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Interview with Ron Benegbi (CEO of Uplinq): SME Credit Lending

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Interview with Ron Benegbi (CEO of Uplinq): SME Credit Lending

Uplinq is a credit assessment and lending platform that provides global credit assessments for SME lenders. This technology uses historical data to provide SMEs with accurate regulatory compliance and loans. TechBullion will have Ron, the CEO, share more information during this interview.

We need to know your name and some information about you.

Ron is my name. I am a serial entrepreneur. Uplinq is my fifth and, according to my wife, the last startup.

What is Uplinq? And what services are you offering that are unique?

What is Uplinq? And what services are you offering that are unique?

Uplinq is the global credit assessment platform that Uplinq created for small-business lenders. We acquired a mature technology that had been in use for over 15 years. It has been repurposed into modern-day Fintech.

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This platform allows small business lenders to get highly accurate and predictive insight into all SMBs within their portfolios while making the final decision based on their risk criteria.

Uplinq leverages 15 years’ worth of historical and current data on small business risk signals, which have facilitated over $1.4 Trillion in underwritten loans. Our data is all scientifically validated, and we comply with regulatory requirements. We leverage billions of data sets across 150+ countries. There is no other platform like it on the market.

What is the origin story of this story?

My parents were immigrants to Canada in the 1970s. I saw their struggle to make ends meet as they started small businesses. One bank manager took a flyer on my dad when he applied for a loan. Even though the application didn’t meet their lending criteria, it was great for us. Many small business owners aren’t as lucky.

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I founded Railz.ai. I learned from this experience that traditional data sources such as accounting, banking, and credit scores don’t provide enough accurate information about the financial performance or creditworthiness of post-Covid SMBs.

Uplinq was born out of the realization that small business owners needed more support. We can provide lenders the confidence they need to approve more loans through scientifically validated, regulatory-compliant data. We will make many no’s turn into yes’s!

Credit seems to have become even more important since the pandemic. What is the size of this market? How high is the demand from SMEs?

Because of its lack of funding, the World Bank calls the SMB market the “missing middle” because it is not receiving enough. This problem has only gotten worse since the introduction of COVID and must be addressed. The current market size for small business funding is USD 27 Trillion/year, but the potential to grow this number is significantly higher.

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We would appreciate your explanation of your financial solutions for the Unbanked Minority and Immigrant SMEs.

Long histories and formal processes are the most common data sources to prioritize customers and evaluate them. Uplinq’s AI-driven approach to customer evaluation and prioritization makes full use of these data sources, but it is not dependent upon them.

Many unbanked or underserved businesses don’t have enough information to qualify for traditional credit. Uplinq uses millions and sometimes billions upon millions of data points to provide context for each business.

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We can draw data from multiple sources to predict each prospect’s opportunities, challenges, and interests. When something is not there, the system fills it in. This is crucial when it comes to reaching the underserved.

Are you concerned that the SME market is still underserved? How can Fintech help?

I do. But fortunately, in the last couple of years, many new Fintech companies have entered the small business market. These companies offer solutions tailored to SMB owners, while others like Uplinq provide solutions for lenders that enable them to better serve customers.

What is your current work at Uplinq? And what’s next?

I look forward to piloting successful flights, onboarding many of our waitlist customers, and developing our product further. Uplinq has attracted so much attention from the market. We are, like many startups, trying to be as efficient as possible while still delivering the best product for our customers.

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Is there an investment opportunity for your company?

We are extremely grateful to have the support of many wonderful investors. We have recently completed a Pre-Seed Extension round which puts us in a great position to host a meaningful Seed round soon.

What advice would your 21-year-old self need?

The most important message that I could convey is that life loves to give you challenges. However, keeping your integrity, dignity, and respect for others is essential.

Are you able to provide additional information for our readers?

I will summarize by saying that we are a purpose-driven company with the mission to help lenders reach financial inclusion for all their small business customers.

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Every action we take as entrepreneurs and people relates to this purpose. I believe that we will positively impact the lives of millions of families worldwide.

