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Ripple Labs Raises Massive $28 Million Series A Round

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Ripple Labs Raises Massive $28 Million Series A Round


Co- Produced by Ian Kar at FinTechToday and Breaking Banks:

Ripple Labs, the innovative startup focusing on the distributed ledger and supports of the popular Ripple protocol, has raised a $28 million Series A round, the company announced in a press release today.

There are a number of interesting participants in the round, including IDG Capital Partners, the venture capital divisions of CME Group and Seagate Technology, Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, and ChinaRock Capital Management. Smaller participants in the round include Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., Core Innovation Capital, Route 66 Venture, RRE Ventures, and others.

According to the press release, the mixed group of investors is intentional, they “supports the vision for Ripple to enable an Internet of Value (IoV) by powering the real-time, secure settlement of funds for banks and multi-national companies worldwide.” Not only are these investors involved in banking, but also have experience as market makers (an arbitrage service for market liquidity), corporate finance, and other potential uses for the Ripple protocol, like forex.

“Our mission is to modernize decades-old payments infrastructure with IP-based technology so value moves around the world as freely, easily, securely and transparently as information on the web today,” said Ripple Labs CEO and co-founder Chris Larsen. “Financial institutions, market makers and corporations are laying the foundation for this Internet of Value, contributing and providing liquidity for global payments. With investors like CME Group and Seagate joining the fold, we’re well positioned to accelerate adoption amongst these key customers.”

Li Feng, partner at IDG Capital Partners, will be joining Ripple’s Board of Directors, along with Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi, and CreditEase.

What Is Ripple Labs?

Ripple Labs uses a distributed, open source, ledger to carry out secure, instant, and nearly free transactions around the world. It supports its native currency, Ripples (XRP), but also fiat currency, cryptocurrency, and other units of value like frequent flier miles.

Because of the different units of values supported and the instant global transfers, the Ripple protocol has a ton of potential in the eyes of entrepreneurs and investors. For instance, users can use the protocol to sell frequent flier miles for dollars or bitcoin; send money to family across the world instantly and for free, which is quite a painful process; and easily and quickly turn fiat currencies into cryptocurrencies, and vice versa. There are a few of high profile startups operating on the Ripple protocol as well, including Epiphyte — a startup that creates enterprise software solutions for financial institutions to securely integrate with cryptofinancial networks and one of the winners of the 2014 Innotribe Startup Challenge.

While Ripple Labs has seen a plethora of praise over the past few years — including a spot on the coveted 50 Smartest Companies list by MIT Technology Review and praise from members of the St. Louis Federal Reserve — the company came under some regulatory heat recently. FinCEN, a bureau of the Treasury Department and the federal body that regulates virtual currency, fined Ripple Labs $700,000 for violating the Bank Secrecy Act. CoinDesk has more details here, but, primarily, Ripple Labs failed to register as a money services business before selling XRP, which cause the company to not properly implement anti-money laundering procedures. However, FinCen and Ripple Labs announced a settlement, which includes the fine and other stipulations, including biannual compliance audits through 2020.

Eagles Rest / American Heroes Apparel

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Eagles Rest / American Heroes Apparel



Adrien Neely President and Director Eagle’s Rest of Georgia, Inc. (“Eagle’s Rest”) is a Georgia non-profit corporation founded to provide a sanctuary and retreat for Military Chaplains and their spouses

Chaplain (ordained, non-military)

Atlanta International Airport

The Interfaith Chaplaincy program provides multifaceted ministry in the world’s busiest airport, providing a sanctuary for returning military, passengers, visitors, airport employees of all faiths for prayer and meditation. Chaplain services include: prayer, counseling, meal assistance, travel assistance, Military Honor Guard Escort, and grief crisis assistance, etc.

Emory University Hospital Mid-Town

Hospital Chaplain (on-call)

Responded to all Code situations and made routine visits to patients, their family members, and Hospital Staff as requested.

Supervisor of Counseling Center

In Touch Ministries, Inc. (with Dr. Charles Stanley)

Provided individual counseling by phone and in-person as needed.

