Fear: The Whitewater Grand Prix

first_imgFearI have competed in many events in my life, but none are as ferocious and difficult as the Whitewater Grand Prix.Take 25 of the best paddlers in the world and challenge them to compete for two weeks against each other in some of the biggest whitewater they have ever faced. I’m honored to be invited, and excited to see what I can do against these athletes. I’m also nervous.I am 28 years old and have competed at an elite level in whitewater kayaking since I was 15. This means I’ve had a lot of incredible experiences throughout the world from the seat of my kayak, but it also means I have taken many risks. Whether running a 70+ foot waterfall first descent, surfing massive river waves, or running class V in the pitch black, I’m proud of what I have done in my career, and don’t regret a single decision that I made or risk that I took.But there’s no denying that my brain chemistry is changing, and I’m not quite as ready to “hang it out there.” I find myself asking how this is all going to play out for me. Athletically, I’ve never been stronger, but mentally this fear and respect is turning me into a much more conservative paddler.My experiences with fear have had many unscripted positive effects. My ability to manage adrenaline has led me to calmly avoid more than a few close calls in my car or navigate high-stress interpersonal interactions. It also helps me calculate risk in the business world without emotion. And the confidence that controlling my fear has given me means that I am very bold in life. I am not afraid to go after what I want, and as a result live a very happy and (by my standards) successful lifestyle.Dr. Bob Swoap, a sports psychologist who works with elite athletes to help them achieve peak performance, offered me some great insights into how our bodies deal with fear.The amygdala—the emotional center of the brain—becomes active as soon as fear or danger are perceived, he explained. When it lights up, the fight or flight response is triggered, resulting in adrenaline, a narrowing of focus, and an increased heart rate.This response can come from big water or from big moments in life, such as needing to give an important presentation, pass a critical exam, or nail a job interview. Physiologically, these are all handled in the brain the exact same way.“The critical component is the emotional transfer. These fight-or-flight functions can either paralyze us with emotions, or they can be channeled to lift us to performance levels that we didn’t think were possible,” explains Swoap.Apparently, this emotion transfer is what causes some people to choke in moments of extreme stress and others to excel. If used constructively, the narrowing of focus allows me to look positive and orient myself only towards my goal and not towards hazards, because my boat always follows my vision and body. Adrenaline is a game-face call to action, and I embrace it in any situation—on the river or in real life. It makes me feel alive and present.Dan Hartley, a strength coach at CrossFit Pisgah in Asheville, N.C., has worked with many elite athletes. One recurring quality that he has observed is a type of hyperfocus that—to the outsider—seems like fearlessness. “Particularly in those athletes who subject themselves to a rigorous training regimen, their goal has embedded itself in every part of their being, and impacts all facets of their lives. In the fervor of competition, their focus upon this goal has narrowed their perception of existence and consequence. They see only the end of the road, and there is no fear of failure.”One athlete who really embodies this trait is 18-year-old skiing phenom Mikaela Shiffrin. Made famous through her gold medal slalom performance in Sochi, Mikaela is a master of sports psychology and managing fear. Mikaela was known to wink at the camera before everything-on-the-line runs, and recovered calmly from a wild bounce halfway through her Olympics-winning run. Mikaela sees the world as one full of opportunities, rather than obstacles, and she visualizes all possible outcomes so that she is prepared for anything. Shiffrin’s coach says that while she is young, she is mentally the strongest skier on the circuit. Her approach reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar: “Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and capitalize on what comes.”It’s easy as an athlete to get caught up in the place, time, conditions, and other factors out of our control. But once we focus on the process rather than the outcome, things will work out in our favor.As I enter the next phase of my athletic career, my mentality has become more conservative. I will not be the one doing the wildest stunts anymore. I want to be around for the long haul and take part in all of life’s experiences, so that may mean changing my approach a bit. My new fear ideology will be based on one core tenet:Always trust my gut.This promise to myself may mean walking rapids that others are running, or passing on a river that I have styled many times simply because I’m not feeling 100%. It will mean not allowing peer pressure to sway me from the correct decision. And it will mean believing in any decision that I make with everything that I have, because life is self-fulfilling. When I do decide to push myself to my limits, I will commit with no doubt in my mind, and that belief will carry me through safely.A healthy fear has certainly developed in me through my experiences, and the massive rapids of the Grand Prix will be a mental test unlike any other. But as Dr. Swoap says, and I know in my heart, it’s all in the transfer.last_img read more

adminDecember 30, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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London Date For Jamaican Sprint King Bolt

