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Beyoncé makes investment in tech startup Sidestep

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Beyonce has invested $150,000 into the music industry startup Sidestep.

Beyonce has invested $150,000 into the music industry startup Sidestep.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The U.S. is full of celebrity tech investors from coast to coast. Joining the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber, pop princess Beyonce is bringing her business acumen to the tech world. Her and the management company she started, Parkwood Entertainment, have invested $150,000 into Sidestep, an app for buying concert merchandise and skipping the line to pick it up at the show.

Sidestep comes from humble beginnings – the company first began selling posters and t-shirts for Beyoncé on her Formation World Tour. But after two weeks of seeing its success, Beyoncé and Parkwood invested in Sidestep’s seed round of funding.

The company’s chief executive Eric Jones said they “wanted Beyoncé’s tour to be very focused on tech”, and liked the idea of “a tiny scrappy startup doing the biggest tour in the world.”

Beyoncé previously invested in WTRMLN WTR, a watermelon beverage company. She’s believed to have ties to juicing machine maker Juicero, though that company refuses to talk about their relationship. Beyonce helped start a vegan food company 22 Day Nutrition as well. She’s also a stakeholder in streaming service Tidal thanks to her agreement to give it early access to her music. With her investment in Sidestep, though, she could directly help artists earn more money.

Seasoned musicians have learned the profit margins off streaming royalties are skimpy, to say the least, the real money is in using streaming to get famous and then selling concert tickets and merchandise like custom hats, custom shirts, phone cases, etc.

However, thanks to long lines, and the fact that concert goers attend live shows to see the music, many people avoid buying t-shirts and other merchandise at concerts. That’s where Sidestep steps in.

The startup lets you order tour merchandise before, during, or even after the show from its smartphone app. You can then Sidestep the merchandise booth line, flash a QR code at the dedicated pickup spot, and grab your items in seconds. Or you can have them delivered to your home. This way you can be sure to get whatever stuff you want in the right size with no fear of wasting time or it selling out.

Along with Beyoncé gear, you can buy merch from artists like Guns N’ Roses, Fall Out Boy, Selena Gomez, and Weezer via Sidestep. The startup gives artists a ton of data about who’s buying, and keeps a 10% service fee charged to the customer.

The company have raised a total of $1.7 million from Beyoncé and other investors including actor Jared Leto, former Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter and Cross Culture Ventures, and the previous CEO of the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. The app has done over $2 million in sales, up 10X from last year.

Business

Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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