Posts tagged with "co-founder"

Rodney Ramlochan image via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Rodney

Rodney Ramlochan is an executive, entrepreneur, and global business generator who has dedicated his career to empowering others, identifying strategic relationships, and building world-class organizations. Driven by his passion for technology, fashion, lifestyle, and culture, he serves as 360 Magazine’s global business manager. Rodney builds market position for 360 by locating, developing, defining, and closing business relationships with leading brands.

Alongside his role at 360 Magazine, Rodney serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dev-Byrne & Company, a national technology expense management firm serving premier clients ranging from global not-for-profits to Fortune 500 firms. He is a highly accomplished leader known for laser-like vision in formulating and executing cutting-edge strategies to achieve business goals.

Over the years, Rodney has held multiple roles within the business sector over the past two decades. As Vice-President and co-founder of an award-winning telecom auditing firm, he garnered an elite list of clients, taking the startup from obscurity to highly profitable in under three years. At Verizon, he oversaw large business units responsible for service delivery for enterprise clients.

Rodney completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees, with honors at New York University. He is a published contributing author who has written papers on service delivery and Total Quality Management. In addition, he has served on the Alumni Board Committee of New York University and the chairman of the board for St. Frances Cabrini Academy in Brooklyn, NY.

Hot Wheels illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour

2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour Ramps Up with May 20 Virtual Event

  • Hosted by urban car culture icon, DUB magazine, and presented by Mobil 1, the next North American leg of Legends Tour will be live May 20
  • Streaming will kick off at 5:00 PM PDT on both the Hot Wheels and DUB magazine Facebook pages
  • Both Canadian and U.S. contestants will once again see which build has the most garage spirit

The 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour burns on with the next North American virtual event Thursday, May 20. Returning for another tour, DUB magazine—world renowned for its coverage of urban car customs and celebrity vehicle features— is back to co-host the show.

Open to fans across the United States and Canada, Hot Wheels is ready for the next epic round of custom car submissions. Once again, this event winner will go on to compete for a chance to see their build become immortalized as the next 2021 Hot Wheels Garage of Legends inductee and have their custom vehicle 1:64 die-cast model sold in Walmart stores around the world.

Presented by Mobil 1 and sponsored by Walmart, Dynacraft and Milestone S.r.l, this next stop in the world’s largest traveling car show will be available on the Hot Wheels and DUB Facebook pages starting at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Host Jarod DeAnda will be joined by an array of automotive enthusiast judges, including his co-host, professional racer and stunt driver Collete Davis, Hot Wheels designers Ralph Benitez and Kevin Geralez, as well as DUB magazine co-founder and SEMA’s ‘2020 Person of the Year’ Myles Kovacs. Each will be looking for the entry that best embodies authenticity, creativity and garage spirit.

To watch this premiere automotive livestream event, visit the Hot Wheels Legends Tour Facebook Page or the DUB Magazine Facebook Page.

Dates for future stops will be announced soon, and fans may register or learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends. Live events will be returning to U.S.-based Walmart stores this summer.

A winner has emerged for the 2nd North American stop of the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour!

Paul Kalenian of Santa Fe, New Mexico and his 2020 Lulu will go on to compete with other regional winners from around the world later this year for a chance to have his custom car become the next Garage of Legends inductee and made into a 1:64 Hot Wheels die-cast toy.

About The 2020 Lulu

The Lulu is a one-of-a-kind, fully street legal, race-inspired ride. Garage built–from sketch to street–in just seven months, this heli arc, all aluminum monocoque/bulkhead design features a rear, structurally mounted turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 325 hp and 24 PSI. The brain child of 70-year-old Paul Kalenian, it loosely replicates Mickey Thompson’s 1963 Harvey Aluminum race car. To date, Lulu has already clocked 5,000 miles.

Other outstanding competitors from tonight’s stop included:

  • 1965 Ford Econoline
  • 1962 Ford Falcon
  • 1966 Novetta
  • 1964 Chevy Nova Wagon
  • 2007 Jaguar XK
  • 1998 Honda CR-V / Fiberfab GT40 Avenger Kit Car
  • 1949/2008 Ford/BMW
  • 2020 Chevy C8 3LT Z/51
  • 1996 F250
Hot Wheels Legends Tour 2021 winner: The Lulu image via Taylor Vande Beek (Extension PR) for use by 360 Magazine
'Homme 277' NFT illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

HOFA Gallery NFT Artworks

HOFA Gallery NFT artworks will appear alongside corresponding physical artworks at London exhibition this week

Press preview in gallery and virtually: Thursday 13 May 2021, 10.00 – 18.00 (BST)  

As the NFT artwork phenomenon continues to expand the boundaries of collectible art, HOFA Gallery is boldly reprising their role as pioneers with the upcoming release 15 May release of NFT artworks as digital complements to physical works currently on display in the ‘Matter & Form’ exhibition. 