This is the foundation of all great things that will come if you truly believe in your purpose.

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Santos steps down from home parts amid integrity issues   

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. George Santos of New York told GOP colleagues Thursday he's temporarily going down from his two congressional committees

Santos steps down from home parts amid integrity issues   

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. George Santos of New York told GOP colleagues Thursday he’s temporarily going down from his two congressional committees, a move that comes amid several ethics’ issues and a day after he achieved with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.  

Santos has confronted numerous requests for his resignation and is facing numerous investigations by prosecutors around his personal and plan finances and lies about his continued and family background.  

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Santos was given to two reasonably low-profile sections, the House Committee on Small Business and the House Science, Space, and Engineering Committee.  

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Olka., said your decision was well-received from the GOP conference, saying “I think it was the correct thing to do and I was pleased with him for getting up and doing this.”  

McCarthy met with Santos on Wednesday evening but didn’t expose their conversation.  

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“You’ll see,” McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol.  

Santos, meanwhile, said he would concern a record later in the day. Requested whether he was contemplating resigning, Santos replied, “No, I am not.”  

Santos steps down from home parts amid integrity issues   

The issues encompassing Santos go beyond his misrepresentations to voters, but in addition whether his congressional plan used regulations in their conforming to the Federal Election Commission. There have been lingering issues about irregularities in his plan committee’s economic reports and the source of Santos ‘wealth.  

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If Santos ‘plan is located to own purposefully and willfully made any “materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent record or representation” on their paperwork, it may potentially experience offender charges, the FEC said in a letter to the plan last week.  

Republicans explained your decision by Santos to temporarily step down from the 2 House sections as voluntary. Rep. Roger Williams, the chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, said he was surprised.  

“Underneath line is that he’s selected to be down committees till his condition gets handled at a level that he’s more comfortable with,” Williams said.  

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Santo’s probe wanted by Democrats around House ethics  

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Integrity Committee was requested Thursday to investigate Rep. George Santos, the newly-elected Republican from New York who has accepted to lying about his work experience, college training, and family history, and now encounters issues about his plan economic disclosures.  

Two Democrats requested the probe, saying Santos “has failed to uphold the strength estimated of people of the House of Representatives.”  

In a letter to the Integrity Committee, Democratic Reps. Ritchie Torres and Dan Goldman, equally of New York, said Santos also failed to file “reasonable, precise and complete” economic disclosure reports as expected by law. They said the words Santos did file are “thin and perplexing.” They requested the section to investigate and “take ideal action the moment possible.”  

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Some Democratic leaders said Santo ought to be expelled from the House.  

A spokesperson for Santos didn’t instantly respond to a request for comment.  

Santos has accepted to fabricating a few aspects of his living history and experience in his work for the House seat he won in November, supporting to offer Republicans a thin majority. Nonetheless, the newly elected lawmaker was sworn into the company the other day along with other people of the House.  

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Republican leaders have declined to take action against Santos, whose election served to provide them with a 222-seat hang on the House majority. Santos was also elected the other day in the raucous balloting to produce GOP leader Kevin McCarthy as the House speaker.  

Majority Leader Steve Scalise said Thursday the problem has been “handled internally” by Republicans.  

“There were issues by what we had seen,” said Scalise, R-La. “Therefore, we’re going to need to take a seat and keep in touch with him about it.”  

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Santos accepted a couple of weeks before he lied about his work experience and college training during his effective plan for a seat in the U.S. House.  

Santos had also said he had labored for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, but neither business may find any records verifying that.  

In an interview with the New York Article, Santos said: “My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry.”  

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He also explained he never claimed to be Jewish following the Jewish National site The Forward had questioned a claim on Santos ‘plan site that his grandparents “fled Jewish persecution in, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII.”  

Democrats were scathing in their criticism.  

“Kevin McCarthy owns George Santos, secure stop and barrel,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar of Colorado, the chairman of the House Democratic caucus. “It’s the reason he was seated, to offer George Santos that ability to vote for Kevin McCarthy. Therefore, let us contact that just what it is. There ought to be repercussions.”  

