Top global universities take up ASC19 Student Supercomputer Challenge

BEIJING, Dec. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Registration for the ASC19 Student Supercomputer Challenge has begun. Registered teams hail from top international institutes such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Hong Kong Baptist University, National Tsing Hua University, Nanyang Technological University, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, University of Warsaw and so on. The deadline of registration is January 7th after which the preliminary competition will begin.

According to the ASC Committee, this year’s challenge will continue to focus on cutting-edge technologies and the latest supercomputer applications to guide young students to broaden their horizon and solve major scientific problems with supercomputers. This has been ASC’s mission since its inception in 2012. ASC15 collaborated with SKA, the world’s largest radio array telescope project, on a challenge involving Gridding, the most complex computational process of SKA. ASC17 invited students to optimize MASNUM, marine science and numerical modeling, on the world’s then fastest supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight. ASC18 asked participants to a challenge for RELION, a critical application for the 2017 Nobel Prize-winning cryo-electron microscopy technology. In recent years, artificial intelligence applications have also become the “new normal” of the ASC Challenge, including the multi-core optimization of the speech recognition DNN from iFLYTEK in 2016, intelligent driving traffic forecast from Baidu in 2017, and machine reading comprehension from Microsoft in 2018. These problems cover the latest AI frameworks, algorithms and technical issues.

Jack Dongarra, the Chair of ASC Advisory Committee, a distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee, has described ASC as having “by far the most intense competition” of the student cluster contests he has witnessed. It not only boosts the development of supercomputers, but also guides students’ career development.

Many teachers and students attending previous challenges strongly agree on the significance of ASC for personal development. Cui Peng, the Captain of Qinghai University Team at ASC18, found his calling in supercomputing through participating in ASC. He has participated in ASC for three consecutive years since 2016, entered the final and won the First Prize this year. He believes that ASC is of great significance to undergraduates, because they can learn about hardware, software, system architecture and operating system, and put the culmination of this knowledge into practice. Meanwhile, he had gained a lot of cutting-edge expertise and developed his interest in doing research from the challenge. This experience played a very important role in his admission to the master’s program in Computer Sciences at Tsinghua University.

“I have learned a lot from ASC, mainly because the competition covers many spheres,” said Liu Siyuan, a student from Nanyang Technological University. “Participants need to know how to deploy Linux servers, allocate clusters, compile and optimize programs, optimize power consumption, and so on. When I joined ASC for the first time, I didn’t even know how to configure the InfiniBand. Through two years of competition and study, I learned a lot, which supplemented what I had learnt at school. In addition, by participating in the competition, I improved my ability to handle emergencies, and collaborating with peers is also rewarding.”

According to Mr. Alexander Ditter, a researcher of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) who had coached his students to participate in ASC17 and ASC18, it was an unforgettable experience for students to run workloads on the fastest supercomputer at that time, the Sunway TaihuLight. Moreover, he was able to attend the ASC organized “HPC Connection Workshop” with high-profile experts from the field. He and his students are returning for ASC19 and eagerly preparing for the new challenge.

ASC19 is split into three main phases. The first phase is registration and team set up from November 15, 2018 to January 7, 2019. Undergraduates register in group of five with one advisor. The second phase is a preliminary contest held from January to March 2019. Each team shall submit an optimization proposal for supercomputing applications as required. The ASC committee will select the top 20 teams. The third stage is the finals to be held at Dalian University of Technology from April 21 to 25. Based on the hardware platform provided by ASC, each of the 20 teams will design and build a supercomputing cluster that optimizes designated applications under 3000W.

ASC is sponsored and organized by China and supported by Asian, European and American experts and institutions. The main objectives of ASC are to encourage exchange and training of young supercomputer talents from different countries, improve supercomputer applications and R&D capacity, boost the development of supercomputing, and promote technical and industrial innovation.

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SOURCE Inspur Electronic Information Industry Co., Ltd

New class named for C Spire-Nokia Bell Labs joint college fellowship program

RIDGELAND, Miss., Dec. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Three college students from Mississippi’s two leading universities have been chosen to participate in the second year of a joint fellowship program between C Spire and Nokia Bell Labs, the world-renowned research organization in information technology and communications.

Three college students from Mississippi’s two leading universities have been chosen to participate in the second year of a joint fellowship program between C Spire and Nokia Bell Labs, the world-renowned research organization in information technology and communications.  Fellowship recipients receive a $5,000 academic stipend for the year, mentoring from C Spire and Bell Labs professionals, internships and full-time employment opportunities.

The C Spire-Nokia Bell Labs Fellowship Program offers college juniors and seniors majoring in computer science and electrical or computer engineering at the University of Mississippi or Mississippi State University an opportunity to conduct relevant industry research alongside some of the world’s leading scientists, engineers and technologists.

Ole Miss seniors Bailee Bellevue and Jake McCall and Mississippi State senior John Grogan were chosen for the 2018 fellowship program. Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and have an interest in working in a related technology field after graduation.

