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F50 Elevate™ wants to help early-stage startups move faster with the global investor network and F50 Summits

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F50 Elevate™ announced on June 6 and will open for public application on June 12. The F50 Elevate is the newest member of the F50 Family. It was specifically created to speed up the growth for the most promising startups. F50 elevate would like to utilize the advantage of a global investor network based on 22 investor summits over the past five years and a community of over 100,000 members. The program accelerates the success with the collective intelligence of our deep roots in Silicon Valley, together with corporate partners, and industry experts.

With the slow down in early-stage funding over the past few years, it has become more challenging for great startup founders to raise capital at the speed they require. F50 Elevate would like to put our focus and energy to help the great founders from our community to move faster to the next level. F50 Elevate, F50 Ventures, F50 Network, F50 Report, and communities together will serve as the funnel to identify great founders for investors.

4 REASONS WHY A STARTUP SHOULD JOIN F50 ELEVATE
Access to the large Global Investor Network, including VIPs from our investor summit and private receptions as well as speakers and attendees. 
Brand in Silicon Valley’s flagship investor summits, including Global Capital Summit, DeepTech Summit, F50 Summit, etc. 
Speed up the growth with strong and experienced mentors and partner team.
Engage with entrepreneur/developer Communities & partnering organizations.
F50 Elevate is currently growing our mentor team. During the program, we will have 50+ mentors with entrepreneurial and corporate experiences to help the company. We will also provide strategic guidance in raising capital to complete your existing or next round of fundraising.
 
MENTOR APPLICATION FORM
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT
Key Events
Opening Boot Camp
Video Recording/Media Day 
Top Investor Office Visits 
Midterm Pitch Evaluation 
F50 Global Capital Summit – Fall 2019 
Graduation Ceremony
Weekly Mentor Day
Partner Meeting
Mentor Meeting
Group Meeting – Group Mentor Session
Networking Dinner – With selected investor groups
PUBLIC APPLICATION: JUNE 12
Sections:
HealthTech (Medical devices, Life sciences, Digital health, Integrated medicine, etc)
DeepTech (New material, AI, Smart hardware, Mobility, IoT, etc)
GreenTech (AgTech, Sustainability, FoodTech, CleanTech, etc)
FinTech (Alternative Lending, Cyber Security, Data Services & AI, Payments, etc)

Predictive health: Next generation medical devices powered by Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence has made its way into the highly regulated healthcare space. As tech giants search for new resources for proprietary data, Daniel Burnett, a visionary physician entrepreneur and inventor, biomedical innovation professor at Stanford and UCSF, is tapping into medical devices for a steady stream of actionable clinical insights about the patient by making the conventional medical devices smarter.

Last week, the San Francisco Bay area had executives from all over the world visiting for JP Morgan Healthcare week. Leaders in the healthcare industry, startups, and venture capitalists connected at conferences and networking events to target major problems in healthcare. Over 20 great startups and experts presented at Silicon Valley DeepTech Summit 2019, with a focus on affecting 1  billion lives, hosted by F50. The event featured a high-profile panel on Predictive Health and medical devices powered by data science. They spoke about how AI-powered medical devices will improve patient care and significantly cut down on the costs.

The panel was moderated by Prathamesh Prabhudesai, physician and Entrepreneur In Residence at F50. Panelists included Joe Urban, CEO of Potrero Medical, Daniel Burnett, the founder of Theranova, Lu Zhang, Founder and Managing Partner at Fusion Fund.

Watch video from youtube

Key statements about trends in the predictive health space were as follows:

“It is important to be proactive rather than reactive. I have seen doctors and nurses struggle with the patient because they find out afterward. I see where the market is going, and it is going towards predictive health. The days of dumb indwelling devices are limited. In the future, the questions the doctors will ask the people in the field selling the devices is what else does your device do, what else does it tell me, and how can I treat this patient. That will be the future, and I see it happening in global medicine. Laparoscopic surgery changed the operating room; it reduced mortality and morbidity associated with open procedures. Similarly for the ICU and critical care setting predictive health has a vital role in minimizing cost, improving quality and reducing workload for overworked and overstressed care teams”, said Joe.

“User behavior is changing, and people are moving towards personalized diagnostics. The applications of AI in healthcare motivate me to allocate more capital in predictive health. We look at companies that have the potential to generate over 1 billion dollars exits.

Medical device acquisitions are in the range of $150-300 million. Traditionally it is good, but for a VC it isn’t good enough. However, now with AI, it increases the opportunity to work with a lot of Tech companies like Google, Microsoft, who will pay higher for the data and who have less control over the exit price of the healthcare company. The main focus of using AI-powered medical devices is to enable the provider to increase efficiency, work better, and increase accuracy. We are not replacing anyone”, said Lu.

“The focus at Theranova has been to start companies like Potrero Medical that capture actionable proprietary data streams. Data is the new oil if you have a rich unique and patentable data stream. We work on improving outcomes, reducing costs, and expanding access to care. The last two are important. Earlier the medical device space used to focus only on the first one. The days where you sell a medical device company for 150 million, but it is going to add a lot to the cost of care are gone. If you hit on all three of these, you have everyone pushing for you, the doctor, patient, the hospital system. The only entity not pushing for you is the traditional medical device company that you are disrupting”, said Daniel.

The trio didn’t consider competition from industry incumbents as a significant barrier to entry in the predictive health space.

“Big companies are largely limited by their intolerance to liability. The stage where we pay can potentially bankrupt a Medtronic or Verb Surgical. We do innovation that is pioneering. Leaders at Boston Scientific or Medtronic would agree with this because that’s not where they want to be”, said Daniel.

“Nowadays we don’t worry about competition between startup and large company. The big company wants to be an enabler; they have a platform and database, they want to collaborate with small startups and make strategic investments in these startups. This creates a much healthier ecosystem”, said Lu.

“Potrero Medical has a technology that has a waiting list in the US to get it. We upset the incumbent by adding clinical utility and value for doctor, the patient, and the hospital. Our tech automates workflow by reducing burden for the nurse at a price that is reasonable which traditional medical devices companies don’t do”, said Joe.

The panelists feel that the regulatory atmosphere right now is very supportive. They suggested that when you are doing something pioneering, it is easier when you involve the FDA early on and work with them. They concluded the panel with a few bold statements.

Joe and Daniel: “Doctors that use AI and Machine Learning will replace the doctors that don’t.”

Lu: “ We are not just going to see smart doctors but also smarter hospitals. All devices going into the patient will be smarter and more sensorized, and data is going to be the new

AI can now read emotions – should it?

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In its annual report, the AI Now Institute, an interdisciplinary research center studying the societal implications of artificial intelligence, called for a ban on technology designed to recognize people’s emotions in certain cases. Specifically, the researchers said affect recognition technology, also called emotion recognition technology, should not be used in decisions that “impact people’s lives and access to opportunities,” such as hiring decisions or pain assessments, because it is not sufficiently accurate and can lead to biased decisions.

What is this technology, which is already being used and marketed, and why is it raising concerns?

Outgrowth of facial recognition

Researchers have been actively working on computer vision algorithms that can determine the emotions and intent of humans, along with making other inferences, for at least a decade. Facial expression analysis has been around since at least 2003. Computers have been able to understand emotion even longer. This latest technology relies on the data-centric techniques known as “machine learning,” algorithms that process data to “learn” how to make decisions, to accomplish even more accurate affect recognition.

The challenge of reading emotions

Researchers are always looking to do new things by building on what has been done before. Emotion recognition is enticing because, somehow, we as humans can accomplish this relatively well from even an early age, and yet capably replicating that human skill using computer vision is still challenging. While it’s possible to do some pretty remarkable things with images, such as stylize a photo to make it look as if it were drawn by a famous artist and even create photo-realistic faces – not to mention create so-called deepfakes – the ability to infer properties such as human emotions from a real image has always been of interest for researchers.

Recognizing people’s emotions with computers has potential for a number of positive applications, a researcher who now works at Microsoft explains.

Emotions are difficult because they tend to depend on context. For instance, when someone is concentrating on something it might appear that they’re simply thinking. Facial recognition has come a long way using machine learning, but identifying a person’s emotional state based purely on looking at a person’s face is missing key information. Emotions are expressed not only through a person’s expression but also where they are and what they’re doing. These contextual cues are difficult to feed into even modern machine learning algorithms. To address this, there are active efforts to augment artificial intelligence techniques to consider context, not just for emotion recognition but all kinds of applications.

Reading employee emotions

The report released by AI Now sheds light on some ways in which AI is being applied to the workforce in order to evaluate worker productivity and even as early as at the interview stage. Analyzing footage from interviews, especially for remote job-seekers, is already underway. If managers can get a sense of their subordinates’ emotions from interview to evaluation, decision-making regarding other employment matters such as raises, promotions or assignments might end up being influenced by that information. But there are many other ways that this technology could be used.

Why the worry

These types of systems almost always have fairness, accountability, transparency and ethical (“FATE”) flaws baked into their pattern-matching. For example, one study found that facial recognition algorithms rated faces of black people as angrier than white faces, even when they were smiling.

Many research groups are tackling this problem but it seems clear at this point that the problem can’t be solved exclusively at the technological level. Issues regarding FATE in AI will require a continued and concerted effort on the part of those using the technology to be aware of these issues and to address them. As the AI Now report highlights: “Despite the increase in AI ethics content … ethical principles and statements rarely focus on how AI ethics can be implemented and whether they’re effective.” It notes that such AI ethics statements largely ignore questions of how, where, and who will put such guidelines into operation. In reality, it’s likely that everyone must be aware of the types of biases and weaknesses these systems present, similar to how we must be aware of our own biases and those of others.

The problem with blanket technology bans

Greater accuracy and ease in persistent monitoring bring along other concerns beyond ethics. There are also a host of general technology-related privacy concerns, spanning from the proliferation of cameras that serve as police feeds to potentially making sensitive data anonymous.

With these ethical and privacy concerns, a natural reaction might be to call for a ban on these techniques. Certainly, applying AI to job interview results or criminal sentencing procedures seems dangerous if the systems are learning biases or are otherwise unreliable. There are useful applications however, for instance in helping spot warning signs to prevent youth suicide and detecting drunk drivers. That’s one reason why even concerned researchers, regulators and citizens have generally stopped short of calling for blanket bans on AI-related technologies.

Combining AI and human judgment

Ultimately, technology designers and society as a whole need to look carefully at how information from AI systems is injected into decision-making processes. These systems can give incorrect results just like any other form of intelligence. They are also notoriously bad at rating their own confidence, not unlike humans, even in simpler tasks like the ability to recognize objects. There also remain significant technical challenges in reading emotions, notably considering context to infer emotions.

If people rely on a system that isn’t accurate in making decisions, the users of that system are worse off. It’s also well-known that humans tend to trust these systems more than other authority figures. In light of this, we as a society need to carefully consider these systems’ fairness, accountability, transparency and ethics both during design and application, always keeping a human as the final decision-maker.

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3D printing of body parts is coming fast – but regulations are not ready

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In the last few years, the use of 3D printing has exploded in medicine. Engineers and medical professionals now routinely 3D print prosthetic hands and surgical tools. But 3D printing has only just begun to transform the field.

Today, a quickly emerging set of technologies known as bioprinting is poised to push the boundaries further. Bioprinting uses 3D printers and techniques to fabricate the three-dimensional structures of biological materials, from cells to biochemicals, through precise layer-by-layer positioning. The ultimate goal is to replicate functioning tissue and material, such as organs, which can then be transplanted into human beings.

We have been mapping the adoption of 3D printing technologies in the field of health care, and particularly bioprinting, in a collaboration between the law schools of Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom and Saint Louis University in the United States. While the future looks promising from a technical and scientific perspective, it’s far from clear how bioprinting and its products will be regulated. Such uncertainty can be problematic for manufacturers and patients alike, and could prevent bioprinting from living up to its promise.

