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Showing posts from 2009

ScrumNinja, Cause Anything Ninja Is Cool #58

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Nerd Stalker interview with ScrumNinja co-founder David Lowenfels at the 2009 FailCon conference in San Francisco. ScrumNinja is an elegant, intuitive, easy to use agile project tracking web or server application. From the ScrumNinja site: "Deliver the goods ScrumNinja empowers you to deliver the goods. Your management, product owners, and customers get what they want, and you get what you want—an elegant, intuitive tool that doesn’t create obstacles for your creativity and flow. Wield the sword of simplicity ScrumNinja was designed with conceptual integrity as its foremost goal—it does simple things very well. It retains the intuitive simplicity of index cards while providing the benefit of real-time updates and automated metrics. Engage your people Collaboration and interaction are the heart and soul of agile. ScrumNinja’s intuitive user interface makes your team’s contributions instantly visible and understandable to each other, as well as to m

Best Of 2009 Nerd Stalker Awards Announced

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WINNERS : Startup of the Year - 99designs (See the Nerd Stalker interview here ) An awesome solution for a business or individual looking for a logo, twitter design, or website design. It's one of those great ideas that you kick yourself for not thinking of. The idea is simple you commit to paying x amount for a design, then the 99designs community is able to submit designs for you to choose from. Once the selection of designs is made so is the transaction. We selected 99designs as our startup of the year for having everything a web application should a great user experience, business model, team and execution. A very big congratulations to 99designs for being selected as the first ever Nerd Stalker startup of the year for 2009. Best Cloud Backup - Backblaze (See the Nerd Stalker interview here ) The best kept secret in the online backup space, Backblaze is hands down the best solution out there. The pricing for the unlimited backup space is extremely competitive and th

Creative.ly Crowdsourced Photographers Marketplace

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Nerd Stalker interview with Julian Cash, Geek Executive Officer of Creative.ly at the FailCon conference in San Francisco. Watch out Flickr and Corbis this new crowdsourced way of bookmarking photos could make a run for the money. Bookmark Images. Collect the best images from the web Creative.ly is a fun place to find and collect the best images from all over web. Catalog your favorite photos from flickr or other great websites. Show off the images you love and discover new images from people who share your taste. Share with friends Follow people who's taste you appreciate. Make friends with the people who love the images you collect and import. Create Collections. Enjoy other peoples collections By building your own image collections you can access images from across the net that inspire and thrill you with one simple click. The more images and collections you add, the more people will discover your collections and the artists that inspire you. Promote artists you apprecia

There Are More Dogs Than Kids? - Nerd Stalker #56

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Interview with the CEO of Fido Factor, Justin O'Neill at this years FailCon conference in San Francisco. From the Fido Factor site: "The goal of Fido Factor is to: To make dog friendly policies the norm rather than the exception. It's our magical little dream that dogs will eventually be welcome everywhere! Provide dog owners with information on which places are dog friendly and how to visit each safely. Let the community determine which dog friendly spots are the best of the best. Here is what you can do on Fido Factor: Find local dog friendly restaurants, stores, bars, parks, lodging and attractions as well as pet stores and dog services! Use your iPhone or smartphone to find dog friendly locations on the go and submit reviews and add locations through our free iPhone/iPod Touch application. Learn important dog policy information for each location, e.g. permitted dog size, leash policy. Become a local ambassador and add to your city's

Give Us Your Health Information - Nerd Stalker #55

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Nerd Stalker interview with CEO of Caduces, Lydia Sugarman at this years FailCon conference in San Francisco. Caduces is in pre-release (Nerd Stalker scoop!) looking for a 2010 first quarter alpha launch. Caduces is looking to be the secure web application for you to store your families health information and history.

Sun Gives Free Stuff To Startups? - Nerd Stalker #54

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(5 mins) Nerd Stalker interview with Business Development Manager, Jagat Bhuyan of Sun Startup Essentials . The Sun Startup Essentials program delivers an affordable infrastructure that can be put into service fast, backed up by world-class support. The program includes hardware discounts, free support and training, and other ways to get your startup flying high in no time.

