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MATTERWORKS ANNOUNCES BOARD UPDATES

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SOMERVILLE, Mass., Feb. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Matterworks, Inc., developers of a foundational AI platform for modeling biology to accelerate discovery and development in the life sciences, today announces additions to its Board of Directors.

Matterworks is pleased to announce the appointments of Michael Lavin, a Managing Partner at Germin8 Ventures and Dr. Shubhra Jain, Head of Health-Tech Venture Investments at Tarsadia, as Board Members.

Germin8 Ventures specializes in transformative food and agriculture technologies and solutions. Michael Lavin, Managing Partner, brings experience from investment banking and consulting for clients ranging from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies. Lavin also previously served on an executive team, leading highly strategic internal corporate development advisory and M&A for Mesirow Financial, a global financial services firm managing more than $250 billion of assets.

According to Lavin, “though bioinformatics is a relatively young field of science, it is already ushering a revolutionary wave of omics tools, AI-enabled discovery engines yielding new medicines, precision therapies, diagnostic tools, new chemistries and new knowledge with limitless potential. While advanced lab instrumentation like liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry have produced the data to make all of this possible, the workflow still requires hands-on interpretation and has received little attention from software and AI, due to there being no semantic foundation in biology. Matterworks has built a breakthrough LLM consisting of unstructured biological spectra (data) and is predictive across a multitude of use cases, with astounding fluency, generating metabolite concentrations into actionable biological data. Matterworks’ ability to exploit unstructured biological data could usher in powerful new applications of untargeted omics modelling in many industries across life sciences, industrial chemicals, agriculture, and food. Germin8 sought to find innovators who shared our thesis at the intersection of biotech workflows and generative AI, and Matterworks was inspirational and executing on every level. We’re excited to partner with the Matterworks team, as well as our closely regarded venture colleagues, in building this transformational company that is on track to be biology’s AI backbone.”

Dr. Jain leads Tarsadia’s venture and growth equity investments in health-tech, a platform with over $2B in assets under management. In addition to her background as a primary care physician, she brings deep expertise in health-tech from her experience investing in companies such as Berkeley Lights, Zymergen and Mission Bio. Dr. Jain also previously led product development and launch at a health-tech startup as an operator. She has her M.S. in Engineering from Stanford School of Engineering and her MBA from The Wharton School.

According to Dr. Jain, “our scientific community’s efforts are just beginning to scratch the surface as we develop our understanding of the complexities of biology. Matterworks is uniquely positioned to leverage the latest advancements in AI to empower our scientific community and further our understanding of biology. At Tarsadia, we make high conviction investments in category defining companies. We are thrilled to be supporting the Matterworks team through this journey as they lay the foundations for interpreting biological data at an unprecedented scale and speed.”

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Jain and Mr. Lavin at this exciting time in the Company’s trajectory. Their expertise will help drive us as we commercialize our first product and extend our foundation AI platform to new life science and biopharma applications,” says Dr. Jack Geremia, Matterworks CEO. The company recently launched Pyxis™, to solve the long-standing challenge of absolute quantitation in untargeted small-molecule analysis key to metabolomics, drug discovery and development. Pyxis is now in commercialization with select healthcare and life sciences companies.

About Matterworks

Matterworks is pioneering advances in AI that reveal insights otherwise hidden within the immense complexity of biological data. Our Large Spectral Model (LSM) platform is reinventing the analysis and interpretation of omic measurements, including advanced phenotype prediction and whole metabolome reading. To learn more, visit https://www.matterworks.ai.

View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/matterworks-announces-board-updates-302059731.html

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XPRIZE WATER SCARCITY COMPETITION LAUNCHES TO UNLOCK THE ABUNDANCE OF EARTH’S SEAS AND OCEANS

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The 5-year, $150M competition with a $119M prize purse is designed to create new desalination solutions that increase access to clean water globally 

ABU DHABI, UAE, March 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, today launches XPRIZE Water Scarcity. Made possible by a $150M investment from the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative, this 5-year global competition, with a $119M total prize purse, is designed to drive widespread access to clean water by creating reliable, sustainable, and affordable seawater desalination solutions. Competing teams will aim to develop technologies that can responsibly expand access to the water contained in Earth’s seas and oceans, positively impacting billions of people globally, and creating a world where clean water is more equitably available and sustainably abundant.