From 3D printing to bioprinting

Bioprinting has its origins in 3D printing. Generally, 3D printing refers to all technologies that use a process of joining materials, usually layer upon layer, to make objects from data described in a digital 3D model. Though the technology initially had limited applications, it is now a widely recognized manufacturing system that is used across a broad range of industrial sectors. Companies are now 3D printing car parts, education tools like frog dissection kits and even 3D-printed houses. Both the United States Air Force and British Airways are developing ways of 3D printing airplane parts.

The NIH in the U.S. has a program to develop bioprinted tissue that’s similar to human tissue to speed up drug screening.
Paige Derr and Kristy Derr, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

In medicine, doctors and researchers use 3D printing for several purposes. It can be used to generate accurate replicas of a patient’s body part. In reconstructive and plastic surgeries, implants can be specifically customized for patients using “biomodels” made possible by special software tools. Human heart valves, for instance, are now being 3D printed through several different processes although none have been transplanted into people yet. And there have been significant advances in 3D print methods in areas like dentistry over the past few years.

Bioprinting’s rapid emergence is built on recent advances in 3D printing techniques to engineer different types of products involving biological components, including human tissue and, more recently, vaccines.

While bioprinting is not entirely a new field because it is derived from general 3D printing principles, it is a novel concept for legal and regulatory purposes. And that is where the field could get tripped up if regulators cannot decide how to approach it.

State of the art in bioprinting

Scientists are still far from accomplishing 3D-printed organs because it’s incredibly difficult to connect printed structures to the vascular systems that carry life-sustaining blood and lymph throughout our bodies. But they have been successful in printing nonvascularized tissue like certain types of cartilage. They have also been able to produce ceramic and metal scaffolds that support bone tissue by using different types of bioprintable materials, such as gels and certain nanomaterials. A number of promising animal studies, some involving cardiac tissue, blood vessels and skin, suggest that the field is getting closer to its ultimate goal of transplantable organs.

Researchers explain ongoing work to make 3d-printed tissue that could one day be transplanted into a human body.

We expect that advancements in bioprinting will increase at a steady pace, even with current technological limitations, potentially improving the lives of many patients. In 2019 alone, several research teams reported a number of breakthroughs. Bioengineers at Rice and Washington Universities, for example, used hydrogels to successfully print the first series of complex vascular networks. Scientists at Tel Aviv University managed to produce the first 3D-printed heart. It included “cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers” and used cells and biological materials from a human patient. In the United Kingdom, a team from Swansea University developed a bioprinting process to create an artificial bone matrix, using durable, regenerative biomaterial.

‘Cloneprinting’

Though the future looks promising from a technical and scientific perspective, current regulations around bioprinting pose some hurdles. From a conceptual point of view, it is hard to determine what bioprinting effectively is.

Consider the case of a 3D-printed heart: Is it best described as an organ or a product? Or should regulators look at it more like a medical device?

Regulators have a number of questions to answer. To begin with, they need to decide whether bioprinting should be regulated under new or existing frameworks, and if the latter, which ones. For instance, should they apply regulations for biologics, a class of complex pharmaceuticals that includes treatments for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, because biologic materials are involved, as is the case with 3D-printed vaccines? Or should there be a regulatory framework for medical devices better suited to the task of customizing 3D-printed products like splints for newborns suffering from life-threatening medical conditions?

In Europe and the U.S., scholars and commentators have questioned whether bioprinted materials should enjoy patent protection because of the moral issues they raise. An analogy can be drawn from the famed Dolly the sheep over 20 years ago. In this case, it was held by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that cloned sheep cannot be patented because they were identical copies of naturally occurring sheep. This is a clear example of the parallels that exist between cloning and bioprinting. Some people speculate in the future there will be ‘cloneprinting,’ which has the potential for reviving extinct species or solving the organ transplant shortage.

Dolly the sheep’s example illustrates the court’s reluctance to traverse this path. Therefore, if, at some point in the future, bioprinters or indeed cloneprinters can be used to replicate not simply organs but also human beings using cloning technologies, a patent application of this nature could potentially fail, based on the current law. A study funded by the European Commission, led by Bournemouth University and due for completion in early 2020 aims to provide legal guidance on the various intellectual property and regulatory issues surrounding such issues, among others.

On the other hand, if European regulators classify the product of bioprinting as a medical device, there will be at least some degree of legal clarity, as a regulatory regime for medical devices has long been in place. In the United States, the FDA has issued guidance on 3D-printed medical devices, but not on the specifics of bioprinting. More important, such guidance is not binding and only represents the thinking of a particular agency at a point in time.

Cloudy regulatory outlook

Those are not the only uncertainties that are racking the field. Consider the recent progress surrounding 3D-printed organs, particularly the example of a 3D-printed heart. If a functioning 3D-printed heart becomes available, which body of law should apply beyond the realm of FDA regulations? In the United States, should the National Organ Transplant Act, which was written with human organs in mind, apply? Or do we need to amend the law, or even create a separate set of rules for 3D-printed organs?

We have no doubt that 3D printing in general, and bioprinting specifically, will advance rapidly in the coming years. Policymakers should be paying closer attention to the field to ensure that its progress does not outstrip their capacity to safely and effectively regulate it. If they succeed, it could usher in a new era in medicine that could improve the lives of countless patients.

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Hunniwell Lake Ventures announces new fund at first day of JP Morgan Chase Health Conference to Bring Intelligent Technologies to Surgical Devices

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San Francisco, CA, January 14, 2020 – Hunniwell Lake Ventures LLC., hosted a Medical Device forum during the first day of JP Morgan Chase Health Conference in San Francisco and unveiled their new flagship fund, the Hunniwell Lake Healthcare Fund. The Palo Alto based fund will focus on fostering a new wave of innovation in undercapitalized segments of the medical device space. Hunniwell’s vision is to be the enabler for emerging medical device companies with the potential to be billion-dollar international players, and in turn help raise the quality of healthcare and make surgical procedures more accessible worldwide.

Hunniwell is building a concentrated portfolio of 15 to 20 companies at the imminent or early revenue stages, with investments ranging up to $5M. 

“This new fund is searching for bold entrepreneurs who are looking to disrupt the highly concentrated medical device sector using new technology,” said Dr. Richard Fang, Managing Director at Hunniwell Lake Ventures. “These innovators should be challenging the status quo in the fastest growing surgical segments such as RF/ultrasonic surgical devices, Advanced Laparoscopy/ Endoscopy, Robotics and Visualization, & Wound Care.”

Richard Fang will be managing the fund alongside co-founder Daniel Teo. Richard is the former CEO of Reach Surgical, a leading international brand of surgical instruments with presence in six continents around the world. Reach Surgical was recently sold to private equity. Richard is a Ph.D. in Physics from Purdue and formerly part of the R&D team at J&J. He brings 15 years of experience in the Chinese market for talent, distribution channels, supply chain, and strategic partnerships. 

Daniel Teo was CFO of Reach Surgical, where he also had responsibilities for establishing and advancing all of its international businesses and joint ventures. He is a career CFO/COO who has orchestrated numerous fund-raising, acquisitions, and divestments for different companies. Daniel is a graduate from Cambridge University majoring in (Medical) Physics, holds a Master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business as well as Accounting and Finance qualifications from the ACCA in London. 

The Hunniwell Medical Device Forum alongside the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference attracted over 120 investors and corporate executives including leading medical device and healthcare experts who are reimagining the future of healthcare.

At the forum, Dr. Richard Fang said, “The medical device industry is ripe for disruption. Some of the new innovations that are coming out of the medical device field right now will alter the landscape of how we treat patients for years to come. Hunniwell is positioning itself to help create meaningful change and lasting innovation in the medical device healthcare fields.”

This fund is seeking to build an entrepreneurial environment where innovation is given the opportunity to demonstrate its full potential. This environment will foster innovations that have a greater chance of commercial success, allowing entrepreneurs to improve the monetization of their ideas and have a greater long-term human impact.

To be considered for investment please submit business plans to: bp@hunniwell.com

For more information about Hunniwell Lake Venture visit their website: http://hunniwell.com

About Hunniwell Lake Ventures

Hunniwell Lake Healthcare Fund I invests in extensions of proven technologies within overlooked segments of the medical device space. It provides entrepreneurs with a longer runway to develop a more complete portfolio of products before monetizing their innovations. We leverage our entrepreneurial spirit, operational experience and global networks to help companies achieve higher profitability earlier, through improved market access, greater capital efficiency in R&D, and lower manufacturing costs.
PR Contact: info@hunniwell.com

A Reality Check On Artificial Intelligence: Are Health Care Claims Overblown?

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Source: from Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. More Read More

Happy New Year 2020 from Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs & Startups – SVE

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Thanks for all your participation, 2019 is another wonderful year for Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs, with 37000 members in total, SVE maintain the largest community in Silicon Valley / San Francisco. we have achieved never like before in 2019:

  • 1100 new members
  • 5000 RSVPs
  • Around 50 meetups were organized

Thank you, all the members of the community! And here are couple flagship events:

Up coming meetups for January 2020

SVE Demo Night 2020 – HealthTech | SVE.io

Thursday, Jan 23, 2020, 5:30 PM

Draper University
44 E 3rd Ave San Mateo, CA

48 Founders,Entrepreneurs,Investors Attending

As early-stage fundraising has become more difficult than ever, SVE and F50 Elevate will help you break through this problem. SVEDemo is the largest community demo event in Silicon Valley/SF. Its network includes founders, Angels, corporate, investors and professionals. Come join us on January 23rd at Draper University for SVEDemo Night. Please fil…

Check out this Meetup →

#SVEMixer: match your cofounder, CTO, Partner, Advisor @ Palo Alto

Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020, 5:30 PM

Antonio’s Nut House
321 S California Ave Palo Alto, CA

38 Founders,Entrepreneurs,Investors Attending

Looking for your cofounder, CTO, Partner, Advisor, Investor? or core team members? Join The monthly SVE Mixer & Happy Hour. The monthly SVE Mixer & Happy Hour at first Tuesday now have a new home: Antonio’s Nut House at Palo Alto. List your opening to Startup Job Board (Alpha) for free: http://sve.io/job Startup Job Board is under testing now. It’…

Check out this Meetup →


SVE Hiking Monthly @ Stanford Dish

Sunday, Jan 26, 2020, 8:45 AM

2673 Alpine Rd
2673 Alpine Rd Portola Valley, CA

15 Founders,Entrepreneurs,Investors Attending

Join this social hiking event with SVE (Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs). It’s an ideal way to practice your pitch, make new connections and get some fresh air. We’ll hike approximately 4 miles round trip. Here’s our agenda: 8:45 AM – Arrive 9:00 AM – Introductions 9:15 AM – Start hiking 10:00 AM – Pitching (near the Stanford Dish) 11:15 AM – End hiki…

Check out this Meetup →

More ways you can participate:

Message Board (free)

Message board is a native featured by meetup.com. It can be used for posting jobs, events, and any listing for free: https://www.meetup.com/sventrepreneurs/messages/boards/

How to participate

Demo your Startup: https://goo.gl/forms/p0nz4VCQkqml8Yps2

Join the conversion

Tag: #SVEDemo #SVEMixer @SVEntrepreneur

Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/IEtC6BTPEyax8kzbo1IS8g

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1812781/

Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs & Startups Meetup online

Follow us: https://www.linkedin.com/company/3532521/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sventrepreneurs

Become an oranizer: https://goo.gl/forms/fTuHREP37hHSsyNv1

Become an online contributor: http://sve.io/join

Check out the photos: https://www.meetup.com/sventrepreneurs/photos/

Here’s how you can be nudged to eat healthier, recycle and make better decisions every day

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Every day, you make important choices – about whether to feast on fries or take a brisk walk, whether to spend or save your paycheck, whether to buy the sustainable option or the disposable plastic one.

