Agoracom Blog

betterU Education $BTRU.ca Develops an Application Programming Interface (API) Advancing Access and Automation of the Company’s Global Education Marketplace

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:03 AM on Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Betteru large

  • Announced the development of the company’s ‘RESTful API’ that will enable the automation and management of global partners and additional services to be made available on betterU’s marketplace
  • ‘RESTful API’ is a services layer of the betterU ecosystem that will enable the company to advance its asset-light model and support scalable global growth

OTTAWA, Sept. 22, 2017 — betterU Education Corp. (TSX-V:BTRU) (FRANKFURT:5OGA), (“betterU”), is pleased to announce the development of the company’s ‘RESTful API’ that will enable the automation and management of global partners and additional services to be made available on betterU’s marketplace. The ‘RESTful API’ is a services layer of the betterU ecosystem that will enable the company to advance its asset-light model and support scalable global growth.

RESTful API
Image of the betterU RESTful API

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6c7819d0-078e-4768-94fe-7dc5f719b777.

The betterU ‘RESTful API’ benefits include:

  • the ability for partners to add and manage their content, sign-up promotions, set their pricing;
  • a quick and easy onboarding process for thousands of courses from around the world;
  • the ability to manage partners, programs and course promotions;
  • an opportunity for partners to add and manage jobs postings;
  • a quick and easy onboarding process able to support thousands of jobs;
  • ability to provide access to partners’ online sales data and reports;
  • ability of new partners to be able to register automatically on betterU marketplace;
  • ability of content and other partners to ‘push and pull’ information of all course content;
  • an infrastructure for ‘coming soon’ onboarding portal.

betterU’s RESTful API will enable its partners to dynamically control the content and pricing of courses posted on betterU marketplace. This will enable them to easily come up with ad hoc promotions and post marketing materials on the company’s marketplace all subject to approval stages by betterU.

The advancement of the betterU’s marketplace ecosystem has been an important part of the company’s development. As betterU continues to advance its global efforts with the integrating of course providers, employment opportunities and corporate partners, automated efficiencies will help support rapid growth.  This automation will support reduced ongoing management costs, increase available products and services and support expansion of new company offerings. “The advancement of our RESTful API has been part of the company’s main goals for the last several years. It is wonderful to see the company advancing our technology infrastructure,” said Hagai Amiel CTO of betterU Education Corp.

About betterU

betterU, a global education marketplace, aims to provide access to quality education from around the world to foster growth and opportunity to those who want to better their lives. The company plans to bridge the prevailing gap in the education and job industry and enhance the lives of its prospective learners by developing an integrated ‘education-to employment’ ecosystem. betterU’s offerings can be categorized into four broad functions: to complement school programs with flexible KG-12 programs preparing children for next stage of education, to foster an exceptional educational environment by providing befitting skills that lead to a better career, to bridge the gap between one’s existing education and prospective job requirement by training them and lastly, to connect the end user to various job opportunities.

www.betterU.ca and www.betterU.in

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements and information, which may involve risks and uncertainties. The results or events predicted in these statements may differ materially from actual results or events. Factors that might cause a difference include, but are not limited to, competitive developments, risks associated with betterU’s growth, the state of the financial markets, regulatory risks and other factors. There can be no assurance or guarantees that any statements of forward-looking information contained in this release will prove to be accurate. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. These and all subsequent written and oral statements containing forward-looking information are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, betterU disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers should not place undue reliance on any statements of forward-looking information that speak only as of the date of this release. Further information on betterU’s public filings, including their most recent audited consolidated financial statements, are available at www.sedar.com.

For further information, please visit  http://www.betteru.ca/investor-overview/

Investor contact:

Investor Relations
1-613-695-4100 Ext. 233
Email: ir@betteru.ca

Madison Square Garden Company Appoints Head of #Esports Division $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:48 AM on Friday, September 22nd, 2017

  • Esports are second only to movies in the 18 to 25 demographic
  • Nick Allen, who until recently was the vice president of esports for video streaming service Twitch, was named the head of Madison Square Gard Company’s “growing esports division,” effective October 2nd

Nick Allen, who until recently was the vice president of esports for video streaming service Twitch, was named the head of Madison Square Gard Company’s “growing esports division,” effective October 2nd, according to the company.

Allen will be responsible for driving the company’s efforts to expand its presence in the esports industry, with a primary focus on operating Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), MSG’s newly acquired esports franchise. In his new role, Allen will serve as CLG’s chief operating officer, working with CLG Founder and President George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis on advancing the company’s initiatives, including creating live, tickets events. He will also be in charge of creating esports events at MSG venues across the country.

The Madison Square Garden Company operated a number of high profile venues around the country including New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston. The company also owns the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the New York Liberty (WNBA).

This July, Madison Square Garden bought a controlling interest in Counter Logic Gaming, which was founded in 2010 as a League of Legends team. CLG now fields teams in a variety of esports including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Hearthstone, Call of Duty and Super Smash Bros.

