Besides some cool “event attractions” (like the Back To The Future Delorean, seeing how data is not completely deleted even if you deep freeze a hard drive, the Bloodhound record-breaking car, or seeing the inside of a Rolls Royce plane turbine), the key for me was to be able to demonstrate my company’s software running on an amazing 84” Microsoft Surface Hub, and attending the invitation-only Microsoft Executive Party at the Sunborn Yacht Hotel.
After spending a few days with my family and my Spanish team, and participating in an art installation by the SuperFlex collective on the 25th, I returned to London.
The last few days have been quite hectic. So much so that I’m going to “bundle” them into one or two very heterogeneous posts.
By the end of September I had to attend a few events, like being invited to a member of Microsoft’s Partner Advisory Council (we held the first meeting at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel), or an E2E networking dinner at Charlotte Street Hotel:
Tuesday October 4 I travelled to Paris to meet a South American Vice-minister of Health in IBM France:
I attended the Cloud/Open Source/DedvOps/CyberSecurity Europe Expo October 5:
October 6 I met Microsoft’s CEO @satyanadella at #transform16 in East Wintergarden:
Upon my return from San Diego (see specific posts about that below) I met the UK’s Secretary of Health, Jeremy Hunt, at the Oxford and Cambridge Club on Thursday October 13:
Then I was invited, by the Executive Director and the UHNWI Director, to have lunch at UBS’ new building at 5 Broadgate on Monday October 17:
And I was invited to present at the NHS Blood & Transplant Workshop held at the Coin Street Centre Tuesday October 18:
But there is always room for some culture, so after having a meeting at University College Hospital, Wednesday October 19, I visited the Wellcome Collection:
Tuesday, October 11th, was day four, and last, at the Exponential Medicine Conference in San Diego.
Some of the talks I enjoyed the most:
Exponential Thinking & Future Predictions: Ray Kurzweil Co-founder & Chancellor, Singularity University
- Zayna Khayat, PhD Lead, MaRS Health and Director, MaRS EXCITE
- Stephanie Marrus, MBA Entrepreneurship Center Director, UCSF
Investing In The Future: Vinod Khosla Founder, Khosla Ventures
Visualizing the Future of Medical Education, from VR to the OR:
- Stefano Bini, MD Professor of Orthopedics, UCSF
- Stephen Swensen Medical Director- Leadership and Organization Development, Mayo Clinic
Synthesis- From Imagination to Innovation to Impact
Kevin Wildenhaus, PhD Behavioral Science Lead: Janssen Disease Interception Accelerator, Johnson & Johnson
And right after that, I left for the airport.
Here you can see more photos from the event.
Monday, October 10th, I had the pleasure to have a chat with Peter Diamandis at a coffee (tea for me, thank you) break.
He was very interested in talking about my company (Kanteron Systems), as we have developed technology that can really help some of his investments in Precision Medicine and Longevity.
Even more interesting than talking about investments, it was to know a little bit the man behind the legend.
Something similar happened when I had dinner on the beach, that same day, with legendary investor Vinod Khosla.
Monday, October 10th was day 3 at the Exponential Medicine Conference San Diego.
For me the highlights were:
Bold Innovation: Peter Diamandis, MD Co-Founder, Singularity University and Founder & Chair, XPRIZE
Redesigning Care: Tony Young, PhD FRCS National Clinical Director for Innovation, NHS England
Bakul Patel, MBA Associate Director of Digital Health, Food and Drug Administration/Center for Devices and Radiological Health
Getting the xMED Scrubs Photo on the Beach, with an awesome drone:
The Brain and Beyond
- Divya Chander, MD PhD Anesthesiologist/Neuroscientist, Stanford University
- Arshya Vahabzadeh, MD Psychiatrist, Harvard Medical School
- Anthony Bossis, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor- Department of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
Off the Planet, Remote Medicine: Scott Parazynski, MD Managing Director, Apogee Interests & 5 Time NASA Astronaut (Retired)
Security & Privacy Threats in Healthcare (And What to Do About It): Marc Goodman, Resident futurologist at the FBI, Policy Law and Ethics Faculty Chair, Singularity University and Founder, FutureCrimes
The day ended with dinner on the beach, and a beach party, with bonfire and drum circle.
Sunday, October 9th, was day two at Exponential Medicine Conference in San Diego.
Some of the highlights were:
From ‘Omics to Action
- Moira Gunn, PhD Host, NPR’s Biotech Nation
- Larry Smarr, PhD Professor, UCSD and Director, Calit2
- George Poste, DVM PhD FRS Chief Scientist, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative- Arizona State University
Mobile, Connected, Digital Health
- David Albert, MD Founder, AliveCor
- Stanley Shaw, MD PhD Co-Director, MGH Center for Assessment Technology & Continuous Health
- Bakul Patel, MBA Associate Director of Digital Health, Food and Drug Administration/Center for Devices and Radiological Health
- Ulrik Wisløff Professor: Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Innovating at Scale: John Mattison, MD CMIO and Assistant Medical Director, Kaiser Permanente
Connecting the Dots: Mark Hyman, MD Chairman, Institute for Functional Medicine
Future of Intervention
- Catherine Mohr, MD Vice President of Strategy, Intuitive Surgical
- Tippi MacKenzie, MD Professor of Pediatric Surgery, UCSF
- Amir Szold, MD Chairman, Technology Committee: European Society for Endoscopic Surgery
- Olivia Hallisey Grand Prize Winner, 2015 Google Science Fair
Disrupting Clinical Practice: Todd Huffman Founder & CEO, 3Scan
Future of Cancer
- Marty Tenenbaum, PhD Founder, Cancer Commons and Chairman & Founder/Chairman, CommerceNet
- Sangeeta Bhatia, MD PhD, Director of Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies, MIT
- David Roberts, MBA, Former Special Agent, Business and Technology Disruption Expert
The other cool thing that happened on day 2 is that I received an award: the Precision Medicine Impact Challenge Award launched by the White House Initiative on Precision Medicine and awarded by the State of California, presented by Elizabeth Baca, MD MPA, from the California Governor’s Office.
