Roomi, a peer-to-peer marketplace providing a safe, easy way to search for shared housing, announced their Series A funding in which they raised $11 million, with Atami Capital leading the round, bringing their total funding to $17 million. New York-based Roomi officially launched in 2015 with $2 million in seed funding and hit 100,000 app downloads within their first year. Currently, Roomi has around 1 million registered users and nearly 250,000 rooms listed on their platform. “The future of living is going to be shared living. Millennials aren’t buying homes. Gen Z-ers probably won’t be buying homes. Living with roommates isn’t just a trend – flexible living and shared housing is becoming the norm,” said Roomi’s Indian American CEO and founder Ajay Yadav. “People want access to commitment-free, immediate, verified shared housing options and Roomi wants to lead the way by make renting with roommates safer and easier than ever before.” In addition to raising $11 million in Series A funding, Roomi is also hosting a crowdfunding campaign on Republic and inviting their users to buy shares.

Washington Leadership Program Applications Open

Washington Leadership Program recently announced that it is accepting applications for the 2018 program. WLP places promising college students in public service internships. Placements include congressional offices and federal government agencies. The eight-week summer internship is accompanied by a structured leadership curriculum and networking opportunities. South Asian American college students of diverse interests are encouraged to apply. The 2018 program is scheduled to take place from June 9 to Aug. 3, 2018. The deadline for submitting applications is Jan. 16. "WLP was the most transformative experience I participated in during my undergraduate years. The mentorship I've gained here will stay with me for a lifetime. I encourage all young South Asian Americans to apply," 2016 WLP scholar Rina Patel said in explanation to why students should apply. More information about the program can be found by visiting

WASITRAC to Hold Trade Mission in India, Nepal

Washington State and the India Trade Relations Action Committee invites businesses, individuals and organizations to join the WASITRAC trade mission to Andhra Pradesh in India and Kathmandu in Nepal March 16-25, 2018. The government and business delegation will be led by Washington State Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib. A few Washington state representatives may join this trade mission along with members from the local business community. The delegation will visit Kathmandu, Nepal on its return trip during March 23-25 after a brief visit to the Taj Mahal and before departing for Seattle. The state of Andhra Pradesh is naturally endowed with a boastful coastline and strategically located to enable it to become a natural gateway to the Eastern hemisphere, WASITRAC said. The state has so far declared 14 non-major ports for development. The Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board is being formed to be responsible for integrated planning, development and monitoring of all ports including concessions, it said. The major emphasis of the trade mission will be on exploring opportunities for, collaboration, investments, joint ventures and partnerships in the area of infrastructure development, clean energy, management of water resources, waste management and recreational amenities.

DRL Notes Funding Opp to Empower Indian Youth

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor announced an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support expanding youth civic participation in India. The deadline for the application is Jan. 12. DRL’s goal is to empower youth to become agents of positive social change within their own communities. The bureau seeks projects that strengthen youth leaders’ knowledge of basic principles of transparency, accountability, inclusivity, non-violent civic participation, and minority protection laws; and incorporate a small grants mechanism that change leaders can leverage to work with relevant stake holders to address pressing community issues. For this program, youth leaders should be between the ages of 18-35. Competitive proposals will target Dalit, Christian and Muslim communities individually in Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra to ensure that the program is situated in the relevant cultural context, and ensure gender representation among participants. DRL added that the projects should aim to have impact that leads to democratic reforms, and should have the potential for sustainability beyond DRL resources. More information can be found here.

ASH Honors Pavan Kumar Bhamidipati

The American Society of Hematology recently honored Dr. Pavan Kumar Bhamidipati with an Abstract Achievement Award for his abstract titled, "Outcomes of Patients with Baseline Marrow Fibrosis at Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation." The ASH Abstract Achievement Award is a merit-based award for trainees with high-scoring annual meeting abstracts. The Indian American was formally honored during the 59th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta, Ga., which took place from Dec. 9 through Dec. 12. Bhamidipati is a clinical fellow of Hematology-Oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine's Department of Internal Medicine's hematology division in St. Louis, Mo. He has also held roles at Michigan State University, Central Michigan University and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

UNT Partnering with Indian Institute of Technology

As the population age 65 and older in the U.S. and the world grows, so does the need for bioimplants, such as artificial knees and hips, dental prosthetics and cardiovascular devices. Implant surgeries can be taxing on older demographics who tend to take longer to recover, and once a bioimplant is inserted, there’s no guarantee it will last. Sundeep Mukherjee, University of North Texas associate professor of materials science and engineering, wants to change that, the university said. “There are a lot of very pertinent issues surrounding bioimplants that need to be remedied,” Mukherjee said in a university report. “The body is a fairly aggressive environment, and you don’t want a patient to require implant replacement surgery every five years because the implant is failing.” In hopes of expanding his current bioimplant research, Mukherjee partnered with a colleague in India, Harpreet Singh, a dean and professor at the Indian Institute of Technology. The partnership is formed to apply for a grant from the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum, a nonprofit society that encourages and funds Indo-U.S. collaborations in science, technology, engineering and biomedical research. Their proposed collaboration was approved and they are forming the Indo-U.S. Joint Center for Development of Durable Advanced Materials for Bioimplants.

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