“We couldn’t be happier with the addition of Nick to our team here at MSG as we start to take a leadership role in the growth of the esports industry,” Jordan Solomon, executive vice president, MSG Sports, Madison Square Garden Company, said in a prepared statement. “Nick brings with him an extensive knowledge of esports and a deep set of relationships developed through overseeing some of the industry’s most popular events, and he has created initiatives that have continued to grow the gaming community. His vision for the esports space will be an invaluable asset to The Madison Square Garden Company and to CLG.”

Prior to joining Twitch in 2015, Allen was the esports operations manager for Riot Games, establishing the organization’s first team dedicated to the operation of esports competitions, including League of Legends World Championships, Championship Series, and Challenger Series. Before Riot Games, he served as an esports division and operations manager for IGN Entertainment.

Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/news/madison-square-garden-company-appoints-esports-head-w504697

Marijuana Company of America $MCOA Announces Update on Hemp Growing Trials in Canada $GHG.ca #MMJ

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 2:17 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2017

15233 mcoa

– two farmers were contracted in northeast New Brunswick to participate in the trial
– three varieties of hemp were grown on Test Plot 1 (CFX1, CFX2 & CRS1)
– two varieties of hemp were on Test Plot 2 (CFX1 & CFX2)
– three planting densities were utilized (15, 30 & 50 kg/ha)
– straw yields ranged from 1.10 to 2.47 tons/ha
– flower production ranged from 0.79 to 1.69 tons/ha

ESCONDIDO, CA–(Sep 21, 2017) – MARIJUANA COMPANY OF AMERICA (“MCOA” or the “Company“) (OTC PINK: MCOA), in conjunction with its joint venture partner, Global Hemp Group, Inc. (CSE: GHG) (FRANKFURT: GHG) (OTC PINK: GBHPF), is pleased to provide an update on the hemp cultivation trials conducted in New Brunswick, Canada.

The field portion of this first-year trial is now complete, with results from laboratory analysis of CBD concentrations of the flowers and leaves expected within the next two to four weeks. For this initial growing season:

– two farmers were contracted in northeast New Brunswick to participate in the trial
– three varieties of hemp were grown on Test Plot 1 (CFX1, CFX2 & CRS1)
– two varieties of hemp were on Test Plot 2 (CFX1 & CFX2)
– three planting densities were utilized (15, 30 & 50 kg/ha)
– straw yields ranged from 1.10 to 2.47 tons/ha
– flower production ranged from 0.79 to 1.69 tons/ha

These results confirm what was seen from casual observation. This year’s yields are somewhat lower than expected, due to the late planting and incomplete field preparation (both which will be rectified for the 2018 cultivation), and lack of rainfall in the spring. In 2018, taller varieties of hemp will be grown to increase straw yields and flowers. For the 2017 trial, the CRS1 outperformed the other varieties in straw production, and CFX2 produced the best flower yields. These results are indicative of the performance of varieties under largely unfavourable conditions.

Future Plans
Farming – As the future focus of the project will be on flower and straw production, other varieties with higher straw and similar flower yields will be selected for next year. MCOA and GHG are currently evaluating a number of varieties for the coming year.

Next year’s production will focus on five experienced farmers cultivating a total of 125 acres. MCOA and GHG have also recruited an agronomist to provide agronomic support to the farmers. Interaction with the farmers will be essential in finding solutions to practical problems that will inevitably arise. To maximize the visibility of the hemp farming experience in the region, farmers were selected across the northeast region of NB.

Industrial site selection – Bathurst appears to be the logical central point to process the straw and flowers coming from as far as Campbellton (75 km to the west) and from Miramichi (75 km to the southeast). The area comprises close to 40,000 acres, mostly in field crops, making hemp an excellent alternative.

There are many industrial sites currently available in the Bathurst region since the closing of the paper mill and mines in the area. The city of Bathurst identified a number such sites in and around its industrial zone that Management recently visited. The mayor of Bathurst and his team were very supportive in the effort to bring processing/job creation to the region. Other sites outside the Bathurst city limits were also explored as possible processing locations.

Research and training – Bathurst is also the site of a very dynamic college, the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau Brunswick (CCNB), with its innovation center designed to support innovation in industry. The project has already benefited from its laboratory capacity in analyzing this year’s hemp samples. The centre is expected to be helpful in addressing some of the technical issues associated with crop production and processing, and training.

Selection of industrial processes.
MCOA and GHG plan to focus on the processing of the flowers for cannabinoid extraction as legislation permits, and the straw for fibre and hurd products. Discussions regarding the engagement of key technological partners is continuing. Once finalized, they will be included in the next version of the project overview that will be submitted to Opportunities New Brunswick in the coming months.

About Global Hemp Group Inc.
Global Hemp Group (“GHG”) is a publicly traded company founded in 2012, headquartered in British Columbia, Canada with base operations in Montreal and Southern California. The Company is focused on the production and processing of hemp and cannabis, and collaboration with companies that will enable GHG to develop and implement the Hemp Agro-Industrial Zone concept. Through partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions, the Company will capture cash flow, revenues and value, and establish a greater collective valuation.