The planned press preview will take place at HOFA Gallery, Mayfair on Thursday 13 May 10.00 – 18.00 (BST) in gallery or virtually by appointment (photographers and videographers welcome).  

Jan KalabLoribelle SpirovskiGregory Siff and Darian Mederos, four widely celebrated feature artists in HOFA’s latest group exhibition, will release their crypto artworks on via a special collaboration with MakersPlace – the world’s largest art NFTs marketplace.  This move bridges the perceived gap between conventional art and digital art and is part of HOFA’s ongoing effort to put contemporary art within reach of today’s younger, tech-savvy art collectors. 

HOFA Co-founder Elio D’Anna says “Traditional, conventional art has always struggled with the problem of accessibility, which meant that many people were excluded from enjoying and investing in art. Furthermore, it has meant that artists could only reach a fraction of their potential audience.” 

He continues Finally, the world of digital is steadily levelling the field, and today we are seeing the NFT phenomenon address this problem of accessibility in a new way by giving legitimacy and currency to digitally subsisting art.

In 2018, HOFA made headlines when it became the first to embrace the possibilities of blockchain-powered cryptocurrency by making their entire art holdings available for purchase using Bitcoin and Ethereum. Along with innovative partners, HOFA also helped established the world’s first digital asset-based art investment platform which enables full and partial investments in blue-chip contemporary artworks using secure blockchain technology to authenticate and record transactions.  

HOFA Co-founder Elio D’Anna sums up “By embracing the world of collectible NFT art, both the gallery and our emerging and established contemporary artists can exponentially expand their reaches.  We are finding these new audiences, consisting mainly of Millennials and Gen Zs, are enthusiastic about art and keen to have digital-first art experiences that are easily personalized and conveniently accessible via smart devices.”

Press preview: ‘Matter & Form’ at HOFA Gallery, Mayfair on Thursday 13 May 2021, 10.00 – 18.00 (BST), in gallery and virtually by appointment only.  

In compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols, all visits to the gallery will be strictly on RSVP basis.

Matter & Form video

HOFA Gallery Website

HOFA Gallery Instagram

‘Homme 277’ NFT by Loribelle Spirovski drops on MakersPlace 15 May 2021
‘Breathing Turkis Lagoon’ NFT by Jan Kalab drops on MakersPlace 15 May 2021
 ‘Games of Youth & Legend’ NFT by Gregory Siff drops on MakersPlace 15 May 2021
Calvyn Cass illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Calvyn Cass

Q & A with Calvyn Cass

Singer-songwriter, Calvyn Cass, has begun dominating the music song with lyrical tunes to the beat of self-love and acceptance.  The hit single, “Me, Myself, & I”, explores complicated relationships and self-acceptance winning over insecurities.

Here at 360 Magazine, we had the chance to have a Q&A with Calvyn. Read on to learn more about Calvyn Cass and his upcoming new music, WHITE FLAG.

Q- Could you tell us about the creative direction behind ME, Myself & I?

CC- ME, MYSELF & I was one of the first few songs; the third to be exact. It starts with the hook, but it definitely brought up old feelings. I started writing about feeling hurt by someone I loved, and it ended in being def reflection story. The video shows that with me performing to myself in all my different layers. It’s probably the fastest I ever wrote and recorded a song. From starting to put pen to paper with the first line to finishing recording the demo was probably an hour.

Q- What would you like fans to take away from ME, Myself & I along with the video?

CC-I think the main narrative is that is ok to embrace all feelings but not let them define you. You can look at yourself and be like, “it’s not all about you” and own the way you were but move on from it. On the flip side my new song coming out April 28th is WHITE FLAG and that’s about identifying navigating how to be there for others in the way they need you. It’s a song about someone I love having an internal battle that made them reactive to me. In that moment I felt that I could either be reactive myself in response or step back, realize this is not about me and just give love. Sometimes it’s hard to watch someone you love to behave in a destructive way, but you can’t force someone to see something they aren’t ready to see. You just gotta let them know you come in peace and that you’re there when they are ready to let you in.

Q- Who was your biggest musical inspiration in writing ME, Myself & I?