Life is made up of countless decisions. The idea of nudging people in the right direction, instead of relying on their internal motivation, has gained traction over the last decade.

In general, nudging involves gently coaxing someone into a decision or behavior. The perfect nudge is one that results in the desired decision or behavior without the person recognizing any external influence.

Think of employees being automatically enrolled in retirement savings programs. Workers who must opt out, instead of needing to opt in, participate more in retirement savings. Or picture those little cards in hotel bathrooms encouraging people to reuse their towels by stating that most hotel guests do, instead of appealing to the guests’ social responsibility.

In these and countless similar situations, people feel in control, but were nudged to prefer one option over the other.

So how does all this nudging work within the mind? As someone who studies consumer decision-making, I can tell you: It’s complicated.

You’re of two (or more) minds

Neuroscientists, starting with pioneers like Antonio Damasio, have shown that the brain is not like a computer where complex programs deliver optimal solutions. In fact, the mind seems to involve many relatively simple systems, some inside the head and some distributed throughout the body.

These systems are not always in agreement. Some systems are selfish and shortsighted, some care about relationships with others and some prioritize transcendent things such as God and the future of humanity. In addition, people aren’t equally conscious of each mechanism, so that sometimes you make decisions carefully and thoughtfully and other times you make them fast and intuitively.

When your systems are in contention, which one informs your next decision depends on what else is happening in that moment. A diabetic, for example, may thoughtfully consider his long-term health and family responsibilities – and even God’s will – when deciding to eat the salad and not the breadsticks at Olive Garden one day. But on his next visit, he might respond to the smell of fresh-baked bread by devouring every breadstick in the basket. Different situations, different mechanisms, different decisions.

Appeals to your internal norms

Nudging can work via many mechanisms, some conscious and some not. Typically you don’t recognize you’re being nudged.

Everyone else reuses the towels …
Andrea Davis/Unsplash, CC BY

One nudge method relies on highlighting the decisions of others you may consider influential. After reading that “Most other guests staying at this hotel reuse towels,” many people envision others like them or maybe of higher status reusing towels. They feel compelled to align their behavior with that of the majority in order to fit in. The decision is theirs, but they’ve been nudged.

Another nudge technique focuses on how one should act in a particular situation. These are sometimes called “injunctive norms,” and they can vary by culture. Imagine the towel appeal had instead read, “By reusing towels, you join millions who care about the environment.” In this case the guest’s subconscious concern about earning the disapproval of those “millions” of others triggers him to hang up his towels.

And if the towel message is instead phrased that “reusing towels meets a high standard for environmental responsibility,” it highlights self-imposed standards or norms, if they exist in the decision maker. Such personal norms are termed injunctive because they involve beliefs about right and wrong that consider transcendent and abstract concepts, such as devotion and obedience to God.

Interestingly, such prompting – whether by subjective social or personal norms – does not work on everyone. Some may work better in some cultures (for instance, in Asian societies) and with some age groups (such as in younger people) than others.

Setting the scene for a desired choice

Another way to nudge people is to change the decision environment. This technique is sometimes called “choice architecture.”

Let’s assume that a grocery store is trying to encourage consumers to purchase ecologically responsible products, such as recycled paper notebooks. If all eco-friendly products are displayed together in an end-of-aisle display, people notice and their internalized norms are activated. But it may not translate into multiple purchases, because buying just one product suffices to meet the norm. If the products are displayed throughout the store, though, so multiple in-store displays can re-trigger the internalized norm, it’s likely that more ecologically responsible purchases will be made in the same shopping trip.

Nudging people is not deception. In most cases, nudging works by raising a particular decision or behavior’s prominence. If you’re already predisposed toward something – like eating healthy – a nudge helps tip your mental mechanisms in that direction. Nudges are reinforcement, especially in cases when your decision-making mechanisms are in contention with each other – like when the aroma of fresh bread is wafting through the air.

That scent of fresh-baked bread could be used to nudge you in the direction the restaurant prefers.
Toa Heftiba/Unsplash, CC BY

At the same time, that wafting aroma is in itself a nudge. It may be deliberately enhanced to promote pleasurable consumption that improves mood and may lead to more spending or more generous tipping. Nudging can work to enhance or suppress virtuous behaviors, and it is the responsibility of companies and organizations to use nudging judiciously and responsibly.

Nudging cannot make people do something they don’t want to do, although sometimes the desire is nonconscious and lurking in the background. It only encourages them to follow through on a decision or behavior that may be currently overshadowed by other factors. It’s when individuals believe consciously that the decision or behavior – be it healthy eating, buying environmentally responsible products, or saving for retirement – is beneficial that nudging works best.

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In The Fight For Money For The Opioid Crisis, Will The Youngest Victims Be Left Out?

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Babies born to mothers who used opioids during pregnancy represent one of the most distressing legacies of an opioid epidemic that has claimed almost 400,000 lives and ravaged communities.

In fact, many of the ongoing lawsuits filed against drug companies refer to these babies, fighting through withdrawal in hospital nurseries.

The cluster of symptoms they experience, which include tremors, seizures and respiratory distress, is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. Until recently, doctors rarely looked for the condition. Then case numbers quadrupled over a decade. Hospital care for newborns with NAS has cost Medicaid billions of dollars.

Studies indicate more than 30,000 babies with the condition are born every year in the U.S. — about one every 15 minutes. Although their plight is mentioned in opioid-related litigation, there are growing concerns that those children will be left out of financial settlements being negotiated now.

Robbie Nicholson, of Eagleville, Tenn., tried to comfort her second child while the baby slowly underwent withdrawal from drugs Nicholson had taken during pregnancy.

“The whole experience is just traumatizing, really,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson’s ordeal began right after her first pregnancy. To help with postpartum recovery, her doctor prescribed her a pile of Percocets. That was the norm.

“Back then, it was like I was on them for a full month. And then he was like, ‘OK, you’re done.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve got a newborn, first-time mom, no energy, no sleep, like that was getting me through,'” she said. “It just built and built and built off that.”

After developing a full-blown addiction to painkillers, Nicholson eventually found her way into recovery. In accordance with evidence-based guidelines, she took buprenorphine, a medication that helps keep her opioid cravings at bay. And then came another pregnancy.

Robbie Nicholson now works as a mentor with a company called 180 Health Partners that helps women with addiction go through pregnancy. Her own newborn went through drug withdrawals, related to the medications she took to control her opioid cravings. She says most women she works with need a stable place to live and reliable transportation.(Blake Farmer/Nashville Public Radio)

But buprenorphine — as well as methadone, another drug used in medication-assisted addiction treatment — is a special kind of opioid. Its use during pregnancy can still result in withdrawal symptoms for the newborn, although increasingly physicians have decided that the benefits of keeping a mother on the medication, to prevent a potentially fatal relapse and overdose during pregnancy, outweigh the risk of her giving birth to a baby with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Treatment protocols for NAS vary from hospital to hospital, but doctors and neonatal nurses have become better at diagnosing the condition and weaning newborns safely. Sometimes the mom and her baby can even stay together if the infant doesn’t have to be sent to the neonatal intensive care unit.

But not much is known about the long-term effects of NAS, and parents and medical professionals worry about the future of children exposed in utero to opioids.

“I wanted her to be perfect, and she is absolutely perfect,” Nicholson said. “But in the back of my mind, it’s always going to be there.”

There are thousands of children like Nicholson’s daughter entering the education system. Dr. Stephen Patrick, a neonatologist in Nashville, Tenn., said schools and early childhood programs are on the front lines now.

“You hear teachers talking about infants with a development delay,” he said. “I just got an email this morning from somebody.”

Studies haven’t proven a direct link between in utero exposure to opioids and behavior problems in kids. And it’s challenging to untangle which problems might stem from the lingering effects of maternal drug use, as opposed to the impacts of growing up with a mother who struggles with addiction and perhaps unemployment and housing instability as well. But Patrick, who leads the Center for Child Health Policy at Vanderbilt University, said that is what his and others’ ongoing research wants to find out.

As states, cities, counties and even hospitals go after drug companies in court, Patrick fears these children will be left out. He pointed to public discussion of pending settlements and the settlement deals struck between pharmaceutical companies and the state of Oklahoma, which make little or no mention of children.

Settlement funds could be used to monitor the health of children who had NAS, to pay for treatment of any developmental problems and to help schools serving those children, Patrick explained.

“We need to be in the mix right now, in schools, understanding how we can support teachers, how we can support students as they try to learn, even as we work out [whether there was] cause and effect of opioid use and developmental delays or issues in school,” he said.

New mothers in recovery for opioid addiction meet with a support group in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Most had newborns who endured drug withdrawals at birth, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome.(Blake Farmer/Nashville Public Radio)

But it’s a nuanced problem with no consensus on where money is most needed, even among those who have worked on the problem for years.

Justin Lanning started Nashville-based 180 Health Partners, which works with mothers at risk of delivering a baby dependent on opioids. Most are covered by Medicaid. And Medicaid departments in each state pay for most of the NAS births in the U.S.

“We have a few departments in our country that can operate at an epidemic scale, and I think that’s where we have to focus our funds,” he said.

Lanning sees a need to extend government-funded insurance for new mothers, since in states like Tennessee that never expanded Medicaid, these moms can lose health coverage just two months after giving birth. That often derails the mother’s own drug treatment funded by Medicaid, he said.

“This consistency of care is so key to their recovery, to their productivity, to their thriving,” Lanning said of new mothers in recovery.

Nicholson now has a job at 180 Health Partners, assisting and mentoring pregnant women struggling with addiction. Nicholson said their biggest need is a stable place to live and reliable transportation.

“I just feel kind of hopeless,” she said. “I don’t know what to tell these women.”

There are many needs, Nicholson said, but no simple fix. Those who work with mothers in recovery fear any opioid settlement money may be spread so thin that it doesn’t benefit their children — the next generation of the crisis.

This story is part of a partnership that includes Nashville Public Radio, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

Related Topics

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Source: by [#item_author] from Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. More Read More

10 Reasons to Attend F50 Global Capital Summit Fall 2019

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The Fourth Annual F50 Global Capital Summit® Fall 2019 on October 15-16, will be held at the idyllic Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club with the theme of Impact One Billion Lives.

GCS brings together primarily investors with industry leaders and key players in an exclusive two-day forum that features over 60 sessions on multiple stages for 600 investment professionals and leaders from around the world in the early-stage investment, corporate ventures, HealthTech, AgricultureTech, Sustainability, and Social Impact sectors. Check out the amazing agenda, speakers, and attendees list online at https://f50.io/gcs.

Nobel Prize in Physics for two breakthroughs: Evidence for the Big Bang and a way to find exoplanets

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Did the universe really begin with a Big Bang? And if so, is there evidence? Are there planets around other stars? Can they support life?

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to three scientists who have provided deep insights into all of these questions.

James Peebles, an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University, won half the prize for a body of work he completed since the 1960s, when he and a team of physicists at Princeton attempted to detect the remnant radiation of the dense, hot ball of gas at the beginning of the universe: the Bang Bang.

The other half went to Michel Mayor, an emeritus professor of physics from the University of Geneva, together with Didier Queloz, also a Swiss astrophysicist at the University of Geneva and the University of Cambridge. Both made breakthroughs with the discovery of the first planets orbiting other stars, also known as exoplanets, beyond our solar system.

