Last Thursday I had a wonderful opportunity to speak on a panel at the Emerging Technologies Summit hosted by the University of Texas at Dallas and the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center. The conference was jam packed with evangelists, experts and those with interest in the topics of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Fintech. It was also keynoted by Blockchain evangelist and technology prognosticator, and a good friend, Don Tapscott.
My panel covered the topic of Emerging Technologies for a Better World, and it was memorable and fulfilling as my fellow panelist, Richard Margolin of Robokind, and I covered the two topics that are near and dear to my heart these days – inclusion education and rapid advancement of health & wellness.
I was able to highlight many of the things that Nano Vision is advancing in curing healthcare, including disrupting the way the current funding and research models (don’t) work for curing disease and human health threats such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and superbugs (anti-microbial resistance, or AMR).
Twenty-Eighteen is off to an amazing start. After attending and speaking at two conferences in Switzerland on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain in St. Moritz and then Davos, including being surrounded by stunning scenery to free the mind, I am more convinced than ever that the Crypto market is going to be transformative and impactful. Never before have I seen such an enabler of innovation that can pull together large communities into movements whereby big positive change can happen and the community can profit by doing so. That is the crypto movement in a nutshell.
In 2018 I am applying my energies in this space toward (a) the advancement of cures to human health conditions, such as Alzheimers, superbugs, infectious disease, and ultimately cancers of as many kinds as we can defeat, and (b) to enable the funding and advancement of high-quality, high-expectation full inclusion education in Austin and globally. Through the tokenization of intellectual property into a cryptocurrency in each of these markets and new and different (i.e. collaborative and transparent) ways of approaching these problems, I believe global communities can be rallied in each market to provide the capital, intellectual horsepower and overall support to achieve disruptive outcomes.
To that end, I am working actively in both markets. With Nano Vision, we are taking a new approach to curing intractable human health conditions by starting with molecular level data and finding researchers taking alternative approaches to discovering cures. We will aggregate data from these partners, ascribe value to it in a cryptocurrency and make it available to the commons for the advancement of cures. The data is attributed to its source owner(s) and therefore is forever recorded for future attribution in discoveries and potential compensation. Moreover, we are advancing chip and IoT sensor development to produce never before recorded samples of things like viruses and pathogens from our real-world environment in real-time, capturing these structures as they mutate so that future cures are addressing the threat as it actually exists, not as it was once seen in a lab.
I am excited for this project as I hope it will see fewer and fewer friends and family suffer from the wretched disease of cancer and am optimistic that we can find an outcome for Alzheimers which if it does not get me first it may very well get to my youngest daughter with Down Syndrome if we don’t stop it. Projects exist that need funding and more collaborative and open supportfrom the global community. It’s a personal mission to say the least.
On education, witnessing first-hand now the stunning lack of choice for full inclusion based education for kids with intellectual disabilities and other learning challenges for K-12 education has driven me to look for ways to change this situation. I’ve visited and seen inclusion education in action at places like Hong Kong Academy and Community Roots School in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve read about the successful full inclusion charter schools in the Boston Massachusetts area in the excellent book Effective Inclusion Schools: Designing Successful School-wide Programs. So I know it can happen, and the results show it is positive for all. Yet, as I look at Kindergarten choices for my youngest daughter in Austin, we are left with the public school system that is set up to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but does not truly have a mission of full inclusion education. This is simply not enough and is not acceptable. As a whole, despite IDEA, the kids with learning differences are not getting the same education (to the maximum extent possible) as those without in most schools that do not support full inclusion. Achieving this outcome within the current public system places an undue burden on the parents as advocates and on individual educators that want to deliver full-inclusion in a less than supportive setting. To be sure, many excellent educators exist from grade to grade and classroom to classroom that are delivering full inclusion education in those settings. What I am talking about is a school wide mission and mandate where it is part of the overall fabric and culture of the school and independent of any individual educator.
In Davos and St. Moritz I found inspiration talking with people attending each conference about the impact we could have by bringing the world together and institutions that already successfully support and deliver inclusion education. I am now starting to design a cryptocurrency based system that will incentivize a global community and IP-based system to deliver the expertise, content and capital to expand inclusion education world wide. I hope to this this initiative launched in 2018.
I’m disregarding the naysayers of the crypto economy and blockchain. As each of you that want to do something in this space encounter them, before getting into arguments, take a moment to see if those naysayers have either taken the time to try to understand what is truly happening and possible in crypto or if they have enough of an open mind to at least engage productively. Otherwise it is a waste of time trying to convince people shouting from outside the tent about what is wrong inside, and your time is better spent building and learning this exciting new space. Challenges exist for sure, and many ups and downs will happen, but the trajectory is upward and the impact can be monumental.
I cannot remember the last time I wrote a blog post, and have been wanting to start writing on Medium. So, here goes to kick off 2018 with something easy, a recap of my 2017 professional projects, which will inevitably lead to the next post which is teeing up my 2018 professional projects.
2017 was a very good building year professionally. In 2016, I started a new company with longtime friend Frank Krasovec and a good friend and former colleague Joe Canterbury. After many, many years doing business in China in fields from Dominos to Starbucks to mobile application software between us, we all collectively realized in early 2016 that the Chinese mainland consumer was growing rapidly in income and spending power and was desiring healthy lifestyle services and brands. Thus, Pacific Springboard was formed.
Our goal was to bring the leading US healthy lifestyle service brands to China with a principal ownership and operating position in each one we secure. We targeted brands in health & wellness, fitness, entertainment and lifestyle. We closed our initial funding into Pacific Springboard in late 2016, and brought on another strong solid partner with JLM Financial, led by our new partners Larry Meyer and Trey Owen.
By 2017 we had already begun negotiations with a medical service brand in the Urgent Care market and were pursuing a top entertainment based service brand. In 2017 we achieved the magic of what makes a new startup a reality, landing our first deal — FastMed Urgent Care. Following the closing of the deal, we also opened up our first FastMed branded clinic in Shanghai with our key Chinese partner Yosemite Clinic, which was founded and is led by our good friend and partner Dr. Keying Song.
We are thrilled with the progress of FastMed and are looking forward to bringing convenient, affordable and high quality urgent & family medical care to the neighborhoods of hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens!
Additionally, in 2017 we were able to successfully close $1.5m of funding for the FastMed China business and $1.5m of additional funding into Pacific Springboard, and began to build out amazing teams to deliver on the promise. We are eager to land yet another big brand for China in 2018.
How that all ties together is the topic of another post and future posts in 2018, but expect to see significant engagement from me on achieving progress on human health and inclusion education leveraging blockchain and crypto assets. It’s time to change the game on these fronts.