Saturday, October 8th, I attended day 1 of the Singularity University Exponential Medicine Conference in San Diego at the amazing Hotel Del Coronado.
The event was organized mainly by Will Weisman and the incomparable Daniel Kraft, MD (whom I met last year at the London Stock Exchange), both from Singularity University.
The Conference was fully packed with activities. Morning activities started at 7am and included Yoga, Meditation, Art, and Beach Run. Evening activities changed every day, and included things like Team Collaboration & Innovation Games, Gadget & S’mores Bar, Music & Magic at the Bar, UnConference, or Silent Disco.
There was also an expo area called The Innovation Lab, where innovative companies showcased their latest and greatest.
But, without a doubt, the most important part of the conference was the extremely interesting and thought-provoking speakers and subjects. Day 1 included, amongst many others:
- Nanotechnology & NanoMedicine: Andrew Hessel, Autodesk Fellow
- Blockchain: Rajeev Ronanki – Principal, Deloitte Consulting; and Mariya Filipova – Healthcare Transformation, Deloitte Consulting
- From Big Data to Actionable Information: Leroy Hood, PhD – President & Co-Founder, Institute for Systems Biology; Senior Vice President & Chief Science Officer, Providence Health & Services
We ended up the day with a beachside dinner under the stars.
Friday, September 16, I attended 3 “bilateral meetings”.The first one took place in downtown San Francisco, in Uber HQ.
The first one took place in downtown San Francisco, in Uber, which is in the same building as Square and across the street from Twitter.
That same morning there was a big story about how much money Uber is losing, and how artificially high their valuation is, but of course, nobody wanted to talk about that. Instead, we focused on big data analysis, regulation, and the interesting angles that Uber is taking.
As you can see from the photographs, they have amazing offices. They have put the truckload of cash they received from VCs to use: a ton of geeks walking around with laptops, huge screens with snazzy ads and dashboards, designer furniture…
After Uber, we took the bus to the number 1 public university in the world: Berkeley University. At the Walter A. Haas School of Business, we attended lectures and met with Prof. Alexandre Bayen, Prof. John Zysman, Prof. David Charron, Gigi Wang and Peter Minor.
Most of what they explained is public knowledge, although Prof. Charron’s packed talk about the history and idiosyncrasy of Silicon Valley was quite enlightening. Two interesting points he made:
- The growth in investment was largely motivated by low interest rates, which led to an abundance of cash, and greed fueled by previous unexpected tech investment successes.
- Corporate VC reduction in investment is not caused by a perceived bubble, but because it is cyclical and now they want to see how the big group of recent unicorns are going to fare out, before going back in.
After having lunch with them, we went to the Sutardja Dai Hall – Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, where they explained a bit more about the Citris Foundry.
To end the day we went to GE Digital, General Electric’s world HQ for software, where their Chief Experience Officer told us all about their new platform (Predix). Then we got to see first hand how an industrial-base company is trying to be “cool and hip”, by touring their Connected Experience Lab, and their Customer Design Center.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand and love the fact that corporations that are over 100 years old want to stay relevant and cool. But somehow it feels “fake” and “forced” when it is not embedded in your company DNA. I mean a Yoda post-it portrait, an Arduino-dispensing vending machine (next to three never-used 3D printers), a retro-arcade, or a mural that says “insert garage here” can be seen as “decoration” and following (not setting) trends. But trying to convince visitors and customers that your researchers are top-notch because you can interact with Google Maps on a huge screen panel via a Microsoft Kinect, or asking your customers to play Candy Crush on a giant touch-screen so they can “relax” in a break between long work sessions, felt insulting to the spirit of true innovation and research. But then again, that’s clueless copy-cat marketing and mindless corporate clones following directives for you.
On the way back to San Francisco we got to experience one of SF’s legendary traffic jams.
Thursday, September 15 I had several meetings in Silicon Valley.
The first one was with the Director of Strategic Investments at the Microsoft Technology Center in Mountain View. Since it is business related, I won’t comment anything about that very interesting meeting.
The second one was with a Partner at Google Ventures. The discussion was to the point and provocative. It is interesting to note that Google and Google Ventures are NOT the same company. Not only they are independent, but quite often their interests in startups collide. As a matter of fact he considered that given the stage of my company, and that they have already invested in a company in a similar space, it was better to contact directly with Google (I am already in contact with them).
The third meeting was more of a workshop at LinkedIn where they gave the whole group an in-depth presentation about Human Capital and Deep Economic Graph. I’m glad I told my buddy Spaniard entrepreneurs Javier and Juan from beBee to get a picture taken as if they were “kicking LinkedIn’s butt” on stage and in the front logo monolith because I truly believe their professional social network is more interesting.
After that long day, we still had some strength left for a party. Risto, Founder & CEO of Idean (a UX company) threw a nice party with DJ, several VR sets for everyone to try, and a few speakers, like the VP of Innovation at Ericsson, and the VP of 20th Century Fox Interactive. A great way to end the day with remarkable hors d’oeuvres and networking!