I am an astrophysicist and was delighted to hear of this year’s Nobel recipients, who had a profound impact on scientists’ understanding of the universe. A lot of my own work on exploding stars is guided by theories describing the structure of the universe that James Peebles himself laid down.

In fact, one might say that Peebles, of all this year’s Nobel winners, is the biggest star of the real “Big Bang Theory.”

Nobel Prize winners in physics, from left, James Peebles in Princeton, N.J., Didier Queloz in London and Michel Mayor in Madrid.
AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The real Big Bang Theory

As Peebles and his Princeton team rushed to complete their discovery in 1964, they were scooped by two young scientists at nearby Bell Labs, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson. The remaining radiation from the Big Bang was predicted to be microwave energy, in much the same form used by countertop ovens.

It was a serendipitous finding because Penzias and Wilson had constructed an antenna to detect this microwave radiation which was used in satellite communications. But they were mystified by a persistent source of noise in their measurements, like the fuzz of a radio tuned between stations.

Penzias and Wilson talked to Peebles and his colleagues and learned that this static they were hearing was the radiation left over from the Big Bang itself. Penzias and Wilson won the Nobel Prize in 1978 for their discovery, though Peebles and his team provided the crucial interpretation.

Peebles has also made decades of pivotal contributions to the study of the matter which pervades the cosmos but is invisible to telescopes, known as dark matter, and the equally mysterious energy of empty space, known as dark energy. He has done foundational work on the formation of galaxies, as well as to how the Big Bang gave rise to the first elements – hydrogen, helium, lithium – on the periodic table.

First discovery of an exoplanet just earned the Nobel Prize for Physics.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Finding planets beyond our solar system

For their Nobel Prize-winning work, Mayor and Queloz carried out a survey of nearby stars using a custom-built instrument. Using this instrument, they could detect the wobble of a star – a sign that it is being tugged by the gravity of an orbiting exoplanet.

In 1995, in a landmark discovery published in the journal Nature, they found a star in the constellation Pegasus rapidly wobbling across the sky, in response to an unseen planet with half the mass of Jupiter. This exoplanet, dubbed 51 Pegasi b, orbits close to its central star, well within the orbit of Mercury in our own solar system, and completes one full orbit in just four days.

This surprising discovery of a “hot Jupiter,” quite unlike any planet in our own solar system, excited the astrophysical community and inspired many other research groups, including the Kepler space telescope team, to search for exoplanets.

These groups are using both the same wobble detection method as well as new methods, such as looking for light dips caused by exoplanets passing over nearby stars. Thanks to these research efforts, more than 4,000 exoplanets have now been discovered.

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Discovery of how cells sense oxygen levels earns Nobel Prize

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On the morning of Oct. 7, I woke up with the message from a colleague saying that “HIF got the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine whoo hooo.” That’s exciting news for young researchers like me who are beginning our careers studying hypoxia, when the levels of oxygen are low in the cells.

If you are wondering what on Earth that means, HIF, or hypoxia-inducible factor, is a protein that increases inside the cell when the oxygen levels fall, helping the cell survive.

William G. Kaelin, Jr. talks to a reporter after being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
AP Photo/Josh Reynolds

The recipients of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine are William G. Kaelin of Harvard Medical School, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe of Oxford University and Gregg L. Semenza of Johns Hopkins University. They won for their pioneering research into how the cells sense and adapt to low oxygen conditions.

I’m biologist at the University of Pittsburgh, where my colleagues and I study how low levels of oxygen affect the way cells communicate and the impact this has on metabolic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Understanding how cells talk to each other in a low oxygen environment – like a tumor – is critical for learning how cancers grow and progress. The pioneering work from these three eminent scientists laid the foundation for my research and that of many others studying disease.

Oxygen flux within the cells

Peter J. Ratcliffe, the British member of the prizewinning trio at Oxford University.
AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Adapting to varying oxygen levels is one of the key evolutionary adaptations for most life forms on Earth. Every cell in the human body requires oxygen for its normal function.

Both the environment and the physiological status of the body determines how much oxygen is available to cells. For example, in higher altitudes, oxygen availability decreases. This is especially important for mountain climbers, who must adapt to altitude in order to help their body increase the oxygen carrying capacity in the blood. This is essential to avoid mountain sickness and other altitude-associated health issues such as pulmonary and cerebral diseases.

Oxygen levels in the human body are constantly fluctuating, depending on whether the individual is eating or fasting, exercising or resting and even whether they are stressed or calm. For example, during exercise, the oxygen supply to the muscles is increased to supply energy. This leaves less oxygen for other organs such as the liver.

In many diseases, damage to the blood vessels can drop blood supply, and thus oxygen supply, to the affected organ, which may make the patient even sicker. Thus, the oxygen levels within the cell are important to both healthy and sick people.

Sensing oxygen is vital in health and disease

If oxygen is such an important element for survival, how does the human body cope with these rapid and constant fluctuations?

In the early 1990s, Semenza and Ratcliffe independently discovered that cells adapt to changes in oxygen levels by making more of a protein called hypoxia-inducible factor-1 or HIF-1. When oxygen levels decrease, the HIF protein inhibits oxygen-consuming processes of the cells by altering the activity of numerous genes, thereby enabling the cells to adapt quickly and survive the low oxygen environment.

Gregg Semenza speaks during a news conference after hearing the news.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

A few years later, Kaelin and Ratcliffe characterized how oxygen levels in the cells regulate the amount of HIF-1 produced.

After their seminal discovery, numerous studies from researchers around the world including ours uncovered this protein’s many roles in keeping the body healthy, and how disease can occur when the oxygen-sensing system is broken. HIFs are now known to control a diverse array of functions in many different types of cells, including immune, brain and cancer cells.

In the last decade, researchers have shown that HIFs have a pivotal role in promoting the growth of tumors. Cancer cells divide and grow rapidly and have a larger appetite for both nutrients and oxygen. But the blood vessels feeding the tumor cannot keep up with the cancer growth.

The clever cancer cells survive by producing higher quantities of HIF protein. The HIF proteins trigger changes in cancer cell metabolism, and switch them to a low oxygen and low energy mode. This helps the cancer cells to survive in oxygen- and nutrient-poor conditions, and keep growing and spreading.

Some research has even shown that the increase in HIF in cancer cells induces drug resistance to chemotherapy. Thus, pharmaceutical companies are now targeting HIF in the treatment of numerous cancers.

Numerous diseases such as fatty liver disease, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases are also associated with increased levels of HIF protein in various tissues. Animal studies have supported the strategy of removing HIF from specific tissues and the therapeutic value of targeting HIF in metabolic diseases.

As oxygen is involved in all cellular processes, the discovery of the mechanisms by which cells are able to detect and rapidly respond to changes in oxygen levels has revolutionized biomedical research and helped to identify novel targets for various diseases treatments.

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Agenda with Speakers and Content announced by F50 Global Capital Summit

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  The 4th annual F50 Global Capital Summit (F50 Summit) brings to the investor community a select group of industry leaders, domain experts and key players in an exclusive two-day forum that features over 60 sessions on multiple stages for 700 investment professionals and leaders from around the world. Join us at this elite gathering!

PREVIEW OF AGENDA WITH SPEAKERS AND CONTENT Day 1 – Oct 15   9:00 am: 
MC: Ralph Morales
Welcome Remarks, Debby Hindus, Partner, F50
Keynote: Amy Pressman, Co-Founder, Medallia
Special Presentation: Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Corporate Venturing: Syndication and Strategy Louis Rajczi, Partner, Forté Ventures
Presentation: Bill Li, Knightscope
Panel: Strategic Opportunities Using AI in Corporate Decision Making Norman Winarsky, President, Winarsky Ventures Mikihide Yamazaki, Co-CEO, Luqman Weise Capital David Hartford, Founding Partner, Aeris Capital Moderator:KG Charles-Harris, CEO, Quarrio
Keynote: Global Insights on Early Stage Investing David Cao, Managing Partner, F50 Elevate 
Spotlight: Crossboard with French Mireille Helou, CEO, Orange US. Rockstar
F50 Elevate Lightning Round MC: Barbra Higgins, Program Director, F50 Elevate
Special Presentation: Keith Teare, Executive Chairman, ADV
Special Presentation Vish Mishra, Managing Director, Bluevine Capital; former President, TiE SV
Special Presentation Bill Weihl, Former Director of Sustainability, Facebook
11:45: Lunch break
1:00 pm:
F50 Global Insight Presentation: Most Active Incubators
Panel: Charging into Biomedical Investment: Challenges and Opportunities in 2020 Dr. Mark Yu, Co-founder & Chairman, Abimmune BioPharma Hongbo Lu, Ph.D./MBA, Managing Partner at Lilly Asia Ventures Karen Liu, Ph.D. Foundering Partner 3E Bioventures Yuwen Liu, MS/MBA, Founding Partner of BOHE Angel Fund
Special Presentation Ronald Kohanski, Health Scientist Administrator, Division of Aging Biology, National Institute on Aging, NIH
Panel: From Research to Reality: New Progress in Human Longevity Ronald Kohanski, Health Scientist Administrator, Division of Aging Biology, National Institute on Aging, NIH Paul A. Spiegel, Founder & CEO, LIBERTAS Biomedical Steven Hilbert, Head of Corporate Strategy/Development Oisin Biotechnologies and Pre-Clinical OncoSenX Steve Garan, Director of Bioinformatics, Center for Research & Education on Aging (CREA)
Trends and Opportunities in AgTech Innovation & Investment Roger Royse, Partner, Royse Law Firm
Fireside Chat: Silicon, Sensors, and IoT – The Future of Edge Medicine Ajith Amerasekera, Executive Director of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center Moderator: Michael Fox, SVP, Green Prosperity Group
Fireside Chat with Andy Tang, Managing Director, Draper Dragon Fund
Panel: 2020: Bubble Bust or Goldmine?
Presentation: Ravinder Paul Singh, CEO, Startup Strategies
F50 Global Insight Presentation: Most Active New VCs Merwan Benhabib, VP Engineering, OndaVia, Inc
Presentation: Jun Axup, Scientific Director and Partner, IndieBio
Power Panel: Leveraging the Tools of Design Thinking for Global Institutional Capital Nathan Shedroff, Pioneer and icon in Design Thinking Lorraine Justice, International Design keynote speaker, a TED presenter and owner of the firm Justice Design Gino Yu, HK PolyU, Design Thinker International Thought Leader Moderator: Erin Rand, COO, Plastic Bank; Advisor, Quarrio
5:30 pm: Wine Tasting (Oakville East Wines) 

6:30 pm: F50 Global Awards Ceremony Mike Loftus, Partner, F50 Elevate
Chuck House, Executive Director, Novim Group
  Day 2 – Oct 16   9:00 am: 
MC: Paul A. Spiegel, Founder & CEO, LIBERTAS Biomedical
Welcome Remarks and Day 1 Recap: Michael Fox, F50 Summit Committee
Panel: Social Impacts of Longevity Amy Yotopoulos, Director, Mind Division, Stanford Center on Longevity Tania Coke Abedian, Co-Founder & CEO, Tellus Seth Sternberg, Co-Founder & CEO, Honor Mark Silverman, Founder & CEO, Amava
Spotlight: Cross-Border Innovation with India
Power Panel: Unlocking Cross-Border Innovation & Investment Bill Bao Bean, SOSV & Chinaccelerator Duncan Davidson, General Partner, Bullpen Capital Bill Swartz, ex-CEO Static Control and ex-CSO for Ninestar Austin Noronhna, Managing Director, SONY Innovation Fund
Fireside Chat: Satjiv Chahil, Angel Investor, Former SVP, HP
Presentation: John Ricci, Managing Director, US Angels
Fireside Chat: Ossama Hassanein, Chairman, Rising Tide VC
Presentation: Kurt Buecheler, Senior Manager, BCG
Keynote: Innovations in Consumer Facing Care Dr. Patrick Carroll, Cheif Medical Officer, hims & hers
Effectively Investment strategies across the capital spectrum: PE, Venture, angel and family offices Anton Generalov, Managing Director, Industrial Investors Group
Panel: Empowering Innovation by Community Partnership
Keynote Dr. Thomas Sudhof, Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine; Professor, Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Stanford University
Panel: Is Now the Winter for Startups or Investors or Both?
Panel: Trends in Angel Capital Investors and Investing
Morning Closing: Chuck House, Executive Director, Novim Group Special Presentation: From Silicon Valley to the Central Valley – A Technology Luminary Tells All Kasava Dinakaran, CEO & Co-founder, Digital Brain