Bellevue, a Mandeville, LA native, and McCall, a Millington, TN native, are majoring in electrical engineering and Grogan, a Clinton, MS native, is a computer science major.  All three interned at C Spire this summer and are interested in working for the company after graduation in May 2019, although McCall may stay in school to pursue a master’s degree.

Bellevue and McCall are both focusing their studies on network access while Grogan is focusing on computer network security.

“These students are some of our best and brightest and represent future leaders in our industry,” said C Spire President Stephen Bye.  “This fellowship program allows them to hone their academic and research skills by working on projects that will make a difference.”

The Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company has long supported academic excellence in colleges and universities, but in recent years has focused on working with educators, schools and community-based training efforts to help students and learners turn their education and training into a professional career.

Bye and Nokia Bell Labs President Marcus Weldon share a passion for technology innovation and in 2017 developed a fellowship program that is tailored to the specific needs of the future workforce in the southeastern U.S.

“We’re very excited to partner with C Spire for this fellowship program as it provides these students with incredible opportunities to work with Bell Labs researchers to help us invent the future,” Weldon said.  “We’re always looking for bright minds to join our team and this fellowship program is an innovative way for us to tap into the tremendous talent found at Ole Miss and Mississippi State University.”

Workforce development is a key part of the C Spire Tech Movement initiative launched in September 2017 to deliver on its promise to help create and retain a 21st century technology workforce in this region that will boost the state’s economy, promote business expansion and improve the overall quality of life.

Other elements of the initiative include deployment of broadband internet for homes and businesses and other efforts designed to drive adoption and integration of the latest technological innovations, such as smart cities, businesses and homes, artificial intelligence, telemedicine, precision agriculture and the Internet of Things.

C Spire is currently accepting applications for the next round of college fellowships from computer science and computer or electrical engineering majors at Ole Miss and Mississippi State.  Fellowship recipients receive a $5,000 academic stipend for the year, mentoring from C Spire and Bell Labs professionals, internships and full-time employment opportunities.

“It’s a great way to apply the latest academic learning and cutting-edge research to solve challenges we are facing today and in the future,” Bye said, adding that the prestigious fellowship program is seeking students with a demonstrated interest in the fields of communications and information technology.

To learn more or apply for the C Spire-Nokia Bells Labs Fellowship Program, go to or  The deadline to submit applications for the 2019 program is Jan. 1, 2019.  For more information about the C Spire Tech Movement initiative, visit

About C Spire
C Spire is a leading technology company committed to transforming its service areas through the C Spire Tech Movement, which includes the deployment of broadband internet to homes and small businesses, technology innovation and the creation and retention of a 21st century technology workforce in its region.  The company provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for businesses.  This news release and other announcements are available at For more information about C Spire, visit or follow us on Facebook at or Twitter at

About Nokia Bell Labs
Nokia Bell Labs is the world-renowned industrial research arm of Nokia. Over its 92-year history, Bell Labs has invented many of the foundational technologies that underpin information and communications networks and all digital devices and systems. This research has resulted in 8 Nobel Prizes, three Turing Awards, three Japan Prizes, a plethora of National Medals of Science and Engineering, as well as an Oscar, two Grammy awards and an Emmy award for technical innovation. For more information, visit

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uBiome Awards Grant to Florida State University to Study Effect of Dietary Intervention on Bone Health in Men

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative, uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has awarded microbiome research support in study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis to researchers at Florida State University led by Ms. Elizabeth Foley, PhD Candidate, to study microbial community structure and bone health in older men with regular prune consumption.

The goal of the study is to evaluate the changes in microbial populations which occur with prune consumption in osteopenic men and correlate the changes in bone and inflammatory biomarkers that occur with changes in microbial communities. Because polyphenols and fiber found in prunes are shown to benefit gut microbial diversity, researchers hypothesize that prune consumption in men with low bone mass will improve the gut microbiome, gastrointestinal function, and bone biomarkers.

Data collected from the study will include microbiome composition from uBiome’s patented kits, stool frequency, bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar region of the spine, anthropometrics, medical history, and blood samples.

“This study has the potential to provide a better understanding of the aging process through the use of supplementing polyphenols and prebiotic fiber,” said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “We are proud to support Florida State University in this investigation.”

Ms. Foley is the Development and Media Student Chair for the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging and a Functional Anatomy and Physiology teaching assistant in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University. Ms. Foley is mentored by Dr. Bahram Arjmandi, PhD, Director of the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging and a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, for this study. He has published over 125 articles in renowned journals including Journal of Aging Research, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Osteoporosis International.

About the grant, Ms. Foley said, “We know that prunes are good for bone health, but we aren’t sure about the exact mechanism. This study can help us further understand the role of the microbiome as it relates to bone, specifically when people are supplementing prunes for bone health. We’re incredibly thankful to uBiome for this grant, as it is integral to the completion of my dissertation.”

Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative, uBiome has awarded millions of dollars in research support to hundreds of investigators around the world at renowned academic institutions and not-for-profit research organizations, including Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney. Awards include patented microbiome sequencing kits, as well as research support in study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis. To learn more about our award process or to submit a grant proposal, visit
About uBiome
Founded in 2012, uBiome is the leader in microbial genomics. The Company’s mission is to advance the science of the microbiome and make it useful to people. uBiome combines its patented proprietary precision sequencing™ with machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop wellness products, clinical tests, and therapeutic targets. uBiome has filed for over 250 patents on its technology, which includes sample preparation, computational analysis, molecular techniques, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

uBiome’s commercial products include SmartGut™, the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test, which identifies microbes in the gut for patients with chronic gut conditions such as IBD, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis; SmartJane™, the first sequencing-based women’s health screening test, which genotypes all 19 clinically relevant strains of HPV, identifies four common STDs, and surveys more than 20 vaginal microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis and other conditions; and Explorer™, a health and wellness product to understand the role that food and lifestyle can play in wellness.

uBiome’s platform has been used by hundreds of thousands of consumers, patients, and doctors and more than 200 research institutions around the world, including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney.

Since its launch, the company has received widespread recognition including CNN 10: Startups to Watch, the IVY Technology Award, CNN Future 30, and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare in 2016 and in Data Science in 2018, as well as a Technology Pioneer from the World Economic Forum in 2018. For more information, visit



DataFile Announces Interoperability Professional Services

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — DataFile Technologies announces its interoperability professional services. On the heels of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcing the next evolution of Meaningful Use is Promoting Interoperability, DataFile is poised to bridge the gap in automation with specialized professional services.

DataFile is an HIM data and services company specializing in combining human capital with technology platforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare. With the advent of interoperability in healthcare, technology platforms are evolving to make health data more functional, accessible and transportable. During that transition, DataFile is filling a critical gap between the systems leveraging interoperability and the needs of healthcare organizations by applying its highly trained HIM workforce to the tasks that technology and artificial intelligence cannot yet address.

Janine Akers, CEO of DataFile, believes the company is uniquely positioned to help organizations move forward with data interoperability while minimizing the transition cost and burden.

“I’d say we’re in a perfect position to help here,” Akers said. “We have a clear view of the connections between providers, patients and data requestors and for years, DataFile has been performing the manual functions interoperability aims to eventually automate. We bridge the gap with these services as we contribute to the architecture and design of future automation capabilities.”

Interoperability platforms often suffer some level of missing information or errors trying to leverage interoperable data that isn’t yet consistent or perfectly accessible. DataFile provides the highly skilled human judgment to fill these gaps. The interoperability services available from DataFile include data handling and cleansing, such as:

  • Patient matching and data clean up
  • Syntax error research and correction
  • Registry error research and correction
  • Targeted data curation

To further the movement toward interoperability, DataFile partners with organizations like CommonWell, Carequality and SHIEC leading the charge to provide optimal service and resources to healthcare organizations and health exchanges.

As a long-established health information management service provider, interoperability services was a natural service extension for DataFile, which already executes workflows for HIM tasks to ensure efficiency, compliance, accuracy and cost savings for healthcare organizations.

According to Akers, “Healthcare is in the midst of an evolution, and interoperability plays a vital role. Interoperability is more than a government incentive. It’s an innovation that will ultimately lead to decreased costs, improved patient experience and better organizational decision making. At DataFile, we are committed to making data processes as seamless as possible so that healthcare professionals can focus on patients.”

About DataFile Technologies
DataFile understands today’s healthcare organizations are overburdened with a changing landscape and required to do more with less. As a business process outsourcing partner, DataFile takes on arduous administrative tasks so healthcare organizations can focus more on patient care while maintaining a healthy bottom line.

Media Contact:
Alaina Lamphear


SOURCE DataFile Technologies

Hawai’i International Conference On System Sciences Draws Top IT Scholars And Professionals To Maui

HONOLULU, Dec. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — More than 1,200 of the world’s top academics, researchers and practitioners in computer science and information technology will gather at the Grand Wailea on Maui for the 52nd Annual Hawaiʻi International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) from Jan. 8-11, 2019 to discuss trending topics and future concepts that may lead to the world’s next big technological discovery. 

Over the past five decades, HICSS has become the premier forum for the exchange of ideas in the Information Systems (IS) industry. It is one of the longest-running general-purpose scientific conferences in the world and brings together academics and professionals from over 1,000 universities and more than 40 countries in an interactive working environment.

“Early research theories and models of the Internet, drones, social media, human technology, etc., were all discussed at HICSS years before their debut,” says Tung Bui, HICSS conference chair and professor at the University of Hawai’i – Shidler College of Business. “HICSS’ influence will continue to shape the future direction of technology research in the world.” 

Key topics at this year’s conference include:

  • Artificial intelligence and their upcoming applications 
  • The workforce in the age of artificial intelligence
  • Blockchain applications in business and society
  • Cybersecurity
  • Business intelligence and data analytics
  • Gamification in business
  • Augmented reality
  • Digital transformation and business strategy 
  • Information technology in health care and wearable devices

In addition, HICSS will feature two keynote speakers. Todd Coleman, professor of bioengineering at University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, will present “Technological Innovation for Advancing Population Health,” on January 9, 12:45 p.m. Ramesh Gopinath,  Vice President, IBM Blockchain Solutions, will present “Blockchain Simply Changes The Way The World Works,” on January 10, 12:45 p.m. Both presentations will be livestreamed online.

