When the United States Air Force put out a call for submissions for its first-ever Visionary Q-Prize competition in October 2018, a six-person team of MIT students and alumni took up the challenge. Last month, they emerged as a first-place winner for their prototype of a virtual reality tool they called CoSMIC (Command, Sensing, and Mapping Information Center), MIT announced. The challenge was hosted by the Air Force Research Labs Space Vehicles Directorate and the Wright Brothers Institute to encourage nontraditional sources with innovative products and ideas to engage with military customers to develop solutions for safe and secure operations in space. The goal of CoSMIC is to enable satellite operators to process more data than they could using a standard 2-D screen. The technology minimizes mental workload and allows operators to more easily perform maneuvers and focus their attention on user-selected objects. CoSMIC was developed in the studio of the VR/AR MIT, an organization for MIT students interested in virtual and augmented reality, of which two teammates are members. Hardware and other resources in the studio are available for student use, thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual donors who sponsor the student-run group. In mid-March, the team spent a week at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs showcasing the CoSMIC prototype. Satellite operators in Colorado Springs shared with them their challenges and their current procedures and tools. “Based on that, we’re able to tweak our prototype and build other interesting concepts,” said Indian American student Eswar Anandapadmanaban.

SABA North America Announces Board Election Results

The South Asian Bar Association of North America announced its election results for its executive committee for the 2019-2020 year. The newly elected committee includes Aneesh Mehta as president; Rippi Gill as president-elect; Judge George Thomas as secretary; Samir Mehta as treasurer; Jana Anandarangam as VP membership; Dinesh Kumar as VP of public relations; Monique Bhargava as VP of affiliate relations; Madhuri Nemali as VP of the annual conference; Tejas Shah as VP of community outreach; and Nitin Gambhir as VP of development. SABA North America is a voluntary bar organization and serves as an umbrella organization to 26 chapters in the United States and Canada. SABA North America is a recognized forum for professional growth and advancement for South Asian attorneys in North America and seeks to protect the rights and liberties of the South Asian community across the continent.

UK Fintech Startup Checkout.com Is Now Worth $2 Billion

Checkout.com, a little-known London fintech company, broke European funding records recently when it announced that it has raised a $230 million funding round, giving it a valuation of around $2 billion. Founded in 2009 as Opus Payments before evolving into Checkout.com around 2012, the fintech platform allows companies to process and accept cross-border payments from a variety of sources including credit and debit cards, online banking, PayPal, Apple Pay and other eWallets. It's a direct rival to Dutch payment firm Adyen, which listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange last June and has seen its stock soar 70 percent since. "We have been fortunate to have some of the world’s leading investors approach us for some time," said founder Guillaume Pousaz in a statement. "Bringing world-class investors on board for our first funding round is a validation of everything the Checkout.com team has worked hard to achieve over the years and a way to flag just how serious we are about building a global leader that can serve any business, in any geography. The capital will help us increase the speed at which we roll out new products to address our merchants increasingly complex needs."

AppZen Opens Office in Pune, India

AppZen, among the world’s leading AI platforms for modern finance teams, announced the opening of its office in Pune, India. Mandar Munagekar will serve as head of operations for the new office with responsibilities for hiring and managing the Pune office. With top talent, the goal of the new office is to continue to create and drive the innovation for which AppZen is known. “Pune is unique because it has some of the best talent in the world, is home to a growing startup ecosystem and is one of the best places to live in this region,” said Anant Kale, CEO and co-founder of AppZen. “With the right team in place, the AppZen office in Pune will be a hotbed of innovation, working in tandem with our teams in San Jose and Phoenix. We are looking forward to seeing the great things the company will do with this growing and talented group.” Mandar Munagekar brings over 20 years of experience in enterprise operations. He has held senior positions at global companies to lead their IT transformation journey. Prior to joining AppZen, he was the head of global delivery systems at Fujitsu.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Announces the Launch of Testosterone Gel

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., along with its subsidiaries announced the launch of Testosterone Gel 1.62%, a therapeutic equivalent generic version of AndroGel, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The AndroGel brand and generic had U.S. sales of approximately $815.6 million MAT for the most recent 12 months ending in February 2019 according to IQVIA Health. Dr. Reddy’s Testosterone Gel 1.62% is available in a net quantity of 88 g pump which dispenses 20.25 mg of testosterone per actuation. Each metered-dose pump is capable of dispensing 60 metered pump actuations.

By GIOVANNI ALBANESE Jr., India-West Staff Reporter

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