Water is essential for life on Earth. 70% of our planet is covered in water, yet virtually everyone on Earth is experiencing some form of water stress; right now, only 0.5% of our planet’s water is available to support 8 billion people. As our fresh water supplies are rapidly diminishing due to various factors, including climate change and the impact of agricultural and industrial uses, many major cities around the world are approaching “Day Zero,” the day their water supply is estimated to run out. As a result, populations face threats of stricter water rationing, sanitation and hygiene issues, environmental and economic damage, and conflict for resources.

With seas and oceans holding over 96% of Earth’s water, seawater desalination has become an increasingly attractive option for providing reliable access to water for countries and communities around the world. However, current desalination technologies lack the efficiency, affordability, and sustainability to generate clean water at the scale that will be required to address rapidly rising water scarcity around the globe. Current desalination plants also predominantly operate using fossil fuels and water treatment materials that raise sustainability concerns, while water intake and brine output processes can have a negative impact on vulnerable marine ecosystems.

“While a small number of countries are using advanced desalination solutions to supply their citizens with clean water, innovation in seawater desalination has been largely stagnant; current solutions remain too expensive and are not cost-effectively scalable to be able to meaningfully benefit the majority of the world,” said Anousheh Ansari, chief executive officer, XPRIZE. “The world needs a cutting-edge breakthrough to make desalination a more cost-effective and sustainable solution that could be adopted more widely around the world, enabling people and the environment to prosper.”

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative, said: “Increasing water scarcity is a growing threat to global security and prosperity that demands a decisive and coordinated response from the international community. The establishment of XPRIZE Water Scarcity is consistent with the ambition of the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative to raise the importance of water scarcity on the global agenda and to help accelerate the development and deployment of transformative new solutions to this urgent challenge.”

XPRIZE Water Scarcity is the first competition of its kind focused on disrupting desalination systems at this scale. The prize incentivizes competing teams to create new solutions that are measurably more affordable, reliable, environmentally sustainable, and resilient in a changing climate than existing methods. Teams will rethink desalination systems, methods, and materials to find ways of providing more safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable water in support of fast-growing population centers and other communities around the world.

“With global water demand projected to outstrip supply by 40% by 2030, the timeliness of this competition couldn’t be more crucial. We’re confident this prize will initiate a necessary step-change in desalination efforts to help address global water scarcity,” said Lauren Greenlee, executive vice president of Food + Water + Waste, XPRIZE. “We know that breakthroughs can come from anywhere, and by focusing on system-level innovation and flexible criteria alongside exploration of novel materials, our goal is to broaden inputs from a wide variety of fields and evaluate all possible solutions.”

“Desalination is poised for enormous growth in the 21st century as communities, industries, and countries diversify their water supplies and make their water systems more resilient against climate change,” said Dr. Peter S. Fiske, executive director, National Alliance for Water Innovation. “By attracting innovators from around the world to focus on making desalination more energy efficient, cost effective, and environmentally beneficial, I am optimistic that XPRIZE Water Scarcity will lead to a burst of innovation and cost reduction for this critical technology.”

“Sustainable and affordable desalination systems are crucial as we work toward securing sources of freshwater worldwide to offset global water scarcity,” said Shannon McCarthy, Secretary General, International Desalination and Reuse Association. “I’m confident the dynamic XPRIZE to address Water Scarcity will incentivize game-changing innovation in the desalination community and the breakthroughs we need to address the accelerating water challenges around the world, ensuring water for all.”

This multi-track competition centers around a core track to rethink the desalination system. The winning team will reliably and most sustainably generate one million liters of potable water per day (1,000 m3/d) from seawater at the lowest cost, below a target benchmark to ensure global accessibility, over the course of 1 year; sufficient to support 10,000 people (based on WHO Standards). The Novel Membrane Materials track will pursue the search for the perfect membrane to cut the cost of water production and increase reliability and sustainability, paving a future path to extend the lifetime of existing seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants.