first_imgBy Dialogo April 20, 2009 Jamaican Olympic sprint hero Usain Bolt said he will join a star-studded field at this summer’s Aviva London Grand Prix. “I’m definitely looking forward to running in London at the Aviva London Grand Prix. London is a great meet and the fans there really get behind everyone. I normally base myself there during the summer so it is like a second home,” said Bolt, who bagged three sprint golds in world record times at the Beijing Games. “As usual there will be strong competition but I guess that’s what I’ll need ahead of the World Championships,” said Bolt, who in Beijing became the first man to claim the Olympic sprint treble, all in world record times, when he won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. The 22-year-old will run the 100m at the two-day meeting in London on July 24 and 25 as top athletes seek to fine-tune their preparations ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Berlin three weeks later. “Last year at Crystal Palace, I felt great running the 200m. To win there in such style gave me a lot of pleasure,” Bolt explained. “That helped to build my confidence towards achieving the three gold medals in Beijing a few weeks later. “This year will be my fifth year in a row competing at Crystal Palace. On all four previous occasions I’ve run in the 200m so it will be good to go out there and see what I can do in the 100m. I’m sure I’ll be able to put a show on for the fans.”last_img read more

adminDecember 20, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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New Horizons ophthalmology teams give 262 Guyanese the gift of sight

first_imgBy U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Derek Seifert / 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs July 08, 2019 The ophthalmology center at the Port Mourant Hospital was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract and pterygium surgery in support of NH19.Many of the Guyanese patients have been waiting years to receive either cataract or pterygium surgery to regain their vision.“Normally, we see over 1,500 patients a month and we have a backlog of over 800 patients who have been waiting for surgery, some over five years,” said Dr. Devendra Radhy, Port Mourant Hospital doctor in charge. “Unfortunately, the ophthalmology clinic was unable to perform cataract surgeries until last week when we had a team partnered with a Guyana doctor who was able to do 22 surgeries. That was a kick start and hopefully we can continue this flow and get through our backlog.”With the support of the U.S. military and NH19, Radhy has seen a dramatic change in his patients.“Having the Americans here at this moment changes everything in the sense of how people look at the ophthalmology center,” said Radhy. “They can readily say that we are providing the service they have been waiting for a long time for.”This exercise provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment. It promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side.“Our primary purpose is to train our [U.S. service members] on combat relevant eye care,” said U.S. Army Col. Darrel Carlton, regional health command central consultant for ophthalmology from Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas. “Our component of the exercise is the ophthalmology side where we will be conducting cataract and pterygium surgeries, while at the same time training our Airmen and Soldiers to take care of cataracts because the techniques we use in this setting are similar to what we can expect to see in places like Iraq and Syria without seeing the trauma.”The ophthalmology component of New Horizons exercise 2019 came to an end on May 16, 2019 with a closing ceremony and remarks from a Guyanese patient.“I want to say that you have done an excellent job for us Guyanese, whichever part of Guyana they came from looking for a service that they badly in need of,” said Joyce Marks, Guyanese patient. “I want to let you know, on behalf of all the Guyanese that you attended to, that we are very, very, very grateful for that service. And I ask that God continues to bless you all with the gift and knowledge that he has imparted in all of you for the benefit of not only yourself, but for all of mankind that comes in contact with you.”Another team of U.S. military medical professionals will replace the ophthalmology team to conduct a two week surgical readiness training exercise at a women’s health clinic.last_img read more

adminDecember 20, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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Fintechs & credit unions: Friends, not foes

