Syrian conflict raged, this number swelled to over 3 million. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these refugees struggle to find the work necessary to support their families and provide meaning in their own lives.

“Teaching women how to weave affects them personally. They are providing income for the whole family, so it changes their whole attitude about themselves.” – Co-founder Neslihan

Anka currently empowers 250 weavers in two camps. Only 30 miles from the Syrian border, the Sanliurfa camp is home to one of the oldest refugee camps in Turkey. The residents live in air-conditioned 20-foot shipping containers with their family members. The Anka weaving workshop currently empowers 25 refugees in an air-conditioned, well-lit activity center. The Adiyaman camp is home to nearly 30,000 refugees, and Anka empowers 225 women working in six air-conditioned, well-lit weaving tents. Now, the team is turning to Kickstarter to sell their existing, high quality rugs and raise awareness about this initiative. The funds raised will allow Anka to expand into a third camp and enable even more Syrian women refugees in 2017. Every $7,500 raised will empower and employ one refugee for over 8 months.

The Anka Cooperative has already had an extraordinary impact on women’s lives. One of these women is Neriman, from Damascus, is in her early 40s and has six children. Unlike many of her unfortunate relatives, she made it safely to the Adiyaman refugee camp in Southeastern Turkey. Neriman is college educated, and prior to the war she worked for many years as an accountant. But in the camps, of course, there are no accounting jobs, no freelancer websites to apply her trade. Idle time brings painful memories. She jumped at the chance to work at the carpet workshop. It’s a new skill, but she is learning – and just as important, she is earning.

Neriman is paid the same as her Turkish counterparts. She is saving to buy gold earrings for her daughters, and hopes to save for a home for when they return to Syria. Her smile shines despite the tragedy she has faced, and she is very grateful to have the chance to work again. Neriman is one of 250 women employed by The Anka Cooperative. Together, Neriman and Anka have found the key to alleviating the suffering – if you want to empower refugees, employ them. Neriman represents the 250 Anka weavers who have chosen to make the best of their difficult circumstances, and are the reason Anka exists.

“After seeing the heartbreaking image of young Aylan Kurdi on a beach in Turkey, not far from where I swam with my young daughter that same summer, I knew I had to help these desperate people in a sustainable fashion. We’re teaching these women to fish, not simply giving them fish.” – Co-founder Josh

The Anka Cooperative is a social enterprise in association with award-winning US rug producer Woven Legends. Anka rugs are of the absolute highest quality – handcrafted with handspun wool and natural dyes. An 8’x10’ rug is made of over 500,000 knots.

All proceeds from this Kickstarter campaign will be used to sell existing and create new rugs, further Anka’s mission, train more women, and provide health and educational assistance to refugee families. In exchange for pledges, backers can receive gorgeous carpet coasters, framed carpet fragments, hand woven Christmas stockings, and the empowering rugs themselves. The 30 day Kickstarter campaign will run from March 14th to April 13th.

ABOUT THE ANKA COOPERATIVE

In both Turkish and Arabic, ‘Anka’ translates to ‘Phoenix’, the mythical bird which obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

The Anka Cooperative empowers Syrian refugees to create a dignified path to self-empowerment and cultural integration through the creation of fine carpets and traditional crafts. Anka does this by training them in the ancient art of weaving rugs by hand while furnishing a safe workplace, fair compensation, and fulfilling employment. The weavers love their work, not only for the income it provides, but also for the companionship and a place to share laughs and to stay active.

Anka’s mission is to empower and educate over 20,000 refugees by the year 2020. They will accomplish this not only by expanding their operations into new locations and into new products, but also by partnering with leading charities and social enterprises to improve the lives of those most vulnerable.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANKA COOPERATIVE

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ankacooperative/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ankacooperative
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ankacooperative
Website: http://www.ankacoop.org

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