The results of the stress tests of European occupational pension funds carried out by EIOPA underscore the need for effective regulation to protect pensioners and companies, Green Party MEP Sven Giegold has said.Giegold is the financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, and a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON).Giegold said the results painted “a gloomy picture”, revealing that defined benefit occupational pension schemes faced a “dramatic” funding shortfall.“This stress test has revealed funding gaps for occupational pensions,” he said. “EIOPA has underpinned worse-case misgivings with numbers.”He pointed to the €773bn figure that emerged as the deficit facing pension funds under EIOPA’s second stress scenario and said this illustrated the funding gap in accruals facing EU occupational pension schemes.“National accounting standards,” he added, “conceal the funding gaps included in the balance sheets of many companies.”Giegold said pension schemes were weaker than the stress tests showed, arguing that they did not test a realistic scenario of enduring low interest rates and longer life expectancy.He also took issue with EIOPA’s use of a 4.2% risk-free discount rate for longer maturities (the ultimate forward rate) and said EIOPA’s statement on the results downplayed the outcome of the tests.He called for an end to a “head-in-the-sand” policy on life insurance and occupational pensions, and for “an open and honest” debate in the EU and national parliaments on “the lack of funding due to low interest rates”.“It is unacceptable to just pretend problems do not exist,” he said.Giegold said companies should not become hostages to pension promises, “expected to make up the gaps from profits that will be under increasing pressure”.They need to be able to invest while it is also “equally unacceptable to simply assume hidden state guarantees”, he said.Giegold’s reaction to the stress tests contrast with those of several national regulators and pension fund associations, many of which concluded that the results showed that pension schemes posed no risk to financial stability.
Share 92 Views no discussions Share Sharing is caring! Tweet Share LifestyleRelationships Fifteen signs you’re about to cheat by: – December 11, 2012 Photo credit: examiner.comThere’s a new kind of infidelity that’s destroying marriages and wreaking havoc among committed couples. It’s called emotional sex. We all know that infidelity is as old as civilization, but emotional sex is a new and more insidious kind of infidelity that was born out of the digital era of the 21st century. It used to take a long time for affairs to develop. Not anymore. With the advent of social media and technology at our fingertips 24/7, the pathway to cheating is fast and practically unobstructed. It’s easier than ever to meet others, stay constantly (and secretly) in contact, get intimate and cheat on our partners. That’s why emotional sex is so much more potent: Instant access to our lover is in our pocket, our purse, or laptop. We don’t even have to leave home to cheat. We can do it while the kids are playing in the backyard or our partner is downstairs watching TV or cooking dinner.When we feel restless and dissatisfied with our relationships, instead of working on it, we become addicted to our electronic gadgets. They offer us the kind of instant gratification and validation that’s not always easy to get from our partners. We turn to our laptops, tablets and cellphones for the kind of attention, stimulation and intimacy we crave. As a result, our relationships are suffering. Divorce rates are increasing, infidelity stats are rising and social media is increasingly to blame; Facebook, as an example, is reportedly being cited in over 30% of divorce cases as the cause of the breakup. More and more men and women are cheating, and much of the cheating starts — or is being fueled — online.Has your online friendship crossed the line? Sure, it’s easy to make excuses and deny what’s happening by telling ourselves, “It’s just innocent flirting,” or “We’re only Facebook friends,” or “I’m just texting with a co-worker, that’s all!” How can you be sure that what you’re doing is really innocent and harmless, or if you’re slipping down the slippery slope toward emotional sex?Take this 60-second reality check quiz from my book “Chatting or Cheating” to see whether it’s just chatting or if you’re really cheating. The key is whether the 3 S’s are present: Shared intimacy, Secrecy and exclusion, or Sexual chemistry.Are you… Shared Intimacy · Exchanging personal, intimate, and confidential information (and/or had offline contact) with an online “friend” that your partner doesn’t know about?· Giving more and more time, attention and emotional support to your “friend” and less to your partner at home?· Beginning to emotionally or physically withdraw from your partner, preferring to spend time away, online, talking or texting with your “friend” vs. connecting with your partner?· Constantly checking to see if your “friend” has made contact and/or are continually trying to come up with ways to connect and have contact? · Feeling high and happy when connected with your “friend” and low and lonely when you’ve been disconnected for too long?Secrecy & Exclusion · Hiding your correspondence with your “friend” from your partner?· Becoming secretive or evasive about your activities, changing your passwords, getting new anonymous email addresses, setting up fake profiles, joining a dating or cheating hook-up site?