About Marijuana Company of America, Inc.
MCOA is a corporation engaged in business including, but not limited to: (1) product research and development of legal hemp-based consumer products containing CBD under the brand name “hempSMART™”, that targets general health and well-being; (2) an affiliate marketing program to promote and sell its legal hemp-based consumer products containing CBD; (3) leasing of real property to separate business entities engaged in the growth and sale of cannabis in those states and jurisdictions where cannabis has been legalized and properly regulated for medicinal and recreations use; and, (4) the expansion of its business into ancillary areas of the legalized cannabis and hemp industry, as the legalized markets and opportunities in this segment mature and develop.

Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” which are not purely historical and may include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, the development, costs and results of new business opportunities and words such as “anticipate”, “seek”, intend”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “project”, “plan”, or similar phrases may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with new projects, the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of competition, and the Company’s reliance on existing regulations regarding the use and development of cannabis-based products. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that any beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure outlined in our annual report on Form 10-12G, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information, please visit www.sec.gov.

For more information, please visit the Company’s websites at:
MarijuanaCompanyofAmerica.com
hempSMART.com
agoracom.com/ir/MarijuanaCompanyofAmerica

Marijuana Company of America, Inc.
Investor Relations
1+(888)-777-4362
IR@mcoa.club

betterU Education Corp. $BTRU.ca – How To Monetize A Developing Country

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 1:11 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2017
betterU Education Corp. is a global education marketplace that provides access to quality education from the top educators into emerging markets such as India.
To date, the company has enlisted over 10,000 programs from over 50 institutions and 8 countries. betterU has also announced several global strategic partnerships that have gone unnoticed by the general public, with each deal having the potential to generate enormous value for its shareholders.

Current Price: C$0.42
Shares Outstanding: 51.8 million
Market Capitalization: C$21.8 million

Currently focused on the hundreds of millions of potential customers in India, betterU aims to equalize education around the world by providing accessibility, choice, and affordability, all within an ‘Amazon’ like platform providing opportunities to those who want to better their lives. The company’s vision is to provide a better education, which can lead to a better job and ultimately create a better life by bridging the gap between education and the job industry.

betterU was founded in early 2013, and it took over 4 years to put the foundation in place, including global leadership, localized teams, international partnerships, mass marketing, support technologies and infrastructure to operate in India.

It took more than 2 years to establish the company’s operating entity within India including incorporating, banking and an ability to collect payments in local currency. 98% of the country’s population of over 1.3 billion do not have credit cards to enable them to purchase international education. India is considered a closed currency market, and the only way to transact is to be established as an Indian entity, which has been for many foreigners too lengthy of a process to set-up.

This was one among many significant barriers to entries that make it extremely difficult for other educators to do business in India. betterU has the first mover advantage, and is the only global education marketplace established for emerging markets.

The business model is simple, betterU provides mass marketing across India, collecting all registrations payments, user data and then connects the learner seamlessly into a content partner’s learning environment. betterU holds back 20% to 50% of revenues collected as their fee depending on the partner’s brand and offering that is available. betterU has over 10,000 courses in its arsenal, provided by reputable institutions such as edx’s Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Udemy, Pluralsight, Skillsoft and more.

(Sample of content partners, Source: betterU)

Education In India – Big Business

There is no denying India is a large market. Ever since Jim O’Neill, the global economist at Goldman Sachs, coined the phrase ‘BRIC’ in the early 2000s, India has proven to be a financial juggernaut on the world stage. The country is singled out due to its young population, healthy savings and investment rates, and its increasing integration into the global economy. In fact, for the first time, India was the first on the World Bank’s growth look in 2015-2016.By extension, the education sector provides massive opportunity, with almost 30% of the population between the ages 0-14, and 260 million students enrolled in more than 1.5 million schools. Over 34 million students are enrolled in ~50,000 colleges and institutions for higher education, making it the largest vertical in the world. The education sector is currently valued at $98 billion, and is expected to climb to $144 billion by 2020.

Intuitively, the online education market will be growing just as fast. In a recent study released by KPMG, the sector is currently valued at $250 million, and is expected to reach ~$2 billion by 2021. This growth will be primary fueled by paid users, which is expected to grow from current 1.6 million users to 9.5 million in 2021. The largest segment of online education is re-skilling and certification, currently valued at $93 million, and expected to grow to $463 million by 2021.

Strategic Partnership With The Largest National Media Company

betterU’s head office is located in Ottawa, Canada, but it also has local offices in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. One of the key shareholders in its Indian entity, Skillsdox India Private Ltd., owned 50% by betterU and 50% by Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. (the Times Group), the largest media company in India.

betterU and the Times Group have entered into an investment and marketing agreement, where the Times Group will make an in-kind investment of ~$30 million into Skillsdox India. The Times Group will provide media-based marketing that will cover 80% of India. This partnership provides betterU with immense exposure and penetration for education in India.