12:15 pm: Lunch break  
1:00 pm: Special Presentation: Jeff Gruen, Founder & Chairman, Intus AgTech Innovation MC: Roger Royse, Partner, Royse Law Firm Panel: Controlled Environment Agriculture Alex Huang, Liveleaf David Ceaser, Urban Agriculture Consultant Danielle Davenport, Cannabis Inc.: A Journey from Compassion to Industry Consolidation Nicola Kerslaske, Newbean Capital Jay Albere, Lumigrow Panel: Robotics & AI Nathan Dorn, CEO, Food Origins Bakur Kvezereli, CEO, Ztractor Filip Reese, Senior Product Manager, Blue River Sebastian Boyer, Co-founder, FarmWise Panel: Soil Health Adrian Ferrero, BiomeMakers Diane Wu, Trace Genomics Jim Loar, Coolplanet Khanh Le, CisBay Global Marshall Mermell Advanced Resilient Technology Ltd Roundtable: Approaching the Market Aaron Magenheim, Ag Tech Insights Kevin Zussman, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures Roundtable: Investments in AgTech Erica Riel-Carden, Principal, Global Capital Markets Laurie Menoud, BASF Venture Capital America Salil Pradhan, Draper Nexus Geoffrey Eisenberg, Ecosystem Integrity Fund Closing Session   Latest Agenda on F50 Summit Homepage
Reserve Tickets! Use Promo Code “GCS-SEB30” to get 30% off on our Super Early Bird Passes (EXPIRES OCT 2) MORE NEWS ABOUT F50
About the Global Capital Summit® (GCS):
The Global Capital Summit® (GCS) is organized by F50, cohosted with F50 Elevate accelerator, and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur community As the flagship event for the startup venture ecosystem, GCS finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovators with partnerships to power their long-term impact, especially the ones improve the living of humanity. The summit will feature 60+ extraordinary products and innovations, and over 700 attendees from world-leading corporations and the global investment ecosystem. The attendees are corporate executives, Angel investors, VCs, and a group of high-potential local founders.

100+ Speakers invite you to F50 Global Capital Summit™ Fall 2019

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The 4th annual F50 Global Capital Summit (F50 Summit) brings to the investor community a select group of industry leaders, domain experts and key players in an exclusive two-day forum that features over 60 sessions on multiple stages for 700 investment professionals and leaders from around the world. Join us at this elite gathering!

Schedule & Agenda Highlights
Keynote: Dr. Thomas Sudhof
Keynote: Unicorns Live with Amy Pressman
Keynote: Global Insights on Early-Stage Investing, David Cao, F50
Keynote by Dr. Patrick Carroll
F50 Elevate Presentations
Special Presentation: From Silicon Valley to the Central Valley – A Technology Luminary Tells All
Special Presentation: Ronald Kohanski
F50 Global Insight Presentation: Most Active New VCs
Panel: From Research to Reality: New Progress in Human Longevity
Panel: Leveraging the Tools of Design Thinking for Global Institutional Capital
Panel: Strategic Opportunities Using AI in Corporate Decision Making
Corporate Innovation Beyond VCs
Social Impact through Corporate Innovation
The Big Three – China, India and the United States
Trends and Opportunities in AgTech Innovation and Investment

F50 Elevate Stage Highlights
A separate room devoted to the specific needs of outstanding startups.
Networking sessions with Main Stage speakers, VCs, angels and industry leaders
Panels of investors and domain experts to  address startups’ biggest challenges and opportunities
Roundtable Highlights New this year, Deep-Dive Roundtables afford in-depth discussions on key topics
Interact with Main Stage speakers, investors and domain experts
And as always, take part in Speed Dating and the Connect Lounge throughout the event!
Agenda Sneak Preview
New! Special Event to Celebrate the Inaugural F50 Global Awards Winners
The First F50 Global Awards winners will be announced on October 15 in a splendid evening with 100s of invited investors and great food!
🏆 The F50 Mike Loftus Award for Excellence in the Startup Venture Ecosystem
🏆 The F50 Global Award for Impact in HealthTech Innovation
🏆 The F50 – Novim Joint Award for Impact in Innovation Communication


Some of the New Speakers at F50 Summit
Canice Wu, Venture Partner, F50
Chuck House, Executive Director, Novim Group, Former Director of Stanford Media Lab
Charles Sidman, Managing Partner, ECS Capital Partners
Duncan Davidson, General Partner, Bullpen Capital
Debby Hindus, Partner, F50
Gary Gershony, Life Science Angels, Band of Angels
Justin Kulia, Sr VP, Global Investments and M&A
John Ricci, Founder, US Angels
James Sowers, Angel investor, PopUp Ventures, Forbes Top 50 Angel Investor
Jaap Ruoff, VC, Google Gradient
Kevin Zussman, Vice President, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures
Luliia Riviera, EIR, F50 Elevate / Google
Mike Loftus, Partner, F50
Nicolas de BecoOracle Corp.Senior Director, Oracle for Startups
Nikolai Oreshkin, Managing Partner, Elysium Venture Capital
Ossama Hassanein, Chairman, Rising Tide Fund
Paul Singh, Angel Investor, Board Member, Tie
Satjiv Chahil, Angel Investor
Sean Dempsey, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Merus Capital
Simon Lancaster, Advanced Materials and Prototyping lead, Apple Inc.
Shruti Kothari, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Corporate Venture
Simon LancasterApple, IncProduct Design Architect
Tommaso Di Bartolo, VC, Awesm Ventures
Tejas Maniar, VC, Mayfield
Vishal Srivastav, AmazonProduct Management and Data Engineering

See who is coming to GCS!

New! Special Event Wine Tasting  F50 GCS invites to enjoy a very special Wine Tasting with Oakville East Winery, known for its outstanding cabernets and red varietals. This special event will provide investors and founders a chance to unwind after a jam-packed day of sessions and networking. Oakville East Wines makes luxury Cabernet Sauvignon wine that reveals the exceptional spirit of the “Magic Mountain”.

Connect Lounge has the Latest Innovations and Hottest Startups

The F50 Summit Connect Lounge is the ideal place for leading investors to interact one-on-one with outstanding companies. The select set of exhibitors will showcase their technologies to over 300 investors, experts, and industry leaders.
Connect Lounge Demo Packages
The First F50 Global Awards winners will be announced on October 15 in a splendid evening with 100s of invited investors and great food!
🏆 The F50 Mike Loftus Award for Excellence in the Startup Venture Ecosystem
🏆 The F50 Global Award for Impact in HealthTech Innovation
🏆 The F50 – Novim Joint Award for Impact in Innovation Communication
Reserve your Tickets!
Some of the New Speakers at F50 Summit

Canice Wu, Venture Partner, F50
Chuck House, Executive Director, Novim Group, Former Director of Stanford Media Lab
Charles Sidman, Managing Partner, ECS Capital Partners
Duncan Davidson, General Partner, Bullpen Capital
Debby Hindus, Partner, F50
Gary Gershony, Life Science Angels, Band of Angels
Justin Kulia, Sr VP, Global Investments and M&A
John Ricci, Founder, US Angels
James Sowers, Angel investor, PopUp Ventures, Forbes Top 50 Angel Investor
Jaap Ruoff, VC, Google Gradient
Kevin Zussman, Vice President, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures
Luliia Riviera, EIR, F50 Elevate / Google
Mike Loftus, Partner, F50
Nicolas de Beco, Senior Director, Oracle for Startups
Nikolai Oreshkin, Managing Partner, Elysium Venture Capital
Ossama Hassanein, Chairman, Rising Tide Fund
Paul Singh, Angel Investor, Board Member, Tie
Satjiv Chahil, Angel Investor
Sean Dempsey, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Merus Capital
Simon Lancaster, Advanced Materials and Prototyping lead, Apple Inc.
Shruti Kothari, Director, Kaiser Permanente Ventures
Simon Lancaster, Product Design Architect, Apple Inc
Tommaso Di Bartolo, VC, Awesm Ventures
Tejas Maniar, VC, Mayfield
Vishal Srivastav, Amazon Product Management and Data Engineering


and Many More!See who is coming to GCS!

New! Special Event Wine Tasting 
F50 GCS invites to enjoy a very special Wine Tasting with Oakville East Winery, known for its outstanding cabernets and red varietals. This special event will provide investors and founders a chance to unwind after a jam-packed day of sessions and networking. Oakville East Wines makes luxury Cabernet Sauvignon wine that reveals the exceptional spirit of the “Magic Mountain”.Connect Lounge has the Latest Innovations and Hottest StartupsThe 
F50 Summit Connect Lounge is the ideal place for leading investors to interact one-on-one with outstanding companies. The select set of exhibitors will showcase their technologies to over 300 investors, experts, and industry leaders.