The proceedings of the 2019 conference are available online:

HICSS is hosted by the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. For more information, visit the HICSS website at Participating universities include:

    • University of Melbourne
    • University of New South Wales
    • University of Sydney
    • McMaster University
    • Fudan University
    • Harbin Institute of Technology
    • Trinity College, Dublin 
    • Tsuda College 
    • Korea University
    • Sunkyunkwan University
    • University of Auckland
    • Auckland University of Technology 
    • London School of Economics and Political Science
    • University of Warwick 
    • Brown Medical School 
    • Brown University
    • Cornell University
    • Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Harvard Medical School
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • New York University
    • Purdue University
    • Stanford University
    • Syracuse University
    • University of California, Berkeley
    • University of California, Davis
    • University of California, Los Angeles 
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    • University of Notre Dame
    • University of Texas at Austin
    • University of Washington

Priscilla Luong
(808) 543-3567


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SOURCE Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai’i

Mindtree Named a Leader in Digital Services for Travel and Hospitality by Independent Research Firm

WARREN, New Jersey and BANGALORE, India, December 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ —

Company recognized across six categories for digital transformation prowess in travel and hospitality  

Mindtree, a global digital transformation and technology consulting services company, has been named a leader in the ‘Zinnov Zones for Digital Services in Travel & Hospitality’ report for 2018. Mindtree was positioned in the leadership zone of ‘Overall Travel & Hospitality Digital Services’, and across six sub-categories, including: Travel, Hospitality, Planning and Booking, Digital Consulting, Digital Design & Experience and Data Management & Insights.

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Zinnov Zones is an annual rating for global technology service providers based on a detailed assessment of each company’s delivery and services capabilities, scalability, and intellectual property, among others. The report authors also considered the scale of Mindtree’s digital business, clientele and talent in the travel and hospitality focused business.

“We congratulate Mindtree for their leadership position in Zinnov Zones for the travel and hospitality industry. We have been closely watching Mindtree’s footprint and they are strongly positioned to deliver outcome driven digital services for travel and hospitality customers,” said Praveen Bhadada, Partner and Practice Head, Digital Transformation, Zinnov. “Mindtree’s strength lies in a range of intellectual properties (IPs) and solution accelerators they have built using Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain that enable its customers to accelerate their digital journey. Mindtree is also able to effectively leverage its industry leading partnerships with technology giants and several cutting-edge digital start-ups to deliver value added services to its customers. Mindtree’s ongoing investments in on boarding experienced talent and upskilling through online, as well as residential programs, is enabling them to stay relevant to evolving customer needs.”

Today’s connected travelers expect high quality and seamless digital experiences, competitive pricing across the value chain and real-time, personalized offers based on their preferences. Mindtree works with clients across air transport, hotel and lodging, resorts and vacations, car and truck rental, travel management, recreation and leisure, and health and wellness, harnessing next-gen technologies to deliver exceptional and differentiated services that elevate customer experience and build loyalty.

“Digital natives and millennials are redefining the travel industry. To meet their expectations, travel brands are becoming agile, building new customer experience paradigms and modernizing legacy systems with the Cloud, AI, Blockchain, and data analytics,” said Nalin Vij, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Travel, Transportation and Hospitality at Mindtree. “We are very pleased with this recognition by Zinnov. It reflects our expertise and experience in delivering business transformation, leveraging the latest in digital technologies, for some of the largest and most innovative travel and hospitality brands in the world.”

In September 2018, Mindtree released, ‘Expectations vs. Reality: How to Better Serve the Connected Traveler‘, a study of over 2,000 U.S. adult travelers that provides organizations in the travel and hospitality industry with key insights on the expectations of end consumers across customer experience, loyalty, ancillary sales, willingness to pay premiums and personalization efforts. Visit the microsite to download the complete report.

About Mindtree 

Mindtree [NSE: MINDTREE] is a global technology consulting and services company, helping Global 2000 corporations marry scale with agility to achieve competitive advantage. ‘Born digital’ in 1999, more than 340 enterprise clients rely on our deep domain knowledge to break down silos, make sense of digital complexity and bring new initiatives to market faster. We enable IT to move at the speed of business, leveraging emerging technologies and the efficiencies of Continuous Delivery to spur business innovation. Operating across 17 countries, we’re consistently regarded as one of the best places to work, embodied every day by our winning culture made up of 19,000 entrepreneurial, collaborative and dedicated “Mindtree Minds.” To learn more, visit or follow us @Mindtree_Ltd.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

For more information, contact:

For more information, contact:
Swetha Ganesan
Mindtree Ltd 

Erik Arvidson

Susie Wyeth 

SOURCE Mindtree

Crowdz Awarded Entry Into 500 Startups’ Blockchain Track

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Silicon Valley-based Crowdz — the leading blockchain-based trade finance company — announced today that it been selected to participate in the blockchain track for the 500 Startups San Francisco-based Seed Accelerator program, one of the most competitive and rigorous technology accelerators in the world.

