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Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Continues to Set Itself Apart with Affordable, Tailored Solutions Geared Toward SMEs

Emerging companies looking to IPO typically lack the in-house experience and sophistication required to successfully handle the increasingly complex nuances of the overall process and are turning in ever greater numbers to the services provided by stock transfer agents to navigate the choppy seas of an initial public offering in today’s markets. Established public companies are also increasingly seeking out the services of stock transfer agents in order to handle the tedious and equally complex aspects of ongoing stock accounting requirements, like stock ownership verification and signature guarantee tracking. Transfer agents have become an indisputably vital part of success for emerging public companies when it comes to handling the aforementioned tasks and oftentimes seemingly herculean amount of clerical activities required, which range from registrations and handling EDGAR/XBRL filings, to organizing annual meetings and election processes.

While most stock transfer agents generally offer the same suites of services, what differentiates operators in this space is a powerful mix of industry experience, highly-trained personnel and the kind of always-on customer service required to really handle the evolving daily needs of a given company. Particularly for SME class companies, the amount of work required to manage the various aspects of an IPO or ongoing record keeping and shareholder information maintenance, is often much better/more cost-effectively handled by a third party stock transfer agent, which specializes in the practice and knows all the tricks of the trade.

One of the stock transfer agent firms which has successfully differentiated itself over the years is Continental Stock Transfer & Trust. Continental not only provides clients with 24/7 access to their deep bench of senior-level experts, but something the big transfer agent shops simply cannot provide, custom-tailored solutions. Not just any customized solutions either; Continental Stock Transfer & Trust just rang the bell on their 50th year in the game and they have the track record of customized service, as well as industry accolades, to back up that enviable milestone.

Continental Stock Transfer & Trust just pulled down the prestigious TALON Award (Transfer Agent Leader Overall North America) for the fourth year in a row, clearly evincing the company’s status as the top dog transfer agent in North America when it comes to customer satisfaction. The TALON Award, which is the industry’s only performance survey the spans the entire gamut, also clearly signifies Continental Stock Transfer & Trust’s value proposition, with the most reasonable fees, as well as controls on out-of-pocket expenses, to be had anywhere.

Music to the ears of SMEs looking to up their own game and the award also indicates to potential clients that Continental’s technology is second to none. The company’s online, client-based issuer tool, ControlBook Reporting for instance, allows on-demand access to share controls, irrespective of stock class and provides real-time situational awareness, as well as operability, whether day or night. The company’s embracing of crowdfunding and their partnership with numerous crowdfunding portals like 99 Funding (www.99funding.com), highlighted by their extensive comment letter to the SEC commending them for their JOBS Act and crowdfunding exemption (SA1933 Section 4[a][6]) rules (designed to reduce associated regulatory costs for raising capital, while preserving key investor protections), further shows how far ahead of the curve Continental is.

Of particular note is the company’s guidance in their comment letter to the SEC on how essential a registered transfer agent for Title II and III issuers is, in order to protect investors. Similarly, their suggestion that transfer agents lower their pricing models in order to accommodate fledgling companies, in light of the simplified record keeping, is trend-setting in its conception. Such trend-setting industry guidance helps clear the way for crowdfunding issuers who want to maximize their business models and still afford rigorous record keeping.

The comprehensive services provided by Continental have been instrumental for companies like Energy XXI (NASDAQ:EXXI), an independent oil and gas E&P with primary operations in the Gulf of Mexico/Gulf Coast. Given EXXI’s dual listing on the London Stock Exchange’s international market for smaller growing companies, AIM (which requires monthly reconciliations), as well as tasks like employee stock-based compensation stock issuances and preferred stock conversions, it has been essential to have a company like Continental on board to “keep everything straight,” according to EXXI’s Senior VP, Hugh Menown.

These same service capabilities, delivered by an exceptionally experienced, deep bench of experts who are at the beck and call of clients, has helped companies like Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PCD), one of the most active drillers in the Permian/Eagle Ford’s Spraberry/Wolfcamp oil field in Texas, handle all their daily transfer agent needs. PCD’s Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Sam Hicks, has even gone on record thanking Continental for their exemplary transfer agent service to Pioneer. Continental’s relationship with Pioneer stretches back to PCD’s inception in1997 and Hicks has been keen to point out how out how the tailored servicing, with additional special services provided on an ad hoc basis (without a bunch of costly add-ons as would be the case with most other transfer agents), has really been a high value addition to the company’s overall business model, allowing them to prosper and continue gaining momentum with each passing year.

Visit the Continental Stock Transfer & Trust for more information: www.ContinentalStock.com

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Validian Corp. (VLDI) Starts Presentation at The FireRock Conference

Validian is the leader in cyber security technology that provides secure access, retrieval, transfer, receipt and storage of digital information on wired, wireless and mobile devices and networks over the Internet. Validian technology enables the next generation of secure Mobile Messaging and Communications, Cloud Computing, Cloud Storage, Distributed Computing and Web Application and WebPortal Access and Usage for desktop & laptop computers, servers, tablets and SmartPhones. For more information, visit www.validian.com.

