AkzoNobel names creative partner for professional paints business


AkzoNobel has appointed MullenLowe Group as the new creative agency partner for its paints global marketing organisation.  Effective immediately, the new partnership aims to deliver on the growth objectives and business opportunities of AkzoNobel’s professional paints activities.

It follows last year’s appointment of MullenLowe Group as the global creative partner for AkzoNobel consumer paints.

“AkzoNobel has been providing painters with the highest quality paints for more than 200 years,” said David Menko, CMO of the company’s paints business.

“We have a clear requirement for a strong creative partner in order to leverage our global presence and further build our professional brands. We feel MullenLowe Group is the right partner to deliver against our growth ambition for these brands as we continue to lead the way globally via our innovation, disruptive communication, and our passion to make people’s lives more liveable and inspiring with our products, services and tools,” Menko said.

Nuno Pena, global marketing director for AkzoNobel’s professional and pre-deco activities, added: “We are thrilled with the appointment of MullenLowe Group as our global agency partner for the paints business. The agency is a great partner for our consumer colleagues and we have already achieved some outstanding results on those brands. I am looking forward to their team bringing to bear their experience with our organisation, and their creativity to drive business success for our professional brands – such as Sikkens and Dulux Trade – and for audiences around the world.”

Jose Miguel Sokoloff, global president of the MullenLowe group creative council, said: “We are very proud of our relationship with AkzoNobel and the work that we have produced for the consumer paints organization. We’re excited to put the power of our challenger thinking and creativity to drive an unfair share of attention for the professional side of the business.”


LG names G6 display “Full Vision”

We already told you about the unusual 5.7” QHD+ display LG Display started producing for the LG G6. It has 2,880 x 1,440 resolution and 18:9 ratio, something we haven’t seen yet in a smartphone.

Now this display has an official name and it is “Full Vision”, quite good name actually for a front panel “filled” with screen.

A company teaser from earlier this year already hinted about a bigger display in the same body. In the same time renders are showing an almost bezel-less screen that will probably make LG G6’s visual experience even better.

LG Electronics is trying its best to have proper flagship since LG G5 was the reason the Mobile division of the Korean company announced poor performance in 2016.

The LG G6 will be launched in the beginning of March in South Korea and on April 6 in USA.



Local education partnership names new executive director


Pam Gould



By Amelia Harper
Staff Writer

Friday, December 30, 2016

After a year without a director, the Strategic Twin Counties Education Partnership has a new executive director.

Pam Gould recently accepted the post with the organization, commonly known as STEP.  Gould said that STEP, which began in 2012, operates as a collaboration of Twin Counties educational institutions, businesses, industries and community leaders who come together with one goal in mind: to improve the economic competitiveness of the region by increasing educational opportunities that lead to real-world jobs in the Twin Counties.

“Not everyone needs a four-year college degree,” Gould said. “There are great jobs in this area, especially in the field of advanced manufacturing. People just need to know how to prepare for them.”

Gould said she feels that this position is the perfect fit for her unique skill set. She earned a master’s degree in education from East Carolina University and has worked in the field of education for 30 years. Most of those years were spent working in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, Edgecombe County Public Schools, Edgecombe Community College and Nash Community College.

“As STEP director, I am working with the business community as well as the two school superintendents and the two college presidents. All of these people are great to work with and are fully behind our goals. I feel that all of these groups have been at the same place at the same time but rarely sit at the same table to seek solutions. This is what we are trying to do.”

Gould recently retired as the director of college and career readiness at Nash Community College before assuming the position of executive director of STEP. However, she said her years serving in various positions directed at preparing students for jobs will pay dividends to the community as she steps into this new role.

“I feel that I have worked my whole life preparing for this opportunity,” Gould said.

Gould said the board of directors of STEP will be holding a retreat in January to plan for the future of the program.

“We are really trying to focus our goals and avoid duplicating the efforts of other programs that are already in place,” Gould said.

Gould sees connecting with students and their parents as a big part of her mission.

“What I see is a big disconnect. Middle school students should be choosing elective courses that connect with high school electives on a pathway that leads to great jobs,” she said. “However, a lot of times, students choose courses that seem easiest or the most fun and don’t see the end result. Parents often step back and let middle and high school students make their own decisions about courses, when this is really the time they need guidance about what pathway to choose. These are not “fluff” electives. Students can really make a wise investment in the end if they choose wisely.”

Gould said she welcomes the chance to serve the Twin Counties in her new role.

“I am honored and excited to have this opportunity with STEP,” she said. “I look forward to working collaboratively to address barriers to educational success and showcase the positives happening everyday in our schools and community.”


Uber’s Travis Kalanick among big names to attend Modi’s Start-up India event

A file photo of Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick. Photo: Bloomberg

A file photo of Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Investment firm SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi Son, taxi-hailing service Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick and collaborative workspace provider WeWork’s founder Adam Neumann will attend the government’s Start-up India event next week, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil an action plan to assist early-stage companies.

The event will be attended by around 40 innovators, venture capitalists and angel investors from Silicon Valley along with 1,500 founders of start-ups from across the country.

On 27 December, in his Mann Ki Baat radio programme, Modi said the government was going to announce details of the Start-up India event, to be held on 16 January.

Considering the importance of the event to the promotion of start-up culture in the country, it will be telecast live in all Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management, National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Information Technology, central universities as well as to youth groups in over 350 districts of the country, Amitabh Kant, secretary at the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), told reporters.

“The action plan shall highlight initiatives and schemes being undertaken by the government to address various aspects relating to developing a conducive start-up ecosystem in the country,” he added.

A government official involved in the formulation of the action plan said the policy is in the final stage. “We have sent the policy to the Prime Minister’s Office. It is likely to be finalized by 10 January,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Google Inc. will conduct a session titled ‘Launchpad Accelerator’ where early-stage start-ups can make live pitches to potential investors to win $50,000 in non-equity investment.
SoftBank president and chief operating officer Nikesh Arora will interact with participants on various aspects of start-up funding. Indian start-ups will also showcase some of their unique innovations through a virtual exhibition.

The day-long event will involve workshops and panel discussions on topics including ‘Unleashing entrepreneurship and innovation: What do Indian start-ups need to grow and prosper’; ‘Celebrating women: Stories of innovative women entrepreneurs’; ‘How digitization will change India’s future’; ‘Making Indian healthcare leapfrog’; ‘Financial inclusion is within reach’ and ‘Show me the money: How do we capitalize entrepreneurship?’

Secretaries of key government departments will also answer questions on how the government will create an enabling ecosystem for start-ups.

“The objective is to reinforce commitment of the government towards creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of start-ups,” a DIPP statement said.