CC- I have to admit I struggled with this in the beginning. I have always had this immense pressure to associate myself with other artists in order to justify my music. When I wrote that record, I kept thinking of Beyoncé and her record from her first album. I have always been a Destiny’s Child fan and I loved her record, but I know it’s been done. More than trying to find inspiration I found myself avoiding doing what’s been done. She’s an icon and I think what got her there is doing her thing and owning it. I think I look to artists like Bey who have paved their own musical lane as career inspiration. I’m just gonna keep doing my thing. Some people will love it, but others won’t, and I’m cool with that now.

Q- Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

CC- So many artists for so many different reasons. I love Lil Nas X because he represents what I am hoping to achieve as an artist. I think we would make insane music together. Miley is a powerhouse and if I could be on a record with her, it would be a wet dream. Demi is having this journey unfold before us all. There are so many parts of that journey that are familiar in one way or another and the message is something I would be honored to be a part of. Olly Alexander who recently starred in “It’s A Sin” is seemingly embarking on the next chapter of his career embracing his identity more. If I could be apart of any of these artistic moments that I believe will help change and shape the world I would count myself lucky as hell.

Q- Did your move from South Africa to Canada influence your music at all?

CC- I see the cultural shift I experienced at a young age as a stage in my life that shaped me. It was probably my least favorite time of my life. I was this small, effeminate boy when I moved. In South Africa I struggled fitting in with the hyper masculine molding boys are expected to be. In Canada I saw it as a chance to start over without anyone knowing my past struggles. That didn’t go as planned because I was then the weird immigrant who spoke differently and had a very different perception of the world. In each circumstance I tried fitting in and when it didn’t work out, I had to step back and try figure out why. I didn’t when I was young, but I see it now. It complex to break down in a short interview but now every time I write and record, I tap into the cultural difference and similarities. I want to be able to speak to as many people and be as relatable as possible. Everyone is navigating this complicated journey called life. The best we can do is try being empathetic and honest.

Q- What advice could you offer others as far as embracing the true way they see themselves?

CC- It’s no one else’s job to make you comfortable in your own skin. You will definitely feel like a victim of persecution because that’s a part of life; others will always try cut you down, so they stand taller. Appeasing others by changing who you are to make them comfortable will only hinder you on your path. It’s terrifying to stand in your truth and face scrutiny because it might cut deeper but I promise you, it did the opposite for me. When I let go of trying to impress everyone else was the first time, I felt like I could truly breathe. I released the vizard and accepted myself to find the pressure put on me was put on me by myself. I set the insane standards for myself from what I thought the people around me would feel more comfortable with. Here I am in my adult life realizing that if I had honored myself, I would have avoided a lot of sadness.

Q- Who are your musical inspirations?

CC- I’m inspired less by artists and more by the songs themselves. I love finding out who wrote a song and who produced it. Of course, the voice on a record can give me chills and bring me to tears. The way that voice shines come from all these other peoples’ talents and contributions to the music. That’s what inspires me. Paying attention to how sounds were created, layered and pieced together.

Q- You are co-founder of BRUSH Salon – do you plan to continue to pursue your career as a master stylist alongside your music career?

CC- I am. When I was in high school, I fully intended to pursue music. The world was different then and I let the people around me tell me that a gay boy with feminine features would never succeed in music. I always loved playing with my sisters hair when we watched movies. She hated it but let me anyways because it meant she could choose the movie. So, I am now at the top and have achieved so many of my goals in hair. I love it but I’ve felt like this part of me has been stuck in limbo. I can’t ignore it anymore and I want to pursue music. The world allows people to be more than one thing and I’m going to ride that wave.

Q- Outside of music and styling, what are your passions?

CC- Depends on the season. I love being outside in spring and summer. I’m one those dog lovers that sees my boys as my children, so I dedicate a lot of time to them. I love cooking and find it therapeutic to cook for my family and friends. I love being active, but my ultimate reset is to just spend a winter day in bed with snack watching movies or maybe an entire series… haha

Q- Looking ahead, what plans do you have in store for the remainder of 2021?

CC- Lots of music. I want to bring new music as much as it possible. I want to perform when I’m allowed to and introduce my music to more and more people. I’d love to collaborate with other artists when we are restricted from doing so.

NOLA Has Wiiings illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NOLA Has Wiiings

Red Bull has teamed up with the New Orleans Pelicans and renowned visual artist Brandan “Bmike” Odums for NOLA Has Wiiings, a project dedicated to replacing backboards at basketball courts throughout New Orleans.