· Avoiding getting into serious conversations with your partner?· Pretending you’re single when you’re not?· Spending a large amount of time (in person or online) talking, sharing, confiding with your friend and not telling your partner about it? Or worse, lying about who you are with?Sexual Chemistry · Finding yourself sexually and/or emotionally aroused when you think about or have contact with your “friend”?· Sending or receiving flirtatious or sexy emails, texts, photos or videos?· Doing anything sexual using your webcam (or your imagination)? Having sexy chats? Sharing your sexual fantasies? Masturbating and/or mutually masturbating?· Imagining you are in bed with your “friend,” while making love with your partner?· Feeling cold when it comes to having sex with your partner? More interested in reading a book, Facebooking, watching TV, or talking to your “friend” then making love with your partner?If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above, blaring alarms should be ringing in your head, because you have definitely slid down the slippery slope of emotional sex and into cheating. If this is indeed the case, you need to deal with the truth of what’s really going on, fast. Whether you believe it or not, you’re putting your primary relationship at risk, and if you care about saving it, it’s time to put on the brakes on the cyber friendship and start pouring the energy, time, and focus you’ve been giving to your “friend” back into your primary relationship.If you’ve been seeking a thrill and fulfillment from outside sources, it usually means something is missing in your relationship with your partner. If that’s the case, it’s time to take a serious, hard look at what’s really going on and fix it.The cost of an affair — be it cyber, emotional or physical — can be devastating to a relationship. If you want to avoid a divorce, it’s time to take the blinders off and turn off the gadgets. Start infusing your marriage with the affection, attention and appreciation you both need and deserve. It’s never too late to turn things around, even if you’ve already crossed a line (or if your partner has). All it takes is a sincere willingness to open up, be honest, and learn to love, respect and treat each other as good friends again.Huffington Post
EducationLocalNewsPrimarySecondary One hundred french teachers complete training by: – October 28, 2011 Tweet 32 Views no discussions Share Sharing is caring! Share Participants of the workshop. Image via: Dionne DurandRoseau, Dominica – October 27, 2011…The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, in collaboration with the Universite des Antilles et de la Guyane, and the Dominica State College, has completed a programme of training of one hundred Dominican teachers in French as a foreign language.The final evaluation of the three-year programme, which ends in November 2011, took place at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday. Twelve professors and other staff of the Universite des Antilles et de la Guyane and eight teachers and officers from the Dominica State College and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development participated in the evaluation session.The project, funded by the French agency, Interreg Caraibes at a cost of EC$1.5 million, was aimed at providing training for Dominican teachers and students of the Dominica State College who intend to pursue a career in teaching French. Teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the French language were also enhanced through immersion visits to Guadeloupe and Martinique where they were exposed to the culture, people, places of interest and advanced classroom practices.Coordinator of the French programme in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Charlene White-Christian, says over eighty percent of the teachers are expected to attain mastery level after sitting their final exams earlier this week.She said the teachers would then be eligible to apply for French scholarships to French universities, through the French Embassy in St. Lucia.Melinda Ulysses, one of the teachers who participated in the workshop. According to White-Christian, the teachers are now versed in French culture and pedagogy, having received instruction in the proper execution of French lessons using various media.Programme participant, Melinda Ulysses, a teacher at the St. Mary’s Primary, says the programme has helped improve her French language skills, and she is now better able to deliver her lessons. “It has been excellent. I give it an A plus, especially considering the fact that we travelled to the French countries, heard the language and experienced the culture.“I plan to pass on my new knowledge to my students, so that they too can speak French like they were born doing it. I also plan to apply for a scholarship to France,” she said.Twenty-five secondary and seventy-five primary school teachers participated in the programme.White-Christian says the Universite Antilles Guyane has also partnered with the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development to develop a network of language laboratories in Dominica, providing thirty-five laptop computers for the centers. By: Dionne Durand Share
