first_imgIf misery truly loves company, boy do Bay Area football fans have something to share with the rest of the county on Thursday night.Behold our two NFL teams with a combined two victories after another pair of unsightly collapses on Sunday. The Raiders’ unreal fourth-quarter nosedive in their 42-28 loss to the Colts was tame compared with how the 49ers blew a 12-point lead in a last-minute defeat in Arizona. We’re conditioned to call the Raiders vs. 49ers game on Thursday the Battle of the …last_img read more

first_imgAfricans are old hands at growingsorghum. Apart from using it for beer, it’soften a staple in many households, whereit is used for porridge, baking bread, andon farms for animal fodder.Tamara O’ReillyA five-year project by two European brewing giants to help farmers in Africa to grow and harvest sorghum in quantities needed to produce beer commercially has proven to be more successful than anticipated.Dutch brewer Heineken and British drinks group Diaego, who make beer and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the continent, teamed up with the Brussels-based European Cooperative for Rural Development (Eucord) in 2006 to empower farmers in Sierra Leone and Ghana to produce high-quality sorghum for use in their and other breweries.According to their website, Eucord is a Brussels based non-profit organisation whose mission is to improve the livelihood of poor people in developing countries by linking them to the market place for ideas, information, technology, goods and services.Before the project began the breweries would import barley (the grain traditionally and widely used to make beer) to their plants in Africa to make beer, but rising transport costs demanded they find cheaper alternatives that would also be readily available. Although barley is one of the world’s most common grains, it is not widely grown in Africa, growing best in countries with cooler climates such as Russia and Canada.Since sorghum is the most common substitute ingredient to barley, Africa’s warm climate is conducive to growing the grain and breweries say clients can’t tell the difference between the two finished products, the parties involved combined social investment with business savvy and began this project.According to an article published in Business Day on 27 February, Heineken and Diaego were apprehensive at first about relying on local farmers for a constant supply of the grain but with the right implements and training provided to them, the farmers have proven to be reliable suppliers. Eucord trained the farmers in cultivation methods that helped to yield large crops of good quality sorghum and arranged access to finance so that farmers could buy seeds and the fertilisers that are needed.In just over a year, the 1 000 Ghanaian farmers involved exceeded the expected output by 100 tons – producing 800 tons of usable grain, while Sierra Leone who produced just 40 tons despite double the number of farmers also pleasantly surprised the projects mangers. Next year Sierra Leone is expected to triple that amount.According to Eucord, the total cost of this project is estimated at US$2.9-million, half of which is granted by the Common Fund for Commodity, a branch of the United Nations.Africans are old hands at growing the grain. Apart from using it for beer, it’s often a staple in many poor households where it is used for porridge and baking bread, and on farms for animal fodder.Sorghum-brewed beer is becoming popular in other parts of the world. Last year American brewery Anheuser-Busch began widely selling this type of beer there, and for some smaller beer makers like Lakefront Brewery also in the US, their sorghum beer is their bestselling product.Useful linksEucordUnited NationsHeineken South African Brewerieslast_img read more

first_imgChina and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture tim devaney and tom stein Startup accelerators are great, as far as they go. The problem is that, after startups enjoy several months of pedal-to-the-metal support and mentorship, the vast majority of them exit the programs and hit a brick wall. The cheerleading stops, venture funding never materializes and the founders go back to writing code for a living. NestGSV is trying to fix that.Like an accelerator or incubator program, NestGSV gives its resident startups office space, advice and lots of other amenities (even a beach volleyball court) at its Redwood City, California, campus near Silicon Valley.Ecosystm + Incubator = EcobatorUnlike other types of startup programs, NestGSV is an “ecobator,” an ecosystem plus incubator that brings the many participants in the innovation economy together under one roof so that entrepreneurs are surrounded with all the enablers they need.Take a tour of the campus and you’ll see representatives from corporations, universities, governments and the investment community. You might even see a bigtime VC like Marc Andreessen in