Bmike selected eight local creatives to transform old local backboards into works of art, which will be on display starting this month at the New Orleans Pelicans’ Smoothie King Center and online at RedBull.com.

New Orleans locals can vote for their favorite backboard starting today via the Pelicans Mobile App or website. The artist with the most votes will have the opportunity to conceptualize and design a full art court that serves the New Orleans community. 

Bmike’s custom backboard, for exhibit only, will be on display at Studio BE for the duration of the project.

NOLA Has Wiiings brings artists from around the city together to celebrate, brighten and educate communities through colorful displays of art that showcase NOLA’s unrivaled ability to rebound. 

NOLA Has Wiiings Artists

  • Ceaux, a New Orleans-born multidisciplinary artist, has created a backboard inspired by Harrell Park – located on the “Pigeon Town” side of Carrollton – and the color and playfulness that’s felt at playgrounds. 
  • Ayo Scott, painter and son of nationally recognized artist John T. Scott, has created “Big Ol’ Lil Big Chief” in collaboration with Big Chief Terrence “T” Williams of the Black Hawk Hunters, which is inspired by the resilient spirit of the people of New Orleans. 
  • Kara Crowley – Visual Artist, an artist who embraces black culture and positive representation in her own artistic interpretations, has created a backboard which showcases multiple hands expressing the message of unity. 
  • Jessica Strahan, a self-taught painter and muralist native to and based in New Orleans, has created a backboard inspired by dance and its ability to take people through vibrant moments in time. 
  • Marc Verrett / MarcFreshArt, a Baton Rouge based muralist, has created a backboard that illustrates a positive rise to overcome obstacles through imagery of a skull paired with colorful butterfly wings to represent the eternal drive to fly above. 
  • Jade Meyers/THEARTISTJADE, Art director and founder of the art-based company, “J A D E 1 9 9 1,” has created a piece inspired by liberation, growing up in New Orleans, power, nature, Black culture and sports culture. 
  • Bryan Brown, an artist whose work focuses on New Orleans culture, random but beautiful moments, and philosophy, has created “The Big Brain,” a representation of getting mentally healthy to unlock one’s true full potential. 
  • 1985 Poet; Artist: Monique Lorden, an artist and author and co-illustrator of “I Wish for Freedom,” a poetic picture book, was inspired by her memories of hooping at the park to create “Hoops Dreams and Poetry,” a visual story of childhood hope and community.
Sceenic illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Sports Innovation Lab × Sceenic

Sceenic, a leading software solutions provider for real-time experiences, has been named a Game Changer in the growing Co-Watch trend in the latest Sports Innovation Lab Power Play Index.

Sports Innovation Lab’s Power Play Index for the Fluid Fan Behavior of Co-Watch identifies those companies that are best positioned to create immersive viewing experiences for fans at home. Sceenic is the only Game Changer in the index, which charts the top 10 technology providers that offer co-watch solutions in the market.

The Power Play Index ranks companies in two categories: 

  • Technology Alignment: determined through a company’s signal score as it relates to watch parties, video chat, and voice chat.
  • Market Validation: determined through a company’s signal score as it relates to leagues, venues, people, and partners.

“When we publish a Power Play Index, we let the data do the talking. Our methodology identifies companies with both the market validation and technology depth that allows them to enable the Fluid Fan,” said Josh Walker, Co-founder and President of Sports Innovation Lab. “Sceenic is our Co-Watching Game Changer for 2020, proving that powerful co-watching technology isn’t the future, but the present.”

Sceenic is identified as the highest-ranking company for each measure due to the seamless turnkey nature of its offering for video, OTT, IPTV or STB providers, and the ease of integration for the Sceenic Watch Together SDKs and APIs into existing platforms with customization. The report also noted Sceenic’s partners and the experiences that they power in the market for clients such as BT Sport (UK), NPO (NL), ScreenHits TV (EU and US), LaLiga (ES), among others.