Last month, the company launched a visibility campaign, and saw 14,000 visitors with a bounce rate of 29% versus the average of 50%. Last year numbers saw a 3% conversion to registrations, 40% of whom ended up buying. The company’s social media followers grew from ~20,000 over the last year to now over 130,000 in just the last 6 weeks.

The company has only used $1 million of the in-kind investment, and is now building out a digital campaign to fully utilize the marketing partnership. Once this campaign is fully active, it will provide a significant pipeline of learners to the platform.

Strategic Partnership With The Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC)

Prime Minister Modi has a vision to skill 500 million people by 2022. Thus, many global educators are clamoring for a spot at the table, however, most simply do not have the infrastructure to do so. betterU’s unique approach of pre- and post assessments to determine the ideal learning path has given the company an incredible edge in dealing with a variety of learners and scenarios.

In November 2016, betterU held its first Skills Leadership Summit in Delhi that included many industry, academia and government leaders. A panelist, the CEO of TSSC, Lieutenant-General Kochhar outlined the importance of skills development and the required collaboration between industry and educators.

betterU fostered this relationship, and after 10 months of discussions, an MOU was executed with the TSSC to jointly support the skilling of millions of workers in the telecom sector. The two organizations will combine efforts to support multiple initiatives, including the development of country-wide learning centres; the development and acquisition of localized educational programs; development of rural area mobility learning; and the further advancement of a customized skilling platform.

The TSSC expects the need to skill over 8.8 million people in the telecom sector by 2022, and will do so by utilizing the portfolio of courses available through betterU’s global education marketplace. This will be an incredible collaboration once formalized, and will provide a robust and steady stream of revenue for betterU.

Strategic Partnership With NASSCOM/IT-ITes SSC

Similar to the TSSC MOU, betterU have begun formal discussions and due diligence with NASSCOM/IT-ITes SSC for the purpose of skilling millions of professionals across the IT sector. In show of support for betterU and Canada’s commitment to bilateral trade, Brian Parrott, Minister Commercial and Senior Trade Commission Services from the Canadian embassy, was also present at the meeting.Robust Pipeline

Speaking with management, there is a variety of opportunities in the pipeline at various stages of development. Each has the potential to either bolster revenues or provide game changing cash flow to the table.betterU is on the cusp of consummating a partnership with one of the largest technology companies in the market, which will allow this company to establish itself in India with a strategic partner who can collect its revenue. This can lead the way to a larger, more formal agreements down the line.

betterU’s most recent partnership is with the Central Bank of India to provide instructor led leadership training in Mumbai for all their Assistant General Managers. The company is currently expecting feedback on the training results, and looking forward to continue building its relationship.

Proven Management Team – Brad Loiselle

Brad Loiselle, President, CEO, Founder, is a serially successful entrepreneur, with an exit in the online education space already.He was the founder of Canada’s largest supplier of licensed paper goods, EasyWrapLines, which manufactured and distributed licensed paper goods products (gift bags, wrapping paper, etc.) for entertainment companies such as Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, and Fox Entertainment, just to name a few.

After this venture, Brad was in China and saw the struggles of education up close. He thought that technology was the perfect way to organize the space, and realized no one was offering content to the online masses. He created his own methodology, built the platform, and hit the conference circuit to get the word out.

His company, iPal (Interactive Professional Applied Learning), provided a full development solution to online education. His focus was to create a company that would eventually bring quality education to the mass population of the emerging markets.

iPal developed courses for employees at companies such as BMW, Scotia Bank, IATA, Service Canada College, and Knightsbridge. In fact, it was Knightsbridge that eventually acquired iPal in July 2011, using the methodology to build courses across North America.

Brad saw the potential of what online learning could bring to the developing world, and built betterU to service this lucrative space. Brad has a significant equity position in betterU and has entered into a volunteering pooling agreement to restrict his shares for sale on the exchange, and maintains the burning desire to build a leading company to eventually sell off to a major tech company.

The online education space is a hot sector. Some notable acquisitions include Tutor.com acquiring IAC for an estimated $40 million; Pearson Education buying a controlling stake in TutorVista for $127 million. Chan-Zuckerberg, Sequoia and others have -backed Byju for over $125M; Chegg acquiring InstaEDU for $30 million; and Linkedin acquiring Lynda.com for $1.5 billion.

Moving Forward

At a $20 million market cap, betterU is undervalued.It appears there is a lot of interest on the investment front, and we believe Brad will be able to secure a significant investment in the next six months.

The company will experience rapid organic growth through its partnership with The Times Group, with each partnership in the pipeline offering significant leaps in valuation once solidified.

Brad is a proven company maker, and it also helps he already has a significant exit in the online education space. This will be his third home run, and at current prices the perfect entry into this company.