Learn to Succeed at FailCon - Nerd Stalker #53

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Nerd Stalker interview with Cassie Phillipps founder of the amazing FailCon conference happening on October 27th 8:30am - 6pm . We talk startup stories, amazing speakers, lessons learned. “SNAP Summit: FailCon” is a full-day conference focusing on the trials and tribulations of successful entrepreneurs. You aren’t a real entrepreneur until you’ve had to deal with failure and recovering from it - financially emotionally and practically - can be challenging. Hear how some major players in the industry have dealt with startup troubles recovered and kept a positive tenacious and energetic attitude through it all. The conference will debate questions such as: * How do VCs handle failing investments? * How NOT to build a social app * What are some social web branding failures and how can you avoid them now? * How do you financially prepare for the possibility of failure: legally fiscally and in your team? * What have some of the leading executives today learned from their past experienc

Outspokes - Nerd Stalker #52

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(4mins) Nerd Stalker interview at a recent SF New Tech with co-founder of Outspokes , Sean Ahrens . With Outspokes, you instantly gather the feedback of your entire team by doing nothing more than sending them a link to your site. No more arduous screenshot annotation or endless email ping-pong. Empower your team to express their feedback about your website the easy way: on the site itself. Who is Outspokes for? Teams of All Sizes Remote Development Teams Freelancers Outspokes began as a class project for UC Berkeley's Software Engineering course, Computer Science 169, taught by Professor Eric Brewer in Spring 2009.

Comments Are Dead - Nerd Stalker #51

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Nerd Stalker (6mins) interview with Chris Saad , VP Product/Community Strategy for JS-Kit at a recent SF New Tech . We spoke about comments being dead, the prevalence of Facebook Connect, JS-Kit's innovative web app ECHO, the fact they actually charge for what they offer, and more. Echo is the next generation commenting system. It’s the way to share your content, and watch the live reaction. You can quickly embed Echo on WordPress, Blogger, or any website and turn your static pages into a real-time stream of diggs, tweets, comments and more.

Newton Software - Nerd Stalker #50

(5mins) Nerd Stalker interview with co-founder of Newton Software, Joel Passen at a recent SF New Tech. Newton provides a streamlined approach to recruiting with all the essentials built-in including an easy-to-edit careers page , free job advertising, space to collaborate , a rock-solid recruiting process , and a powerful analytics dashboard . Newton works the way recruiting works, anticipating your next steps and capturing valuable information along.

Bandize - Nerd Stalker #49

(4mins) Nerd Stalker interview with co-founder of Bandize , Andy Miles. Bandize helps bands take control of their careers by giving them a simple way to get organized. They created a suite of DIY tools all available and packaged in one smooth, cohesive web application. View more demos here: Dashboard , Shows/Tours , Track Finances , Contacts .

Vidizmo - Nerd Stalker #48

(5mins) Vidizmo creates live and on-demand SCORM-compliant Interactive Video presentation mashups . Vidizmo adds interactivity to videos, makes them more engaging, capture responses and allows you to measure results... and make informed decisions. Vidizmo is completely web-based and only requires the silverlight browser plugin We interview President Nadeem Khan and his VP at the Microsoft MIX09 conference in Las Vegas.

Twibbon - Tutorial / Review

(5mins) Recommend watching this in full screen mode. Twibbon stormed on to the scene yesterday, on day one they got a ton of participation from the Twitter community. Twibbon is a brand spanking new free web service, for the person who wants to join a cause it really could not be easier. For the person who wants to create a cause there is a very small ramp up and process that I'm sure will be smoothed out as the application matures. If your ok with manipulating images in your editor of choice you should not have much trouble creating your cause overlay. Kudos to the Scotland based Storm Ideas for pumping out yet another innovative application, they are definitely a company we will continue to keep a close eye on. Twibbon.com is the easiest way to promote awareness of your cause on twitter. Create a twibbon in 3 easy steps and soon all your supporters will be proudly wearing their twibbons on their twitter profile images. Simply describe your cause and upload a twi

