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13TH January 2017

Angel Investor - Culture - Entrepreneur - Fashion Snoops - Food - Leadership - Mobile - Race to the Bottom - Timely - Uncategorized

Looking out, at the world.

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey Exupery has long been one of my favorite authors, and this is one of my favorite quotes. Amazingly, it took me a pair of Spectacles by the soon-to-be-public Snap, Inc. to reconnect with the thought. I think this is a tremendously exciting product, arriving at a moment we actually need a bit of a reset on perspective. Here’s the why: our look-at-me world is a race to the bottom. And the race to the bottom feeds upon the instant gratification that has taken hold of our world. No-one is really to blame. It’s just that hit of Dopamine that has become so addictive in segments of our society: […]

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25TH December 2016

Angel investing - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Family Office - Grand Central Tech - Leadership - Mobile - Timeless - Timely - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision

Learn, or give it up to the robots

That pretty much sums up most of the 2017 resolutions I have been seeing from my friends and business relationships. Except for my Buddy Mark, who wants me to do 81 reps of different calisthenics before January 31. In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85 % of all photo paper worldwide.  Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.  What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years and, most people won’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again? If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if […]

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16TH December 2016

Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Parenting - Timely - Uncategorized

What I learned from teaching @Hour of Code

And this is Alexa, you can use it to order Legos! There’s something really powerful about presenting to 5 year olds- you have to get their attention, and then you get 20 seconds to get your point across! I just completed my Hour of Code bit for the week, teaching a kindergarten class about “how to talk to computers”. We got through Ethan Gamer-TV, Roblox, MineCraft and how each of them teach us- secretly- to speak to machines. We then went through the machines themselves- I used Amazon Echo, Nest, a drone and Tesla as examples of how humans and machine interact. What impressed me the most was how these kids see the world, machines, and the code that allows them to communicate. There is no fear of robots taking their jobs. […]

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15TH July 2016

Creative problem Solving - Cuba - Entrepreneur - Explorer - Geopolitical - Grand Central Tech - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Uncategorized

Crushing it in Cuba

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead The Innovadores Foundation just completed the most amazing year of progress, thanks in no small part to that small team, and the support of donors like you who believed it could be done. ReBirth of our Foundation A year ago, our 501c3 was still named KFAC, a charitable hold-over from our many years crossing Long Island Sound to benefit our community and environment. Part of that journey led us to support young entrepreneurs who won internships at Grand Central Tech; we have placed more than two dozen kids in that enviable spot in the past two years. But when we began to make our inroads in […]

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20TH May 2016

Cuba - Culture - Havana Culture - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Timely

Oh, the things we take for granted…

I flew to San Fran this week, and back, hardly missing any time on wifi while in the air. I should be grateful for that. Meanwhile, in Havana, people struggle to get online for a few minutes, but when they do…  they are transformed. When I compare the two expectations, our and theirs, I recall a great bit from Louis CK about the hardships we “think” we endure, like flying through the air 500 miles and hour, in a chair, surfing the web and doing work.  “New York to SanFran used to take people 30 years, and half the people would die with an arrow in their neck”. Now, if we don’t board priority, we don’t get our luggage in the overhead bins *sigh*. Meanwhile, in Cuba, people take nothing for granted. […]

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21TH April 2016

Cuba - Geopolitical - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns

Havana inspires a Pittsburgher to Appeciate Art…

I have a tenuous relationship with art, but Cuba is changing all of that. My dark period – art wise- was 13~ years in Beaver, PA. It wasn’t for lack of options- Pittsburgh is home to both Warhol and Frick, but we did more Pirates and Steelers). My grandfather carved reliefs of trophy deer on copper, mainly becuase he couldn’t shoot them anymore. Now, I have a few friends that make more than a living at it, mon grand ami Eric Mourlot being one. I have probably absorbed more from him in one cocktail hour than any other time in my life, combined. Until I landed in Havana almost a year ago, where I’ve been inundated. As I see it, artists are a permitted (tolerated?) special class enabled to practice some form of enterprise, a good […]

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20TH November 2014

Choate - Entrepreneur - Grand Central Tech - Leadership - Social - Timely - Venture Capital - Vision

Jesse Fink tonight at Start Up Choate

Tonight we host Jesse Fink, former COO of Priceline and Founder of Mission Point Capital, for the latest edition of our series of fireside chats. Jesse needs no introduction; his career arc was part of a plan, but by his own admission that “happened faster than expected”. This will be our first event in our “home away from Wallingford”, the super start-up nexus known as Grand Central Tech run by Chalie Bonello and Matt Harrigan. Matter of fact, because of the overflow, it has been moved from the 2nd floor incubator up to the 16th floor co-work space called “Grow Grand Central Tech”, where companies land after completing their times on 2. We’ve just sent one of our Vaux portfolio companies, Bell Family, upstairs. In the 18 months since inception, […]

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11TH November 2014

500 Start Ups - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Timely - Trust Cloud - Uncategorized

500 Demo Day, from an Intern’s perspective

Guest post from Aitran Doan, Choate ’12. My name is Aitran and I’ve spent my freshmen fall interning with TrustCloud. I learned about TrustCloud as an intern at Grand Central Tech where I sat in on some of the business meetings. TrustCloud intrigues me because it presents a tangible way of quantifying trust, something so intangible. I wanted to follow the journey of this product and see how well it can solve the trust and safety problems we face in the online market. A fellow Choate Alum agreed to show me the behind-the-scenes of TrustCloud. So in early September, I visited the 500 Startups office in San Francisco. Seeing so many people working together in such a collaborative atmosphere excited me. I saw the experiential learning eseence of the start-up […]

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