Fundamental Research Re-Initiates Coverage on New Age Metals Inc. $NAM.ca with Largest Undeveloped Primary #PGM Deposit in Canada

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 12:13 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2017

New age large

  • Advancing its River Valley PGM project to a Preliminary Economic Assessment in 2018
  • Project has a measured and indicated resource of 91 Mt grading 0.84 g/t Pd + Pt + Au, 0.06% Cu, and 0.02% Ni, containing 3.9 Moz PdEq (palladium equivalent)
  • Currently pursuing a 16,500 ft drill program to confirm and expand the newly discovered high-grade near surface resource on the northern portion of the project
  • Palladium prices have almost doubled since the end of 2015
  • Also has a portfolio of five hard-rock lithium projects in Canada

Global platinum production was approximately 5.5 Moz, and global palladium production was approximately 6.6 Moz in 2016. To put in perspective, global gold production was 99.2 Moz in 2016. The following charts show the top platinum and palladium producers in the world. 


Canada is the fourth largest platinum (8% of global), and third largest palladium (11% of global) producer. The U.S. imports approximately 1.38 Moz of platinum (92% of its demand) and 1.92 Moz of palladium (86% of its demand) every year. The strong reliance on imports indicates the importance of PGM projects in North America. 

Canada is the fourth largest platinum (8% of global), and third largest palladium (11% of global) producer. The U.S. imports approximately 1.38 Moz of platinum (92% of its demand) and 1.92 Moz of palladium (86% of its demand) every year. The strong reliance on imports indicates the importance of PGM projects in North America. 


Palladium has been one of the best performing commodities in recent times as prices were up 96%, from US$500 per oz at the end of 2015, to the current price of US$980 per oz. 

READ ENTIRE REPORT

Here’s why professional #sports teams are buying #Esports teams $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:17 AM on Thursday, September 21st, 2017

WATCH VIDEO HERE

  • TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 we sat down with three experts from the esports world to explain why you should start paying attention to the industry.
  • Heather Garozzo, a former competitive Counter Strike player and current Director of Fan Marketing for Team Dignitas, told us what a day in the life of a professional esports player is like.
  • And surprisingly, it’s not all that different from a traditional athlete.

Besides spending upwards of five hours a day practicing, players also work with coachs and study gameplay film, receive media and press training, and even attend mandatory workout sessions to make sure they keep in shape. Most professional teams also employ private chefs to make sure players are eating healthy meals.

The conversation then shifted to the difference between professional sports and esports, and why the sports industry is so focused on getting into the sports business. Stratton Sclavos, a partner at Vision Venture Partners and the former CEO of the San Jose Sharks, explained how traditional sports teams can help esports teams scale and benefit from the lessons that professional sports teams have learned in the past.

And Craig Barry, EVP and Chief Content Officer for Turner Sports, explained the differences between esports broadcasting and traditional sports broadcasting, and how advertisers are getting creative when it comes to targeting esports fans.

Watch the video above to see the full talk and hear more about the world of esports.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/20/heres-why-professional-sports-teams-are-buying-esports-teams/

Toronto Raptors, #NBA take ‘logical’ step into new frontier: Elite #Esports league $GMBL

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:26 AM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Could the day come where more people watch the video-game avatars of average folks than superstar NBA athletes?

Don’t laugh. The growth of esports — defined as “a multiplayer video game played competitively for spectators, typically by professional gamers” — has been nothing short of staggering.

Millions of people love to watch these top-notch players show their stuff. Sometimes, they even fill up arenas, and it’s only getting bigger and bigger every year.

The NBA joined forces with Take-Two Interactive, publisher of the NBA 2K video game series, to create a new league that will begin play in 2018, with 17 NBA franchises, including the Toronto Raptors, taking part in the inaugural season.

“It all started last February, when (NBA commissioner Adam Silver) and Strauss Zelnick (CEO of Take-Two) announced we were going to be doing the league, but even before that, we had been exploring the esports space, trying to figure out where we could fit into it,” Brendan Donohue said Monday.

Donohue, the managing director of the NBA 2K esports league, was in town to shed some light on the venture, since many of a certain age don’t have much of a clue of what it is all about, or why esports is so popular.

“It’s 5-on-5. Oftentimes, people are used to seeing video games being played 1-on-1,” Donohue said. “This actually is going to be five human beings playing five other human beings, controlling every player on the virtual court. So there will be no artificial intelligence whatsoever.

“The good thing is, several of our owners previously had and still own other teams and other titles … So we’ve had our owners that have been passionate about esports in general, so it just made logical sense for us to make the next step. The NBA has been running a league for two-quarters of a century, and then you have 2K, which is the most popular sports game amongst the major leagues. It just seemed logical for us to take a run at this.”

In this Sept. 3 file photo, fans watch a League of Legends esports competition at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris. Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty Images

There is already a waiting list for Year 2, as other NBA teams look to join the party.

And why not? Last month, Palisade Research released an esports primer which read in part: “The Esports sector is forecasted to generate $1.13 billion (U.S.) in 2017, with 258 million viewers. By 2021, revenue is expected to grow to $2.70 billion, and to 438 million viewers. Some analysts peg revenues to reach as high as $3.31 billion, which would almost match the revenues of the established National Hockey League ($3.7 billion), and on the heels of the National Basketball Association ($4.8 billion).”