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Christopher Leonard Christopher Leonard is CEO of Velocity Solutions.  He’s been with the company since 2005, having previously served as President, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel.  Prior to joining the … Web: https://myvelocity.com Details Financial technology, or fintech, is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, forever transforming the way consumers interact with their credit unions. Thanks to the explosion of apps and online solutions these tech firms have pioneered, consumers are demanding their credit unions keep pace by offering fast, personal, always-available solutions if they want to retain their business. To overcome these challenges, credit unions must embrace the growing trend of collaborating with fintechs—working together to create a synergy that neither entity can achieve on its own.The Threat from FintechIn recent years, the idea of working in tandem with fintech companies has been an unfathomable idea for many financial institution executives. Fintech companies—often start-ups that are mostly unregulated—have been viewed as disruptive challengers, siphoning off credit union members by successfully meeting consumers’ changing needs. Many fintech firms, some of which were started by young, renegade “coders,” represent a culture and organizational structure that runs counter to credit unions. They are flat, agile and open organizations that move at a fast pace, often making decisions in 24 hours, versus 24 months it often takes credit unions.1However, despite their unconventional organizations, fintech firms have made impressive technological advancements that cannot be ignored. The technology has created new business models, applications and processes, including peer-to-peer payments, online lending, proactive and real-time updates and alerts, and personalized communications and experiences, to name a few. Fintechs are doing what credit unions have always done—and what consumers demand—only faster, cheaper and with better technology.1And the threat to credit unions is real. Last year fintech firms controlled more than 50 percent of money transfer and payment services, up from 18 percent in 2015, according to EY Global.2 Bloomberg also reports that 36 percent of all new personal loans were originated by fintech companies in the United States in 2017, compared to just one percent in 2010.3 Further, a McKinsey analysis shows that 62 percent of fintech startups plan to tackle the retail banking segment, primarily payments and lending.4Collaboration is KeyAs consumers and businesses seek more and more fintech services, credit unions—at least those that want to outpace their competitors in meeting member demands and cementing relationships—must abandon the “us-versus-them” mentality. The answer is to tap into fintech’s strengths, instead of wholesale dismissing these firms as too risky or progressive. The reality is: your members want the services fintech offers and if your organization is not armed with the technology infrastructure to deliver them, then collaboration is a must. According to Chris Skinner, digital expert in the financial sector and bestselling author of Digital Bank, “A [consumer]—whether an institutional investor, a corporate client or a retail [account holder]—doesn’t want to look at a thousand fintech start-ups and [figure] out, ‘Can I trust them? Where have they come from? They’ve got no brand. They’ve got no history. Why would I want to use them?’” The consumer would much prefer his [financial institution] perform the due diligence, curate the technology and bring it into the [financial institution’s] structure.1But the benefit of collaborating with fintech isn’t just a one-way street. Credit unions can teach a thing or two to fintechs as well. Skinner likens the potential partnership to a parent-child relationship, where the financial institution mentors the young firm about account holder relationships and the regulatory landscape, while providing business experience, know-how about scaling based on brand recognition and trust and an established distribution network.To understand the potential of such a collaboration, consider how the right technology could improve the onboarding of a new checking account member. Today only about one percent of financial institutions nationwide can onboard an account holder end-to-end digitally, requiring no in-branch visit, according to Brett King, industry commentator and founder of the mobile-based banking service Moven. Contrast that to virtually all fintech technology, which onboards account holders 100 percent digitally with no human intervention, setting the standard for ease and convenience that members expect. Capitalizing on fintech’s inherent digital infrastructure will facilitate credit unions meeting members’ evolving demands.According to Jim Marous, publisher of The Financial Brand, the additional benefits fintech technology can bring to financial institutions’ infrastructure include:5Speed and Efficiency: Fintech firms thrive on speed for the distribution, delivery and innovation that is integral to enhancing member experience.Transparency: Fintech firms can have a lower cost structure than traditional credit union organizations, which allows them to offer services often at a much lower cost than what it would cost credit unions to build them on their own and to clearly show prices up-front.Personalization: Digital organizations provide highly personalized and customized solutions (think Amazon) using predictive and analytical tools. Credit unions have a wealth of member data that is just waiting to be transformed into personalized and contextualized solutions à la fintech.Increased margins & efficiency: With no legacy infrastructure, fintechs can streamline delivery and product development and keep costs down compared to fixed-cost credit unions with branches and back-office processes. Digital distribution: Fintechs leverage the power and accessibility of “always-on” digital devices, emphasizing simple-to-follow user interfaces that make the member journey quick, convenient, and seamless. Access to unserved/underserved segments: With a lower cost structure, fintech firms can deliver convenient and affordable services to traditionally unprofitable market segments.By 2020, fintech collaborations will have an impact on almost 80 percent of existing financial institution revenue.6 Credit unions that are willing to shift their thinking about fintechs from disruptive threat to beneficial partner will be the winners in keeping up with changing member demands. last_img read more

adminDecember 17, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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How to get more revenue from your website: Conversion rate optimization