Answered Dr. Stanley’s calls and letters, often from other pastors.

Founder and President

Grace Mountain Ministries

Provided one-on-one counseling with pastors and their wives.

Founder and President

New Creation Counseling Services, Inc.

Provided marriage & family counseling, and crisis intervention services.

Responsible for fund-raising, PR, and training & supervision of Volunteers.

Introducing our guest: Chris Morrissey

Owner American Heroes Apparel

Owner and President of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a nationally recognized, award winning promotional marketing company. As a third generation owner of the family business started in 1955, Chris has guided the company into the modern marketing world by adding print, exhibition and mobile marketing services to the company’s full line of capabilities and offerings. Most recently, Chris served as a Legislative Chairperson for the Promotional Products Association International and was a PPAI Gold Pyramid Award winner in 2013. Prior to joining the family business in 1998, Chris spent 8 years in the corporate criminal investigations world and led multiple teams in the investigation of large theft rings and corporate embezzlement cases.



American Heroes Network

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American Heroes Network


It has been said that we are only a generation away from forgetting our history. Disabled American Veterans struggle every day to overcome life-changing sacrifices. Their stories provides a vital part of history that has contributed to our American tradition.

American Heroes Network provides a way for individuals, corporations and small businesses to support our Heroes by helping our veterans and their families rebuild their lives. They help aim our veterans, looking for jobs, in the right direction, help provide homes for our troops, assisting individuals and their families who have been severely injured while serving in the U.S. military and providing scholarships for families of our Fallen Heroes. American Heroes Network presents two guests Maj. Ed Pulido and Brett Dick as they talk about their experiences in the military, programs for helping fallen warriors and their background.

Maj. Ed Pulido (Ret.) is the Vice President of the Folds of Honor Foundation, a Veteran’s charity which provides the spouses and children of the fallen and wounded educational scholarships.  Additionally, he is the Board President and Founder of Warriors for Freedom Foundation, a leadership institute focused on the mental, physical and holistic recovery of our wounded warriors and their families. Major Pulido has a degree in Military Science, Marketing, and Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Logistics Management/ Human Relations. He attained the Rank of Major in his 19-year military career and on May 16, 2005, he was medically retired from the United States Army.

On the 17th of August, 2004, Major Pulido hit an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D) or roadside bomb while serving with the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team under the command of General David Petraeus. Due to the extensive injuries to his left knee, doctors had to amputate his left leg on October 1, 2004. For his heroism and valor on that August day, the President of the United States along with General David Petraeus awarded him the Bronze Star with valor, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and Joint Service Commendation and Achievement Medals.

Major Pulido’s story of courage and sacrifice has been featured in Time Magazine, PGA Magazine, Fox News, CNN and many national and local Oklahoma City television stations and print media. Since, his amputation, Major Pulido has been a staunch advocate for veterans with disabilities, specifically focusing on advocacy efforts to promote prosthetic technologies with Ortho Care Innovations, peer visiting with fellow amputees at Brooke and Walter Reed Medical Centers, and raising awareness on the needs of veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries (T.B.I) on behalf of the DOD and VA Real Warriors National Campaign.

He has received countless awards including the prestigious Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award, the Hero’s award from the American Red Cross, the Reaching our City Award, OKC Thunder/Devon Energy Community Hero Award, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Veteran Patient Award. Additionally, he has received the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation Award for national and state level service and the Tuskahoma Brown Miller Award for outstanding leadership.

On a personal note, Major Pulido during his time in the hospital experienced the inner darkness of depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation that would cripple his positive spirit. This inner darkness he describes as a “deep wounding of a soldiers spirit”. It was at that time that he understood that as a Warrior he could not walk alone in this journey. In that moment, he asked for help from his God, Country, his family and the American people. The result of this intervention would put his life on the road to recovery. It would also be the building block for his understanding the inner wounds of war and making sure that mental health is a focus of the Department of Defense and the VA.

