In severe downturn, some Richmond-area startups thrive, some pivot, others wait and hope

in severe downturn, some richmond-area startups thrive, some pivot, others wait and hope


The coronavirus pandemic forced the founders of Brandefy out of their office in downtown Richmond and even stranded one of the startup company’s employees overseas, but it hasn’t stopped the venture from forging ahead with its business plans.In fact, during the pandemic, the Richmond-based startup has seen a lot more consumer interest in its technology service –  a website and mobile app that enables shoppers to compare prices and ingredients for various skin care and cosmetic products.”We have seen a huge increase in engagement,” said Meg Pryde,  Brandefy’s chief executive officer who co-founded the business with Carolyn Kochard. They were friends in undergraduate school at the University of Virginia before founding the business in 2017.

Brandefy is one example of a local startup company that has grasped at opportunities emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.Some startup companies are pivoting their business models to meet challenges presented by the pandemic, while others have been pushed into more of a “wait-and-see” mode, hoping for the economy to recover over the next few months or year.The coronavirus has resulted in a severe hit to local startups such as FarmRaiser, which runs a website where fundraiser organizers can connect with local farmers …



Berkeley Talks: America wants gun control. Why doesn’t it have it?

berkeley talks: america wants gun control. why doesn’t it have it?


Read the transcript.
Subscribe to Berkeley Talks, a Berkeley News podcast that features lectures and conversations at UC Berkeley.
Detail of a mural by Kyle Holbrook and local youth in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Terence Faircloth via Flickr)
“If having a gun really made you safer, then America would be one of the safest countries in the world. It’s not,” said Gary Younge, a professor of sociology at Manchester University and former editor-at-large at the Guardian, in a lecture at UC Berkeley on March 4, 2020.
Gary Younge is a professor of sociology at Manchester University, former editor-at-large at the Guardian and author of Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives, published in 2016. (Photo courtesy of Gary Younge)
“Yet while Americans consistently favor more gun control,” Younge continues, “gun laws have generally become more lax. That is partly due to the material resources of the gun lobby. But it is also about the central role of the gun, what it represents in the American narrative, and the inability of gun control advocates to develop a counter-narrative. … When the national narrative is a story of conquering, dominating, force and power, a broad atavistic attachment to the …


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PE-backed KSMC buys Advocate Solutions | PE Hub

pe-backed ksmc buys advocate solutions | pe hub


KSM Consulting, a portfolio company of Renovus Capital Partners, has acquired Advocate Solutions, an IT services firm.




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Five promoted in city schools | Mt. Airy News

five promoted in city schools | mt. airy news


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A number of Mount Airy City Schools officials have been promoted to newly vacant or created positions, with a few of the changes coming about as a result of the retirement this spring of long-time Career and Technical Education director Larry Davis.
• Olivia Sikes will be taking over as director of accountability and Career and Technical Education effective July 1. She will support accountability throughout the district as well as replacing Davis as the head of the career and technical education program. She has served as principal of Mount Airy Middle School for the past three years where she was named Principal of the Year in 2019.
Prior to her leadership at the middle school, she was Tharrington Primary School’s principal for three years following 10 years as a high school math teacher where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2012. During her years as a school leader, she has guided the middle school through the redesignation as one of the Schools to Watch, celebrated with her staff the N.C. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Lighthouse School Award, and led her staff as they earned a spot as a top middle …


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Council Post: The Next Frontier Of Education

council post: the next frontier of education



Education has been flipped upside down in the last couple of months. With the emergence of the novel coronavirus and most of the world being confined to their homes, traditional teachers and schools have had to adapt quickly.
I want to look at how education has been changing over the last several years and how, along with COVID-19, the advancement and accessibility of technology have caused it to evolve faster.
What’s wrong with traditional education right now?
Education, by and large, has not changed much over the last century. Students normally begin schooling around four or five years old. They are put into a class of 20-30 students, and they are all taught the same thing. This method does not really change until they are at least 18 years old.

There is little to no ability for personalized learning in that environment. Students are all taught the same way, at the same time, by the same teacher. They have no say in the matter.
Then once they graduate, students are told they need to decide their future right then and there. They are told to select a university course that suits the career they want for the next 30-40 …


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COVID-19 Pries Open the U.S. Education Market for Those up to the Task

covid-19 pries open the u.s. education market for those up to the task


Assessments Middle East and North Africa Analyst, StratforJun 5, 2020 | 10:00 GMT

Seven-year-old Hamza Haqqani uses a computer at his home in Bartlett, Illinois, to participate in an online lesson with his teacher and classmates on May 1, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)As the outbreak keeps kids home, online learning companies able to meet U.S. schools’ diverse financial and curriculum needs will have the chance to become mainstays of the American education system….


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Brevard schools to get up to $15 million in COVID-19 relief as budget shortfalls loom

brevard schools to get up to $15 million in covid-19 relief as budget shortfalls loom



About 175 people marched and rallied around and near the parking lot of the West Melbourne Walmart calling for justice and for better police behavior.

Florida TodayBrevard Public Schools expects to receive up to $15 million in COVID-19 federal relief aid to help cover pandemic-related expenses and losses, the school district said in a release Thursday.The announcement comes as the school district faces a projected $13 million shortfall in the next budget year, the release said.The relief funds are part of the $13.2 billion for federal K-12 education aid in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed by the U.S. Congress in March, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act.The money is earmarked for expenses related to the district’s COVID-19 response, but state restrictions on use of the funds have yet to be fleshed out, district spokeswoman Nicki Hensley said.”We know there will be parameters, but we don’t know yet exactly what that will be,” Hensley said.A significant portion of the total, anticipated to be between $14 million and $15 million, is likely to go toward enhancements in educational technology for virtual learning and mental health initiatives related to the pandemic, Hensley said.More: Parents …


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NH Virtual Google Summit 2020

nh virtual google summit 2020


NHTI is proud to sponsor the annual NH Virtual Summit featuring G Suite for Education. Google Summits bring enthusiastic and innovative educators together to ignite learning with creative, effective and practical ways using educational technology with sound pedagogy. No matter where you are in your journey using G Suite and other technology tools and techniques, you will instantly be inspired and learn ways to make your job more fulfilling and your students successful in their learning endeavors! The ‘Google’ Summit experience is always the most fun you’ll have learning and the virtual summit is not your typical online learning experience either! This is the perfect opportunity to jump start your next school year! $129More Information + Registration:


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How to Make the Case for Cybersecurity

how to make the case for cybersecurity



The education sector still lags behind other industries when it comes to cybersecurity.
A 2018 SecurityScorecard report found that education ranked last out of 17 industries in the country in terms of overall cybersecurity posture. It also found that education ranked poorly in three key areas: application security, patching cadence and network security.
That’s a serious concern today, especially with cybercriminals increasingly targeting K–12 school districts holding massive amounts of student data.
Thankfully, IT leaders continue to prioritize cybersecurity. In fact, for three years straight, IT leaders in education ranked it as their No. 1 technology priority, according to a recent ed tech leadership survey conducted by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).
READ MORE: Find out why cybersecurity leadership should extend beyond IT.
But some IT leaders still lack resources to successfully develop a cybersecurity program. I’ve seen that firsthand as a former instructional technology director.
As a CDW•G K–12 education strategist working with different school districts, I’ve also found that there are plenty of IT folks out there who are having trouble getting buy-in from peers and decision-makers in their districts when it comes to implementing security tools and training.
To help everyone in a …


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