Global Capital Summit Announced Additional Speakers

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 The F50 Global Capital Summit® (GCS) finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovators with strategic partners to power their long-term impact. The theme for this year’s summit is “Impact one billion lives”. 
GCS includes an exhibit area for select startups, non-profits and members of the F50 venture network community (October 15-16), open to all attendees. Whether you’re a technology service provider searching for new customers or a startup looking for investors and partners, we want to see you there.
NEW SPEAKERS @ GLOBAL CAPITAL SUMMIT
Satjiv Chahil, Angel Investor, CEO, Silicon Valley Global Marketing and Innovations advisory
Satjiv Chahil is a Board Member, Chief Marketing Officer, Advisor to CEO at Palm Inc. He has been a keynote speaker at global thought leader forums and leading educational institutions, such as Harvard, Stanford, Kelloy, Thunderbird, La Sorbonne, Hermes Future Form, and the European Economic Forum. 
James Sowers, Angel Investor
James Sowers is an Executive Board Member for the Greater Good Society and Mentor for the CanopyBoulder. He was named a top 50 Angel Investor by Forbes. As an entrepreneur, author, and Forbes top 50 Angel investor, James frequently speaks about exponential technologies and startup investing.
Andrew Tang, Managing Director, Draper Dragon Fund
Andrew Tang is a managing director of DFJ DragonFund. He has led and managed investments in Miartech, Mobim Tech, Huaxun Micro, AltoBeam, Rotohog, YeePay, Broaddus (MOT), Imago Scientific, Zettacom (IDTI), NuTool (ASMI), and MontaVista Software. Most recently, he was a partner and member of the investment committee at Infineon Ventures. Prior to Infineon Ventures, he was an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston technology group in Palo Alto.
Norman Winarsky, President, Winarsky Ventures
Norman Winarsky is an American author and angel investor. He was the President of SRI Ventures at SRI International. Winarsky was a co-founder and board member of Siri, which was spun out from SRI in January 2008 and acquired by Apple Inc. in 2010. He is the author of If You Really Want to Change the World: A Guide to Creating, Building, and Sustaining Breakthrough Ventures.
Lu Zhang, Founder and Managing Partner, Fusion Fund 
Lu Zhang is a World Economic Forum – Young Global Leader (Class of 2018). She has also garnered other accolades including the Featured Honoree in VC of Forbes 30 Under 30 (2017), Silicon Valley Women of Influence (2018), Town & Country 50 Modern Swans – Entrepreneurship Influencer (2017), and Top 10 All America Chinese Youth (2018). Prior to starting Fusion Fund, she was a Venture Partner at Fenox Venture Capital and also the Founder and CEO of a medical device company focused on non-invasive technology for the early diagnosis of Type II diabetes (acq 2012).
Nikolai Oreshkin, Founder and Managing Partner, Elysium Venture Capital 
Nikolai is a founder and Managing Partner at Elysium Venture Capital, an investment management fund focused on helping high-growth technology companies access global markets. He has more than 5 years of investment experience across the US, Europe, and China, being involved in over 50 transactions, including cross-border and M&A, valued at more than $2.5 billion USD
Ossama Hassanein, Chairman, Rising Tide VC
Ossama is an entrepreneur, mentor, and venture capitalist. He has managed over $1 billion of international technology funds in diverse leadership roles including EVP of Berkeley International in San Francisco, Chairman of Technocom Ventures in Paris, President of Newbridge Networks Holding in Canada, Senior Managing Director of Newbury Ventures, and Chairman of the Rising Tide Fund in Silicon Valley.
Duncan Davidson, General Partner, Bullpen Capital 
Duncan is a serial entrepreneur who most notably founded Covad Communications and Sky Pilot Networks. He served as SVP of Business Development at InterTrust and led the IPO in 1999 and the secondary in 2000. Prior to Bullpen, he co-founded one of the first mobile social app companies, Xumii, later sold to Myriad Group and now powering over 200M users in the developing world.
Lilly Huang, SVP, Private Banking, HSBC
Lilly is the SVP of Venture Capital Group in HSBC, which proudly serves over 500 leading funds and investors globally. Prior to that, Lilly was the Head of Entrepreneur Services Group of Silicon Valley Bank in China, and the Founding Member of Cross-Border team in SVB. She was the first representative of City of San Francisco in China appointed by former Mayor Gavin Newsom. She is currently serving as Board of Director in ChinaSF and GlobalSF.
Amy Yotopoulos, Director, Mind Division, Stanford Center on Longevity
Amy has over a decade of experience in researching the aging mind and body, developing innovative new businesses focused on the senior market, and in leading direct service organizations and providing hands-on caregiving to mature elders. She has appeared as a speaker at TEDx San Francisco and keynoted at international conferences.
Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Dr. Randolph previously served as President & CEO of the Bay Area Economic Forum, which merged with the Bay Area Council in January 2008, and also as the director of international trade for the State of California. Before service with the state, he was the Managing Director of the RSR Pacific Group where he served as International Director-General of the Pacific Basin Economic Council
GLOBAL CAPITAL SUMMIT’S EXCLUSIVE LOCATION
The GCS main conference will be a two-day event. It will include 60+ speaking sessions, 700 attendees from world-leading corporations, an investor summit,  and entrepreneur leader roundtable discussions by invitation. GCS 2019 will cover broad topics including investment trends, global impact, aging and longevity, agriculture innovation, robotics, technology innovation for food and sustainability.  
 
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Global Capital Summit® (GCS) is F50’s flagship event for the startup venture ecosystem, taking place Oct 15-18 in Palo AltoThe theme for the 2019 summit is “Impact One Billion lives” , and will be co-hosted by the F50 Elevate accelerator, and the Silicon Valley Entrepreneur community. GCS finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovators with strategic partners to power their long-term impact. F50 especially focuses on creating partnerships that will help to improve human lives within the healthtech, agtech and sustainability areas. Get your Demo Table Now!
For the first time, GCS will be a four day event. It will include 60+ speaking sessions, 700 attendees from world-leading corporations, an investor summit,  and entrepreneur leader roundtable discussions by invitation. GCS 2019 will cover broader topics including investment treads, global impact, aging and longevity, agriculture innovation, robotics, technology innovation for food, sustainability cross border, etc. Many of the industry leaders will host or participate in the exclusive closed-door roundtable discussion.  
  REGISTER NOW Global Capital Summit Featured Speakers Order by last name Thomas C. Südhof, Nobel Prize Winner
German-American biochemist known for his study of synaptic transmission. Currently, he is a professor in the School of Medicine in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and by courtesy in Neurology, and in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
Amy Pressman, Co-Founder, Medallia
Co-Founder of Medallia and current Member of the Board of Directors. Amy initially developed the idea for Medallia as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group while working on marketing strategy and competitive benchmarking projects.  Ronald Kohanski, Deputy Director, National Institute on Aging
Deputy Director of the Division of Aging Biology at the National Institute on Aging, NIH. Trained as a biochemist, he obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Chicago in 1981. Patrick Carroll , Chief Medical Officer, Hims & Hers
Current Chief Medical Officer HIMS/HERS overseeing clinical programs, quality and healthcare collaborations.Former Group Vice President/Chief Medical Officer at Walgreens oversaw retail clinic business unit as well as clinical programs and health system alliances.
  David Cao, F50 Ventures & F50 Elevate, Managing Partner
Founder and CEO of F50 and also created Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs & Startups, the largest local entrepreneur community, Silicon Valley Android Developers, the largest Android F2F community, and a variety of other grass-root communities in Silicon Valley. Chuck House, Executive Director, Novim Group & InnovaSpaces Institute
Previously Chancellor at Cogswell Polytechnic College, and Executive Director, Media X, at Stanford University. He spent 29 years at Hewlett-Packard in a variety of management and technical roles, including five years as corporate engineering director, and he also was with Intel, Informix, Veritas, and Dialogic corporations.  Jinbo Liu, NetEase North America, President
Founder of Silicon Valley China Innovation and Development Center and president of the Netease US Operations Center. Graduated from La Trobe University, Australia   Paul Spiegel, Founder & CEO, LIBERTAS Biomedical
Thought leader, an international speaker and a longtime activist in the fields of longevity and transhumanism. Paul is also a board member of the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation the American Longevity Alliance and Humanity Plus
Kumar Sripadam, Chairman, TiE Angels
Technology entrepreneur, business consultant, investor, and mentor. He transacts his business operations through Kedge LLC. He has 30 years of experience in the high technology sector Michael Loftus, Partner, F50
He previously served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at The Angel’s Forum. Recently, spent six years as corporate marketing VP at ZenteraBrings over 20 years’ experience working with startups and early-stage companies. Held senior leadership roles with several young companies including  Dialogic acquired by Intel, Connectix acquired by Microsoft and Netfish Technologies acquired by IONA.
Roger Royse, Partner, Royse Law Firm
Recognized authority in tax and business law, with more than 30 years of experience. He has a growing influence in Washington D.C., testifying at US Congressional Hearings, for issues related to agriculture technology, data regulation, tax and business.   Matthew Schulz, Partner, Dentons US LLP
As a Partner at Dentons he represent clients before the US Departments of Labor, State, and Homeland Security. He primarily guides multinational employers, investors and professionals on global strategies to meet staffing and personal goals, including immigration, employment, compensation, taxation, business formation, and estate planning. Mark Yu, Co-founder & Chairman, Abimmune Biopharma, Inc.
Co-Founder and Chairman of Abimmune Biopharmas, is a serial entrepreneur with four biopharmaceutical companies under his belt. He has been a prominent fixture in San Diego’s biotech scene since 1993, becoming the very first mainland Chinese immigrant to establish a new drug development company in the United States.
  Vish Mishra, Member of the Advisory Board, Clearstone Venture
He is a former president and trustee of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Silicon Valley, a director at India Community Center and advisor to Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship at San Jose State, a founding board member of San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative. He also serves on the advisory boards of Angel Island Immigrant Station Foundation in San Francisco. Sponsors Opportunities GCS includes a small exhibit area for select startups, non-profits and members of the F50 venture network community. Demo tables are available in two different levels as follows: PREMIUM CONNECT DEMO PACKAGE Demo Table with power and internet. Promotional benefits VIP Level participation in GCS F50 Elevate participation benefits CONNECT DEMO TABLE  Demo Table with power and internet. Promotional benefits Apply for Demo @ Connect Lounge  PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS MORE NEWS ABOUT F50
About the Global Capital Summit® (GCS):
The Global Capital Summit® (GCS) is organized by F50, cohosted with F50 Elevate accelerator, and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur community As the flagship event for the startup venture ecosystem, GCS finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovators with partnerships to power their long-term impact, especially the ones improve the living of humanity. The summit will feature 60+ extraordinary products and innovations, and over 700 attendees from world-leading corporations and the global investment ecosystem. The attendees are corporate executives, Angel investors, VCs, and a group of high-potential local founders.

F50 Global Capital Summit Setup Program Committee for impacting 1 billion lives

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Global Capital Summit® (GCS) is F50’s flagship event for the startup venture ecosystem. The theme for the 2019 summit is “Impact one billion lives” on Oct 15-18, and this year it will be co-hosted by the F50 Elevate accelerator, and the Silicon Valley Entrepreneur community. GCS finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovators with strategic partners to power their long-term impact. F50 especially focuses on creating partnerships that will help to improve human lives within the healthtech, agtech, sustainability areas. SPEAKER NOMINATION For the first time, GCS will be a four day event. It will include 60+ speaking sessions, 700 attendees from world-leading corporations, a large traditional investor summit, and close-door entrepreneur leader roundtable discussions. GCS 2019 will cover broader topics including investment treads, global impact, aging and longevity, agriculture innovation, robotics, technology innovation for food, sustainability cross border, etc. Many of the industry leaders will host or participate in the exclusive closed-door roundtable discussion.  
Get your Super Early Bird ticket today! REGISTER NOW Global Capital Summit Program Committee  Order by last name David Cao, F50 Ventures & F50 Elevate, Managing Partner:
Founder and CEO of F50 and also created Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs & Startups, the largest local entrepreneur community, Silicon Valley Android Developers, the largest Android F2F community, and a variety of other grass-root communities in Silicon Valley.
Michael Fox, SVP, Green Prosperity Group
Joined Green Prosperity Group as the SVP of Corporate Development and Venture Partner. GP is an International holding company based in China that is focused on investing and commercializing “rest of world” disruption and innovation for the China market.
Debby Hindus, Principal, Startup Illusions Advisory Service
Startup illusionist and full-stack marketer with deep expertise in getting early-stage technology companies to be perceived as credible by analysts, industry players, and prospective partners & customers. Highly skilled at “making something out of nothing”.
Chuck House, Executive Director, Novim Group
Experienced executive director with a demonstrated history of working in the research industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Analytical Skills, Innovation Management, Research Design, and Management.  Jinbo Liu, NetEase North America, President
Founder of Silicon Valley China Innovation and Development Center and president of the Netease US Operations Center. Graduated from La Trobe University, Australia   Micheal Loftus, Partner, F50
Brings over 20 years’ experience working with startups and early-stage companies. Held senior leadership roles with several young companies including  Dialogic acquired by Intel, Connectix acquired by Microsoft, Netfish Technologies acquired by IONA and inFreeDA acquired by AT&T Vish Mishra, Member of the Advisory Board, Clearstone Venture
Former president and trustee of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Silicon Valley, a director at India Community Center and advisor to Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship at San Jose State. Erin Rand, COO at Atipica; Advisor at Rodin Inc.
A TEDx speaker and serial business scaler, Erin’s passion is helping tech founders identify the keys to igniting accelerated growth, prioritizing the most critical focus areas that will speed their trajectory. 
Roger Royse, Partner, Royse Law Firm
Recognized authority in tax and business law, with more than 30 years of experience. He has a growing influence in Washington D.C., testifying at US Congressional Hearings, for issues related to agriculture technology, data regulation, tax and business.   Matthew Schulz, Partner, Dentons US LLP
Guide multinational employers, investors and professionals on global strategies to meet staffing and personal goals, including immigration, employment, compensation, taxation, business formation, and estate planning. Paul Speiegel, Founder & CEO, LIBERTAS Biomedical
Thought leader, an international speaker and a longtime activist in the fields of longevity and transhumanism.Paul is a board member of the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation the American Longevity Alliance and Humanity Plus
Kumar Sripadam, Chairman, TiE Angels
Technology entrepreneur, business consultant, investor, and mentor. He transacts his business operations through Kedge LLC. He has 30 years of experience in the high technology sector Mark Yu, Co-founder & Chairman, Abimmune Biopharma, Inc.
Co-Founder and Chairman of Abimmune Biopharmas, is a serial entrepreneur with four biopharmaceutical companies under his belt. He has been a prominent fixture in San Diego’s biotech scene since 1993, when he became the very first mainland Chinese immigrant to establish a new drug development company in the United States.