Key facts:

  • Sports Innovation Lab focused their recent fan behavior research on “Co-watch” presented in the Power Play Index. Getting fans to watch sports content – a live game, a recorded stream, or highlights – is simply getting them to show up. To keep Fluid Fans hooked, to get them coming back more frequently, and for longer periods of time, sports organizations must enable them to learn more about the sport and the athletes. When fans learn, they dive deeper into storylines, get invested in matchups, and come back again and again because they have a greater appreciation for the sport. When fans watch more, revenue opportunities from sponsorships, as well as ancillary behaviors like shopping merchandise or betting, increase
  • Sceenic is a leader in proving co-watch solutions to enhance the fan experience inside their clients’ platforms. Sceenic created the Watch Together software solution in 2013 to provide Broadcast, Telcos and Media companies with an engaging experience inside their platforms. The technology is available to be quickly deployed for video, OTT, IPTV or STB providers to integrate into their existing platforms
  • Sceenic was the first company, in 2019, to showcase and offer the Watch Together software solution on 5G
  • EE (the UK Telco) launched Matchday Experience on the BT Sport app in October 2020, with all BT Sport customers able to access the service from January 2021
  • BT Sport’s Watch Together is available on all broadcast content, 24/7 and on all devices (mobile, tablets, TV)
  • Powered by Sceenic during the 2020 Tour de France, NPO, the Netherlands Public Broadcaster enabled their users to meet the former cyclist Michael Boogerd inside their NPO Start web platform to share insights, answer questions and take online selfies with fans. 

“Seven years in development and refinement, our Watch Together technology stack is proving its worth in large scale deployments with BT Sport, T-Mobile Germany, NPO – Tour de France and others,” said Paul Bojarski, CEO, Sceenic. “What is now exciting is seeing how Watch Together actively supports our customers’ business objectives: the organic multiplier effect it brings to subscriber acquisition and retention, the powerful compliment of C2C word of mouth recommendations to machine learning, and the emergence of wholly original in-room interactive marketing/advertising opportunities.”

About Sceenic

Sceenic is an innovator and leader in understanding today’s customer behaviors and their expectations. In 2013, the company created the Watch Together software solution, adding value to fan-engagement and keeping the conversation within their clients’ platforms: BT Sport, T-Mobile Germany (Deutsche Telekom), NPO, ScreenHits TV, LaLiga, Virgin Connect, WeLoveGaming eSports, FIFAe, among others. You can read more about Sceenic here.

About Sports Innovation Lab 

Sports Innovation Lab is leading a sports research revolution. Sports Innovation Lab exists to educate clients on the technological possibilities for their brand and how to ultimately drive value to the end consumer: The Fluid Fans. Sports Innovation Lab inspires brands to create breakthrough fan experiences through data-driven technology insights and industry-leading research. You can learn more about Sports Innovation Lab here.

Trans Rights illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Gov Noem × Anti-Trans Sports Bills

South Dakota Gov. Noem Exposes Vulnerabilities for All States Considering Anti-Trans Sports Bills

On Friday, March 19th, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued a style-and-form veto of HB 1217, the anti-transgender sports ban bill that she had previously expressed excitement about signing. Having made several substantive changes to the legislation, including striking collegiate-level provisions from the bill, it will now be sent back to the legislature. This backtrack, by even an extreme governor with national political aspirations, exposes the economic, legal, and reputational threats these bills pose to states considering anti-transgender legislation and has sparked an uproar amongst conservative groups who see Governor Noem playing politics and trying to have it both ways. 

Gov. Noem’s winding path from “excited to sign” to a veto

Today, Noem held a press conference standing alongside known anti-LGBTQ extremists to justify her veto

  • Today in a press conference, Governor Noem announced the creation of a coalition to “Defend Title IX Now” which appears to be a national list-building exercise by Noem, with a website created yesterday by someone in Ohio (coincidentally, Governor Noem’s campaign website was created by Ohio political consultants The Aventine Group). This website’s “paid for by” disclaimer refers to a committee that is not yet registered with the Federal Election Commission or the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office.
  • When asked in today’s press conference why she was pressing a ban on transgender student athletes when there are no transgender players currently competing in secondary school sports in South Dakota, Gov. Noem replied “it’s an issue because people are talking about it and for the future.”
  • Among the speakers in today’s press conference was former NFL player Jack Brewer who, in March of 2020, said that he opposed President Barack Obama for “normaliz[ing] the black gay culture.”
  • Noem said of HB 1217, that it was a “trial lawyer’s dream” that would open the state to litigation in its current form and expressed concern for NCAA repercussions, saying “if we’re going beyond [K-12] to the collegiate level…just know that we could face retaliation — it’s more than likely, and at that point, we would have to sue, which is a cost to the taxpayers.” 

