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Smith Micro Announces First Winner of Avatar Challenge Scholarship Program

Jan 29, 2015

ALISO VIEJO, CA – January 29, 2015 – Smith Micro Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMSI) has named Darbi Jo Dugan from Abingdon-Avon High School, Abingdon, IL, as the first winner of the Smith Micro Avatar Challenge scholarship program for budding digital artists. The high school senior’s “Pudgie the Budgie” bird design was selected as the Student of the Month character for the Avatar messaging feature of Sprint Visual Voicemail, used by Sprint customers nationwide.  Dugan also received a free Intuos Pro tablet from program sponsor Wacom, $2,500 in scholarship money from Smith Micro and program sponsor Studica, as well as free animation software from Smith Micro.

Pudgie the BudgieThe Avatar Challenge is part of an educational program designed to cultivate the next generation of digital artists. The program, launched in 2014 to educators and students in secondary schools and higher education, complements the latest STEAM learning programs through the integration of art and technology. Smith Micro offers Avatar Messaging as part of its CommSuite® premium voice services platform for wireless service providers, as well as in their AniMates™ consumer messaging application available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

“Darbi’s design demonstrated all of the qualities that make for popular Avatars, including personality, vibrant aesthetics, liveliness, and fluid animation,” said Carla Fitzgerald, Chief Marketing Officer at Smith Micro.  “We’re excited to see the Avatar Challenge program generate terrific new characters while teaching valuable graphic design skills, and we look forward to announcing more student winners in the coming months.”

“Winning the first Avatar Challenge was a major shock and made my year! It showed me that doing what you love really does pay off eventually,” said winner Darbi Jo Dugan.  “My Avatar, Pudgie the Budgie, was inspired by my pet parakeet. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember.  Right now I take four different art classes and next year I am attending Missouri State University to major in the Electronic Arts program so I can carry on my love of digital art and animation with me for the rest of my life.”

Avatar Challenge Registration

  • Educators:  By registering for the Avatar Challenge, qualified educators get free copies of Smith Micro’s Anime Studio Pro 10 software for their own use (valued at $299.99), and up to 15 free licenses of Anime Studio Debut (valued at $49.99 each) for their students.  Educators can register for the challenge here.
  • Students:  High school or college students grades nine and up can enter the Avatar Challenge for a chance to win a $2,500 scholarship, an Intuos Pro tablet computer, as well as professional versions of Smith Micro’s Anime Studio, Poser, Manga Studio and Motion Artist animation tools (valued at $1,099.96). Students can register for the program here.

About Smith Micro Software, Inc.:

Smith Micro provides software to simplify and enhance the mobile experience. As the leader in wireless connectivity, our applications ensure the best Quality of Experience for mobile users while optimizing networks for service providers and enterprises.  Using our intelligent policy-on-device platform, along with premium voice, video and content monetization services, we create new opportunities to engage consumers and capitalize on the growth of connected devices.  For more information, visit (NASDAQ: SMSI)

Safe Harbor Statement:

This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, forward-looking statements relating to the company’s financial prospects and other projections of its performance, the execution of our recently announced restructuring, our ability to halt the decline of our cash reserves in light of our continued losses, the existence of new market opportunities and interest in the company’s products and solutions, and the company's ability to increase its revenue and regain profitability by capitalizing on these new market opportunities and interest and introducing new products and solutions. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements are potential for disruption and loss of customers and business from the transfer of duties and responsibilities in our recently announced restructuring, the risk that we will continue to incur losses and not regain profitability, the risk that we may need to raise additional capital to fund our operations and such capital may not be available to us at commercially reasonable terms or at all, changes in demand for the company’s products from its customers and their end-users, customer concentration given that the majority of our sales depend on a few large client relationships, including Sprint, new and changing technologies, customer acceptance and timing of deployment of those technologies, new and continuing adverse economic conditions, and the company's ability to compete effectively with other software companies. These and other factors discussed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this release are made on the basis of the views and assumptions of management regarding future events and business performance as of the date of this release, and the company does not undertake any obligation to update these statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.

Smith Micro and the Smith Micro logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Smith Micro Software, Inc.  Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.  The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Smith Micro and any other company.