SONAR6 - NERD STALKER #47

(6mins) Nerd Stalker interview with Jason Jones of Sonar6 at a SF New Tech meetup. Sonar6 was founded in 2004 based on the idea that performance management should be simple and rewarding. The first generation of the Sonar6 toolset was launched in February 2006. Growth since then has been rapid. Sonar6 now has customers all around the world and is well known as the innovator in Human Resource software. The goal of Sonar6 remains straightforward: Provide the best possible way to create in-depth performance reviews online, then use the information collected in those reviews to create a helicopter view of all of the people in the business. While others seem to be making HR more and more complicated, Sonar6 is on a journey in the opposite direction - providing the simplest way to help businesses make better people decisions.

Microsoft Translator - Nerd Stalker #46

Interview at MIX09 with Vikram Dendi, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Research on the Translator team. Vikram shares some absolutely fascinating information about Translator . Translator offers in place translation on any website with no development knowledge needed. Translator technology is in several forms such as web , messenger and widget . I suggest you give it a try, offering your site in almost any language is such a win.

BLURB - Nerd Stalker #45

I had the pleasure to interview Samantha Howe of Blurb in a very dark back room at a recent SF New Tech event. Blurb is a company and a community that believes passionately in the joy of books – reading them, making them, sharing them, and selling them. The work they produce is quite stunning, you actually get a professional final product and the best part is that anyone can produce one or many more. They have a key partnership with flickr, support pdf uploads, and have a wide array of book layouts to choose from or customize yourself.

Rentalic - Nerd Stalker #44

(2 mins) While at the ever amazing Maker Faire I stumbled an as of yet to be launched startup called Rentalic. Rentalic enables online person-to-person renting between friends, family and neighbors. The company is currently developing an online rental platform that will support a marketplace where Owners can post items for rent and Borrowers can search items to rent. By offering a wide assortment of products and services that are conveniently located and cost effective, Rentalic claims it can provide a high value service to local communities.

JavaOne UX Session Re-Cap

Notes from Ben Galbraith of Mozilla Session entitled "Creating Compelling User Experiences". In my opinion this was the be best talk at the conference thus far.

Livescribe Pre-Releases Platform SDK 1.0 for Its Smartpen Computing Platform

JAVAONE CONFERENCE – San Francisco – June 1, 2009 – Livescribe Inc. announced the pre-release of its Platform Software Development Kit (SDK) 1.0 for Windows at the 2009 JavaOne Conference (Booth 722). Livescribe’s SDK includes Paper Designer for Eclipse, providing software developers with all the tools, technical documentation, sample code and support needed to create, publish, share and sell sophisticated applications for the Pulse smartpen. The pre-release Platform SDK also includes the Penlet SDK, which contains an Eclipse plug-in for penlet development as well as a suite of APIs, sample code, documentation, debug tools and command line build utilities. “The release of the SDK 1.0 is a significant step forward for Livescribe’s mobile computing platform,” said Jim Marggraff, Livescribe founder and chief executive officer. “We’re anxious to see what our more than 4,000 software developers already actively participating in our developer program will create to expand the functionality,

PrintWhatYouLike - Nerd Stalker Episode 43

(4mins) Demo of the free PrintWhatYouLike web application. This application turns any web page into a customized printable page, pdf, or html file. Make sure to watch this video at full screen.

99designs - Nerd Stalker Episode 42

(5 mins) Nerd Stalker interview with Jason Aiken of 99designs at the SF New Tech meetup. I wish we would have known about this company before we were hunting for a designer (although we did get lucky on Craigslist). 99designs allows anyone to prepay a small fee to launch a design "contest", for instance lets assume you need a new logo. The army of designers in the 99designs community submit designs for you to choose from, once you select the winner they facilitate payment and all the good stuff. It's one of those web solutions where you slap yourself in the face for not thinking of it yourself, just a great service. Or watch this video at YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , Blip.tv , Veoh and i2TV

Architecture For Humanity - Nerd Stalker #41

(4 mins) Nerd Stalker interviews Ben Hester, Program Manager of Architecture For Humanity at the Web 2.0 Conference. Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. They are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. By tapping a network of more than 40,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, they bring design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed. You can also view this video at YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , Blip.tv and Veoh .