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It’s unclear the Integrity Committee’s next steps. As part of the new House rules package, any member of the general public is now able to file issues against lawmakers. Integrity advocates have informed other new rules will weaken the committee’s staff and membership.  

The committee hasn’t fully shaped yet as House Republicans come in the middle of selecting committee seats, and people and creating the new Congress.  

Democrats have now been critical of Santos as well as McCarthy for his efforts to oust three Democratic lawmakers from committee jobs while at once appointing Santos, who has lied therefore completely to his constituents about his background.  

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“The hypocrisy only holds you by the throat,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. “This is a Republican audio who is seating an individual fraud, George Santos, on committees, a serial fabricator about all of his existence.”  

McCarthy clogged Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif, from being re-appointed to the House Lasting Choose Committee on Intelligence, however, they will be able to offer on other committees. He’s also focused on removing Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from serving on the House Committee on International Affairs, however, such a move could come to the full House for a vote, wherever undoubtedly Democrats could renew issues concerning the propriety of allowing Santos to sit on committees as their people are being removed.  

McCarthy has little margin for the mistake if he decides to follow her expulsion for remarks McCarthy has called antisemitic regarding Israel. Soon after Omar found its way to Congress in 2019, the House permitted a resolution condemning antisemitism and other styles of bigotry — without mentioning her by name — after she made remarks that critics said accused Israel proponents of getting double allegiances.  

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At least two Republicans have said they won’t vote for Omar’s removal from the foreign affairs panel. They said Democrats were incorrect in removing Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and John Gosar, R-Ariz., from their committees 2 yrs. ago. And Republicans were building a similar error when it came to Omar.  

“Two errors don’t produce a right,” said Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., putting, “Speaker McCarthy wants to prevent ‘bread and circuses ‘in Congress and start governing for a change.” 

“It’s just improper,” said Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.“Let us stop damaging that place. Let us allow it to be better. 

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A TikToker claimed he won an merit if you are the first ever to Google an obscure phrase.

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A TikToker said he won an award for being the first to Google an obscure phrase. The elaborate hoax reached millions and sparked a copycat trend.

A TikToker said he won an award for being the first to Google an obscure phrase. The elaborate hoax reached millions and sparked a copycat trend. 

  • A TikToker went viral after he claimed to win an award from Google after searching a unique phrase. 
  • TikTokers and viewers said they tried searching bizarre phrases in an attempt to win their own. 
  • The creator behind the account confirmed with Insider the award doesn’t exist. 

A TikToker created a fake trophy and claimed Google had sent it to him for being the first person to search for an obscure phrase, tricking viewers into entering increasingly bizarre search terms in an attempt to win one of their own. 

  On September 9, 2022, a 33-year-old from North Florida who goes by the handle @legbootlegit on TikTok and asked Insider to refer to himself only as Justin due to privacy concerns, uploaded a video with the on-screen caption, “I got a package in the mail from Google!” 

  In the 13-second clip, which received over 3.1 million views, a hand could be seen opening a box and pulling out a small glass trophy with the Google logo and an inscription that read, “First person to Google the phrase ‘is it legal to take pigeons from the park for free.’” 

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  The next day, Justin shared a follow-up video that was viewed 3 million times, with the on-screen caption “I got another!!” which showed a second award being placed next to the first on a shelf. The inscription on the new edition said he was the first to search the term “fun or profitable things to do with 237 pigeons.” 

 But the millions of people who watched the videos were being duped — the award was completely made up as part of an elaborate piece of “performance art,” the creator said. 

  Not everyone believed Justin, but his videos sparked a trend regardless 

Combined, the videos received over 2,500 comments, many of which speculated whether the award was authentic. “Are these real?” a comment read with over 2,700 likes. “There’s no way I haven’t earned one of these,” a comment with over 3,600 likes read. 

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Other comments questioned what happened when Justin searched the term, how he was notified by Google about the news, and how the company knew his home address. 