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RelatedPosts Rohr lists Musa, Ekong, 23 others for Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia friendlies Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th The Super Eagles have arrived in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine ahead of Tuesday’s international friendly with the senior national team of Ukraine, with 18 players part of an early morning team walk on Sunday. Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has fixed 5:30pm on Sunday for the team’s first training session, when all 22 players would be fully assembled in Ukraine’s third city. At Sunday morning’s team walk were goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Maduka Okoye, defenders William Ekong, Jamilu Collins, Leon Balogun and Bryan Idowu, midfielders Alex Iwobi, Joseph Aribo, Oghenekaro Etebo and Anderson Esiti, and forwards Joshua Maja, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Emmanuel Dennis and Moses Simon. Spain-based defender Chidozie Awaziem arrived the team’s hotel, ahead of defenders Olaoluwa Aina and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, and Kelechi Iheanacho, who were being expected at just afternoon. The training session will hold at FC Dnipro’s training ground at Dnipropetrovsk, within the Pridniprovsk housing estate. Tuesday’s clash will take place at the 31,000-capacity Dnipro Arena, home ground of top club FC Dnipro, and will kick-off at 9:30pm Ukraine time (7”30pm in Nigeria). It is the first assemblage of the three-time African champions since finishing third and with the bronze medals at the first-ever 24-team Africa Cup of Nations staged by Egypt June/July this year. For the Super Eagles, the game also serves as part of the preparation for November’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying duels with the Squirrels of Benin Republic and the Crocodiles of Lesotho. Meanwhile, Turkish Airline management has promised to deliver to Dnipro before Tuesday the Nigeria team’s kit bags and luggage of six players that failed to arrive with the team from Istanbul on Saturday. Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor, told thenff.com: “Our kit bags did not arrive with us from Istanbul. The bags of six players also did not arrive, but we have alerted Turkish Airline and they have promised to deliver them to us in Dnipro between Sunday and Monday.”Tags: DniproGernot RohrIkechukwu EzenwaSuper Eagles
Centre-back Shawcross has this week been linked with a move away from the Britannia Stadium to Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City. But Scholes, quoted by The Sentinel, said: “It comes as no surprise to me what I have read about Ryan. I don’t know if there is any truth in it, but certainly we have had no contact. Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes has emphasised there has been no contact between the Potters and other clubs regarding skipper Ryan Shawcross – and that the Staffordshire outfit do not need to sell their best players. “Anyone around these parts will think he should be on that flight to Brazil with England.” Meanwhile, it has been reported that Stoke midfielder Steven N’Zonzi has handed the club a transfer request, as he did last summer. And on that matter, Scholes said: “I wish I could give you a clear answer. “It’s been in the papers over the last week or so that Steven’s father has been in touch with us and he’s mentioned that Steven’s ambition is to play at the highest level that he can play. “He’s alluded to the fact that maybe he would want to move on and do that. “But I am being a bit circumspect because until I sit down with Steven and his father and hear what they’ve got to say and why they are saying it, I’m guessing too much.” “Players like him and (Stoke goalkeeper) Asmir Begovic, just to name a couple, will attract attention. That’s part and parcel of being a successful football team. “That’s the way it’s always going to be. It’s one of the prices of doing well, but it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to do business with them. “We don’t need to sell. We’ve been going through our situation for next year, our budgets, what is available in terms of buying players and players’ wages and we are not in a position where we need to sell. “We are looking to strengthen and move forward.” Shawcross, 26, was named Stoke’s player of the year at the end of a 2013-14 season in which the club achieved their highest Premier League finish of ninth and a points tally of 50. He has been a consistent performer for the Potters since their promotion to the division in 2008, but did not make Roy Hodgson’s England squad for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. And Scholes added: “Ryan’s had six great years in the Premier League and that’s quite something for a player of his age. “It is interesting that he has reportedly attracted the attention of big clubs in the way he didn’t seem to attract Roy Hodgson’s attention. Press Association
Bio Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Latest Posts ELLSWORTH — The Mount Desert Island girls’ basketball team has a single blip on its 2017-18 schedule, but that speed bump has been driving the Trojans ever since.A loss on the annual road trip to Aroostook County is far from unheard of for any visiting team, but it was the way his team lost its Dec. 27 contest against Caribou that bothered head coach Brent Barker. The Trojans led most of the game before falling to an 11-point defeat.“We were up six points in the fourth quarter and let it slip away,” Barker said. “After that, I told them, ‘Hey, we need to do a better job of finishing games.’”Since then, MDI has done exactly that, controlling games late in three straight road wins. With the midway point of the season one game away, the Trojans have shown a resolve expected of a state title contender.