The title sponsor of XPRIZE Water Scarcity is the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative, which is dedicated to raising awareness of water scarcity and increasing its prioritization on the international agenda while accelerating the development, testing and deployment at scale of transformative and sustainable technological solutions to this global challenge.

Register to compete, learn more and get involved at xprize.org/water.

About XPRIZE

XPRIZE is an established global leader in designing, launching, and executing large-scale competitions to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. Our unique model democratizes innovation by incentivizing crowd-sourced, scientifically viable solutions to create a more equitable and abundant future for all. Donate, learn more, or join a team at xprize.org.   

About the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative

The Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative (MBZWI) is committed to driving coordinated action to address the growing threat of global water scarcity. Founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, MBZWI seeks to raise awareness of water scarcity and increase its prioritisation on the global agenda, while harnessing the power of targeted investment, accelerated technological innovation and expanded international cooperation to overcome this challenge for the benefit of current and future generations.

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View original content:https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/xprize-water-scarcity-competition-launches-to-unlock-the-abundance-of-earths-seas-and-oceans-302076364.html

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Experts in Tech and Politics Merge to Launch Needle PR: The Communications Agency that Makes A Point

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New agency applies cross-industry expertise to move the needle for companies, venture funds, and movements shaping our world

NEW YORK, March 1, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Needle, the communications agency that makes a point, announced its launch today.

We’re maximizing our clients’ relevance and reputation at a time when attention is hard to capture. That’s why our guiding principle is ‘make a point’ – we get to the heart of why you matter.

Co-founders Tess Pawlisch and Margaret Huang bring decades of communications expertise to the firm from global and boutique PR agencies, in-house communications roles, and political campaigns. Needle will focus on finding the common thread that connects clients to stories that matter and advance their goals. Clients benefit from tailored programs designed to fit their stage and business objectives, along with Needle’s unique understanding of the current economic, social, and political climate.

Tess Pawlisch, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, has devoted her 15+ year career to promoting values-driven brands and underrepresented voices from Washington, D.C. to Silicon Valley. Most recently, Tess was the Director of Business Development at The Key, a San Francisco-based tech PR firm. During her tenure, she forged relationships with venture capital funds, tech startups, and social impact organizations, drove the agency’s new business efforts, and led account teams in artificial intelligence, climate, financial services, healthcare, and more. Prior to working in tech public relations, Tess led fundraising and communication programs for non-profits, philanthropic organizations, and campaigns to help elect presidents, governors, attorneys general, senators, supreme court justices, congresspeople, state legislative leaders, and mayors.

Joining Tess is tech PR veteran Margaret Huang, Needle’s Chief Strategy Officer. Margaret’s expertise spans decades and industries, from consumer lifestyle brands to transformative technology companies, from the early dotcom days to Web3. Her client experience ranges from retail giants The North Face and Nordstrom to tech pioneers HP, LinkedIn, and Mint, to blockchain leader Algorand. She is a trusted advisor to founders, venture capitalists, C-suite executives, and journalists alike, and a big-picture thinker who elevates communications strategies.

“We love working with founders and companies to define their brands and narrative, and ultimately inspire action,” said Huang. “We’re maximizing their relevance and reputation at a time when attention is hard to capture. That’s why our guiding principle is ‘make a point’ – we get to the heart of why you matter.”

Services + Clients

Needle provides a full range of services from communications strategy and media relations to content development and thought leadership.

“Our clients are fundamentally changing the way entire systems and industries operate,” said Pawlisch. “They are making our world more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable, and we look forward to growing alongside them.”