Major Pulido currently serves on the boards of the Mental Health Association, Pros 4 Vets, Oklahoma 211 and Operation Homefront. He is a national and global spokesperson for the DOD and VA Real Warriors National Campaign and he chairs the Oklahoma Veterans Policy Academy a partnership with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services with a mission to address the mental health needs of returning service members, Veterans and their families. Ed Pulido has been married to Karen Pulido for 19 years. He has a daughter Kaitlin and a daughter Kinsley. He and his family reside in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Brett Dick is one of the Warriors for Freedom founders and is responsible for the day-to-day activities including fundraising, program management, marketing, budget management and relationship cultivation. He has worked with many charitable groups that assist with raising awareness in the veteran community. He served on the Board of Directors fir the Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma and currently serves as the Board of Director for the Aaron Alley Memorial Scholarship Fund. He is also  a member of the Coordinating Council of Oklahoma and a member of the MHACO Veterans Advisory Committee. Brett’s goal is to make Warriors for Freedom meet the needs of our physically and mentally wounded veterans unlike any other organization by introducing them to their peers in an activity and environment that is comfortable to them.

This will be a weekly hour long show joined by our military heroes and people and organizations that make a difference. American Heroes Network airs live Tuesdays at 8 AM Pacific, powered by Voice America Variety. Tune in every Tuesday at 8 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.

A Message from our Founder, Cynthia Brian

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Since I was a child I have pursued the possibilities of life with passion and purpose. As an adult I’ve been labeled a “Possibility, Passion, and Purpose Producer” and I do believe that aptly describes me. My goal is to help others find their passion and purpose in life to be the stars they were born to be. Empowering, encouraging, and enabling my volunteers, clients, friends, and family to live their dreams makes me happy and fulfilled. Laughing, listening, and leading are my strengths. What I’ve learned through believing in possibility is that passion plus purpose equals probability.

My weakness is fundraising. Being the Executive Director of a 501 c3 charity, part of my job is bringing in the dollars to fund our numerous outreach projects. Fundraising is a challenge for me. I don’t like asking for money. I wish I had the chutzpah of a former Dean at my husband’s university who straight-forwardly would ask alumni for their wallets. To this day when my husband sees the Dean, he hands over his wallet before he is asked. Dean had the gift of Midas. I’m still on the learning curve.

In April, Be the Star You Are!® was once again honored as a TOP NON PROFIT, one of the first fifty to be so honored out of over 1.3 million charities. Thank you to everyone who supports us and believes in our mission to serve women, families, and youth through improved literacy, increased positive media, and tools for living.

Part of winning this accolade gives us the opportunity to offer you ways that you can financially contribute to our cause, many times without spending an additional penny.  If you LOVE to shop, consider doing your online shopping at more than 1300 stores through our direct site at IGIVE.com/BTSYA. Register for free here. It costs you nothing and every time you buy anything via IGIVE.com/BTSYA, the stores pay a percentage to Be the Star You Are!®. Another great way is to buy and sell through our special EBAY site. When you buy, shop for items that benefit us. When you sell, designate Be the Star You Are!® to receive 10-100% of your final sale price. Here’s our short link:  bit.ly/1jy9kBI. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

There are numerous other ways to support Be the Star You Are!® while getting something for yourself including buying our books, T-shirts, sponsoring our outreach programs, organizing an event, booking radio interviews, and much more. Check out http://www.btsya.com/donations.html for ideas or make a tax- deductible donation via PAYPAL or send a check to BTSYA PO Box 376. Moraga, Ca. 94556. 100% of your donation benefits programs as Be the Star You Are!® is an ALL volunteer non profit with no salaried employees.

Summer is around the corner and my wish for you is that you take the time to savor the sweetness of nature. Believe in the possibilities of your aspirations, apply your passion with purpose, and reap the benefits.

Thanks for being part of our STAR family. My virtual door is always open. (And when you hand us your wallets, we’ll send you a tax receipt!) 


Shine on! 

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