From praise to condemnation from anti-equality extremist groups

  • When announcing her support for signing the legislation, Noem quote-tweeted the American Principles Project.
  • But only weeks later, American Principles Project shared their condemnation of Governor Noem’s style-and-form veto of HB 1217, saying that she “[broke] her word,” “[froze] out advocates of HB 1217 and instead [took] advice from the bill’s most vocal critics,” and that “[b]y standing with Joe Biden and the radical left against protecting women’s sports, Noem has irreparably damaged her standing with both her own constituents as well as Americans nationally… This betrayal will have political consequences.”
  • The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group, went from support to condemnation as well, saying in a statement that Governor Noem “abuse[d]” her veto power to “cave to ‘woke’ corporate ideology.” They similarly called Noem’s actions a “betrayal” and characterized today’s press conference as damage control to rehabilitate her “credibility and political image.”
  • In reaction to today’s press conference, Sean Davis, co-founder of the conservative publication The Federalist tweeted: “Stop making excuses and insulting everyone’s intelligence and sign the bill already. This is embarrassing.”
Gaming Controllers illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Piepacker Launching on Kickstarter

New Social Gaming Platform with online multiplayer and video chat, Piepacker, Launching on Kickstarter

Over 100,000 users have already tested the platform, helping developers create something never seen before.

Piepacker, the new free social gaming platform that allows users to play officially licensed retro games with friends online, will launch on Kickstarter on April 6th.

At the crossroads of online multiplayer gaming and video chatting, Piepacker is a free and legal platform that provides instant access to officially licensed retro video games from a web browser, without any download.

Through its Kickstarter campaign, Piepacker is offering early access to its platform along with an exclusive piece of technology developed for nostalgic retro gaming: the PieReader. This new retro gaming dock is equipped with adapters to import one’s own retro game cartridges to the multiplayer world of Piepacker and play with their friends online, with only one cartridge.

Piepacker’s video chat features video game-themed 3D masks and filters as a fun way for players to (re)discover the greatest titles of retro gaming among friends as well as new indie and exclusive games.

Currently, most retro video games are acquired on pirate websites with direct downloads. Piepacker brings to the world of video games what Spotify brought to the world of music, making retro gaming accessible to all, for free and legally while guaranteeing a high quality of service.

“While many are limiting their face-to-face interactions due to the ongoing pandemic, connecting with others and remaining socially active has never been more important,” said Benjamin Devienne, co-founder of Piepacker. “Piepacker provides a fun way to interact. This innovation is at the forefront of transgenerational pop-culture, mixing gaming, video chat, 3D filters, and masks in augmented reality. It’s exciting for everyone.”

Under development since March 2020, Piepacker opened its beta version to the public in late December. Before the beta closed, 100,000 people had taken the opportunity to try out the platform and contribute to its development.

Piepacker provides access to games that have been featured on a variety of platforms: arcade machines, NES, Super NES, Saturn, Mega Drive, NeoGeo, and PlayStation with more to come. Piepacker has partnerships with publishers Codemaster, Team 17, and Interplay and indies like Bitmap Bureau or Morphcat. The catalog continues to grow with plans to add modern indie as well as original exclusive cards and board games.

For German indie studio Morphcat, Piepacker is currently “the easiest way to enjoy multiplayer games with your friends over the internet”. British studio Bitmap Bureau is “extremely impressed with the range of features that Pie Packer has to offer, most noticeably the ability to play Xeno Crisis with another player remotely, and believe that retro gamers around the globe will be especially interested in this new technology, with many classic games making their way to the platform.”

There are currently over 60 games including 2 cloud gaming exclusives available for free on Piepacker. Among the available titles are the iconic Worms World Party, Earthworm Jim 1 & 2, Xeno Crisis, and Micro Mages.

The Kickstarter campaign will close May 7, 2021, and the platform itself will be accessible to the public later this year.

About Piepacker

Piepacker was created by two friends, Benjamin Devienne and Jules Testard, two Frenchmen who expatriated long ago and share a decade-long friendship. Benjamin, the face of Piepacker, has an outstanding track record. Before graduating, he was at the head of an academic research project that led him to participate in a major TEDx in Canada, along with many celebrities. Benjamin was also a distinguished guest lecturer in several universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies (MIT). He founded the data science department of Gameloft, a French mobile game giant, and became a leader in that field. Facebook convinced him to step outside the video game industry to manage key teams of their data science department as Head of Analytics. The giant of video game streaming, Twitch, a company belonging to Amazon, was next in recruiting him as Head of Research Strategy on machine learning-oriented projects. Benjamin was not yet 30 years old.

When starting Piepacker, the pair recruited some of the world’s most talented experts in the field. They assembled a team of former employees of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, EA, Blizzard-Activision, and Twitter.

