George-Hoffman

Technology

BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY IN THIS BIOTECH COMPANY

Network Immunology Inc. is a privately held pre-clinical stage biotechnology company. It has pioneered in the field of immunology through its research and development. Network Immunology was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada but has “collaborators at several North American Universities” as stated on their website. According to Network Immunology Co-founder George Hoffmann, whom I had a chance to interview through Skype.

I began the interview by asking George about Dr. Geoffrey Hoffman for clarification since there are individuals who work at this biotech company with the same names. “Geoffrey is our Chief Scientist,” Hoffman explained, “he is the one who really developed this framework -this network.” Hoffman went on to explain that Geoffrey, too a founder of the company who worked with Danish immunologist and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Niels Jerne, created the “network theory of the immune system.” Geoffrey’s research in this area were closely connected to his colleague’s, Dr. Jerne, who “was the first one to realize that just as the brain is a network of neurons the neural network with memory that the immune system is also a network of cells and antibodies. An immune network that also has memory and the ability to learn from experience as a network.”

Sometimes discoveries are done when going against the current, just like airplanes flying against the wind. I wanted to know more about the scientist behind the company, what prompted him to continue his research when the majority of scientist were focused on other scientific hypes. Geoffrey began his research in network framework in the 90’s according to Hoffman, when “practically the whole field of immunology where all of the immunologists in the field just about left.” While other immunologists distanced themselves, “Geoffrey stayed -he just knew it was the truth” said Hoffman. Geoffrey continued his research and it eventually lead to a breakthrough.

Well into our interview I asked about the solutions Network Immunology offered to treat diseases. I asked him to tell me about his company’s technology, Hoffman replied “what we have now is a substantial amount of data now -a substantial amount of results for transplantation technology.” A prospect Hoffman is excited about. “But really it’s much more than that.” Hoffman continued. “Transplantation has been the platform through which we’ve been demonstrating the shifting of an immune system from one stable steady state to another stable steady state.” Stable bodies and stable states were used interchangeably, visit their website to learn more about this science networkimmunology(dot)com.

His response nudged me to ask him another question to delve into his company’s solutions. I asked him about stable bodies, what if one is not stable? To which Hoffman explained that “in cases where someone’s immune system is […] malfunctioning in terms of […] an auto-immune condition” that is already known and expected, they can “perturb that system in a subtle way to be able to perturb it towards a stable state.” Hoffman warns “that research is also ongoing” and there’s potential technology “to actually take an immune system that is not fully functioning properly [such as] in the case of autoimmunity diabetes, for example, to perturb it to a place where it is a new state collectively,” effectively taking “the whole immune system to a well functioning state.”

The company’s mission statement as posted on their website “is to contribute to the alleviation of suffering through the discovery and early stage development of novel medications.” It continues “we are maintaining and strengthening our position as world leader in the research and development of immuno-therapeautics based on immune network theory.” The best way to reach George Hoffman, the Co-founder and Director is through email or by phone. His email address is George@networkimmunologyinc.com and his phone number is (778)847-7521. This company is currently seeking investments between $1 million to $4 million.

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
EDITED BY: JESSICA LAWLER
PUBLISHED ON 2/13/2016


Source: YouTube, interview with Brandon Knapik

Technology

MAKING IT IN THE FILM INDUSTRY

 

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
PUBLISHED ON 2/23/2016

 

 

 


Source: YouTube, interview with Brittany Bitar

Technology

CHECK OUT BRITTANY’S NONPROFIT!

 

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
PUBLISHED ON 1/23/2016


Source: YouTube, interview with Phillip Broussard

Technology

THIS STARTUP HAS INVESTORS WATERING AT THE MOUTH 

 

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
PUBLISHED ON 1/14/2016

Technology

SELF-FINANCED STARTUPS ARE STILL IN VOGUE

 

Chris Ihler went from working at Amazon as a financial analyst to working at his own laser cutting startup. As a financial analyst, Ihler and his three person team made Amazon “tons of money”, according to Ihler who says they “made them probably 2.5 million while [they] were there.” He and his team did so by pioneering in a specific process that at that time no one was using. Ihler adds that it was an exploratory program to find out if the payment process worked.

Ihler says that when his contract was up at Amazon he wanted to get into laser cutting. Chris said he himself “spent a lot of time learning about digital manufacturing and the [mini] maker movement,” and had insight into what type of company he wanted to create and where he wanted “to be in five years from now,” or “when the trend really picks up.” I asked Chris how he saw this trend, and he replied that typically “manufacturing is all in China,” and that “manufacturing is becoming so technology driven that it’s making tools easier” both to access and to make and that “high quality manufacturing [is now] closer to home.” Ihler adds that since the tools are getting cheaper and more automated, it makes sense to bring back manufacturing.