a spirited game of beach volleyball. (OK, maybe not.) Kayvan Baroumand, NestGSV’s founder and CEO, sees NestGSV as “the evolution of the startup incubator and the startup accelerator.”Baroumand, the former COO of Plug and Play Tech Center, doesn’t dismiss the value of incubators and accelerators. “They’re actually part of the NestGSV ecosystem,” he says. “They’re an important component. But they’re only three-month programs. And even though they talk about the network, after three months all the startups get booted out of the facilities.”Startups Remain Vulnerable For Two YearsBaroumand thinks accelerators and incubators can be a lot of help to startups during those brief three months but he points out that most startups are highly vulnerable to failure for a minimum of two years. NestGSV’s solution is to provide ongoing support for startups and connect them with corporate, venture and government programs and funding that can help them survive. Some of them might even be graduates of accelerator programs. NestGSV can accommodate up to 200 startups on its 75,000-square-foot campus. Currently 22 are residing there, paying $550 a month for a desk with 300Mbps of Internet bandwidth. There are conference rooms with audiovisual systems and seating for 250. Every Friday, NestGSV invites a handful of partners and service providers like lawyers, bankers and investors from its network and they sit down with startups that are candidates for a spot at NestGSV.“At end of the meeting we give them a one-page report on how we can potentially help them,” Baroumand says. “There’s no obligation to join the facility. The worst-case scenario is that they walk away with the helpful one-page roadmap for their business. The best case for both parties is that they decide to join our community. That really differentiates us from any other accelerator or incubator out there.”NestGSV also offers regular workshops on leadership, business and technology taught by entrepreneurs, university professors and other experts. Startups participating in NestGSV can attend or not. Sessions aren’t mandatory.Not Just About Office SpaceIf you’re familiar with Plug and Play, the model may sound familiar. The big difference, says Baroumand, is that NestGSV is not constantly flogging office space.“From day one, the most important thing we do with the companies in our facility is to network them and accelerate their innovation and bring all the resources together for them. The approach at Plug and Play is very different. You walk into a Plug and Play and the first thing that happens in the lobby is you get approached by two people trying to sell you real estate. We’re the exact opposite.”Like Plug and Play, though, NestGSV will invest in resident startups it considers promising. (Plug and Play made its big score with an investment in a startup tenant called PayPal.) “We get very good insight into these companies because we’re living with them,” Baroumand says. “I get to know the good the bad and the ugly. I can predict the companies that will do really well and those that might not make it.”Baroumand has big plans for the future. He says NestGSV will host hackathons and investor pitch meetings. He plans new NestGSV campuses in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and North Carolina.Now if only he could do something about that term, “ecobator.” It sounds like some sort of weird… well, you know. We’ll just leave it at that.center_img Related Posts Tags:#start#startups#Venture Funding How to Get Started in China and Have Successlast_img read more

first_imgThe Konkan Railway has geared itself ahead of the onset of monsoon season in Konkan region to provide safe travel for its passengers.All its planned safety works on its route from Kolad to Thokur have been completed, said a public relation officer of the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) on Friday. Monsoon time table will come into effect from June 10 to October 31. Passengers who have been issued journey tickets prior to the announcement of the monsoon time table are requested to check the timings of their train well in advance as the departure timing of some trains will be revised. Passengers may monitor their train online by visiting www.konkanrailway.com or using KRCL app. The large scale safety works executed along the railway line in the last 13 years have significantly reduced the incidences of boulder fall and soil slip, thus ensuring the safe running of trains. No major disruption to train services has occurred on account of boulder fall during monsoons in the last six years.Konkan Railway will conduct monsoon patrolling as per the provisions of Indian Railway Permanent Way Manual to ensure the safe running of trains. About 630 personnel will be patrolling the Konkan Railway route during the monsoon. Vulnerable locations will be patrolled round the clock and stationary watchmen will be deployed for 24 hours at critical