After just a few weeks of development, Piepacker got noticed and backed by Y Combinator, the startup accelerator that has engineered the birth of Airbnb, Twitch, Dropbox, and even Reddit. Thanks to their key support, Piepacker’s development has been accelerated and also helped the two founders gather an elite group of advisors from the industry.

On the list of video game veterans advising them, one finds Kenji Matsubara, former president of SEGA, Justin Waldron and Tom Bollich, co-founders of mobile gaming gem Zynga, Kun Gao, co-founder of Crunchyroll, the platform dedicated to Japanese anime and Jeffrey Rosen, co-founder of video game distributor Humble Bundle.

Computer illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

VC Pitch Deck Advice

­­14 words to take out of your VC pitch deck

By: May Habib

170 seconds. Weeks or even months of working on your pitch deck could come down to the 170 seconds (on average) that investors spend looking at your deck. “Investors see a lot of pitches. In a single year, the classic general partner in a venture firm is exposed to around 5,000 pitches…and ends up doing between zero and two deals,” writes VC and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

With all that pressure to make an impact quickly, founders spend an incredible amount of time on the design of their slides. Less consideration, however, is usually spent on the words on the slide. That’s a mistake, especially when you only have 170 seconds. When not used intentionally, the words in your deck can be distracting or downright off-putting. We used what we know about language and healthy communication from the millions of documents we’ve processed at Writer to come up with 14 words and phrases to remove from your VC pitch deck:

Negative Association

Runway”

  • Pitching VCs is a balancing act: you want to position your idea in the best light, but also show that you’ve thought things through. However, volunteering for certain types of information can have the opposite effect. Don’t write: I’m seeking $X in funding to provide Y months of runway. You certainly need to show how you’re going to use the funding you’re asking for, but you don’t want to frame things in terms of runway in a pitch deck. The word is associated with a looming cash-out date, which can put an investor in a negative state of mind.

Exit strategy”

  • Don’t write: Our exit strategy is…Yes, thinking through your business means knowing how you’ll handle worst-case and best-case scenarios. But putting exit strategy in your deck can only get investors thinking about the inherent risks. You want them focused on the opportunity. You need to know what to say when the topic comes up — just don’t volunteer the information on a slide.

Cliches

Just one percent”

  • A pitch deck is a tool to show VCs why your idea merits an investment. Using cliches can work against that goal. Don’t write: If we could capture X% of the market… It’s not only a cliche but also wishful thinking rather than a plan. Keep the text on your slides grounded in relevant facts and figures. Other cliches to cut include: the Amazon of X, imagine a future, and moving Y to the blockchain.

 Absolutes

Everyone”, “always”, “never”, “no one”

  • A great pitch requires nuance. Using absolutes to talk about your idea fails on that count. And, if you look closer, chances are there will be exceptions to the absolute that’s being set up. When discussing your TAM, target customer, or product value, your words need to reflect a thoughtful and measured approach. Using absolutes, such as everyone likes X falls short of that goal and casts doubts about the validity of your plan.

 Imprecise Language

Unique”

  • Precise communication makes it easier to bet that a business has the potential to succeed. But imprecise language is one of the top no-no’s we see in pitch decks. Take the word It may seem like an ideal word to show differentiation, but it’s imprecise as to the nature of the uniqueness. Just describe the uniqueness directly, or better yet, the plan to execute on the uniqueness. Ideas are important — but the plan is what gets companies funded.

“Intend”

  • Good intentions aren’t the same as a plan. Using the word intend in your pitch deck makes the discussion conceptual and somewhat nebulous. An intention is easier to reject than a plan backed up by compelling storytelling.

No competition”

  • Don’t write no competition anywhere in your deck. Like, anywhere. At best, it will be seen as an exaggeration: if there isn’t direct competition, there may be indirect competition to consider. And, at worst, it could make investors think that you haven’t fully explored the market, meaning your entire premise could be flawed.

“Good”

  • Investors don’t want good ideas; they want the best Using the word good to describe any part of your plan (for example, good growth) lacks specificity and lowers your pitch’s believability.

Qualifiers a.k.a Intensifiers

“Very”, “so”, “quite”

  • Brevity is key when you’re working with a visual format, like a pitch deck. Qualifiers not only clutter your slides with unnecessary text, but they’re also less precise. Don’t write: very, so, and quite. Ask yourself one question: What does very fast growth look like? Your answer would likely be different than someone else’s. Instead, you might say the growth of X% a year so there isn’t confusion. Again, you want to be as precise and fact-based as possible.