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textMDI defeated Ellsworth 51-32 in Tuesday’s encounter at Katsiaficas Gymnasium. The win further solidified MDI’s place as a Class B North title contender and gave the Trojans yet another win in the rivalry.Ellsworth won the opening tip and held the ball for almost a minute before MDI’s Maddy Good blocked a shot and gained possession. After both teams turned the ball over, the Trojans took a 4-0 lead over the Eagles with 6:05 to play. MDI extended its lead to 6-0 minutes later before Trinity Montigny scored Ellsworth’s first points with a 3-pointer from the corner.Ellsworth’s Trinity Montigny (right) defends against MDI’s Alexis Clarito during the first half of a high school girls’ basketball game Jan. 9 in Ellsworth. The Eagles and Trojans remain in the thick of the playoff race at the midseason mark. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLAlthough MDI (7-1) led 12-5 after one quarter of play despite two early foul calls against Good, Ellsworth scored two quick baskets in the second quarter and locked down on defense to pull within three points. The Trojans extended that lead to five points in the final two minutes and were ahead 20-15 at halftime after Hannah Sargent’s last-ditch 3-pointer grazed the rim as time expired.MDI opened up the second half on a tear and extended its lead to 26-15 after three baskets in the first two and a half minutes. Katelynn Bagley then made a layup for Ellsworth (5-4), but MDI responded with a pull-up jump shot from Candage and an Emily Banks layup to take a 30-17 lead. The Trojans extended that advantage to 36-21 entering the final frame.“Getting a lead like that helped us build confidence and kept them [Ellsworth] on their heels,” Barker said. “When you can get into the driver’s seat like that in the second half, it’s going to put you in a good position to win.”The Trojans held Ellsworth scoreless for the first four minutes of the fourth quarter and pulled away further with key baskets from Good and Candage on the offensive end. Sargent had five points for Ellsworth in the closing minutes, but it wasn’t enough as MDI coasted to victory.Candage had 12 points for MDI, and Julia Watras scored 10. The Trojans’ other scorers were Banks with nine, Good with seven, Lindsey McEachern with five, Hannah Chamberlain with four and Alahna Mild and Rachelle Swanson with two each.“It’s exciting when you come here because it’s a rivalry game and a chance to get an important win,” Candage said. “Both teams are playing really hard, and you have to bring your best.”Bagley’s 10 points were the most for Ellsworth, which got six from Kylie Robidoux, five from Montigny and five from Sargent. Sierra Andrews and Samantha Carter combined for the Eagles’ remaining six points.Both teams remain in the playoff hunt at the midseason mark. With MDI in fifth place and Ellsworth in eighth, both teams are on track to play home games in next month’s preliminary round.Before that, though, the Trojans and Eagles will have to finish off their remaining schedules. Ellsworth hosts Belfast (0-9) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, before beginning a difficult stretch that includes a road game against John Bapst (7-0) and home games against Presque Isle (5-2) and Caribou (6-5).“This was a hard loss for us, but I think we’re about where we expected to be at this point of the season,” Ellsworth head coach Andy Pooler said. “We’ve shown a lot of growth, and we have an opportunity to climb back up the standings over the next few weeks.”As for MDI, the Trojans face Orono (2-5) at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, and John Bapst at 7 p.m. Jan. 17. After that, Barker’s team will play six of its final eight games at home.“It’s hard to play nearly a month away from home like we have, but our kids don’t quit and don’t complain when the going gets tough,” Barker said. “If we can keep winning like we have, we’ll be right where we want to be come tournament time.” Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020
The Turkish Boxing Federation says national team member Serhat Guler and trainer Seyfullah Dumlupinar tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from an Olympic qualifying competition in London.The federation says the boxing team went to a training camp in Sheffield on March 3 to prepare for the competition and traveled to London on March 11. All team members stayed at the same hotel and ate at the same cafeteria.The IOC is running the qualifying competitions for boxing because governing body AIBA has been suspended.The Turkish team competed on March 15 and 16 and returned home on March 17 after the IOC halted the competition. All team members were quarantined on return.The federation says Guler and Dumlupinar are being treated in the hospital. Two other boxers who complained of high fever are awaiting the results of their tests. ___Four German soccer clubs have pledged 20 million euros ($21.9 million) to support other teams struggling to stay afloat after games in the country were suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen will forgo 12.5 million euros ($13.7 million) in as-yet undistributed TV money and add another 7.5 million euros ($8.2 million) from their own funds. All four clubs played in the Champions League this season, giving them extra income.The German Football League, which oversees the top two divisions, will decide how the money is distributed. The league has previously said it fears many clubs could face financial collapse if games can’t resume.Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says “in these difficult times, it’s important that the stronger shoulders support the weaker shoulders.” ___The Spanish Grand Prix on the MotoGP circuit scheduled for May 3 has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.It is the fifth MotoGP race to be canceled or postponed.The next race at risk is the French Grand Prix on May 17 at Le Mans.___ ___Paris Saint-Germain is selling a new jersey online with the profits going to local hospitals and nursing staff dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.The French champion’s jersey bears the emblem “Tous Unis” (All United) on the front.A total of 262,500 euros (about $288,000) will be raised if all 1,500 jerseys priced at 175 euros ($192) are sold.PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi says “we can only be sensitive to and grateful for the astounding work” that medical staff on the front line have done against the virus. ___Real Madrid and Spanish sports authorities say the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will be used to store donations of medical supplies to help combat the coronavirus outbreak.The soccer club says it will use the stadium to store private donations. They will then be distributed by government authorities to hospitals.Spain has 56,188 infections and more than 4,000 fatalities from the COVID-19 virus.Civic groups, businesses and individuals are donating much-needed masks and any material that can used to make protective gear for doctors and nurses. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 ___The Italian soccer federation has offered up its hotel and auditorium for people having their health monitored amid the coronavirus outbreak.The facilities outside Florence are normally used by Italy’s national soccer teams and also host high-level courses for coaches and sporting directors.Federation president Gabriele Gravina says “now that we are not playing soccer, to return to doing so we need to win together the most important match against coronavirus.”Italy has nearly 75,000 infections and more than 7,500 fatalities from the virus. The Latest: Nadal and Gasol campaign for donations in Spain Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol have launched a campaign to encourage donations in the hope of raising 11 million euros ($12.1 million) to help Spain fight the coronavirus. March 26, 2020 The tennis and basketball stars said in videos posted on social media that they are supporting a Red Cross fundraising effort to help with the public health crisis.Nadal and Gasol say they have made donations and urged others to follow their lead. Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas quickly said he would pitch in.Nadal says “I believe that we are who we are in large part thanks to your support and now we have to be there for you.”Spain has 56,188 infections and more than 4,000 fatalities from the virus.___ Associated Press Two major triathlons in Spain have been postponed and the world university triathlon championship in Hungary has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Olympic mixed relay qualifying race had already been relocated to Valencia from Chengdu, China, and was scheduled for May 1.A World Cup event in Valencia had been scheduled for the next day. It’s the seventh World Cup race to be postponed.The International Triathlon Union says it will try to find new dates for both.The university worlds were to be staged on June 27-28 in Kecskemet.
The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, will on Thursday at the Ikoyi Club, Lagos launch the second edition of the NCC Tennis League Cup which offered over N25 million in prize money to winning teams last year.It introduced 30 weeks of tennis to the Nigeria tennis calendar and there is every indication that the number of ties will double this year. The launch which will take place at the tennis section of the club will feature draws for the 2016 edition, challenge matches by the top national players and a luncheon for invited guests.Although the package and entries are yet to be unveiled, there are indications that the prize monies will be significantly increased in line with the promise of the Executive Vice President of the Nigerian Communications Commission, sponsors of the league, Prof. Umar Dambatta.According to Director of the International Tennis Academy which originated and handles the project, Godwin Kienka, “the NCC Tennis League has been largely responsible for the significant rise in the standard of tennis in Nigeria with seven players now ranked by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).Chess Masters Set for Millionaire ChampionshipFemi SolajaThe 2nd edition of the much anticipated Millionaire Chess Championship gets underway from today with all the notable chess players in the country lined up for participation at the Chevron Recreational Center, Gbagada Lagos.As expected, it will be a fierce battle among the top ranked players to pick the sole winner of an all-expense-paid trip to USA and participate at the forth coming Millionaire Chess Open in Atlantic City, USA in October.International Master Bunmi Olape who won the maiden edition and was part of the galaxy of chess stars that participated in the main event held in Las Vegas last October will no doubt have stiff opposition from the emerging rank of players who are aiming to dislodge the old order.