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British Columbia tackles innovation investment gap

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Lt.- Gov. Janet Austin delivers the Throne Speech at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., April 12, 2021.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

The B.C. government will create its own investment fund to help promising B.C. companies scale up and keep jobs here at home, as part of its post-pandemic recovery plan.

The InBC strategic investment fund, announced in Monday’s Throne Speech, will be administered by a new Crown corporation. The initiative is designed to respond to concerns that the province’s world-leading innovations in sectors such as life sciences are consistently flowing to other jurisdictions with better investment climates.

The Throne Speech, read by Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin, offers a self-congratulatory account of the government’s response to the health and economic challenges brought by COVID-19 over the past year, and acknowledges that the province is still in the grips of the pandemic. But it also focuses on plans to rebuild the economy.

“We open this sitting of the legislature at a turning point in our fight to end the pandemic,” she read. “The threat of new variants means we cannot relax, even as your government accelerates the largest mass-immunization program in B.C.’s history.”

Ms. Austin cited the province’s contributions to the global effort to fight COVID-19, noting that its life-sciences companies have helped develop a vaccine and a treatment for the virus, as well as the development of an ICU ventilator for use in Canadian hospitals.

“Their work will not only help bring us out of the pandemic, it will position our province for success in the years ahead,” she said.

The speech predicts the province will find continued growth in trade. “Global markets are changing in ways that offer significant opportunities for B.C.’s goods and services. Prices are expected to continue to reflect environmental, social and governance aspects of production,” it states. “British Columbia firms will be able to take advantage of a premium paid for inclusive and sustainable products.”

But leaders in health sciences and the high-tech sectors have noted that B.C., while it excels in research and development, fails to foster a business environment where those innovations can stay and grow.

Quebec and Ontario have helped secure life sciences investments by partnering with Ottawa to offer incentives. Most recently, the global pharmaceutical giant Sanofi unveiled its plans to build an influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto, after the federal government and the province of Ontario committed to invest close to half a billion dollars in the project.

The B.C. government provided no detail on the new investment fund on Monday, and it is unclear how the new agency will assist. “This new strategic fund will help promising B.C. companies scale up, anchor talent – keeping jobs and investment at home in British Columbia,” it reads.

It also promises additional funding to address the challenges that COVID-19 has exposed for the homeless, for health care and for seniors in long-term care. “In the year ahead, your government will continue to improve care for seniors by hiring thousands of new workers for long-term care and fixing the cracks COVID-19 has exposed.”

The Throne Speech also promises initiatives to assist British Columbians who struggle with the cost of living. The budget, which will be introduced on April 20, will include funds to help get thousands of rental homes built throughout the province, and will expand access to the province’s $10-a-day daycare spaces.

The government is also promising changes to its vehicle insurance rates through the Insurance Corporation of B.C. ICBC will deliver a 20-per-cent cut to car insurance rates, in addition to the COVID-19 rebate that was issued earlier this year.

Source:- The Globe and Mail

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Centurian jail for sale in Owen Sound offers spooky real estate investment – CTV News Barrie

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BARRIE, ONT. –

A historic jail is for sale in Owen Sound.

The city has been trying to sell the 165-year-old jail since 2011.

This summer, it was listed again for $229,000, but a local realtor says while there’s a lot of potential hidden within the Centurian walls, it could be costly.

“The amount of money that could be spent in this building could be upwards of five to ten million dollars,” says Dave Park, realtor at Chestnut Park.

Money that would need to be spent to be approved by stakeholders and city staff. The city says they will be accepting offers until October 4 and making a formal decision about the building’s future on October 22.

For those wondering about paranormal activity, Park says there hasn’t been any ghost sightings.

“But certainly, just walking through the facility it allows you to think there could be ghosts here,” Park says.