first_imgImagine you need to add a quart of oil to your car. You pop the hood and grab your funnel. As you start to pour, you realize the funnel has several holes in it—more than just the one it’s supposed to have—and oil spills everywhere. Some gets inside your engine, but most of the oil is dripping down the engine block and onto your garage floor.As a credit union marketer, you likely spend quite a bit of time trying to drive more traffic to your website. You definitely need traffic, but alone it’s not enough. In order for your credit union to grow, your website needs to convert the traffic into new members, loans, and deposits.The people visiting your website are the oil, your website is the funnel, and your credit union is the engine. Your website’s job is to get people into your credit union. But what if it has holes in it? Just as you don’t want most of the oil to spill, you don’t want to drive tons of traffic to your site and get only a few conversions.When someone visits your website, you want them to take a desired action, like apply for an auto loan. But not everyone submits an application. A few people bounce without ever making it past your homepage. Others learn more about your products, then leave. And some go on to apply and become lifelong members. Obviously, we want the latter, but how do we get more people to apply?An example of funnel analytics for a credit union website.Let’s look at your website like a funnel. Your goal is to move people from the beginning (most often your homepage) to the end (at which point a new loan or account is funded). The success of a funnel is measured by its conversion rate. To calculate an overall conversion rate, you divide the number at the end of the funnel by total website sessions.Conversion Rate = Applications Funded / SessionsFunnel analytics also show us conversion rates along the funnel and where there are bottlenecks. Wherever there is a bottleneck, there is an opportunity for improvement. And when an improvement is made, the bottleneck widens, more applications are funded, and your revenue increases.The process of widening bottlenecks by increasing conversion rates is called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). If your website isn’t delivering the results you want, it’s time to invest some resources into CRO–focus on generating more conversions from existing traffic before trying to get more and more traffic. There is a step-by-step process you can follow to start seeing wins and grow your credit union.The conversion rate optimization (CRO) processStep 1: Analyze conversion funnelsThe first step is to analyze your conversion funnels. A complete funnel starts with total website sessions and ends with the number of applications funded. But you may also want to create funnels for smaller subsections. And, you may want different funnels for all products, loans only, accounts only, individual products, etc, so you can see the performance of your website as a whole and also zero in on certain products.See the tools we use to set up funnel analytics.Another example of funnel analytics.Step 2: Calculate current website revenueUltimately, you want to increase your revenue and CRO is a means to do that. So, next, calculate the revenue your website is currently generating to get a baseline for improvement. If your credit union has over $100M in assets, your site should be generating millions of dollars.We built a handy Website Revenue Calculator to make it easy for you to quantify the revenue generated by your website.Step 3: Investigate  bottlenecksWhere is the smallest bottleneck in your funnel? Now it’s time to dig in and try to understand opportunities for improvement. There are many methods and tools that can help you with your research.As you research a bottleneck, you’ll form a hypothesis about how to widen it and get more people through the funnel.Step 4: Test your hypothesisDesign an experiment, such an A/B test or usability study, to prove your hypothesis true or false. Implement the experiment on your website and measure the results.See the tools we use for A/B and usability testing.Step 5: Project impact and implement your findingsAfter running a winning A/B test, you can project an increase in revenue by plugging a new conversion rate into the Website Revenue Calculator from Step 2. Now, implement your winning variation on the website.Repeat these steps, over and over. And as your conversion rates rise, drive more traffic to your website.The impact of CROCRO produces real results. Take a look at a few success stories we’ve seen with our own clients.We implemented personalization on HFSFCU’s website so returning visitors were shown content based on their previous browsing behavior (e.g., after visiting the auto loan page, the user is shown an auto loan promotion on their next visit). An A/B test with over 296,000 pageviews showed that personalization led to 213% more click-throughs.Voyage FCU’s membership application was a bit long. So, we designed a multi-step form that splits the application into two shorter steps and starts with lead capture. Additionally, we repeated the call to action more frequently on the membership page. We ran an A/B test and the new form generated 175% more leads and 35% more applications.We helped People Driven CU create a simpler lead capture form. When we A/B tested it, it generated 4x more leads.Now it’s your turn. Dig into your website, follow this step-by-step process, and start generating more revenue. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Derik Krauss Derik is a cofounder of BloomCU, an award-winning website design agency for credit unions. His agency’s design work has received recognition from CUNA (Diamond Award), TheFinancialBrand.com, and others. He … Web: bloomCU.com Detailslast_img read more

adminDecember 17, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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‘I lost him too fast’: Families mourn loss of nurses from COVID-19