Justin’s responses were non-committal, often suggesting viewers were right to question his story. Still, Justin uploaded another video on January 19 which appeared to show him filming a laptop screen as he searched for a new phrase.  

In the clip, which was viewed 2.6 million times, a message with the heading “Congratulations!” appeared to pop up on the screen, which featured a graphic of confetti falling across the text, “You were the first to search for this phrase” and “we will send your award to the home address linked to your Google Maps profile.” 

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Soon after, multiple TikTok users started documenting their attempts to win an award from Google for a unique search. On January 22, a user who goes by @nathantriska uploaded a video viewed over 4.4 million times, where he typed “why did my dog give birth last night while sitting on a picture of James Charles around 6:08 pm central time” into Google.  

In a similar video, which received over 8.5 million views, a user who goes by @connorhessee appeared to search the term, “how to explain to your dog that your mental health is unstable and you cannot buy them the purple shirt they saw in a Walmart clearance section magazine.” 

Of course, neither search term led to a notification from Google.  

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Justin said the hoax was part of his performance art 

Justin said

Justin, who described his videos as “performance art riffing on consumerism and pop culture,” told Insider via an email exchange that the award was completely fake. A spokesperson for Google confirmed to Insider the award “does not currently exist” and said 15% of the searches they see every day are new.  

Justin’s account is known for creating parody products, including a physical Twitter blue check, typo-filled valentines’ cards, and fake action figures. He said he came up with the fake award while discussing “various hair-brained ideas” with his brother. 

“One of us suggested a nice award in the style of corporate achievement, but for something silly… like searching up a phrase on Google,” he told  

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“It does seem as though a high percentage of viewers believed the concept, especially on my latest video where I showed the popup on my computer screen,” Justin said. “Most of the comments were from people sharing their bizarre search queries which somehow failed to produce any award notification.” 

Justin said

  To achieve the effect of the Google pop-up notification, Justin said he used “JavaScript and browser dev tools” and “injected some code into a local copy of a Google script to simulate an award notification.”    

Justin said he enjoys hearing from people who can’t tell if his work is satire or real, but said he especially loves it “when viewers DO catch on and play along with the joke.” He told Insider, “They are my kind of people.” 

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Are you interested in learning more information about HAARP?

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HAARP

Are you interested in learning more information about HAARP? Are you curious about what scientists know about the Ionosphere of Earth, which is the space between Earth’s lower atmosphere and air vacuum?

HAARP The HAARP University of Alaska Fairbanks High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program facility located in Gakona will hold an open house on the weekend of the 27th of August. The event provides participants with the opportunity of the general public to view the world-class research facility in person and learn more about the scientific questions that the facility is seeking to address. HAARP draws researchers from universities, government as well as the private sector.

HAARP

A self-guided 90-minute timed entry tour will include the following aspects:

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* Control room for HAARP

* History and science exhibits

The power plant which includes the five generators that were used in the research

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* Transmitters as well as The 33-acre array of antennas

* Aircraft surveillance radar

*Ionosonde is a radar that monitors the health of the Ionosphere

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* Radiometer is a device that measures radio frequency in cosmic space.

* Optical equipment domes

The University of Alaska Fairbanks acquired HAARP’s equipment for research from the Air Force in August 2015 through an agreement for education. HAARP is a part of the UAF Geophysical Institute that operates HAARP through a collaborative arrangement for research and development.

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The tour is free. However, the number of tickets available for the open space is restricted. To receive a free ticket, go to the ticketing webpage on HAARP’s website at

The time slots can be accessed at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m., and 1:30 p.m.

Parking is restricted. Vehicles are limited to a maximum length of 36 feet. The maximum width is 9 feet, and the maximum height of 10 feet.

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HAARP can be found at Gakona in Gakona, at the miles 11.3 Tok Cutoff, 26 miles to the north of Glennallen. This is about 135 miles away from Delta Junction.

HAARP users must wear masks inside at all times and outdoors when distances of 6 feet are not maintained.

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