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Investment App MAKMUR Raises Seven-Digit Seed Funding to Advance Features and People Development – Yahoo Finance

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JAKARTA, Indonesia, Sept. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Indonesia-based investment app, MAKMUR, has secured a seven-digit seed funding round, led by BEENEXT, with participation from Kinesys Group, Trihill Capital, and notable angel investors including Yiping Goh (Quest Ventures’ partner), Edward Tirtanata (Kopi Kenangan’s CEO), Vidit Agrawal (GajiGesa’s CEO), and Andrew Lee (former unicorn executive). MAKMUR will use the capital to expand its features and product portfolio, as well as to hire new talented individuals and people development.

MAKMUR App

MAKMUR App

MAKMUR is a technology-based investment app that allows users to set their financial goals and reach them through long term investing. Similar to Betterment in the U.S., it has goal-based investing feature so users can easily invest towards multiple goals, such as emergency fund, retirement fund, and children’s education fund with the ease of using just one app.

The app also provides a Robo Advisory feature that adapts to users’ risk tolerance, as well as investment horizon, and prevailing economic conditions. This proprietary dynamic asset allocation technology helps users invest optimally regardless of whether the market is bullish or bearish.

Financial advisory are often available only for high-net worth investors. However, MAKMUR digitizes and democratizes such services to be completely accessible and affordable for all Indonesian citizens.

Sander Parawira, founder and CEO of MAKMUR, pointed out, “Many people think that investing in mutual funds is difficult, in which they have to go through a complicated account opening process and prepare a large amount of capital. Supported by OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and face recognition technology, we offer an exceptional account opening experience that is simple and swift. It only takes five minutes to complete the account opening process, with an initial capital starting from IDR 10,000 (USD 0.70) and no transaction fee.”

Faiz Rahman, BEENEXT’s partner, added “We are witnessing a new revolution in Indonesia where mass market come to realize the importance of investing. MAKMUR enables retail investors to do prudent long-term investing to build wealth sustainably. We are very excited about MAKMUR and we look forward to having a long-term partnership with MAKMUR as we believe in their mission to make investing easier, cheaper, and more sustainable for Indonesians.”

MAKMUR App to help build a robust inclusive financial ecosystem in Indonesia

MAKMUR app is the brainchild of Sander Parawira, a Stanford University’s graduate, formerly the Head of Quantitative Strategies of Wall Street’ leading quantitative trading firm, Virtu Financial. Prior to Virtu, Sander was a Software Engineer at Facebook.

Sander built the app with the aim to improve financial literacy and inclusions among Indonesian citizens. “Indonesia’s capital market investor has experienced a significant growth, however, the number of investors today in Indonesia is still fewer than 2% of the population. Following the seed funding round, we are hoping to bridge the financial inclusion gap while improving financial literacy across the country.”

Ever since the company obtained official license from Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) in February 2021, it has partnered with ten leading investment managers. They include Avrist Asset Management, Bahana TCW Investment Management, BNI Asset Management, Capital Asset Management, Eastspring Investment, FWD Asset Management, Principal Asset Management, RHB Asset Management, Syailendra Capital, and Trimegah Asset Management.

MAKMUR app is available on both Play Store and App Store for Android users and iOS users respectively. For further information, please visit https://www.makmur.id

About MAKMUR

MAKMUR is a start-up that provides technology-based investment app to help Indonesians plan their financial goals and invest for the long term easily, safely, and sustainably. All investment plans are designed by experienced investment professionals based on quantitative research and big data. MAKMUR is established by a former Head of Quantitative Strategies at Virtu Financial, a leading quantitative trading firm in Wall Street and an ex Facebook Software Engineer. The team has a cumulative 30 years experience in the investment and technology space in reputable companies such as IndoPremier, Traveloka, and IBM and are graduates from the best universities in the world such as Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and Purdue University.