Although, he says that the trend is “not happening for all manufacturing, but for certain styles of manufacturing.” Ihler had market trend insights when working at Amazon “by learning about Amazon’s business, the way that it’s organized, general manufacturing and how trends are moving.” From the beginning days of his startup, Rise, one of his big projects was to make an installation for a Nike store with his laser cutter. His laser cutter works on various materials such as wood, glass, and metal.

His startup is self-financed and doesn’t have VC funds nor angel investments he said on our in-person interview, I followed up with Chris a few days ago to ask about current investments and didn’t hear back from him. Startups with third party investments generally derive from VC’s, angel investments, or corporate investments. Rise is operated by Chris and his twin brother Corey Ihler.

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
EDITED BY: JESSICA LAWLER
PUBLISHED ON 1/10/2016


Source: eventbrite.com

Leadership

6 TIPS FROM SUCCESSFUL STARTUP CEO’S

 

What do successful CEO’s and entrepreneurs do to successfully grow with a company?

Whether you’re the CEO of profit or a nonprofit, or just an aspiring CEO, the following tips and skills will help anyone in a leadership position to effectively direct a company. Today’s business executives are much like Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey, they must embody many of the character’s traits as they spearhead a journey through the unknown.

Here are some of the top tips from successful startup CEO’s:

1. Be Persistent

Even while being fully funded, it may take years before a product goes to market “in a meaningful way” says Liz Pearce CEO of startup Liquid Planner. She also says that solving problems requires a different approach because you can’t describe what the solution is going to look like and it’s not a linear process.

2. Be Strategic

Keela Robinson, CEO of Urbanspoon, advises to emulate others you perceive as being strategic. She strongly suggests thinking outside of the market to answer the question: “What’s your market size and share? What are your competitors doing? What are the potentially disruptive technologies or businesses that are out there?”

3. Manage a Company Like a Financial Portfolio

Pearce says to invest in your company through protective buffering for the business, but at the same time “you want to be successful in getting people to use the thing” she says. Furthermore, Pearce believes the categories of investments include infrastructure, operations, and security, and that “depending on your risk tolerance you might invest more or less in anyone of those areas.”

4. Look Through Different Lenses

Robinson finds taking different perspectives in order to find solutions for problems helpful, and tries to get outsiders’ opinions on burning topics.

5. Know Your Customer

Pearce stresses to compete with competitors, pick up the methods from the competition, but at the same time she says to always listen to the customer and have a deep understanding of your customer’s biggest problems.

6. Talk About Issues

Robinson recommends scheduling time with a group of people outside of the office that you can connect with at least every few months. By having a different rotation of people who like to talk about work and to talk about issues that they’re tackling and to exchange ideas, she says, you’ll receive a new perspective that’s not about operated by in-office politics.

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
EDITED BY: JESSICA LAWLER
PUBLISHED ON 12/18/2015


Technology

ARDUINO CONTINUES ITS LEGACY

Source: YouTube, interview with Monica Simone Houston

 

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
PUBLISHED ON 1/10/2016

 

 

Technology

A PICTURE WORTH A THOUSAND DOLLARS

Adobe was founded by two former Xerox employees, John Warnock and Charles Geschke. Warnock and Geschke developed a programming language, Post Script, that Xerox turned down “when Xerox declined to bring the technology to [the] market” 1 the pair ventured off and made their own company. Adobe makes most of their sales through diverse software applications for companies such as Macintosh, Unix, and Windows. Adobe Photoshop is one of the company’s most successful applications. Photoshop’s “open architecture” helped lead to its success 2 it is a “platform for both Adobe and third parties to build on to extend application functionality.” 3 The Adobe Photoshop application is the McLaren sportscar of applications in terms of affordability, performance, and engineering (see their models:  http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-7935133-12213491-1436949863000). Years later Adobe has added new applications primarily through acquisitions of other companies.

Adobe is an international public corporation with its headquarters in San Jose, California. Adobe develops printing, publishing, and graphics. Adobe has recently acquired Digital Analytix “in a bid to further the analytics capabilites of [Adobe’s] marketing cloud” 4  Adobe currently has “13,000 employees” according to Chris Prosser, an engineer at Adobe who oversees “5.3 million active users.” Prosser is doing research on data analysis, particularly on consumers and conversion rates, including machine learning, which makes the acquisition of Digital Analytix a fortuitous one. Prosser believes this new acquisition will help Adobe’s core value, which is “helping creative people be more creative.”

