ACT to Expand in India

The ACT test will be available to more students in India thanks to a new agreement between ACT and MeritTrac, India’s leading pure play testing and assessment company. The agreement will allow ACT to reach more students in India who wish to pursue their higher education in the United States. “We are thrilled to be joining forces with MeritTrac so that more students in India will be able to benefit from the ACT test and use their results to apply to U.S. colleges and universities,” said Jacqueline Krain, ACT vice president for international. The new agreement will allow ACT to leverage MeritTrac’s expertise in the area and expand access to the ACT test across India. Currently, ACT test centers are available in 20 locations across India including Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. ACT hopes to have centers in all major cities and towns in India in the next two years. “We are delighted to be working with ACT in delivering its college admission test in India,” said Gopal Devanahalli, CEO of MeritTrac Services. “We are confident that our ability to administer high stake exams across the region will help aspiring students get easier access to one of the most reputable college admission tests for global universities.”

Jyoti Bansal Working on New Startup

Indian American entrepreneur Jyoti Bansal, who sold his app monitoring company AppDynamics to IT giant Cisco for $3.7 billion earl​y this year, is reportedly working on his second startup, Harness.io. Bansal published a LinkedIn post inviting software engineers in areas such as backend infrastructure, distributed systems and machine learning to join his “new stealth startup,” according to a CNBC report. “All positions are in San Francisco,” the LinkedIn post said. The CNBC report added that the new startup was focused on automated testing and deployment of software updates, a practice called continuous delivery. Bansal left AppDynamics in February following its sale. Bansal is an alumnus of IIT Delhi. He moved to the U.S. soon after his studies and worked at a few startups, before working on his idea of real-time tracking of app and web page performance.

Thinfilm Raises $110 Million

Thinfilm Electronics ASA, a global near-field communication mobile marketing and smart product solutions company, announced it successfully raised more than $110 million through a private placement with existing shareholders and new high-quality institutional investors. Proceeds from the private placement will be used to fully fund a range of strategic needs, including the purchase and installation of roll-to-roll manufacturing equipment, ongoing back-end development, and expansion of the sales, marketing and software teams. "The substantial funding secured in this private placement is a testament to both the opportunity that exists in the NFC solutions space and Thinfilm’s ability to address the increasing demand among consumer brands of all sizes," said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. "With sufficient financing to get us to cash break-even, we are now keenly focused on bringing affordable intelligence to billions of everyday items." The capital raise follows several milestone achievements by Thinfilm over the past year related to operations, software and sales.

Tata Steel Receives Website of the Year Award

The Steelie Awards recognizes member companies or individuals for their contribution to the steel industry in a series of categories impacting the steel industry. There were in total seven award categories for 2017 including the category steel industry website of the year which was awarded to Tata Steel at the 8th Steelie Awards ceremony. The award was based on overall design, loading and page delivery, information range and relevance, navigation ease, and use of new technologies. “We are honored to have been recognized at the Steelie Awards ceremony. The award recognizes our efforts in creating innovative and effective communication platforms in the digital space. This recognition encourages us to continue our innovation journey to build more effective communication platforms,” Chanakya Chaudhary, Group director of corporate communication and regulatory affairs at Tata Steel, said.

FHLB Dallas Awards $7M in Affordable Housing Grants

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas announced that, in partnership with its member financial institutions, it has awarded $7 million in Affordable Housing Program grants to 19 projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, which will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 1,108 housing units. FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions. AHP funding is utilized for a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly and special-needs residents; down payment and closing-cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes. “FHLB Dallas’ member institutions serve their communities well through active involvement in affordable housing development,” said FHLB Dallas president and CEO Sanjay Bhasin. “Their membership in FHLB Dallas provides a bridge to the AHP and other grant programs that annually provide millions of dollars for housing in our District.”

Macy’s and Sachin & Babi Join Forces

Sachin & Babi Ahluwalia, known for producing stunning pieces through their eponymous line that has redefined eveningwear, have created a dazzling collection for Macy’s that makes dressing up fun, easy and empowering this holiday season, Macy's said in a news release. With close attention to detail and high fashion artistry, SB by Sachin & Babi goes beyond traditional special-occasion wear with a selection of breathtaking dresses and gowns, stylish statement jackets, and mix-and-match tops, skirts and pants, it said. The line officially launched Nov. 15. "The collection was inspired by New York City nightlife, and its captivating energy and optimistic spirit,” said Sachin Ahluwalia. Babi Ahluwalia continued, “The collection combines classic evening wear elements with 50 shades of shine, each piece makes a statement offering powerful women the promise of elegance.” Party-ready dresses, gowns, and separates are rendered in eye-catching and sumptuous fabrics, and the silhouettes are sharp, highlighting the superb tailoring and construction within each garment, according to Macy's. “Sachin & Babi have made names for themselves through their beautifully crafted statement pieces women wear in their most important moments,” said Cassandra Jones, senior vice president of Macy’s fashion.

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