first_imgAs the medical workers in hazmat suits began checking on him and prepared him for transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU), Sugiharto clenched his wife’s hand and signaled for her to come closer.“Bu,” he whispered.“Take care of Damar for me.”Ary nodded and whispered back a prayer into his ear, knowing in the depths of her heart that she had to muster a lot of courage to speak to their 14-year-old son very soon. Ary Suryanti, 44, held onto Sugiharto’s hand as they entered the emergency room of Gatot Subroto Army Hospital at around 2 a.m. on April 1. Over the span of their 15 years of marriage, the two nurses had seen and handled all sorts of health emergency situations.They knew, however, that this one was different.Sugiharto had developed a cough after his last shift ended two days prior, and from there his condition continued to worsen. As time passed, even Ary could see that breathing was becoming increasingly difficult for him. Those were Sugiharto’s last words to Ary. That night at around 8 p.m., he passed away due to a COVID-19 infection.”It happened so fast, I lost him too fast. Sometimes I still wait for him to come back home; I still imagine that he’s on his night shift and will return in the morning,” Ary said over the phone, weeping. “But then I realize that he is really gone. He really is no longer here and I miss him so much.”Sugiharto was a nurse at Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD), one of the main referral hospitals for COVID-19 patients in Jakarta.On that fateful day, the hospital and the community where the couple lived mourned the loss of a man they knew to be a hard-working nurse and helpful neighbor.Read also: The faces behind the numbers: Remembering COVID-19 victimsBut Ary, who had lost her husband and best friend, was unable to process her feelings.“I didn’t really have time to properly grieve because Damar and I had to self-isolate immediately after his funeral,” Ary told The Jakarta Post on Monday.And even after a spell at home and their test results coming back negative, Ary quickly learned that the clinic where she worked for the past 20 years had asked her to continue to stay at home without as much as a hint of when she may come back to work.Last Friday, May 1 was supposed to be Sugiharto’s 50th birthday. Ary bought the black forest cake that he loved and celebrated the special day with Damar in their living room, praying.“I want to continue on living my life and raise my son because that is what my husband would have wanted me to do,” she said.Without her husband and her job, Ary and Damar now live in their house in Sawangan, West Java and rely completely on the help of activists and organizations.The government’s lack of transparency on COVID-19 cases has made it challenging to find data on the number of health workers who had died of complications from the disease in Indonesia.Read also: COVID-19 pandemic exposes problems in our health care, Jokowi saysAs the world commemorates International Nurses Day on May 12, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) has called on governments to reveal data on health care workers’ infection rates and deaths.According to ICN’s figures, at least 90,000 healthcare workers have been infected by the coronavirus disease and more than 260 nurses have died around the world.In a press statement from April 6, the organization said the failure by governments to record the infection rates and deaths of men and women on the frontline constitutes “a scandal” that puts all hospital staffers at a higher risk of transmission and, more importantly, undervalues the true scale of the problem.“When the history of the 2020 pandemic is written, we will make sure that the names of the nurses who gave their lives are recorded and honored, so that their sacrifice is never forgotten,” ICN CEO Howard Catton said. “And if governments still fail to act, we will make sure that when the post COVID-19 inquiries take place, as they inevitably will, political leaders will be asked why that information was not collected.”Read also: Nurses Day: Awareness still low of grueling, noble professionNationally, Amnesty International Indonesia (AII) revealed that 59 health workers, including 38 doctors and 21 nurses, had succumbed to COVID-19 as of Monday.AII director Usman Hamid said many medical personnel were struggling to get proper protection two months after the first case was reported in early March.Health workers in a private hospital in Banten, West Java have, for instance, reported that they only get an allotment of one mask per week despite the long hours and intense workload.”Public health is at stake if the protections and guarantees on their right to health have yet to be fulfilled,” Usman said on Monday.Nurses working on the frontline of COVID-19 response are prone and exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection. This may include exposure to pathogens, fatigue from working long hours, psychological distress, occupational burnout, social stigma and physical and psychological violence.Read also: `I’m never going to be the same’: Medics grapple with mental trauma on COVID-19 front lineThe chairman of the Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI), Harif Fadhillah, said nurses in some hospitals had also begun to report fears of losing their jobs as private hospitals moved to furlough them or reduce the length of their shifts due a loss of revenue from the viral outbreak.“We try to advocate for these kinds of cases to […] to the Manpower Ministry. Hospitals can’t act so arbitrarily,” he said.Harif also urged the government to review plans to ease restrictions in the midst of an uptick in COVID-19 cases.“We saw some of the highest increases in confirmed cases in the country these past few days, which means we have more cases each day,” he said recently. “The more cases we have, it is the medical workers that must work even harder.”Two peas in a pod: Nurse Syahrul Rahmadi (left) poses with his late wife, Ninuk, in this photo from their personal collection. In March, Ninuk was the first nurse to die in Indonesia of COVID-19, after treating patients at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Jakarta. (Courtesy of/Syahrul Rahmadi)Meanwhile, it has been two months since Syahrul Rahmadi, 36, lost Ninuk, his wife and the mother of his two children, to COVID-19. The 37-year-old was the first nurse to die of the disease in Indonesia, having worked at Jakarta’s Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM).Neither Syahrul nor Ary have received compensation from the government.“We heard that they would help us but so far I’ve only received help from activists and organizations,” Syahrul said.“We have a WhatsApp […] support group for the families of nurses who passed away while tending to COVID-19 patients. There are around 15 families in that group chat and none of us have received help from the government.”Much like Ary’s case, Syahrul was also asked to shelter at home when his company found out that his late wife suffered from the disease. It was initially promised that he would be able to return to work in May but had yet to be contacted by his employer. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently said the government would provide Rp 15 million (US$886.79) in incentives to medical specialists, Rp 10 million to physicians and dentists, Rp 7.5 million to nurses and Rp 5 million to other medical staffers, as well as a total of Rp 300 million in compensation in the case of a death.The regulation stipulates, however, that the government will provide incentives and compensation only to medical workers who are employed at health facilities that accept referrals of COVID-19 cases. RSCM, where Ninuk worked, was not among those referral hospitals.Read also: ‘Why are we being treated like this?’: Nurses handling COVID-19 evicted as landlord fears infectionIndonesian Medical Association (IDI) spokesperson Halik Malik said the group hoped the government would be more serious in planning sustainable protections for health workers, by using real time data collections from every health facility so that medical equipment was sent to the right people.“What we want is not compensation over our deaths. We want to be appreciated by affording us proper protection,” Halik said.center_img Topics :last_img