Adobe is an international public corporation with its headquarters in San Jose, California. Adobe develops printing, publishing, and graphics. Adobe has recently acquired Digital Analytix “in a bid to further the analytics capabilites of [Adobe’s] marketing cloud” 4  Adobe currently has “13,000 employees” according to Chris Prosser, an engineer at Adobe who oversees “5.3 million active users.” Prosser is doing research on data analysis, particularly on consumers and conversion rates, including machine learning, which makes the acquisition of Digital Analytix a fortuitous one. Prosser believes this new acquisition will help Adobe’s core value, which is “helping creative people be more creative.”

1) Britannica.com
2) Britannica.com
3) Adobe.com                                                                                                   4) Adobe To Bolster Marketing Cloud Analytics With Digital Analytix Acquisition, cmo.com.au
5) Blogs.adobe.com
6 & 7) Jacob Kastrenakes, Adobe is Telling People To Stop Using Flash, Theverge.com
8) Lastpass.com

 

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
EDITED BY: JESSICA LAWLER
PUBLISHED ON 12/4/2015

 

 

 

Source: youtube.com

Technology

THE WATSON SHIP

Will IBM’s supercomputer, dubbed ‘Watson’ generate revenue or end up in the shipyard? Watson, in a nutshell is two in one a computer with integrated software. “The Watson software is powered by an IBM Power 7 server” 1 and it provides services to industries across the board, anywhere from startups to established companies in several fields. But for all of Watson’s leading edge software, it is not a smooth operating device. “According to The Journal, early Watson testers like Citigroup, University of Texas and WellPoint have struggled to make Watson work right.” 2 However, despite current problems, the computer can learn as it goes 3 and is trainable, presenting opportunity for improvement.

Watson’s first days started on the television game show Jeopardy. Behind the Watson Jeopardy Challenge was Dr. David Ferrucci 4 “In 2007, Dr. Ferrucci took on the Jeopardy Challenge -tasked to create a computer system that [could] rival human champions at the game of Jeopardy” 5 and on February 14th, 2011 Watson “beat the highest ranked Jeopardy champions of all time” 6.

Currently, a lot of the services offered by Watson are extensions of the ‘Jeopardy Watson’. However, according to Max Kauffman, a Natural Language Processing Specialist from IBM, said they’ve come a long way since Jeopardy. Watson may have won $1 million 7 at the Jeopardy challenge, but can it generate profit outside of the game show arena? So far it hasn’t generated enough to get it out of its current slump, but “IBM is looking to find new markets” even after a few quarters of declining revenue 8.

Watson’s ‘partners’ are startups and companies that sign agreements with IBM to access Watson technologies. According to a Watson Ecosystem representative, businesses pay no upfront fees but are subject to revenue sharing. Watson service agreements vary in length, but once a partner, developers have access to other resources in Watson’s ecosystem. A few such resources available include access to capital funds of $100 million, access to a Watson expert, Watson’s API’s, and IBM’s Blue Mix tools to facilitate developing applications said Ecosystem rep. Developers in essence can train a Watson of their own, according to Kauffman.

The Watson computer is named after former IBM President, Thomas J. Watson Sr. 9 whose tenure at IBM saw the company become “a significant firm in computing history.” *1 Thomas J. Watson Sr. served 10 years at the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company before it became International Business Machines, or IBM in 1924.” *2 As for Watson the man, he went from a widely alleged big crook to being a big business leader after the case was seemingly dropped, *3 he had a small flaw in the beginning of his career. IBM is headquartered in Armonk, New York and has over 200 international offices.

 

1) IBM To Demonstrate Watson Technology For The Future of Healthcare, www.press.org
2) Joe Panettieri, IBM Watson: Real Wizardry or Empty Oz?, www.afternines.com
3) IBM’s Watson Becomes Customer Service Agent, www.mycustomer.com
4,5,6) The Alan Turing Centenary Conference, curation.cs.manchester.ac.uk
7) Joe Panettieri, IBM Watson: Real Wizardry or Empty Oz?, www.afternines.com
8) Elizabeth Weise, IBM’s Watson coming to San Francisco, www.usatoday.com
9) The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com
*1, *2) J.K. Petersen, “Thomas J. Watson Sr.”, The Telecommunications Illustrated Dictionary Second Edition
*3) The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com

 

REPORTED BY: J. KRISTAL WHYTE
EDITED BY: JESSICA LAWLER
PUBLISHED ON 11/16/2015