This fall, the 500 Startups accelerator team spent weeks reviewing and interviewing nearly 2,000 program application for Batch 24 of its Seed Accelerator. The world-renowned accelerator ultimately accepted just 22 companies — a mere one percent of the applicants — of which only five became part of the 500 Startups blockchain track.

“We are deeply honored to be selected to participate in such an exclusive and high-powered accelerator,” said Payson E. Johnston, CEO of Crowdz, which operates primarily in the financial technology (fintech) and e-commerce sectors. “The ability to interact with and learn from scores of truly distinguished mentors in the rapidly changing fields of blockchain and finance will be invaluable in helping Crowdz to finish building out our blockchain-based e-commerce and trade finance platform for a launch early next year.

A Rigorous Acceptance Process

The 500 Startups evaluators employ a rigorous acceptance process based on a set of questions customized for the technology batch under consideration — questions that are designed to identify the most promising startup ventures in that field. As one of only five blockchain companies invited into the blockchain batch, Crowdz, according to 500 Startups, was a powerful example “of how to successfully answer” questions like these:

1. Does the solution present a good use of blockchain?

2. Is there a clear valuable market?

3. Does the product meet customer needs?

4. Does the solution offer a competitive advantage that customers value?

5. Is the team skilled in the critical areas?

In addition, 500 Startups looks to see if the companies it is considering can achieve 50X to 100X revenue growth over the next seven years or so.

The 500 Startups evaluators gave Crowdz a resounding endorsement in each of these respects. Overall, the accelerator’s assessment concluded that Crowdz’s “product, market, and structure were all well-suited for this scenario.” Crowdz “had experience with this area in the past and they were aggressively planning [for] growth … The CEO had 18 years’ experience in global supply chain for a large networking company. Two other senior team members at Crowdz had worked with the CEO on supply-chain matters for more than a decade.” Another team member had senior roles at three successful internet companies and one was an economist for the U.S. White House.

A $9 Trillion Market

The Crowdz solution is focused on enhancing the speed, efficiency and financial performance of global supply chains — and there’s a very good reason for this. “To be effective,” says CEO Johnston, “the $25 trillion collection of global supply chains requires vibrant and prosperous small and midsize enterprises, or ‘SMEs,’ which account for more than 70 percent of supply-chain participants. But because 73 percent of global business still takes place manually, transactions can take weeks or even months to settle.”

In addition, he goes on, “standard invoicing, which almost all SMEs use, can delay payments by as much as 90 days or more. Yet without steady, ongoing cashflow, these SMEs can’t survive and up to half ultimately fail. In turn, if these SMEs don’t survive, global supply chains themselves can stop functioning as well.”

Traditionally, the most common answer to these challenges has been trade finance, also known as supply-chain financing or invoice financing. With trade finance, banks or other investors purchase SMEs’ invoices, giving SMEs the value of the invoices immediately, less a discount. Later, the SMEs reimburse the financing entity when their customers pay.

“The potential global market for trade finance is immense, estimated at $9 trillion,” Johnston points out. But while there are numerous, more conventional trade finance initiatives, the Crowdz solution, he notes, “is unique among contemporary trade finance efforts, which consist largely of standalone financing vehicles.”

In contrast, he explains, Crowdz is “an entire supply-chain ecosystem, which uses blockchain, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to bring product buyers and sellers as well as invoice buyers and sellers together onto the most efficient global supply-chain platform ever created.”

About Crowdz

Sunnyvale, California-based Crowdz builds digitized, blockchain-based supply-chain networks designed to enhance the speed, efficiency and financial performance of global supply chains. The Crowdz solution:

  • Fully digitizes the buy/sell process via automated supply-chain marketplaces that accelerate the buying and selling of products and that originate risk-rated invoices and purchase orders (POs) that are pre-configured for investor financing.
  • Digitizes invoices, POs and other paperwork that flow from this buy/sell process, then places them on the Ethereum blockchain, where they are consolidated, transformed into digital smart contracts and instantly transmitted to and from all involved parties.
  • Automatically posts fundable POs and invoices on the Crowdz invoice-auction exchange, where banks and other investors can bid on risk-rated individual or packaged invoices and POs, enabling SMEs in the supply chain to receive instant cash payments (less a discount) for the value of their receivables.

Founded in 2014, Crowdz is led by its CEO, Payson E. Johnston, who served for 18 years as global supply-chain senior manager for Cisco. Its executive team has a combined 90 years of experience in supply-chain operations, business finance, B2B, e-commerce and blockchain. Crowdz’s technologies are currently covered by seven pending patents and a prototype of the Crowdz platform is currently being used by 240 companies offering more than 1.7 million products.

Earlier this year, Crowdz completed the 13-week Barclays London Fintech Accelerator powered by Techstars, another one of the world’s most competitive and rigorous technology accelerators. Previously, Crowdz was invited to participate in the Plug & Play Retail & Brand Accelerator Program and in the flagship class of the Plug & Play Supply Chain Accelerator Program. Crowdz is currently funded by Barclays Bank, Techstars and numerous other technology investors.