Startforce - Nerd Stalker #40

(3mins) Nerd Stalker interview with Startforce CEO, Jin Koh at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. Startforce is a complete Operating System, with all kinds of applications all within a browser, no installation of any kind required. All you need is a device with a web browser and nothing else and your good to go. He showed us a full office suite, media players and so much more, again all within a browser. I can see this being helpful if you travel and want a full custom os experience from some internet cafe and you don't want to mess around with remoting into your home machine. G.ho.st does something nearly identical with a slicker ui but that solution requires Flash support and according to Jin is slower than his pure AJAX solution. Startforce is free for personal use and they give you 1gb of free storage, of note G.ho.st is also free and offers 5gb of free storage with an additional 1gb with each person you refer, lets hope Startforce matches that offer soon. You can al

OoVoO - Nerd Stalker #39

(4mins) Nerd Stalker attends the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco and speaks to the CEO of ooVoo , Phillpe Schwartz. ooVoo is essentially a video conferencing solution with all the bells and whistles of any other solution. The differentiators seems to be the quality, the video streaming is very nice and you can choose weather to go hd or lower quality by a simple drop down selection. The ui/design is very nice, you can tell they spent some key time on this which is refreshing to see. Another big win is that the install supports both win and mac os, there is also a browser based solution such that if you conference someone in who does not have the app installed they will be supported. oovoo also has an api available to developers and a contest which offers $2500 for the best app. Or watch this video at YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , Blip.tv , Veoh and i2TV

Seesmic Desktop - The Definitive Twitter Client

Seesmic has just released a Twitter client called, "Seesmic Desktop" and although it's only a 0.1 preview release I have to say that this application has set the new standard for this space. What I found most interesting was: This was a Total Code Rewrite, they are working with Adobe and seem to really be pushing what AIR is capable of. Columns are all in one container, a great ux (and Tweetdeck like) improvement Duplicate post killer, smart enough to feed you one, very nice. A dropdown at the top that is smart enough to know what acct your replying from based on which it was sent to, very slick. Detachable columns Same partner services for distribution and url shortening with more coming. Drag and drop twitpic integration. Video is currently not supported but coming soon. Groups or as they call them "userlists". Again I must emphasize the support for multiple accounts is the absolute slam dunk, until everyone supports that, they aren't even in the same

BizSpark - Nerd Stalker #38

(7mins) Nerd Stalker interviews Dan'l Lewin , Microsoft Corporate VP of Business Development at the MIX09 conference. Dan'l talks about a compelling program targeting new startups called BizSpark . Think three years of all Microsoft tools and technology, and hosting with production licensing for FREE. Plus, it helps facilitate partnerships. And given that this is a global effort (in over 80 countries so far), the pool of talent available for your startup is significant. Dan'l also mentions other fantastic initiatives targeting both college and high school students. Nerd Stalker is pleased that Microsoft is helping startups develop and grow through BizSpark. This helps Microsoft remain relevant in emerging business. You can also view this video at YouTube , Yahoo , MySpace , Metacafe , DailyMotion , Blip.tv and Veoh

COLAAB - NERD STALKER #37

(7mins) Nerd Stalker interviews Bob Thomson, Founder of Scotland based company Storm Ideas at MIX09, they are a BizSpark featured startup featuring an amazing web application called COLAAB . Colaab showcases some of the most practical real world usage of both Silverlight and Deep Zoom technology we have seen. I was blown away by the way they efficiently handle gigantic image/asset sizes, I see this solution ideally suited for ad agency types, though perfectly capable of solving most other collaboration requirements as well. Colaab has one of the most impressive and just plain gorgeous interfaces, we are just blown away by all the features as well. Another plus is that this is all done in the browser and is hosted by Colaab so no overhead to you. Colaab has a free account and tiered pricing model, again nice to see a service charging for a compelling solution. Bob and Johnathan were two of the nicest guys we met at the MIX09 conference, I mean how can you not like a guy in a Ki