Donohue said he has heard those projections, but right now, the focus is on “just wanting to be the best possible.”

He is well aware of how the financial world feels about esports, though.

“For example, you look at something like Twitch, which has 10 million daily viewers,” Donohue said. “Goldman Sachs has looked at it and I’ve seen their reports — they predict it will be 20 million (daily viewers) by 2020. Everyone who is looking at this is predicting both viewership and revenues to continue to explode in the near future.”

Donohue knew Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment wouldn’t sit on the sidelines.

“I’ve known the folks at MLSE for a long period of time,” he said. “They are extremely innovative, they are very digitally savvy, they are a great organization and I know they are passionate about this space, so I assumed they were going to be in.”

Could the NHL follow in the NBA’s footsteps in getting into esports in a major way?

It could happen down the line considering the massive financial potential. Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is already heavily involved, and MLSE, Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks and Rangers) and Joshua Harris (Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils), three of the 17 initial NBA participants, also own NHL franchises.

In this March 1 file photo, Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (centre) drives to the hoop against the Washington Wizards. Chris Young / CP

MLSE declined to comment on Monday about a potential Maple Leafs esports franchise.

At a business summit back in March, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said, “We envision something that would augment a fan’s affinity to his team … because, ultimately, I could envision a league-wide competition where each club runs a competition to see who will be represented in the equivalent of our championship, but for our esport game.”

At the time, Bettman said the NHL had been discussing the idea for over a year, “and if (NHL video game maker Electronic Arts) can continue to get some traction in developing a game that would work like that, we’ll be in that business.”

Which would be no surprise at all to Donohue.

“I would expect other leagues to follow our lead and to get involved in this. I would expect that to happen. I think it’s great for esports,” he said.

“Other (professional league) games being successful just continues to grow the broader universe.”

ONLY THE BEST

The players for the new NBA 2K esports league will come from all over.

“Our goal, to make this the best league possible, is to find the best 85 players on the planet. They can be anywhere in the world, they can be male, they can be female — we just want the best 85 players,” league managing director Brendan Donohue told Postmedia on Monday.

Players will be paid by their respective teams. Tryouts will start around Feb. 1, 2018, with a draft to follow in mid-March. The season will run from May 1 and go for 15 weeks, before concluding with two weeks of playoffs ending the third week of August.

When most people think esports, if they know anything about the phenomenon in the first place, they picture teenagers and people in their early 20s playing video games. Donohue said NBA 2K players don’t really fit that description.

“We actually don’t skew that young. So, 58 per cent of our player are actually over 25, so we skew a little older,” he said. “I think there are some myths about our players in general. They’re actually more likely to be educated, more likely to have a higher income. There are some myths out there about esports.”

For the first season, the 17 teams will play “in a central studio, or maybe two, somewhere in North America,” Donohue said.

Games won’t be played in sold-out arenas just yet, but that could happen down the line.

“We’re excited to be in Toronto (long-term),” Donohue said. “When they’ve had esports events (at the Air Canada Centre) before they’ve been very successful. We see this as a great market.”

Source: http://nationalpost.com/sports/basketball/nba/toronto-raptors-nba-take-logical-step-into-new-frontier-elite-esports-league

Invested in #MMJ stocks such as #Cannabis Sativa $CBDS ? Check out the world’s largest B2C #Vaporizer company Namaste $N.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:12 AM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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N: CSE

  • World’s Largest E-Commerce B2C Vaporizer Company
  • Record Monthly Sales in August of C$1.43M
  • Revenue for AUG 31 2018 expected $24.9 million
  • Owns 26 e-commerce stores in 20 countries
  • Distribution centers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific
  • Aggressively expanding into manufacturing and wholesaling
  • Product acquisition agreement announced with Aphria Inc.

Namaste $N.ca Announces Product Acquisition Agreement With Aphria Inc. $APH.ca

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:49 AM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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  • Signed a Product Acquisition Agreement with Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH) (OTCQB:APHQF), to supply medical cannabis through Namaste’s Cannmart facility in Ontario, Canada
  • Agreement represents further progress for Namaste in securing supply agreements with high quality producers of medical cannabis

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 20, 2017 — Namaste Technologies Inc. (“Namaste” or the “Company”) (CSE:N) (FRANKFURT:M5BQ) (OTCMKTS:NXTTF) is pleased to announce that it has signed a Product Acquisition Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Aphria Inc. (“Aphria”) (TSX:APH) (OTCQB:APHQF), to supply medical cannabis through Namaste’s Cannmart facility in Ontario, Canada.

The Agreement represents further progress for Namaste in securing supply agreements with high quality producers of medical cannabis. Namaste intends to build on its current product offerings through its distribution license, by creating an online marketplace that is inclusive of medical cannabis for our Canadian customers. Namaste is pleased to have brought on Aphria, one of Canada’s leading licensed producers focused on production of pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis products.

About Aphria Inc.