adminOctober 19, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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Guide for SMEs: How to raise funding during the coronavirus crisis

first_imgGuide to SMEs_Article image_long[3],This is the second in our free Guide for SMEs series, which aims to provide practical, actionable information for small food and drink brands. Read how small businesses can get access to government support here. The coronavirus crisis has led to a cashflow crunch among smaller food and drink businesses, with many seeing a fall in retail sales and the overnight loss of their entire foodservice business.Even those brands fortunate enough to report staggering growth in retail or online sales are facing difficulties because they lack the cash to ramp up production – meaning their stocks are at risk of being wiped out.Naturally, smaller businesses are looking for effective ways to raise money to help them weather the storm. But government support measures are so far proving hard to access, meaning many SMEs are falling through the cracks.So what options are there for small brands to successfully raise money? And what are the necessary steps to take?Angel investorsWho are they?Angel investors are typically industry veterans who have either run their own businesses and successfully sold them or were executives in big companies within the food and drink space.They tend to back startups at a very early stage, before they become eligible for venture capital investments.Angels invest their own fortunes, so they carefully select businesses they have an affiliation with.Pros & consDue to their previous experience, angel investors provide added value to a business – such as access to their contacts – and tend to be much more hands-on, advising the companies they invest in on a monthly basis, or sitting on their boards.Because it is their personal money they are investing, they can be more flexible in terms of the criteria they follow for valuations and business structure.However, they have limited amounts of cash available and, especially in the current circumstances, are being extra careful with their money.Furthermore, while an investment fund tends to have targets to deploy money within a certain timeframe, angel investors are under no pressure to invest, so during uncertain times they can just wait before making any decisions.How to approach themIt can be difficult to find an angel investor unless you have a connection and have been introduced. LinkedIn can be a good place to start and so are syndicates and angel investors’ groups, which can be found on the membership directory of the UK Business Angels Association website.Venture capitalWhat is it?Venture capital is a form of private equity financing provided by funds to fast-growing startups and emerging businesses.The cash is given in exchange for a stake in the company, with the funds hoping to make a return on their investment once the business proves successful.There are many different VC funds out there, each with a specific interest in an area of the food and drink sphere – for example plant-based or gluten-free – so it is worth researching which one comes closest to your business ethos before reaching out.Pros & consOne of the first things to note is that VC funding might not be appropriate or accessible for every type of small business. Most VCs in the UK look for high-growth, early-stage businesses with revenues of £1m-plus, strong year-on-year growth and a clear path to profitability.On the flipside, VC funds tend to have deeper pockets with access to higher amounts of cash and are often considered “smart capital”, providing industry expertise and knowledge as well as money.Some might also add a chairman and non-executive directors to a company’s board – often at a cost.Under the current circumstances, VCs are taking longer to invest. So, whereas typically a round would close in three months, now the timelines have extended as investors look for further clarity and reassurance on how the business will look after the crisis has passed.How to approach themIf you are interested in approaching VC funds to secure capital for your business, you can contact one directly or submit information about your company through portals on their websites.The British Venture Capital Association website provides clear guidance and advice on the major VC players and how to approach them and includes a directory of its members.Alternatively, you can speak to advisors such as YF Funding.CrowdfundingWhat is it?Crowdfunding is a form of equity funding that consists of raising money from a large number of members of the public, who can invest any amount starting from £10.It is enabled by online platforms such as Seedrs and Crowdcube, who help brands access investment in exchange for a cut.When a crowdfunding target is set, brands have a defined timeframe to reach that target, otherwise they finish the campaign empty-handed.Pros & consAs a public way of raising money, crowdfunding can also help increase a brand’s exposure, attracting new customers and engaging the existing community of customers by creating a group of brand ambassadors.It can also be a good way to top up funding secured via private investment from angels or VCs.The downside to it being such a public way to raise funds is brands have to get on board with having a lot of information out there for anyone to easily access – including potential competitors.Investors from the crowd get on board to support brands they are passionate about, so they are not necessarily always looking for a financial return.However, these investors tend to be less sophisticated and do not provide as much insight to help grow the brand.How to access it There are a few platforms facilitating crowdfunding – the most popular being Seedrs and Crowdcube – so you can start by visiting their websites and getting in touch with them directly.There are several pieces of information and due