PitchStream 2016 Draws Entrepreneurs from Eugene-Springfield

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This week’s Saturday News Round-up doubles as an explanation for our delayed posting. Today we presented the Kazi application at Fermilab’s 2016 PitchStream competition, sponsored by RAIN Eugene. A showcase for some of Eugene-Springfield’s best and brightest entrepreneurs, we were honored (and a little over-awed) by the invitation.

Companies on display included:

  • An exciting portable-tap business, so that you can enjoy your favorite frosty on tap from the comfort of your pub table or even your own home;
  • A culturally-aware design business headed by a Korean dismayed by the inappropriateness of modern-day apparel messaging;
  • An innovative take on cleaning collegiate dirty laundry – a problem with which any visiting parents can surely identify;
  • And many others!

Representatives from the City of Springfield were in attendance as one by one each company had the opportunity to deliver a concise, abbreviated 5 minute pitch. This was followed by a brief Q&A session from a panel of judges.

In some respects, the afternoon was more difficult on the judges than the presenters. Each judge was allowed just one question per company. The benefit, of course, was that the afternoon moved quickly and neither the audience nor the presenting businesses were worn out by a long day. However, it also meant that the judges had to pick their questions very carefully…you could see the wheels turning as they ran down a mental list of inquiries and selected the best ones from their lists.

The Kazi Team was fourth up to the stand and we admit to some nerves as our time approached. The person ahead of us in the line-up presented ToneTip, an innovative mobile app that picks up on sound and catalogs it. In this way, if something (like Smith Rock) is mentioned in conversation or on the radio, your phone will remember the name even if you can’t.

When we finally took the stand, our preparation made the presentation flow like it should. Indeed, we would like to extend a big thank you to David Youngentob, who organized the event and made sure there were no surprises on Pitch Day. Everything ran smoothly and calmly. No one was flustered and it was a welcoming and inspiring environment for the entrepreneurs who attended.

We would also like to thank Sprout! for hosting the event. If you live in Eugene and you haven’t been, we would very much encourage a visit. Ethnic cuisine, excellent (and cheap coffee), and a relaxed environment are big pluses. It was a beautiful sunny spring Eugene day, and we saw many people sitting in the courtyard, enjoying a quiche and soaking in the Vitamin D.

All in, we had a great time at the event and would encourage other entrepreneurs to consider attending (if not presenting) in future years.

(photo credit: FertilabThinkubator)

The Kazi App Launches (1 of 5 apps every runner should have)

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We are beginning our Friday series on 5 apps that every runner should have. We propose a shameless plug to start our series – our recently launched Kazi application.

Today we distributed the following press release to local media outlets…so keep a weather eye open!


Kazi App Connects Exercise and People

Group runs, walks, pick-up games find a new home on Kazi

2016-04-29 

Eugene, OR – Miadi Solutions, a growing technology development firm, is pleased to report its launch of the Kazi mobile application.

The application is a platform for people to discover and participate in local running groups, walking groups and recreational sports.

Activity creators and organizations can input a number of criteria like running pace per mile, distance, date, and time and others can search for activities. As members participate, they earn Kazi Kash which can be used to capture discounts and offers at local businesses.

“We developed our first app with two main priorities – make it open to all and make it easy-to-use” said Ben Nye, founder. “Beyond that, we want to give people an incentive to go out and participate, give organizations an opportunity to build awareness for their activities, and provide a platform for local people to connect with small businesses struggling to deal with large faceless online competitors.”

Prolific Runner’s World author and runner Joe Henderson is eager to start using the app with his running groups. “Running has been an important part of my life and this app could encourage others to pick up or continue in the sport,” he said.

YMCA members can already RSVP to YMCA activities through the application and Kazi will be adding more organizations over the course of the next few months.

To safeguard privacy, profiles on the application will have limited function. To help ensure security the activity message board allows users to send public messages among each other. This allows for public policing of user behavior.

The app currently supports running, walking, bowling, basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, and tennis. Additional activities will follow starting in the second quarter of 2016.

The mobile application is available for free download today on iTunes and Google Play app stores. All user features including the feature to create and join activities come free with the app.

Miadi Solutions traces its routes back to 2009 and was organized in the State of Oregon in 2015. Its headquarters is located in Eugene, OR. Miadi Solutions is the creator of the Kazi mobile application. Its mission is to connect people, organizations, and businesses by leveraging technology and mobility.

Upcoming Activities this Weekend 4/30-5/1

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A lot happening this weekend…Back to Football on Saturday and then 80 degrees on Sunday! Get out and enjoy it!