For more details on Crowdz, please visit For an in-depth look at Crowdz’s experience in the 500 Startups accelerator program, please see and

About 500 Startups

500 Startups’ mission is to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them to create successful companies at scale and build thriving global ecosystems. Since its inception, 500 Startups has made its mission to find and empower talented founders, whether they reside across the world or are overlooked in the accelerator’s own backyard. Diversity has always been a core value at 500 Startups and the accelerator is committed to being champions of the global VC community — not as it is, but as it should be.

“500 Startups” isn’t just the accelerator’s name — 500 Startups really has worked with more than 500 companies. In fact, the accelerator’s roster of participating startups now includes more than 2,000 companies with more than 3,000 founders operating in more than 60 countries.

For more details about 500 Startups’ technology-acceleration programs, please see

Media Contact: 
Clay Dedeaux 
Phone: +1-888-995-1600 

Related Links

Crowdz Website

500 Startups Blog

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How One Tech Startup is Using AI to Conquer Challenges Faced by Media Giants

NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Visual artificial intelligence (AI) company WowYow is excited to announce its successful graduation from a Silicon Valley AI accelerator program led by Nex Cubed, an investment company which chooses tech startup companies to incubate and helps to fund their ideas.

WowYow enjoyed working closely with the Nex Cubed team of advisors during their four months of work preparing for their showcase. They were able to take advantage of Nex Cubed’s many services including organizational structure, strategic staffing, marketing, branding, and fundraising. These helped WowYow to hit key milestones needed to reach the next level in innovation, value, and growth.

“The future of Internet traffic is video,” agrees Nex Cubed CEO Marlon Evans. “WowYow’s Visual AI provides advertisers and publishers with the ideal solution to take advantage of this trend. We’ve really enjoyed working with the WowYow team and look forward to continuing our support as they scale their platform.”  

WowYow and the other graduates were able to present and network with investors, advisors, and other supporters of the field at the showcase. You can watch the WowYow presentation here.

Video consumption and digital advertising are only expected to grow in the coming years. As of 2017, advertising and search revenue in the U.S. totaled over $80 billion. By 2020, it’s predicted that $335 billion will be spent on digital advertising alone.

WowYow is aiming to help advertisers and publishers capitalize on this upward trend by applying their AI to identify, index, search and monetize everything that is seen within a video.

In 2017, across its network of publishers and advertisers, WowYow’s AI & Visual Search performed 500x better than the industry average, with a 6.7% click-through rate. This year, WowYow is on pace to beat their previous record, as they track at an 8.3% rate.

“The applications for AI in digital media are endless,” says Jarett Boskovich, Co-founder and CMO of WowYow. “Our partners are already applying WowYow’s AI to increase video meta-data, drive audience development, connect content to commerce, and address major issues around brand safety. We’re looking toward 2019 with excitement as we bring our AI to major worldwide media brands. 2019 is definitely shaping up to be a big year for WowYow.”

Media Contact: 
Jarett Boskovich
Phone: 844-496-9969 x 701

Related Links

WowYow Website

WowYow Linkedin

Related Video

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International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics eBulletin: Careers Paths at MANA: Focus on Chirality

TSUKUBA, Japan, December 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ —

International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), Japan, publishes the December 2018 issue of the MANA E-Bulletin with a featuring article on ‘Careers paths at MANA and research on chirality’ and research highlights on ‘Artificial intelligence learns to predict light-activated molecules’; ‘New material that is both a thermoelectric and a superconductor identified by high-throughput materials discovery’; and ‘Ionic devices learn how to make decisions’.

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December 2018 issue of MANA eBulletin


Careers paths at MANA: Focus on chirality 

Jan Labuta 

Independent Scientist, MANA

“My career as a research scientist in Japan started in November 2008 when I joined the Supramolecules Group at MANA for a two JSPS postdoctoral fellowship,” says Labuta. “I was really impressed and inspired by the highly focused and passionate approach to research at MANA. I learnt a lot and was able to contribute to the research activities of the group. It was a very fruitful two years for me and the experience led me to pursue a long term career at MANA. I highly recommend this career path to other young researchers overseas.”


Caption: Visualization of in vivo chirality mapping of chiral analyte using porphyrintype molecule as a detector agent.

Research Highlights 

Ionic devices learn how to make decisions

Decision-making processes require examining complex data to adapt to dynamic changes in the environment and make decisions about the most appropriate behavior. Emulating these processes with computers requires enormous resources, so new avenues need to be explored.

Now, Takashi Tsuchiya and colleagues from the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, writing in Science Advances propose to use ionic devices to perform decision-making operations. They apply their devices to solve dynamic multiarmed bandit problems, mathematical problems in which a fixed set of resources has to be allocated between alternative choices to maximize the gain, with the properties of each choice only partially known at the beginning. The scenario investigated by the authors is that of a user of busy communication channels who needs to select a channel to transmit information with maximum efficiency.


Concept illustration of making decisions with nanomaterials.


Takashi Tsuchiya, Tohru Tsuruoka, Song-Ju Kim, Kazuya Terabe and Masakazu Aono, Ionic decision-maker created as novel, solid-state devices. Science Advances, 4, eaau2057 (2018).