“It was a unique experience last year in Las Vegas and I will be glad if I can win again but knowing fully well that the road to glory just like in the last edition will be tough but I am equal to the task,” he responded in a telephone interview last nightTop players like International Master Oladapo Adu, Bomo Kigigha, Abimbola Osunfuyi, Daniel Anwuli, Adeyinka Adesina, Ochuko Emuakpeje, Adebayo Adegboyega, Ademola Sorungbe are among players likely to be part of the event.According to the President of Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), Mr. Lekan Adeyemi, “the event is an initiative of Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) which also intends to put promising chess players on the continent to play at tournament on the global level aside the regular World Chess Olympiad and annual World Chess Championships,” he remarked.However, only players registered with African Chess Federations are eligible to win the satellite ticket to the Millionaire Chess Open in Atlantic City which will come up from between October 6th and 10th this year.Aside the main event, there are also side tournaments such as top two finishers in the youth category will qualify to represent Nigeria at the World youth 2016 Russia and African youth 2016 South Africa but the players need to be members of Nigeria Chess Federation prior to July 10, 2016 in order to be eligible.In the prize made available last night, the second placed player will receive a cash prize of N50, 000 just as N40, 000, N30, 000 and N20, 000 would be available for third, fourth and fifth place winners respectively.Consolation reward of N10, 000 each is also on offer for 6th-10th placed winners are on the card just as Best Lady will receive a cash prize of N30,000 and N20, 000 for runner up while best junior player will take home N10,000.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
The Annenberg Innovation Lab hosted the 2015 Evening of Innovation on Thursday evening to showcase the year’s Innovation Lab projects and six cutting-edge startups competing for a $10,000 funding prize.The evening was sponsored by Maury Domengeaux and Blackstone Launchpad USC.Each team completed the eight-week CRUNCH Student Design Challenge + Incubator program prior to the evening. The course consisted of activities that helped the startups test and develop their brand and consumer demand. Mentors also shared expertise with students during the business incubator to help improve the startups.The night marked the second Evening of Innovation and the fifth year of the CRUNCH Student Design Challenge + Incubator.Erin Reilly, creative director for the Annenberg Innovation Lab, said the evening is a formal presentation of what the lab has been working on.“The Evening of Innovation is an opportunity for the Annenberg Innovation Lab and all of its programs and researchers to come together and share with the public what we’ve been up to in the past year,” Reilly said. “It’s not only the startups that we do, but it’s also the applied research. There are 30-plus people in the Lab working … and a whole gamut of research fellows with very diverse expertise and they’re sharing with you tonight what they’ve been up to.”Francesca Smith, research associate at the Innovation Lab, said the judges looked at multiple qualities to select the winner.“[The judges] will be looking at how innovative the teams are [and] how viable their [products are],” Smith said. “[Judges will look at] whether [the startup] is differentiated in some core way from other players in the market, whether it provides a level of social justice and basically makes the world a better place, whether the teams are really polished and have in some way shown that they really care and put a lot of effort into this product and finally just that sort of indescribable wow factor.”The teams competing were ElemenTerra, HexCare, LOUDER, Prefound, Prevail Games, Bridge to Solas and Stunt Players.Geoffrey Long, technical director and research fellow at the lab, said the functions of the competing startups differ from one another.“The main motivation varies from start-up to start-up — some of them have more of a social good at their core,” Long said. “Prevail Games, for example, is trying to figure out how to use video games in order to help trauma survivors reacclimate themselves into their day-to-day lives. Others are a little more multipurpose. LOUDER is an app that allows multiple phones to chain together to serve as speakers for a single audio source.”Prefound, an online start-up that gives thrift shop consumers the ability to shop online, ultimately won the fund and was the 2015 CRUNCH Student Design Challenge winner.Alex Zhang, CEO of Prefound, said the current way to thrift shop online isn’t easy enough.“With the recent dependency on having a digital footprint, [thrift] stores are now moving on the e-commerce platforms — [such as] Etsy and eBay,” Zhang said. “This has clearly laid out a very obvious problem. These current solutions aren’t designed for clothing discovery; they’re designed for specific search functionality.”In addition, Zhang said he would help those stores with his startup.“The supply comes from these stores who are currently hosting on Etsy and Amazon and the demand comes from shoppers like us who are looking for really rare, curated finds,” Zhang said.Alexx Murphy, founder and president of Prevail Games, said CRUNCH helped her create her start-up.“These [mentors] have so much experience — they are so knowledgeable and that’s kind of how this [game] became to be,” Murphy said. “It would be a completely different thing, even at this same stage of development, if it hadn’t been for them.”