Group Runs and Rides and Games

  • Friday, 5:30pm
    • Eugene YMCA
    • The YMCA hosts 4.0+ tennis drop-in for two-and-a-half hours.
    • See the Kazi app for more details
  • Saturday, 6:00am
    • Eugene YMCA
    • YMCA Open Gym, Basketball
    • See the Kazi app for more details
  • Saturday, 8:30am
    • RunHub Northwest
    • Run Hub Northwest is excited to host Saturday morning long runs (any distance, actually!) from the store at 515 High St. in Eugene.
    • (Photo courtesy of RunHub NW)
    • Link
  • Saturday, 9:00am
    • Alton Baker Park
    • 41 mile ride at 12-15mph, put on by GEARS.
    • Link
  • Sunday, 9:00am
    • Eugene Running Company
    • Runners of all abilities are encouraged to meet for this informal and flexible Community Group Run. Though Sunday runs are typically long runs, runners wanting to GO any distance or pace are encouraged to come and join others for fun and camaraderie.
    • Link
  • Sunday, 9:00am
    • Alton Baker Park
    • 38 mile ride at 12-15mph, put on by GEARS.
    • Link

Sporting Events

  • Saturday, 11:00am
    • Oregon Football
    • Autzen Stadium
    • Spring Game
    • Link
  • Sunday, 12:00pm
    • Baseball, University
    • Pape Field
    • UO vs. WSU
    • Link

(image: SportsOnEarth)

Where Most Running Advice Gets it Wrong

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As an exercise (and unapologetically self-promotional) blog, we periodically provide running advice, health advice, and other tips of the day. We find that people generally enjoy reading the nth way to become faster, improve stamina, shed a few pounds, or tone muscle. And we honestly believe that we provide genuine value to our dear readers.

However, in light of the thousands and thousands of books, blogs, and baloney that litter the landscape of aerobic advice,  we feel a profound sense of duty to call out much of it for what it is: ongoing drivel that complicates and confounds. Because while one piece of advice might be great and two pieces of advice might be better, there comes a point of max saturation – you end up spending more time reading about how to be healthy then actually being healthy.

Low-carb, gluten-free, caveman, juice cleanses, low-calorie, organic, vegan, vegetarian, high-protein, and on and on and on. These types of diets have merit to be sure but there is a limit. There is a saturation point for diets just as there is for advice books in general, the amount you run, and how much you eat. At some point, it all just becomes counterproductive. To adopt an oft-used cliche, one jelly donut is great and the second one may be too. But the third? The fourth? Yeah, the jelly’s nice and the sugar satisfying but don’t tell me the tenth one is as good as the first. Saturation.

One advice blog tells you to tuck your arms in, another one says to lengthen your stride. You work on your breathing, you work on your form. Then you read a book that says you should run in old socks. You say, “Great, that’ll save me some money.” Then you realize you have to buy these old socks for $100+ a pair. After you roll your ankle in your fancy socks, you read advice about how to overcome a rolled ankle so you put it in a brace and gingerly make an effort to ramp up again.

Now, all this advice isn’t bad necessarily; but what many of these authors fail to grasp is the intensely human experience of your exercise – whether it’s tennis, soccer, walking, running, basketball, or really just about anything.

Rarely in the hundreds of pages you read will you see someone say that your endeavor is unique. It’s personal to you. It’s your body, your team, your mind. Your sore feet, energetic lungs, and powerful heart.

So next time you are tempted to seek contradictory advice, I would humbly propose the following: you know your body better than anyone so just do what feels right.

If you want to take the day off running, feel free to do so. If you want to eat gluten-free because it makes you feel better, than do it, but not because some book told you. If your schedule says you need to do an upper body workout today but you’d rather play tennis with your friends, then don’t let a blog prevent you from serving it up.

You know you’ll be happier that way, anyway.

(photo: http://cdn.home-designing.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/4.jpg)

5 reasons I use Kazi..

  1. The opportunity to meet new people and fill a spot on the roster. Kazi makes it easy to find the numbers you need for your pick up game. All you need to do is post your activity on the app and meet new people that share the same interest.
  2. Motivation to stay active. I feel more motivated to get off the couch and get active if I know my friends are waiting. With Kazi I spend my afternoons being social and active rather than at home.
  3. Great rewards. As I attend activities I get to spend my Kazi Kash on discounts at local businesses. I love supporting small local businesses and Kazi makes it possible.
  4. Variety of activities. Kazi has a wide variety of activities available. I am able to try new things and meet new people!
  5. Kazi is social. Social media has changed the way people interact. Kazi makes it possible to meet new people while being active in the community. Spend less time on the phone and more time meeting people with the same interests as you on the Kazi App!

 

-Andrew Merriman

Monday Motivational Movies

 

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)

“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”  – Rocky VI

“Great men are not born great, they grow great…” – Mario Puzo (The Godfather)

“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” – William Wallace (Braveheart)

“Just keep swimming.” – Dory (Finding Nemo)

 

Picture: https://www.google.com/search?q=yoda&biw=1438&bih=677&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhr62rnKrMAhVD3GMKHfvvCxgQ_AUIBigB&dpr=0.95#imgrc=n16rT24Ko7H4qM%3A

Trivia: Round 3

A three-toed tree sloth hangs from the trunk of a tree in the jungle on the bank of the Panama Canal

Comment with your answers in the comment section. The winner will get a Kazi prize.

  1. True/False: Thinking too much can cause you to gain weight.
  2. What pop music superstar died at his home in Minneapolis this past week?
  3. How many licks on average does it take to reach the center of a tootsie pop?
  4. What is the word for the day after tomorrow?
  5. What happens if you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground?
  6. In the 1830s what was ketchup sold as?
  7. What is the dot over the letter ‘i’ called?
  8. True/False: Strawberries have more Vitamin C than oranges.
  9. How long would it take a sloth to travel one mile?

Answers to Trivia Round 2:

  1. 28
  2. True
  3. Boston Celtics
  4. Potato Chips
  5. Kobe was named after a type of steak
  6. 350 miles
  7. 8 feet 11 inches
  8. 21.5 inches
  9. Wisconsin