locations. Speed restrictions will be imposed at vulnerable locations. BRN mounted excavators have been kept ready at all nominated points for quick movement in case of an emergency.Instructions have also been issued to the loco drivers to run the trains at a reduced speed of 40 kmph in case of heavy rainfall when visibility is limited. Self-propelled ARMVs (Accident Relief Medical Van), with the provision of an operation theatre and providing emergency medical aid, are kept ready at Ratnagiri and Verna (Goa) along with ART (Accident Relief Train).Mobile phones have been provided to all safety category staff to contact central control in an emergency. Both Loco Pilots and Guards of trains have been provided with walkie-talkie sets as well as every station on Konkan Railway is equipped with 25 Watt VHF base station. This enables wireless communication between the train crew as well as train crew and Station Master. Emergency Communication (EMC) sockets have been provided at a distance of average 1km along the Konkan Railway route that enables the watchmen, Loco Pilots, and other field maintenance staff to contact Station Master and train controllers during any emergency situations in train operations. Satellite phone communication has been provided in ARMV (Accident Relief Medical Van) for emergency contact when ARMV is ordered in service. All main signal aspects on Konkan Railway are now replaced with LED for improving signal visibility, said the public relation official. Three Control rooms at Belapur, Ratnagiri, and Madgaon, will work 24 x 7 during this period for ensuring the safe running of the train. Konkan Railway this year is running 50 more trips as compared to the 146 summer special trips run in Summer 2018. Furthermore, 166 trips of special trains have already been announced for devotees of Lord Ganesha on the occasion of Ganapati Festival 2019.last_img read more

first_imgStory Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says that the Government will continue to give the Tourism Ministry and its agencies all the support they need in order to fully maximise the sector’s potential. “The Caribbean region recorded 50 million visitors last year. The international tourism movement is about 1.3 billion, so we are not even getting one per cent of tourists from around the world. Much, much more can be done to bring tourists to our shores,” he argued. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says that the Government will continue to give the Tourism Ministry and its agencies all the support they need in order to fully maximise the sector’s potential.He said that while the local industry has been performing exceptionally well, “much, much more can be done”.“The Caribbean region recorded 50 million visitors last year. The international tourism movement is about 1.3 billion, so we are not even getting one per cent of tourists from around the world. Much, much more can be done to bring tourists to our shores,” he argued.“We can bring in much more revenues… much more visitors,” he added, while addressing a function at the Jewel Grande Hotel in Rose Hall, St. James, on April 28.The Prime Minister said he is very happy with the aggressive approach being undertaken by the Tourism Ministry as it relates to venturing into new markets and also in giving brand Jamaica a high-profile presence on the world stage.He noted that it is not just in the traditional markets of Canada, the United States, and Europe that “we are breaking new ground”, pointing out that “we have a concerted strategy” for the Latin American market, particularly in South and Central America.“We are well on our way. If we can open up the markets of South America and Eastern Europe… and with China on the horizon… then easily we could have 10 million visitors,” he said.The Prime Minister said he is confident in making that prediction, as the island’s allure is second to none, and when visitors think of a Caribbean vacation, Jamaica is almost always at the top of any list.“This is why the Ministry of Tourism has my full support in beating down a path to the doors of the big markets… to bring them (visitors) here to Jamaica,” he said. He said that while the local industry has been performing exceptionally well, “much, much more can be done”. last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA – A member of the Canadian Forces has been charged with sexually assaulting another soldier during a training exercise in New Brunswick.National Defence says Cpl. George MacLeod of 36 Combat Engineer Regiment reserve unit in Sydney, N.S., was charged in relation to an alleged incident at Base Gagetown in August.The National Investigation Service offered no other details, saying only that the incident involved another member of the Armed Forces.MacLeod faces one count of sexual assault under the Criminal Code.The investigation service says the charge could go before a military court martial.last_img read more