Aphria Inc., one of Canada’s lowest cost producers, produces, supplies and sells medical cannabis. Located in Leamington, Ontario, the greenhouse capital of Canada, Aphria is truly powered by sunlight, allowing for the most natural growing conditions available. It is committed to providing pharma-grade medical cannabis, superior patient care while balancing patient economics and returns to shareholders. It is the first public licensed producer to report positive cash flow from operations and the first to report positive earnings in consecutive quarters.

Management Commentary

Sean Dollinger, President and CEO of Namaste comments: “We are very pleased to be working with Aphria, who we believe to be one of the top Canadian producers of the highest quality medical cannabis products. Our goal is to create an online marketplace for our patients that will offer a variety of products sourced from various producers in Canada and overseas. We plan to leverage our existing database of Canadian consumers along with our expertise in e-commerce to provide a unique platform for medical patients to access. We are excited to offer Aphria product to our Cannmart patients shipped from our facility in Toronto, Ontario.”

About Namaste Technologies Inc.

Namaste Technologies Inc. is an emerging leader in vaporizer and accessories space. Namaste has 26 ecommerce retail stores in 20 countries, offers the largest range of brand name vaporizers products on the market and is actively manufacturing and launching multiple unique proprietary products for retail and wholesale distribution. The Company is currently focused on expanding its product offering, acquisitions and strategic partnerships, and entering new markets globally.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

“Sean Dollinger”
Chief Executive Officer
Direct: +1 (786) 389 9771
Email: info@namastevapes.com

Further information on the Company and its products can be accessed through the links below:

www.namastetechnologies.com

www.namastevaporizers.com

www.namastevaporizers.co.uk

www.everyonedoesit.com

www.everyonedoesit.co.uk

FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION This press release contains forward-looking information based on current expectations. These statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements. Although such statements are based on management’s reasonable assumptions, Namaste assumes no responsibility to update or revise forward looking information to reflect new events or circumstances unless required by law. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks including various risk factors discussed in the Company’s disclosure documents which can be found under the Company’s profile on www.sedar.com. This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The CSE has neither reviewed nor approved the contents of this press release.

Drill Program Encounters 2.45 g/t Pd+Pt+Au Over 28 m at the River Valley #Platinum Group Metals #PGM Project, Sudbury #Mining District

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:55 AM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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Highlights

  • A drill hole collared in main mineralized zone (Dana North) encountered 2.45 g/t Pd+Pt+Au over 28m, including 7.12 g/t over 3m and 4.06 g/t over 6m with a second zone of 3.30 g/t Pd+Pt+Au over 4m
  • Drilling continues to encounter PGM mineralization in the footwall of the River Valley PGM Deposit with assays of 1.56 g/t Pd+Pt+Au over 9m, 1.41 g/t over 8m, 1.12 g/t over 17 m and 1.64 m of 7m were obtained from drilling in the footwall
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    Drilling has been focused on follow-up drilling to further test the continuation of the Pine Zone and Dana North Zone

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    River Valley is the Largest Undeveloped Primary PGM resource in Canada, with 3.9Moz PdEq in Measured Plus Indicated including an additional 1.2Moz PdEq in Inferred.

September 20th, 2017 / Vancouver, Canada – New Age Metals Inc. (TSX.V: NAM; OTCQB: PAWEF; FSE: P7J.F) is pleased to announce the first drill hole results of the 2017 drilling campaign. Drilling has focused on the Dana North (T3) and Pine Zone as a follow up of the 2015 and 2016 drilling at the River Valley PGM Deposit.

Harry Barr, Chairman and CEO states, “Drill results (Table 1) have confirmed continued PGM mineralization in the footwall to the main River Valley contact, where the current measured and indicated resources have been proven. At present the PGM mineralization has been extended for approximately 140 metres east of the previous known mineralization into the footwall of the identified resources. PGM mineralization in the Pine Zone has now been shown to extend to at least 300 m below surface. With continued drilling success, other new targets could extend along the 16kms of strike and at depth that have not been previously explored.”

A ground geophysical survey was carried out on the Pine Zone by Abitibi Geophysics (News Release: June 19th, 2017). The surface IP geophysical survey was designed to test the eastward and southward extension and dip/plunge of the Pine Zone as well as the adjacent Dana North Zone (Figure 1-2). The extension of the IP survey tested the Banshee Zone. Initial interpretations are complete and the final report has been completed. Several new targets from the geophysics have been identified and are planned for drill testing. The Company has also retained the services of a geophysical consultant, Alan King of Geoscience North Ltd (News Release: Aug 22nd, 2017), to compile all past and current geophysics into one 3D model and aid in the understanding of the structural controls on the PGM mineralization.


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Figure 1: River Valley Geology Layered Over Recent IP Geophysics with Recent Area of Drilling

(Red Banded Unit represents the River Valley mineralized breccia contact zone-westward dip)


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Table 1 Drill Results from Dana North/Pine Zone

(3E = Pd+Pt+Au, N.S.A. = no significant assays)

Assay results have been received for six of the eleven presently drilled holes. Breccia host zones were indentified in all holes in the program with four drill holes (Table 1) returning significant Pd+Pt+Au (3E in the Table 1) mineralization to date. The drilling is mainly of an exploratory nature and intended to test the footwall mineralization in the northern portion of the property. Further re-interpretation of the geology, structure and PGM mineralization on the project are ongoing with the company’s geological and geophysical consultants.