Jon Harris - MIX09 - Nerd Stalker #36

(3mins) Nerd Stalker interviews Jon Harris, Senior Product Manger of Microsoft Expression Blend & Design at MIX09. Jon's background is in design; he worked at Macromedia before joining Microsoft. Jon sheds some light on to the new Blend feature Sketchflow, which we are all so excited to try, as well as the future of the products. You can also watch at YouTube , MySpace , Metacafe , Blip.tv and Veoh

Bill Buxton- MIX09 - Nerd Stalker #35

PART 1 PART 2 Nerd Stalker is humbled to interview one of the greatest minds in interactive design: Bill Buxton . He is the author of Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design . Bill is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and has a 30 year involvement in research, design and commentary around human aspects of technology, and digital tools for creative endeavour, including music, film and industrial design. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a researcher at Xerox PARC, a professor at the University of Toronto, and Chief Scientist of Alias Research and SGI Inc. – where 2003 he was co-recipient of an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement. We typically edit videos down to bite-sized portions. However, this content is so good that we decided to break this in-depth conversation into two parts (approximately 8 minutes each). This interview is an absolute must-see for designers, user interface, industrial design, and user exper

Last Day at Mix09 update

iCandy - Nerd Stalker #35

(7mins) Sand Hill Road is known for being home to some of the greatest venture capital companies that have seeded some of the most successful start ups and crushed the dreams of countless others. So it was interesting that it is home to Ricoh Innovation Labs Inc. (RII) in the heart of Palo Alto on Sand Hill Road. RII has been chartered with guiding the future of Ricoh and one of the current endeavors is a very innovative project called iCandy . We were lucky enough to speak with Margarita Quihuis, Director and Jamey Graham, Distinguished Engineer about iCandy. iCandy (beta) is a free application that makes it easy to access and share your digital world offline. Through the power of QR codes , iCandy connects iTunes or websites to printed iCandy links that you can share in person. Use a webcam to scan your iCandy link and your computer launches the song or website instantly. iCandy helps you: Put digital music and the web in your hands for in-person sharing (parties, family

Getting ready to go to MIX09 in Vegas.

Strands - Nerd Stalker #34

4mins At a Mashable party in San Francisco, Nerd Stalker interviews Drew Olanoff, Community Manager of Strands. Strands develops recommendation and personalization technologies to help people discover new things. Strands' Social Recommender is capable of automatically learning people's tastes and how their preferences evolve over time. It can be used to generate real-time recommendations in a vast number of domains.

Countdown to MIX09: Design Is the New Black

Wanna be inspired? Listen to Bill Buxton talk about user experience and design for just 10 minutes, and then you won’t be able to sign-up fast enough for MIX09 in anticipation of his keynote at the conference. He’s the author of Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design , is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and has a 30 year involvement in research, design and commentary around human aspects of technology, and digital tools for creative endeavors, including music, film and industrial design. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a researcher at Xerox PARC, a professor at the University of Toronto, and Chief Scientist of Alias Research and SGI Inc, where he was a co-recipient of an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement! More information on Buxton and his work can be found at: www.billbuxton.com , or you could just come to MIX09 and meet him in person.