Artificial intelligence learns to predict light-activated molecules

Artificial intelligence can be used to design new molecules; it is becoming a popular tool because of its potential for discovering molecules in unexplored chemical spaces, its ability to screen a huge number of potential molecules in a short amount of time and its tendency to find unconventional ways of solving problems. However, whether such molecules can be actually synthesized and whether they display the desired functionalities in the real world is an open question.

Masato Sumita, Koji Tsuda and colleagues at different institutions in Japan report in ACS Central Science a proof-of-concept study in which they use a platform based on artificial intelligence to discover light-activated organic molecules (which are relevant in green chemistry and molecular sensing) that can be synthesized and that have specific functional properties. The platform combines a molecule generator powered by artificial intelligence and a calculator based on density functional theory that performs quantum chemical calculations. The generator suggests molecules with different structures, the calculator predicts their properties.


Concept of platform based on artificial intelligence to discover photo-functional organic molecules.


Masato Sumita, Xiufeng Yang, Shinsuke Ishihara, Ryo Tamura, Koji Tsuda, Hunting for Organic Molecules with Artificial Intelligence: Molecules Optimized for Desired Excitation Energies. ACS Cent. Sci. 2018, 4, 1126−1133.

New material that is both a thermoelectric and a superconductor identified by high-throughput materials discovery

Data-driven materials science aims at mining information contained in databases collecting the properties of existing materials to identify entirely new compounds with desired properties. This approach is proving successful, but its application is not straightforward for certain classes of materials, such as thermoelectrics – materials that convert temperature differences into electricity and thus hold promise for energy applications – or superconductors, which can transport currents without dissipation and could be used for power transmission.

Ryo Matsumoto from the Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics in Tsukuba, Japan, and colleagues used a specific criterion to identify candidate thermoelectric and superconducting materials with high-throughput calculations. Specifically, they looked for materials that in the electronic band structure have bands that are flat near the Fermi level, which separates the occupied and unoccupied electronic states. Indeed, flat bands near the Fermi level are predicted to enhance the thermoelectric properties of materials, and if the flat band crosses the fermi level a superconducting state is realized.


Electronic band structure of materials studied.


Ryo Matsumoto, Zhufeng Hou, Hiroshi Hara, Shintaro Adachi, Hiroyuki Takeya, Tetsuo Irifune, Kiyoyuki Terakura and Yoshihiko Takano, Two pressure-induced superconducting transitions in SnBi2Se4 explored by data-driven materials search: new approach to developing novel functional materials including thermoelectric and superconducting materials. Appl. Phys. Express 11, 093101 (2018)

Further information
The International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics
1-1 Namiki Tsukuba-shi Ibaraki, 305-0044 JAPAN
Tel: 029-860-4710

SOURCE The International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics

ELabNYC Bioscience Accelerator Program Announces 2019 Cohort of Life Science Companies

NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — ELabNYC, the Entrepreneurship Lab NYC, an initiative of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and led by Design Technologies, today announced the 7th cohort of emerging biosciences ventures invited to participate in its competitive annual business accelerator program. Twenty high-potential companies will participate in the six-month intensive program, which includes business education to develop fundable business plans and support from a professional mentoring and alumni network. All startups receive an entrepreneur coach, access to active business professionals and preparation support to pitch to investors.

The selected startups were chosen via an extensive screening and interview process. An elite advisory team, consisting of leading scientists, active investors and business strategists, evaluated this class of ventures based on metrics such as strength of the team, uniqueness of insights into the problems they are solving and their capacity to revolutionize the life sciences industry.

The 2019 ELabNYC cohort participants and ventures include:

  • Aleksandra Gosiewski, Aaron Nessar, Tessa Callaghan, (Independent) AlgiKnit is creating compostable, readily available and cost-competitive yarns that are plant-based, utilizing sources like kelp.
  • Anaïs Rameau, Milan Gunasekera (Weill Cornell) MyophonX is an individually tailored wearable device that applies machine learning to silent articulation to restore speech in patients with limited phonation capacity.
  • Andreas Keller (Rockefeller University) Keller is developing a digital diagnostic device for testing olfactory function which is an early symptom of neurodegenerative diseases affecting 10% of the population.
  • Chichao Chen, Lingbo Zhang (MSKCC) Vessel Scientific’s technology is a therapeutic strategy to treat acute myeloid leukemia that works by disrupting cancer metabolism and proliferation.
  • Cira Cardaci, Mican Meneses (Independent) MenoPal has created a wearable device with an integrated digital health platform to empower menopausal women to self-manage their symptoms with low risk.
  • Eleanor Haglund (Independent) Halo Mountain’s therapeutic candidate treats Alzheimer’s disease by promoting uric acid production, fighting inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Elif Alpoge (Independent) Qlear Chemicals has developed novel permeabilization and optical clearing reagents for 3D imaging of intact, grossed anatomic pathology samples.
  • Jon Zaikowski, Benjamin Young (Columbia University) CapCell Biologics is treating rare diseases with implants composed of engineered cells in a protective mesh capsule.
  • Joongheum Park, Laurence Coman, Yair Saperstein (Columbia University/ SUNY Downstate) AvoMD’s modules curate highly relevant clinical knowledge using conversational user interface carefully designed for clinical providers, mimicking consultations with clinical specialists.
  • Jose Quiroz, George Georgiev, Jeetayu Biswas, Ryan Malonis (Einstein) CapCell Biologics isolates human monoclonal antibodies against Chikungunya Virus Glycoprotein using single B-cell sorting technology.
  • Khatija Ali, Furwa Hussein (Independent) BioSapien develops a novel biodegradable drug-eluting mesh which provides long-term slow release.
  • Kiyan Rajabi, Darya Moldavskaya (Weill Cornell) ReverCare connects people caring for elderly loved ones to geriatric care experts who help them craft personalized, long-term care plans.
  • Kurt Yaeger (Mount Sinai) MediGram is developing a medical language recognition and error correction algorithm using artificial intelligence to enhance efficiency of physician workflow and reduce physician burnout.
  • Nan Xiao (Independent) AdviceCoach is a HIPAA-compliant SaaS platform that makes it easy, fast and affordable for healthcare providers to publish mini-apps (Playbooks) that give each patient a unique treatment plan.
  • Nathan Stevens (Independent) Instras Scientific designs and develops a low-cost dip coater kit for thin film biosensor research.
  • Peilin Zhang (Independent) PZM Diagnostics provides testing for antibacterial antibodies with the goal to change the direction of diagnosis and therapy of Crohn’s and other autoimmune disease.
  • Rotem Lev-Zwickel (Independent) Agamon partners with hospitals, structures their textual clinical data using natural language processing and provides tools and services for a faster, efficient and scalable way to access clinical data and insights.
  • Seth Goodman (Columbia University) SiteRx is the first virtual clinical trial site focused on building the bridge between clinical research and clinical care.
  • Sonia Gonzalez (CUNY) StudentBody leverages AI and natural language technologies to encourage good mental health in young people early in life and will target college students.
  • Sunit Jariwala (Einstein) The ASTHMAXcel mobile application is a patient-facing self-management tool for asthma with customizable features, including tailored algorithms, animated educational videos, adherence support messages, games, self-assessments and patient/provider dashboards.

Members of past cohorts have accomplished important milestones since graduating from ELabNYC. One alumni venture, CareSpeak, which developed a mobile-first patient communication system, was recently acquired by OptimizeRx for approximately $8.5 million. Other ELabNYC alumni include Charlotte D’Hulst, whose MouSensor company raised $3.3 million in its seed round, and Linh Le, founder of Bonbouton, who received $50,000 in the FuzeHub Commercialization Competition of 2018. To see a list of past participants of ELabNYC, please visit:

“Program alumni and their ventures continue to grow and make an impact in the field of biosciences and beyond,” said Mary Howard, ELabNYC Program Manager and Executive Director of Design Technologies. “The ELabNYC team is proud to play an instrumental part in helping these companies grow and succeed.”

By helping to nurture promising young companies, ELabNYC indirectly helps contribute to job, real estate and economic growth of the state, according to its “ELabNYC 2018 Impact Report” issued in August of this year. Since the program’s inception in 2012, it is estimated that 210 new jobs have been created and approximately $16.8 million in wages have been earned by the companies that moved through the program. To access the full report, visit:

This year, the program is pleased to welcome two new members to its team: Karolyn Rancourt Chamberlin as Head of Mentorship and Heidi Anderson as Head of Coaching.

ELabNYC is also excited to announce new corporate supporter Mintz Levin, an Am Law 100 law firm with attorneys serving clients worldwide. Mintz Levin joins other esteemed corporate supporters: Pfizer, Lilly, Roche, Kaneka, Alexandria LaunchLabs, Wilson Sonsini, EisnerAmper, White and Williams, Moses & Singer, WilmerHale and Target Health.

About ELabNYC
Bio & Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab NYC, or ELabNYC, is a prestigious six-month training and mentorship program for aspiring entrepreneurs in New York City’s life sciences and healthcare technology community. ELabNYC provides extensive support and training to graduate students of science, post-docs, early-career researchers and engineers interested in forming new biotech and health tech ventures. Launched by the Bloomberg Administration and New York City Economic Development Corporation, and led by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, the Lab is designed to develop a more vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship and venture creation in the City’s academic life sciences and healthcare communities. The Program is held annually and features an intensive, introductory MBA curriculum, expert coaching, pitch preparation support, team building activities and access to a community of seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and mentors. For more information, please visit our website at

About Design Technologies
Design Technologies helps build emergent intellectual property (IP) focused ventures and founded ELabNYC, the successful biosciences pre-accelerator program in NYC for research institution spin outs. Design Technologies now manages the top three programs in the Metro New York area: ELabNYC, Next Milestone and Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut (ABCT). These highly successful accelerator programs are supported by the top US life sciences law firms, global pharma, the top regional life sciences accounting firm, the largest Metro New York hospital networks, experienced entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches and an advisory board of entrepreneurs, hospitals and universities and investors coming together to build the Metro New York life sciences industry. For more information, please visit our website at