Drill hole T3-17-04 was collared obliquely into the main PGM Zone and therefore the results are not true widths. Two high grade PGM zones were encountered from surface to 41 m. The drill hole was designed to test the footwall Pine Zone PGM mineralization to depth. PGM mineralization in the Pine Zone has now been shown to extend to at least 300 m below surface.

 


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Figure 2. Zoom in of the Pine Zone and Present Area of Drilling

Drill holes were drilled into the Pine Zone to test the PGM footwall mineralization. Drill widths are considered not true width due to the exploratory nature of the drill campaign.

Assay Procedures and QAQC

The drilling is being undertaken by Jacob & Samuel Drilling Ltd. of Sudbury, Ontario under the supervision of NAM geologists. The drill core samples are sent to the SGS Canada Inc. Laboratory in Lakefield, Ontario for sample preparation and assay analyses. The preparation involved crushing of 3 kilograms of each sample to 90% passing 2 mm, and then pulverizing 0.5 kilograms to 85% passing 75 um. Palladium, Platinum and Gold were assayed by fire assay with ICP-AES finish (GE-FAI313). Copper, Nickel and 32 additional metals were assayed by two acid digestion and ICP-OES finish (GE-ICP14B). Blanks and blind certified standard samples were submitted at regular intervals for assay with the core samples as part of NAM’s rigorous Quality Assurance/Quality Control program.

Future Activity

WSP Canada (News Release: Sept 7th, 2017) will be conducting the updated resource calculation and model for the River Valley PGM Deposit. This will incorporate any new drill results and interpretations.

This present exploration activity of drilling and geophysics is geared to establish the resource base for a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) Report which the company plans to initialize in the near future.

To date (not including the present drill program) an approximate 612 holes (136,574 metres) have been conducted by the company and its past major joint venture partner to test the PGM mineralization extents along the contact of the River Valley Intrusion. As well, several 43-101 complaint resource estimates have been generated. The River Valley Deposit is the Largest Undeveloped Primary PGM resource in Canada, with 3.9Moz PdEq in Measured Plus Indicated including an additional 1.2Moz PdEq in Inferred.

The Company will continue to update investors as the drill results are received.

ABOUT NAM’S PGM DIVISION

NAM’s flagship project is its 100% owned River Valley PGM Project (NAM Website – River Valley Project) in the Sudbury Mining District of Northern Ontario (100 km east of Sudbury, Ontario). Presently the River Valley Project is Canada’s largest primary undeveloped PGM deposit with Measured + Indicated resources of 91 million tonnes @ 0.58 g/t Palladium, 0.22 g/t Platinum, 0.04 g/t Gold, at a cut-off grade of 0.8 g/t PdEq for 2,463,000 ounces PGM plus Gold. This equates to 3,942,910 PdEq ounces. The River Valley PGM-Copper-Nickel Sulphide mineralized zones remain open to expansion. Currently the company has completed new ground geophysics and is in the middle of a drill program focused on the Pine and Dana North Zones.

In 2016, the Company acquired the River Valley extension property from Mustang Minerals which added approximately 4kms to the project’s mineralized strike length to the southern portion of the intrusion.

ABOUT NAM’S LITHIUM DIVISION

The Company has five pegmatite hosted Lithium Projects in the Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field, located in SE Manitoba. Three of the projects are drill ready. This Pegmatite Field hosts the world class Tanco Pegmatite that has been mined for Tantalum, Cesium and Spodumene (one of the primary Lithium ore minerals) in varying capacities, since 1969. NAM’s Lithium Projects are strategically situated in this prolific Pegmatite Field. Presently, NAM is the largest mineral claim holder in the Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field and is seeking JV partners to further develop the company’s Li division.

QUALIFIED PERSON

The contents contained herein that relate to Exploration Results or Mineral Resources is based on information compiled, reviewed or prepared by Carey Galeschuk, a consulting geoscientist for New Age Metals. Mr. Galeschuk is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

“Harry Barr”

Harry G. Barr

Chairman and CEO

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements: This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results and are based on current expectations or beliefs. For this purpose, statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements include statements in which the Company uses words such as “continue”, “efforts”, “expect”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “confident”, “intend”, “strategy”, “plan”, “will”, “estimate”, “project”, “goal”, “target”, “prospects”, “optimistic” or similar expressions. These statements by their nature involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially depending on a variety of important factors, including, among others, the Company’s ability and continuation of efforts to timely and completely make available adequate current public information, additional or different regulatory and legal requirements and restrictions that may be imposed, and other factors as may be discussed in the documents filed by the Company on SEDAR (www.sedar.com), including the most recent reports that identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake any obligation to review or confirm analysts’ expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.