diligence you will have to provide depending on your chosen platform, but you will likely be assigned someone to guide you through the process.Setting up a campaign is also quite a lengthy process, which can typically take up to three months from beginning to end and includes several expenses, such as fees you will have to pay the platforms, and costs associated with producing a video, putting together a pitch deck and PR & marketing costs to ensure the campaign’s success.Crowdfunding expert tips Here are Seedrs’ Scott Simpkin’s top three tips for brands looking to embark on a crowdfunding raise during coronavirus.Try and limit the amount you raise. Given the uncertainty, now is probably not the time for a large growth round, and limiting your round size will mean you’ll have to do less work to fill it up.Consider raising through an Advanced Subscription Agreement. The idea is you can accept money now for the short term without revaluing your business, and give investors a discount on a future round when you’re in the position to grow. It’s good for both businesses and investors in times of uncertainty.Get creative with your community! The bottom line is every good business will have customers that want them to succeed and get through this, and great rewards packages as part of equity will be more attractive than ever now.Accelerator programmes/IncubatorsWhat are they?Accelerators or incubator programmes tend to be schemes set up for seed businesses with high-growth potential. Typically, they are meant for businesses at a proof-of-concept stage rather than revenue-generating ones.They include mentorship, advice and training on different business aspects such as sales, marketing and NPD and often end with a public pitch event or demo day to help businesses secure investment.Pros & consAs these schemes are not set up solely to provide investment, those that do tend to offer much smaller amounts of cash than other forms of funding.How to access themThere are many different accelerator programmes or incubators, each targeting a specific area of the food and drink industry.If you are interested in joining the next cohort, find one in line with your company and apply for it directly through its portal.Note that many have precise deadlines and timeframes, so they might not be the most effective way to secure emergency funds fast during the current crisis.Here’s some of the most popular ones:Tesco’s IncubatorMission VenturesThe HatcheryVBites VenturesCorporate venture armsWhat are they?They are very similar to accelerator programmes but are established by big corporates in the food and drink sector.Pros & consBrands that get on to them and prove successful have the backing of a bigger company, which in times of crisis can help provide funding quickly.However, at the moment corporates are dealing with internal issues posed by the coronavirus outbreak and are therefore less inclined to take on board new brands.How to access themLike for accelerator programmes, brands who want to access a corporate venture arms should get on their websites and pitch their idea and business concept.Some of the most popular ones include:Distil Ventures by DiageoSpringboard by Kraft HeinzJLab by John Lewis and WaitroseNutrition Greenhouse by PepsiCoCase studyRejuvenation Water was able to hit its £75k crowdfunding target within eight days of launching on Crowdcube earlier this month.Founder Kris Ingham said the campaign planning had started “well before coronavirus” after the brand successfully launched in Tesco and Sainsbury’s towards the end of 2019.“Coronavirus simply moved the timing of our round forward,” he added.Due to the current lockdown situation, Rejuvenation Water was unable to produce a campaign video, so the set-up of the page was “relatively quick”.“It took us around two weeks from initial conversation to launch,” Ingham said – adding that as this wasn’t his first crowdfunding round, he already knew the process and information required in advance.Rejuvenation Water’s existing investor base pledged a significant amount of funding before the campaign launched to the public. However, Ingham said he noticed a change in investor sentiment, with some pulling back to “preserve capital or to buy at the bottom”.Crowdfunding wasn’t Ingham’s initial choice to raise funding to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. However, it provided a platform to bring in existing investors and the public together quickly.“We had a number of conversations ongoing with angels and funds but, with coronavirus, it became apparent that the likelihood of these conversations closing had been reduced and, if they did close, it was going to take much more time.”Here are Ingham’s top three tips for brands looking to raise money through crowdfunding platforms:Be realistic. With targets and, in particular, valuation. Too-high valuations won’t hold up in the current times, so we decided on a valuation that offered value to investors in order to ensure we were successful in hitting our target.Engage with your network.  You may find many people have been quietly watching your business progress and weren’t aware of how they could invest. This is a great opportunity to build/strengthen your brand community.Boost sales while you’re raising. The crowdfunding platforms have amassed a great number of subscribers over the years. Even if individuals aren’t actively investing, it’s an opportunity to acquire long-term customers. Simply creating an offer code on your website, and posting this on the campaign, allows potential investors to try your products before they invest, while boosting your sales. We created an Amazon code for Crowdcube investors prior to the bank holiday weekend and amassed over 80 redemptions over a single weekend. *This information was sourced with the help of Justine MoldenhauerandChristopher Gale from YF Funding, Scott Simpkin from Seedrs and Kris Ingham from Rejuvenation Water.last_img read more