About the Global Capital Summit® (GCS):
The Global Capital Summit® (GCS) is organized by F50, cohosted with F50 Elevate accelerator, and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur community As the flagship event for the startup venture ecosystem, GCS finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovators with partnerships to power their long-term impact, especially the ones improve the living of humanity. The summit will feature 60+ extraordinary products and innovations, and over 700 attendees from world-leading corporations and the global investment ecosystem. The attendees are corporate executives, Angel investors, VCs, and a group of high-potential local founders.

Robotic Surgical Tool, Not Medical Evidence, Drives Free Hernia Screenings

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.This story also ran on NBC News.

Some hospitals are trying a curious new tactic to attract patients: free hernia screenings.

One Illinois hospital raffled off tickets for a smart speaker to entice people to get their abdomens checked by a surgeon, while an Indiana hospital offered a chance to win dinner at a chophouse.

Announcements for screening events in Colorado and Maryland warned about “life-threatening” complications that could arise if hernias are left untreated. And hospitals in Georgia and California included a chance to “test-drive” a surgical robot.

Hospitals say such screenings provide valuable education about treatment options for the common medical condition, in which part of the intestine protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall.

But no research has been done on hernia screenings, and some experts worry that these outreach efforts — some of which showcase da Vinci robotic surgery devices made by Intuitive Surgical based in Sunnyvale, Calif. — could lead people to get potentially harmful operations they don’t need.

“My question is: Why are we doing this?” said University of Michigan Medical School associate professor Dr. Dana Telem, the director of Michigan Medicine’s Comprehensive Hernia Program. “Even with the best intent, it makes me worry about the unintended consequences down the line.”

A Common Condition

An estimated 1.6 million groin hernias are diagnosed and 500,000 are surgically repaired annually in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 27% of men and 3% of women are expected to have a groin hernia — the most common type — during their lifetimes.

Hernias can cause pain and abnormal bulges, and many patients eventually opt to get them fixed with surgery. Surgery can also prevent a rare but serious condition called strangulation, in which a hernia can entrap the intestine and cut off blood flow, requiring emergency surgery.

However, complications from hernia surgery are common. While any surgery carries risks, such as infection, groin hernia repairs leave as many as 12% of patients with chronic pain that can be debilitating, according to a 2016 study.

There’s also good evidence that people who have few symptoms can safely opt for watchful waiting rather than go under the knife, according to a 2018 article in JAMA. But such cautionary information is often missing in hospital screening announcements.

In fact, experts, including the American College of Surgeons, say there’s no data to back the use of such hernia screenings.

“A screening for hernia? That makes no sense to me,” said Dr. Michael Rosen, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Hernia Center and medical director of the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative, a consortium that tracks treatment outcomes. “Obviously, it’s just there to drive people to the operating room.”

Promoting Robotic Surgery

Some hospitals say warnings about the risks of letting hernias go untreated are appropriate, and these events educate the public, quell fears about robotic surgery and serve people who otherwise can’t or won’t see a doctor. Several hospitals said their doctors inform patients about all treatment options, not just robotic surgery.

“Unfortunately, you can get people in the door for their own protection with the word ‘free,'” said Victoria Montei, system director of surgical services at Midland-based MidMichigan Health system, which has hosted two hernia screening events that attracted 52 people and detected 33 hernias. “For a lot of people, a $20, $50, $100 copay [to see a doctor] can be a lot. They put it off.”

Some hospitals also use hernia screening to show off their flashy da Vinci surgical robots, often claiming that the robots’ 3D imaging and precision movements lead to reduced pain, fewer complications and faster recovery times.

Northeast Georgia Health System in Gainesville recently took one of its four da Vinci devices out of commission for three days to demo it at a hernia screening and other community events. Seeing the da Vinci up close “helps explain to the patient the value of it,” said Health System spokeswoman Kristin Grace.

Yet some hospitals seem to be rethinking their strategies. Dr. Sari Nabulsi, the chief medical officer of Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas, which hosted a hernia screening event in 2018, said via email that the hospital “does not promote screening for hernia as there is no clinical value to such tests.” Its 2018 event was for “awareness” and the hospital “does not anticipate repeating the event in 2019,” he added.

Ben Drew, a spokesman for Walnut Creek, Calif.,-based John Muir Health, which advertised a robot test drive as part of a hernia screening event, said in an email that the robot was “not the focus of the assessment or the information provided to patients” and its announcement “could have been worded more clearly.”

Unclear Outcomes

The robot has been marketed as a way for surgeons to add minimally invasive surgery to their toolkits. Most hernias are repaired by open surgery, which uses large cuts. Conventional laparoscopic surgery, which uses smaller cuts, is technically challenging to learn for hernia repair, Rosen said.

But experts say there’s no firm evidence that robotic surgery provides better outcomes for hernia repair.

In fact, robotic surgery has sometimes been adopted ahead of evidence that it offers a benefit. Claims haven’t panned out for hysterectomies, and the Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety notice about the use of robots in cancer surgeries.

A screening for hernia? That makes no sense to me. Obviously, it’s just there to drive people to the operating room.

Dr. Michael Rosen, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Hernia Center

Results of a pilot randomized clinical trial to compare robotic hernia repair with conventional laparoscopic surgery are expected to be published this fall, said Rosen, who is leading the study.

The trial will compare the two approaches on patient-reported pain, cost, ergonomics for surgeons and long-term recurrence rates. Still, larger studies will be needed to guide clinical practice, leaving answers years away, said Rosen.

Nevertheless, da Vinci’s manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, has been pressing ahead with efforts to promote its use for hernia repair. In an email, Intuitive confirmed it has provided demo robots and “educational information” for hernia screenings at the request of surgeons and hospitals.

The company said the information it provides for screening events includes “descriptions of surgical and non-surgical options for hernia repair, including associated risks and benefits,” and it expects that “a large portion of hernia repairs will continue to be performed via different surgical modalities.” In other words, the way they’ve traditionally been done.

Intuitive’s 2018 annual report identified hernia repair as a “significant” growth opportunity, with general surgeries, including hernia repair, becoming the largest category of U.S. procedures in 2018. The company reported net income of $1.1 billion in 2018, up from $671 million in 2017.

The Economics Of Robotic Surgery

General surgery is a mainstay of community hospitals, which have recently begun to invest in robotic systems as a way to market themselves as “up on the latest technology,” said Diane Robertson, director of health technology assessment at ECRI Institute, a nonprofit that studies safety and cost-effectiveness of medical interventions.

But ECRI wrote an advisory warning that hospitals’ rapid adoption of robotic systems has outpaced the development of training and credentialing standards for the surgeons who use them.

Hospitals may not be thinking about whether it’s best for the patient or the most cost-effective option, Robertson added. For hernia repairs, she said, “There’s a huge question about why you would need to do them robotically.”

Each da Vinci costs an average of $1.5 million, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain and equip, according to Intuitive’s annual report.

Intuitive advertises in a video on its website that the robotic systems help hospitals woo surgeons and win market share. The website says robotic programs can help hospitals become “more efficient and cost effective.”

But robotic surgeries cost hospitals more to provide and often are reimbursed by insurers at the same rate as for conventional laparoscopy, according to some experts. A review of 510 hernia repairs at the University of Virginia found that the median hospital cost of a robotic hernia repair was $7,162, versus $4,527 for laparoscopic procedures and $4,264 for open surgeries.

Though individual patients may not necessarily pay more for a robotic surgery, Robertson said, the technology contributes to higher overall health care spending and may divert resources from other priorities. In addition, taxpayer-funded Medicare may end up reimbursing hospitals indirectly for robotic surgeries.

For at least one hospital, robotic surgery didn’t pay off.

Fifty-bed Massena Memorial Hospital in upstate New York ended its robotic services in June to help slash an operating deficit, according to chief financial officer Patrick Facteau.

The da Vinci didn’t increase the hospital’s surgical volume despite a marketing push that included free monthly hernia screenings, Facteau said.

“Part of the sales pitch is, you will get more surgeries and reduce costs,” he said. “We didn’t really see that.”

Nor, he said, did the da Vinci improve the hospital’s surgical quality measures or reduce lengths of stay. Most hernia procedures are already done on an outpatient basis.

The hospital — in the 12,000-person town of Massena, just south of the St. Lawrence River — was paying about $500,000 a year to lease a da Vinci and cover maintenance and instruments, he said.

Unlike most hospitals, which have bought their systems, Massena had the flexibility to ditch its lease. “Once you purchase it, getting out of it is not so easy,” Facteau said.

Source:  from Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. More Read More

Knightscope Goes Public Under Regulation A

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Knightscope, Inc., a developer of advanced physical security technologies focused on enhancing U.S. security operations, announced today that its Reg A+ IPO has received qualification from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Concurrent with the live offering and contingent upon various factors, including raising a sufficient amount of funds and meeting applicable listing standards, the Company plans to begin preparing an S-1 format Form 1-A and Nasdaq Capital Market application in anticipation of a possible public listing of the stock at the conclusion of the Regulation A+ Initial Public Offering. The ticker symbol “KSCP” has been reserved by the Company on Nasdaq.

@iKnightscope Goes Public Under Regulation A – Shares Available to Retail Investors Effective Immediately as Company Prepares for Public Listing on NASDAQ

Effective immediately, retail investors can purchase equity in Knightscope and participate in the company’s long-term mission to help make the United States of America the safest country in the world. Knightscope is a pioneer in the development of fully autonomous security robots utilizing self-driving technology, robotics and artificial intelligence. The Company’s security robots presently operate across the country on corporate campuses, commercial property, malls, logistics facilities, residential communities, manufacturing plants, warehouses, stadiums, casinos and hospitals running 24/7/365 fully autonomous without human intervention including autonomously recharging.

“Today we are delighted to announce the availability of Knightscope shares to the public, from Main Street to Wall Street. Concerned citizens, patriots, parents, first responders, technologists and financiers seeking a unique opportunity are all invited to participate,” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Knightscope, Inc. “We believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving your fundamental right of being safe anywhere you study, work, live or visit. This financing will allow us to continue to scale up operations and make a positive social impact. Additionally, we wish to extend our sincere gratitude to the over 6,000 investors that have backed our efforts over the years and helped make this day possible,” Li continued.

PURCHASING SHARES IN KNIGHTSCOPE

To purchase shares in Knightscope or to watch the Knightscope Reg A+ Initial Public Offering introductory video please visit here. The Offering Circular filed with respect to the Knightscope Reg A+ IPO, which contains important information and disclosures, including financial statements and risk factors, is available here.