The agency launches with a strong roster across industries — artificial intelligence, consumer technology, climate, healthcare, political advocacy, and venture capital — including:

Algorand Foundation, a not-for-profit organization empowering a dynamic, inclusive, and borderless global ecosystem based on the Algorand blockchain technology.Amulet, a company shining a light on invisible threats in our food system with two core brands:Allergy Amulet helps consumers determine whether their foods are safe by detecting potentially life-threatening allergenic ingredients.Amulet Scientific equips businesses and manufacturers with tools to help ensure the safety of their food supply chain.Arrive Recommerce, the industry leader powering sustainable and profitable resale.EnsoData, a waveform AI healthcare technology company streamlining clinical workflows from diagnosis to therapy, starting in sleep.Float, the marketplace moving all the care that doesn’t need a hospital to the home.Necessary Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in companies building what the world needs.Parfin, a fintech company providing secure digital asset custody, trading, and management through blockchain infrastructure.Pyrium, a modern-day investment platform addressing generational wealth gaps by allowing anyone to invest in high-growth companies.Rubi Laboratories, a startup turning industrial CO₂ emissions into cellulosic textiles to replace trees as an input in man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCFs).Run the World, a boutique non-profit and political consulting firm.

“Necessary runs a lean team, like most venture firms. As a result, we’re always looking for ways to help founders succeed that are both scalable and effective,” said Neil Devani, founder and managing partner of Necessary Ventures. “Needle has helped the firm build its reputation as a trusted partner and resource to founders. The results that their team has brought to our portfolio companies have supported hiring, fundraising, and growth.”

About Needle

Needle is the communications agency that makes a point. We build programs that move the needle for companies, venture funds, and movements shaping our world. Applying our cross-industry expertise, we elevate clients who are changing how we live, work, and connect. Designed to scale, Needle’s programs are tailored to grow with our clients and advance their business. Needle is based in New York and California. Learn more at needlepr.com.

Media Contact

Margaret Huang, Needle PR, 1 4158671626, margaret@needlepr.com, www.needlepr.com

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With a Two-Year Revenue Growth of 98% Würk Ranks No. 49 on Inc. Magazine’s List of the Rocky Mountain Region’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

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Companies on the 2024 Inc. 5000 Regionals: Rocky Mountain list had an average growth rate of 122.44 percent.  

DENVER, March 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Inc. magazine today revealed that Würk is No. 49 on its fourth annual Inc. 5000 Regionals: Rocky Mountain list, the most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing Rocky Mountain private companies, based in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. Born of the annual Inc. 5000 franchise, this regional list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the Rocky Mountain economy’s most dynamic segment–its independent small businesses.

“This recognition as No. 49 on the prestigious Inc. 5000 Regionals: Rocky Mountain list is a testament to the hard work and vision of every member of the Würk family,” said Deborah Saneman, CEO of Würk. “As we continue to push boundaries and shape the future of the cannabis industry, we remain steadfast in our mission to redefine excellence and leave a lasting impact on the world around us.”

The companies on this list show a remarkable rate of growth across all industries in the Rocky Mountain region. Between 2020 and 2022, these 72 private companies had an average growth rate of 122.44 percent; by 2023, they’d also added 3,838 jobs and $1.7 billion to the region’s economy.    

Complete results of the Inc. 5000 Regionals: Rocky Mountain, including company profiles, can be found at inc.com/RockyMountain starting February 27, 2024. You’ll also find an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, metro area, and other criteria.

“The honorees in our Inc. 5000 network are the Who’s Who of private companies. They’re energizing regional economies as they engineer the future of their industries. Learn who they are and what they do — they’ll be impacting things for a while,” said Eric Hagerman, Special Projects Editor at Inc. Media.

About Würk
Würk allows cannabis companies to manage payroll, human resources, timekeeping, scheduling and tax compliance, and minimizes compliance risks in the ever-changing cannabis regulatory environment. The company uses its expertise and trusted partnerships to provide guidance on 280E tax law, accounting and compliant banking. Its platform is designed to scale nationally with the growth of the industry, while incorporating the local laws and regulations unique to individual states. Würk is the first payroll provider, and only the third company in the cannabis technology industry, to complete a System and Organization Controls (SOC) 1 Type 2 Audit of systematic controls by a third party CPA firm. For more information visit enjoyWurk.com.

Media Contact
MATTIO Communications
wurk@mattio.com

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Regionals

Methodology
The 2024 Inc. 5000 Regionals are ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2020 and 2022. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2020. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2022. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2020 is $100,000; the minimum for 2022 is $1 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons.  

About Inc. Media  
The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent.

The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit www.inc.com

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SOURCE Würk

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