About BEENEXT

BEENEXT is a Venture Capital fund managed by serial entrepreneurs that focuses on assisting founders with its operational experience, network, trust, unique perspectives, and the capital. The team invests in early-stage tech start-ups that are focused on building the new digital platforms driven by the data network. BEENEXT aims to establish a platform of founders, by the founders and for the founders across the globe, primarily in South East Asia, India and Japan. Since its establishment in 2015, the team has invested in over 200 companies globally.

SOURCE PT Inovasi Finansial Teknologi (MAKMUR)

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Big Pot wants millions in corporate investment — some lawmakers are happy to help – New York Post

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Last year, we saw pro-pot lawmakers attempt to load up any and every COVID-19 aid bill with marijuana industry wish list items. Though none of those attempts proved successful, they are back at it again.

Last week, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) offered the SAFE Banking Act as an amendment to the annual military spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. The NDAA is a must-enact defense spending bill that Congress has passed into law each year for 60 years in a row. Which renders Perlmutter’s move especially shady.

Outside of full, federal legalization, passing the SAFE Banking Act into law is the top priority of the marijuana industry. The bill would allow the industry access to the federal financial system, opening it up to take out loans, have FDIC-insured bank accounts and accept all major credit cards without having to resort to loopholes. But the real reason why this bill is so critically important to Big Pot is that it would finally allow pot companies access to institutional investment.

You see, there are currently billions of dollars sitting on the sidelines, waiting to be invested into the pot industry by major investment firms, hedge funds, pension systems and other major corporate interests. These interests, according to former House Speaker and pot advocate John Boehner, want to “dive head-first into cannabis.”

As it stands, the giants of Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol are deeply invested in the marijuana industry across our northern border in Canada. Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, invested $2 billion into Cronos, a Canadian weed company, while Constellation Brands, one of the largest alcohol conglomerates, pumped $245 million into another Canadian marijuana company, Canopy Growth.

But while these two giants of the addiction industry are unable to fully invest in American marijuana companies, their well-heeled lobbyists are working the halls of Congress, pushing for the SAFE Banking Act.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter offered the SAFE Banking Act as an amendment to the annual military spending bill.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File

The most direct, immediate result of this bill would be billions of dollars in investment flowing into pot companies that can then be spent on research and development of new, highly potent products and new marketing campaigns that will further normalize marijuana use and result in more youths using the drug.

As an aside, don’t be fooled into thinking the pot industry is marketing the 5-percent-THC pot smoked in the 1960s and ’70s. Today’s marijuana regularly contains upwards of 30 percent THC — the main, psychoactive compound — in flower and 99 percent THC in concentrates such as dabs and vaping oils. This new, high-potency pot has been linked to a litany of serious mental-health issues, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and psychosis.

The pot lobby has promulgated lie after lie to convince lawmakers to support this bill. They say they are forced to operate as a “cash-only” industry due to the lack of conventional banking access. This has repeatedly been shown to be false, as many marijuana dispensaries readily accept card payment. Furthermore, the pot lobby claims that its (false) status as “cash-only” makes dispensaries a prime target for robberies. While it’s true marijuana dispensaries are oftentimes robbed, many such robberies are not after cash that is locked away in a backroom safe, but the marijuana products on the shelves.

Chemdawg marijuana plants grow at a facility in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada October 29, 2019.
The giants of Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol are deeply invested in the marijuana industry in Canada.
REUTERS/Blair Gable/File Photo

In short, the SAFE Banking Act is nothing more than the federal government signing off on corporate investment in the marijuana industry. And what’s worse, it could set the precedent for banking access to other industries that traffic in federally illegal substances. Former officials from the Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations have even warned this bill could grant cover for criminal cartels to engage in money laundering.

To the point at hand, marijuana-industry banking access has absolutely nothing to do with the funding of our military and other national-security operations; the inclusion of this amendment is just another example of the desperation of the marijuana industry. The American people should reject these shady tactics and put kids before the pot industry.

Kevin Sabet, a former three-time White House senior drug-policy adviser, is president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and author of “Smokescreen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know.”

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