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Gilla, Inc. (GLLA) Starts Presentation at The FireRock Conference

Gilla designs, markets and distributes electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, e-liquids and related accessories. The company operates a two-pronged business model that focuses on white-label solutions, including branding, marketing and sales support; and e-commerce solutions such as Charlie’s Club, a members-only online e-cigarette monthly subscription service featuring free hardware and no contracts. E-cigarettes and vaporizers are replacements for traditional cigarettes allowing smokers – they do not burn tobacco and are not smoking cessation devices. For more information visit www.gillainc.com

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AVT, Inc. (AVTC) Starts Presentation at The FireRock Conference

AVT has been building vending machines and providing innovative solutions to the worldwide market for many years. As an industry leader, the company provides a full line of customized vending solutions, loaded with all the latest features. AVT offers methods of integrating vending into today’s cashless society, with advanced equipment, reporting and support. For more information, visit www.autoretail.com.

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Creative Learning Corp. (CLCN) Starts Presentation at The FireRock Conference

Creative Learning is the owner and developer of a unique and highly successful franchised children’s activity program called Bricks 4 Kidz®.  The program is based on the operation of after-school classes in preschools, elementary schools and middle schools, in-school field trips, camps, birthday parties and other activities using the extremely popular LEGO® bricks as the basis for hands-on activities where students design and build interesting and challenging projects. For more information, visit www.creativelearningcorp.com.

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Pulse Evolution Corp. (PLFX) Starts Presentation at The FireRock Conference

Pulse Evolution is a digital production and IP company established to produce specialized, high-impact applications of computer-generated human likeness for utilization in entertainment, life sciences, education and telecommunication. Headquartered in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Pulse Evolution develops photorealistic digital humans, or “virtual humans,” for live and holographic concerts, advertising, feature films, branded content, medical applications and training. For more information, visit http://www.pulse.co/

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LabStyle Innovations Corp. (DRIO) Starts Presentation at The FireRock Conference

LabStyle Innovations is changing the way people manage their chronic diseases. The company develops and commercializes patent-pending technologies that provide consumers with laboratory-testing capabilities using smart mobile devices. LabStyle’s flagship product is Dario™, the world’s first personalized smart meter to combine an all-in-one glucose meter that plugs directly into a smart mobile device with personalized information and community support. For more information, visit www.mydario.com.

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MagneGas Corp. (MNGA) Starts Presentation at The FireRock Conference

MagneGas is a technology company that has invented a patented process that converts liquid waste into hydrogen based fuels.  The company currently sells MagneGas® into the metal working market as a replacement to acetylene.  It is also selling equipment for the sterilization of bio-contaminated liquid waste for various industrial and agricultural markets.  In addition, the company is developing a variety of ancillary uses for MagneGas® fuels utilizing its high flame temperature for co-combustion of hydrocarbon fuels and other advanced applications.  For more information, visit www.MagneGas.com.

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Net Element (NETE) – Advancing the Mobile Payment to the Next Level

Net Element is a Florida based technological firm specializing in the development of mobile payment apps from the merchant end of transactions. Mobile payment apps allow customers to use an app on their smartphone to pay directly from their bank account to venders that accept mobile payments. This technology is designed to make it more convenient for consumers who don’t want to carry debit and credit cards in their wallets. It also makes it easier for businesses as mobile payments are not currently charged the surcharges required for the use of physical cards.

Net Element announced in September that they struck a deal with Apple to develop merchant end technology that would allow for Apple Pay users to make purchases at businesses that have installed Net Element’s mobile payment system offered through their subsidiary TOT Group. With the number of customers using Apple Pay and other mobile payment apps to make purchases, the demand for merchants to accept these payments continues to grow. The reality of the rise of mobile payments coupled with Net Element’s special deal with Apple is advantageous to Net Element’s place in the growing mobile payment industry.

Despite the advantages that come with mobile payments, there is some resistance from merchants regarding the new technology due to questions on resistant the payment information is against hacking. Unlike physical cards, mobile payment technology uses stored bank account information to make the payment process quicker. The main safeguard against hacking is that Apple Pay is the fingerprint system used when using an iPhone 6 or greater to make a purchase. Despite some concerns, mobile payment technology continues to be adopted by a rising number of merchants wanting to take advantage of a new way to sell their products. As a premier developer of merchant end mobile payment technology, Net Element continues to be a part of the technological boom of the 2010s.

For more information, visit www.NetElement.com

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WOWIO, Inc. (WWIO) Starts Presentation at The FireRock Conference

WOWIO is a technology development company with a patented process and a proprietary mobile ad-delivery platform that is designed to disrupt the eBook distribution landscape by exploiting a previously untapped marketplace: ad-supported eBooks. Exclusive ownership of an issued patent that governs this opportunity allows the company to expand its reach as a digital media company far beyond producing and distributing content across multiple platforms. For more information, visit www.studiowdigital.com.

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