Other things to keep in mind:

Readability

  • In an analysis of successful decks, we found an average readability level of Grade 10 or 11. For unsuccessful decks, that number was higher — Grade 12 or college. Never use jargon, keep your sentences simple, and include a maximum of 1-2 sentences per paragraph. To analyze your own deck’s language, try out Writer’s readability

Humor: Just don’t

  • Cracking a joke on a slide can easily backfire. The last thing you want is to have a failed joke make your pitch awkward or throw you off. That could derail the entire process. So, it’s best to skip the deck humor and get to what really matters: your plan.

Lenny Kravitz’s New Mission with TWICE Toothpaste

Brothers Julian and Cody Levine and Lenny Kravitz have joined forces to bring a new kind of oral care brand, Twice, to the beauty & wellnessmarket. The brand is helping consumers take care of their smiles with products designed to positively impact brushing habits and our twice-a-day routines, starting with toothpaste.

Twice will debut a premium toothpaste set, with a unique flavor experience for morning and night. The morning formula, Early Bird, is designed to awaken, while the nighttime formula, Twilight, promotes relaxation. A shocking 35% of Americans do not brush twice a day, and so it is Twice’s mission to help improve this statistic with toothpaste purposefully designed from the inside out. 

Founded from a genuine desire to spread healthy smiles across the globe, the Company will give 10 percent of its profits to the GLO Good Foundation, which serves communities in dire need of proper dental care. 

“The only thing better than a beautiful smile is giving one to someone else,” says co-founder Julian Levine. “With Twice, we aim to offer innovative and highly effective oral care products that also make an impact – from as small as looking great on your bathroom counter to as meaningful as changing someone’s life by alleviating physical and emotional pain through dental care.”

The Levine brothers became inspired to create Twice in 2016, during a volunteer mission with GLO Good Foundation and Lenny’s Let Love Rule Foundation in Eleuthera, Bahamas, where the organizations had teamed up to host a free dental clinic. There, the brothers came face-to-face with hundreds of people suffering from all types of oral health diseases, many in serious pain, and saw first hand how grateful they were to receive proper oral care. They had become awakened to the transformational power of a smile and immediately bonded with Lenny over the experience; all three agreed they wanted to do more. 

Soon after, the brothers contacted Lenny with the idea to give the oral care industry a makeover with a brand called Twice that would combine healthy and effective ingredients, great taste, and sharp, counter-friendly packaging with a cause: to improve the oral health care crisis. With Twice, they could help significantly increase the number of healthy mouths and confident smiles, and get people everywhere brushing twice a day. Lenny wanted to get involved in a big way, so together they began building the brand as co-founders. 

“It’s easy to take for granted something as simple as brushing your teeth, but there are people around the world that look at toothpaste as a luxury,” says co-founder Lenny Kravitz. “Eleuthera is home for me, so the people and this cause are very close to my heart, and there’s nothing I want more than to see them happy, healthy and smiling. That’s why I’m committed to making Twice a reality and growing this important mission.” 

The Company’s philosophy is that overall health starts in the mouth. Twice toothpaste contains a good-for-you ingredient profile power-packed with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, E, plant-based extract aloe vera, and unique functional flavors. Designed to do it all, the formula has dentist-trusted and proven ingredients to help whiten teeth, remineralize enamel, prevent painful cavities, and protect against sensitivity. Twice is also free of unnecessary ingredients known to cause irritation traditionally found in toothpaste. While the brothers are not dentists – Julian spent years as an investor and Cody as a creative marketer – they grew up watching their father, a well-respected dentist and inventor, becoming inspired and well-versed in the industry as a result. They researched and tested every product on the market, and tapped a network of renowned dentists, chemists, flavor specialists, and manufacturers to create their first two unique products:

 Early Bird: a blast of morning mint that combines wintergreen and peppermint for your anytime wakeup call. 
 Twilight: a relaxing nighttime toothpaste that blends refreshing peppermint with vanilla and a gentle touch of lavender for a smooth transition from morning to night.

 

“Products that care for your smile should make you smile. So we set out to create the best toothpaste that makes an impact – one that we love using, every morning and every night,” says co-founder Cody Levine. “With a focus on experience,efficacy, design, and social responsibility, we believe it’s time to think Twice about your toothpaste.

Twice contains high-quality, globally-sourced ingredients, and is formulated and manufactured in the USA. The toothpaste is responsibly made to be non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free and never tested on animals. Starting in September 2018, the duo is available for $18.99 at www.smiletwice.com.