adminOctober 18, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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Polarcus Secures More Work in Asia Pacific

first_imgPolarcus said it has been awarded a contract for a broadband 3D marine seismic project in Asia Pacific.The contract follows another Asia Pacific deal Polarcus announced in August this year.According to the Oslo-listed seismic contractor, the project is is due to begin in the fourth quarter 2017, and it is scheduled to last for approximately one month.The client and financial details surrounding the deal have not been disclosed.Subsea World News Stafflast_img

adminSeptember 28, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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NBA: Lakers and Sixers announce coronavirus positives

first_imgThe Lakers said they tested their players because on March 10 they played the Brooklyn Nets, who had four players previously test positive for the virus. The Lakers said team doctors are closely monitoring the two players.“We learned today that two Lakers players have tested positive,” said Lakers spokesperson Alison Bogli in a news release. “Both players are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician.“All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine and shelter at home guidelines, closely monitor their health, consult with their personal physicians and maintain constant communication with the team.”The Sixers said the positive cases were uncovered after health authorities warned that certain players, coaches and support staff may have been exposed to COVID-19.Like the Sixers, the Lakers declined to name the players who tested positive.The Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets also announced positive tests on Thursday for COVID-19.On Wednesday, commissioner Adam Silver said NBA players should be considered “super spreaders” of the disease. His comments came amid criticism that wealthy athletes are getting tested for the virus ahead of critically ill patients in American hospitals.The Sixers said the three individuals were in self-isolation while being monitored by medical professionals.“Three individuals have received positive test results for COVID-19,” the Sixers said. “All other tests results are currently negative. We have reported this information to state and local health authorities as required.”“The health of our players, staff, fans and community is paramount, and we continue to be guided by medical experts at this time,” the team said.Also, the Celtics said Thursday at least one player has tested positive as part of a series of tests they are conducting on their team.The Celtics said the player was not showing any symptoms and will continue to be isolated.“The testing was initiated because of exposure to a known positive case,” a Celtics spokesman said. “The team is awaiting further testing results and will communicate them as appropriate.”A woman walks her dog past a deserted Staples Center in Los Angeles, California as the Los Angeles Lakers announced that two of their players have tested positive for the coronavirusRead Also: Coronavirus: Messi shows incredible skills in toilet roll challenge (Video)Earlier, the Denver Nuggets said one member of the organisation had tested positive, but did not specify whether the person was a player.“The person, who was tested after experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 on March 16th, is currently under the care of team medical staff and in self-isolation,” the team said.A number of NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19 since Utah’s Rudy Gobert was confirmed to have contracted the disease last week, prompting the league to impose an indefinite suspension on play.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Two members of the Los Angeles Lakers have tested positive for the new coronavirus on Thursday as the Philadelphia 76ers also confirmed that three of their players had contracted the disease.Advertisement Loading… center_img Promoted ContentBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?8 Ways Drones Will Automate Our FutureCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?6 TV Characters Whose Departures Have Made The Shows BetterBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeThe Best Cars Of All TimeGorgeous Asian Actresses All Men Are Crazy AboutWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?8 Most Beautiful Chinese Women5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThe Highest Paid Football Players In The Worldlast_img read more

adminSeptember 26, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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Inness Elizabeth Bishop

first_imgInness Elizabeth Bishop (nee Waller) was taken from this world on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 9:20 am, due to complications from ovarian cancer.She is survived by her husband Josh Bishop, her son James, her father Richard (Lisa Baer) Waller, her grandparents: June (nee Mellon) and William Waller and Connie (nee Wirrig) and Gary Myers. By her brother David and his wife Brandice (nee Leap) and their children Keely F M Schuk, Prudence K A Waller, and Sophia C Waller. By Elia and Elizabeth Burkheart her step siblings. By 3 aunts: Kathy Rogers, Jeanie Barnard, and Dena Myers and 3 uncles: Kent Myers, Larry Waller, and Bill Waller and their families. And by numerous dear Friends.She was predeceased by her mother Sheri Ann (Max Burkheart) MyersMrs. Bishop was born on 19 November 1984 at Dearborn County Hospital in Lawrenceburg, IN. She studied theatre at Northern Kentucky University, but her biggest joy in life was motherhood. “Never really finished anything, except cake.”A memorial service is planed for Monday, October 17, 2016 from 4:00-7:00 pm. with the service following at 7:00 pm. The family and Mrs. Bishop ask for donations to the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.“The reaper does not listen to the harvest.”Terry Pratchett, Reaper Manlast_img read more

adminSeptember 24, 2020fbmxtLeave a Comment

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