MIMvista - Nerd Stalker #33

(5 mins) At MacWorld, Nerd Stalker interviews Jeremy Brockway, Director of Software Architecture at Mimvista . Mimvista is the maker of the most important iPhone app you have never seen, until now. MIMvista Corp. is the provider of practical solutions for radiologists and oncologists. Their initial product offering has become the leading third party PET/CT software package. Subsequently, they have developed industry leading software in the fields of Radiology/Nuclear Medicine, Neuroimaging, Cardiac Imaging, and Radiation Oncology.

ffwd - Nerd Stalker #32

(8 mins) Nerd Stalker visits the San Francisco Soma headquarters of ffwd to speak with CEO Patrick Koppula. Koppula is an entertainment battle-tested entrepreneur formerly of iLike, but you would never know it based on the down to Earth demeanor. The man is bright and insightful; he is passionate about ffwd's mission and future. ffwd is to video what Pandora is to streaming music, the application does an amazing job at learning your tastes and creating online video channels customized based on your viewing habits. Beating out YouTube, ffwd recently won Mashable's People's Choice award for best video solution. ffwd has a fantastic web browser experience but they will soon have a great TV, DVD player, and mobile experience as well. They also have a great partnership with our friends over at Boxee so look for that integration. It has unlimited content potential syndicating from any source including YouTube, Funny or Die, New York Times, Comedy Central, Hulu and CBS. They

GE Augmented Reality 3D demo

Demo of General Electric Smart Grid Augmented Reality 3D hologram. Watch the 3D hologram come to life in my hands, then try it yourself. One note if you do try it , on the wind demo blow into your mic and see what happens.

Demo of Twhirl Seesmic integration

Request the preview Twhirl application.

Evernote - Nerd Stalker #31

(8mins) At a standing-room only SF New Tech event, I spoke with Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, a software application that allows users to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient. It makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. We discussed history, humor, and the future of Evernote.

Arzoola - Nerd Stalker #30

(4mins) Nerd Stalker interview with Arzoola CEO, Roie Edery. Arzoola provides free privacy protection tools and promotes awareness of the exploding epidemic of identity theft, phone & text message spamming, harassment, and other privacy related crimes.

Roost - Nerd Stalker #29

(4mins) Roost is hands down the best real estate tool available for consumers. The biggest advantage they have is access to the much desired Multiple Listing Service in various locations across the country. We get the opportunity to talk with Senior Director of Marketing and Social Media, Derek Overbey. Roost offers two services in parallel - a consumer search engine for places to live and a technology platform for REALTORS®.

Eye-Fi - Nerd Stalker #28

(5mins) We attend a very special SF New Tech meeting at Dolby Digital Labs. One of the great companies presenting was the current darling of wifi photography, Eye-Fi. We interview a super cool cat, Ziv Gillat co-founder and VP of Business Development. Eye-Fi sells SD cards for your digital cameras that have wifi built in, this allows you to simply take a picture and (provided you have wifi available) instantly upload geo tagged photos to your computer, social media, and online photo services. I witnessed the Eye-Fi in action and I must say I was very impressed, in fact they recently won MacWorld and CES awards.

TurnHere - Nerd Stalker #27

(4mins) Interview with TurnHere Director of Marketing Morgan Brown at a Mashable SF party. TurnHere is a leading Internet video production and advertising company for both big brands and small businesses. Leveraging professional 7,000-strong filmmaker network, TurnHere creates professional-quality, authentic, engaging online video around the world at a fraction of the cost of traditional production. Big brands looking to make video an important aspect of their Web presence and online directory resellers looking to offer online video to business customers turn to TurnHere for their online video needs.

Boxee - Nerd Stalker #26

(8mins) Nerd Stalker kicks the 2009 door down with a very special first interview of the year. We attend an exclusive SF New Tech meet up at Dolby Digital Labs where we have an information packed talk with Product Evangelist Dave Mathews of Boxee . Boxee is in closed Alpha (until 1/8/09 for Mac & Ubuntu) but Nerd Stalker viewers get in if you sign up within the next 48 hours. On a laptop or connected to an HDTV, boxee gives you a true entertainment experience to enjoy your movies, TV shows, music and photos, as well as streaming content from websites like Hulu, Netflix, CBS, Comedy Central, Last.fm, and flickr. Boxee is the best media center solution i've seen hands down, you ask why? Open Source (xbmc) Amazing Codec Support Social Network Support (Twitter, Friendfeed, etc) Partnerships (See list above)