About Knightscope

Knightscope is an advanced security technology company based in Silicon Valley and builds fully autonomous security robots that deter, detect and report. Our long-term ambition is to make the United States of America the safest country in the world. Learn more about us at www.knightscope.com. Follow Knightscope on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Legal Disclaimer

Knightscope and www.knightscope.com are operated by Knightscope, Inc. Investment opportunities in the Reg A+ offering are not a public offering, are private placements, are subject to long hold periods, are illiquid investments and investors must be able to afford the loss of their entire principal. There is no guarantee that Knightscope will register its shares with the SEC or any stock exchange. Offers to buy or sell any security can only be made through official offering and subscription documents that contain important information about risks, fees and expenses. You should conduct your own due diligence including reviewing in detail the Offering Circular and consultation with a financial advisor, attorney, accountant, or other professional that can help you to understand the risks associated with the investment opportunity.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements regarding Knightscope’s proposed public listing of its securities and the timing thereof, projected business performance, operating results, financial condition and other aspects of the company, expressed by such language as “expected,” “anticipated,” “projected” and “forecasted.” These statements also include estimates of the pace of customer adoption of the company’s products, engineering developments and prototype capabilities. Please be advised that such statements are intentions or estimates only and there is no assurance that the results stated or implied by forward-looking statements will actually be realized by the company, or that the company will be able to consummate its planned goals (including without limitation, a public listing of its securities). Forward-looking statements may be based on management assumptions that prove to be wrong. The Company’s predictions may not be realized for a variety of reasons, including due to inability to raise a sufficient amount of funds, a lack of marketability for the company’s securities, failure of business operations, competition, customer sales cycles, and engineering or technical issues, among others. The Company and its business are subject to substantial risks and potential events beyond its control that would cause material differences between predicted results and actual results, including the company incurring operating losses and experiencing unexpected material adverse events.

Contacts

Stacy Dean Stephens, (650) 924-1025

Facebook algorithm changes suppressed journalism and meddled with democracy

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Facebook’s News Feed algorithm determines what users see on its platform – from funny memes to comments from friends. The company regularly updates this algorithm, which can dramatically change what information people consume.

As the 2020 election approaches, there is much public concern that what was dubbed “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential election could happen again. But what’s not getting enough attention is the role Facebook’s algorithm changes play, intentionally or not, in that kind of meddling.

A key counterpoint to the Russian misinformation campaign was factual journalism from reputable sources – which reached many of their readers on Facebook and other social media platforms. As a social media researcher and educator, I see evidence that changes to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm suppressed users’ access to credible journalism in the run-up to Trump’s election.

Political operatives know Facebook serves as a gatekeeper of the information diets of more than 200 million Americans and 2 billion users worldwide. Actions and abuse by others on the platforms have generated much concern and public discussion, including about how much disinformation and propaganda Americans saw before the election. What has not been talked about enough is the effect that Facebook’s algorithmic shifts have had on access to news and democracy.

Changing the system

In mid-2015, Facebook introduced a major algorithm change that pivoted readers away from journalism and news, to deliver more updates from their friends and family. The change was couched in friendly language suggesting Facebook was trying to make sure users didn’t miss stories from friends. But social media data shows that one effect of the change was to reduce the number of interactions Facebook users had with credible journalism outlets.

A few months before the 2016 election, an even bigger algorithm change toward friends and family posts took a second toll on publisher traffic. A wide range of news publishers found that their content was significantly less visible to Facebook users.

Examining the numbers

In my research, I looked at Facebook engagement for mainstream news outlets surrounding the 2016 election. My findings support others’ conclusions that Facebook’s algorithm greatly suppressed public engagement with these publishers.

Data from CrowdTangle, a social media monitoring company, shows that Facebook traffic dropped noticeably at CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, The New York Times and The Washington Post after the company updated its algorithms to favor friends and family in June 2016.

That proves the algorithm worked the way it was designed to work, but I am concerned that major U.S. publishers were suppressed in this way. Voter interest in the presidential election was higher in 2016 than in the previous two decades, and misinformation was rampant. Facebook’s changes meant that key news organizations across the political spectrum had a harder time getting the word out about credible election news and reporting.

Alarm bells

Facebook was aware of concerns about its algorithm even before the election happened. One of Facebook’s own engineers flagged these potential effects of Facebook’s algorithm changes in July 2015. Three months later, Zuckerberg’s mentor, Roger McNamee, also attempted to alert Zuckerberg and Facebook executives that the platform was being used to manipulate information about the election.

Just after the election, reporter Craig Silverman’s research at BuzzFeed showed that fake election news had outperformed “real news.” In late 2018, Facebook’s own company statement revealed issues with how its algorithm rewarded “borderline content” that was sensational and provocative, like much of the hyperpartisan news that trended in advance of the election.

More recent research by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center shows that Facebook traffic continued to decrease significantly for publishers after a further Facebook algorithm change in January 2018.

Prof. Grygiel calls for algorithmic transparency on MSNBC.

Algorithmic transparency

To date, research on how Facebook’s algorithm works has been limited by the lack of access to its proprietary inner workings. It’s not enough to investigate the effects of the changes in Facebook’s News Feed. I believe it’s important to understand why they happened, too, and consider Facebook’s business decisions more directly and how they affect democracy.

Recent insight into the company’s internal processes suggest that Facebook is beginning to understand its power. In July 2019, Bloomberg News revealed that the company had deployed software on its own platform to look out for posts that portrayed Facebook itself in potentially misleading ways, reducing their visibility to safeguard the company’s reputation.

Some international legal scholars have begun to call for laws to protect democracies against the possibility that algorithmic manipulation could deliver electoral gain. There’s no proof that Facebook’s changes had political intentions, but it’s not hard to imagine that the company could tweak its algorithms in the future, if it wanted to.

To guard against that potential, new laws could bar changes to the algorithm in the run-up periods before elections. In the financial industry, for instance, “quiet periods” in advance of major corporate announcements seek to prevent marketing and public-relations efforts from artificially influencing stock prices.

Similar protections for algorithms against corporate manipulation could help ensure that politically active, power-seeking Facebook executives – or any other company with significant control over users’ access to information – can’t use their systems to shape public opinion or voting behavior.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here:Read More

A giant leap for humankind — future Moon missions will include diverse astronauts and more partners

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As NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic Moon landing with a live TV broadcast and events, there is a focus on recognizing the contributions of the thousands of men and women who made the Apollo 11 mission possible. This year is particularly significant for the legacy of the Apollo program because of the president’s Space Policy Directive 1, which tasks NASA with returning to the Moon by 2024. This time, the mandate requires establishing a permanent lunar base and advancing space exploration to Mars and across the solar system.

As a space law and policy professor, I see positive differences with this new goal compared to the earlier space race: a focus on international cooperation, industry and astronaut diversity to achieve sustainable space exploration.

Inclusive US space policy

While the presidential proclamation calls for returning American astronauts to the Moon, NASA is no longer in it alone. Directive 1 invites commercial and international partnerships. NASA’s return mission will also include both men and women astronauts, leading to the first woman to step on the Moon. I think this inclusive vision invokes a refreshingly equitable interpretation toward human footprints on the Moon and the collective role of humanity in space.

Already companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Made in Space have partnered with NASA to provide advanced technologies and services necessary to extend life in space. This includes 3D printing and space transportation. In June, NASA announced new opportunities for civilian astronauts and commercial scientific research on the ISS National Lab. Currently, more than 50 companies engage in research and development for a range of commercial, pharmaceutical and educational purposes.

These are positive steps, but what the space sector still needs to improve for space exploration is to equalize the gender imbalance in NASA and STEM fields. This is more challenging because women comprise only 20% of space industry employees and 30% of the workforce in STEM research and development globally. Women are further excluded when the equipment, like smaller-sized spacesuits, isn’t designed for them. But this challenge also presents an opportunity for government and industry to work together to close the gender data and technology gap. This is necessary to ensure the requisite space hardware and technologies exist for a new diverse body of NASA and civilian astronauts.

Space for all humankind

The benefits of fostering an inclusive framework for space exploration are already recognized. Both the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs and NASA state that innovation and diversity drive exploration.

The 20-year old International Space Station, for instance, is a successful experiment in international cooperation in space and science. No one nation could have accomplished this alone.

Inclusivity is particularly visible in the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs’ programs and language, where “humankind” is used instead of “mankind.” Its Space for Women Project seeks to ensure that space benefits everyone and that women play an active and equal role in space and exploration. Fairness and inclusion are, after all, important aspects of a stable society. Inclusivity also supports international policymaking at the state level. Russia recently decided to join U.N. efforts to define guidelines of behavior in space to avoid being excluded from rule-making.

Back in 2016, the European Space Agency proposed a Moon Village to promote international harmony. The European Space Agency’s vision is to unite interested parties and nations to establish a sustainable Moon base for science and commercial purposes. In April, SOM, an urban planning company, and MIT presented the first concept design for this village.

Private ventures, too, benefit from promoting diversity in space. Germany is seeking to send its first female astronaut to the ISS through a consortium of commercial sponsors and crowd-funding. Diversity and inclusivity are everyone’s concern.

Reframing the narrative for space

Multiplicity of voices and perspectives matters for understanding space. Online media platforms, including Shespeaksscience, Everydayastronaut and Madam Mars, are weaving space images, science, information, cultural references and stories together to educate and inspire people’s interest in space and exploration.

Even nonhuman icons play a role in expanding space diversity. When NASA endowed Curiosity with its own identity and Twitter account, the rover’s science and exploration of Mars exploded on social media with more than 4 million followers. People connected with the rover’s personalized voice and daily narrative. What is less known is that Curiosity’s feed is run by three women at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Diversity of voice and perspective allows people to connect, learn and understand. Perhaps other future technologies and AI will play a role in furthering our notions of space, exploration and diversity.

Undoubtedly, the use of space improves life on Earth. But we also need human explorers in space to derive the greatest benefits. An inclusive approach is most likely to succeed. After all, returning to the Moon is only the beginning.

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F50 Elevate™ becomes the new Flagship for F50 family to Attract Great Startups and Mentors for Deeper Collaboration

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Palo Alto, CA, July 18, 2019 F50 Elevate, specifically created by F50 to accelerate growth for the most promising startups, is pleased to invite top startups, mentors, and investors from around the world to participate in the initial cohort. F50 Elevate connects and speeds up these select startups with the collective intelligence of F50’s deep roots in Silicon Valley, together with corporate partners, investor networks, and industry experts.

“The slowdown in early-stage funding has created challenges for great startups to raise capital at the speed they require,” said David Cao, Managing Partner of F50 Elevate. “F50 Elevate is a natural outgrowth of the rapidly expanding F50 ecosystem, with a global investor network built from 22 investor summits over a five-year period and a community of over 100,000 members. The program enables founders to move faster to the next level. We invite startups, mentors, and investors to participate with us in this important effort.” 

F50 Elevate will invest in the companies that participate in the F50 Elevate program, which leverages F50’s extensive investment history as one of Silicon Valley’s largest investment networks. The program will utilize the expanding F50 community to build a portfolio of early-stage technology companies focusing on HealthTech, AgTech, Sustainability, and DeepTech. These companies, with the strong support of the F50 investor community, will capitalize on compelling opportunities to become leaders in their target markets.

F50 Elevate applications will be accepted through August 12, 2019, and the flagship program will take place in Fall 2019, with the world-renowned F50 Global Capital Summit™ as a milestone event on October 16, 2019, in Palo Alto, CA. 

About F50 and F50 Elevate

F50 is a rapidly expanding venture ecosystem focused on finding extraordinary startups in Silicon Valley and investing in them with its network of global capital. F50’s events include Global Capital Summit™, DeepTechSummit, and Founder World. F50 Elevate and the F50 Ventures Fund operate within the F50 family. Other products and services include the F50 Report and Corporate Services. 

PR Contact: pr@f50.io