- IoT, Smart Cities, and the Power of a Decentralized Data Economy
As part of Innovate Pasadena's Connect Week, this month we are moving locations to CTRL Collective's new Pasadena campus! IoT, smart cities, and various other technological innovations rely heavily on data to function. While current data markets are difficult to navigate and often centrally siloed, it is important to create more decentralized data economy to supply data for various applications and industries, and blockchain technologies can play a significant role in this. In this month's meetup, Dr. Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Director of the Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things, will discuss efforts at USC focused on exploring decentralized markets motivated by the emergence of IoT applications for smart cities. He will present I3, an open source community marketplace platform for IoT data being backed by a public-private consortium including the City of LA and several companies. He will also describe ongoing research efforts leveraging blockchain technologies, including a client-server application layer protocol called SDPP for streaming data with payments and its integration with a decentralized marketplace application for sellers to post data products and buyers to find them, a double deposit escrow mechanism for buying and selling digital goods with provable guarantees, and a game theoretic analysis of the recently introduced idea of token curated registries. As part of Innovate Pasadena's Connect Week, our featured project this month feature local Pasadena AI company ObEN, discussing recent advancements in their Personal AI technology and how they are reimagining AI on the Blockchain. Schedule: Doors open 6:30pm Networking 6:30-7:00PM Presentations and Q&A: 7:00-8:30 Spaces fill up fast, so sign up soon to secure your spot! Sponsored by Innovate Pasadena and CTRL Collective About Bhaskar Bhaskar Krishnamachari is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (by joint appointment) at the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. He is Director of the USC Viterbi Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things (CCI). He has expertise in wireless networks, IoT protocols and applications, distributed computing, machine learning, and blockchain technologies, spanning both theory and software systems. He has co-authored over 300 papers, collectively cited more than 24000 times (per Google Scholar). He has received the NSF CAREER Award and the ASEE Terman Award for outstanding electrical and computer engineering educators. In 2011, he was listed in MIT technology review magazine’s TR-35 list of top 35 innovators under the age of 35, and in 2015 was named one of Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10”. About Mark Dr. Mark Harvilla earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) in 2010 and his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 2014, all in Electrical and Computer Engineering. During his doctoral studies at CMU, Dr. Harvilla specialized in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) research. Dr. Harvilla joined ObEN as its first employee in January 2015 and became a Project PAI Core Committer over 1 year ago. He has since worked in a variety of areas at ObEN and Project PAI, including voice conversion, machine learning, singing synthesis, and most recently, blockchain consensus mechanism research. He currently leads the technology development as Chief Engineer at ObEN.
- Economic Principles Behind Effective Blockchain Organizations
Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize information storage and trade across industries. But building effective blockchain organizations requires the proper design of economic systems and governance. So how should blockchain projects go about designing their ecosystems? Classic principles of economics is a good place to start. In this month's meetup, Dr. Stephanie Hurder, Partner and Founding Economist at Prysm Group, will discuss how economics can help blockchain organizations — from dApps to protocols — build effective institutions that deliver on their mission and strategy. *Stay tuned for the announcement of this month's featured project! Schedule: Doors open 6:30pm Networking 6:30-7:00PM Presentations and Q&A: 7:00-8:30 Spaces fill up fast, so sign up soon to secure your spot! Sponsored by ObEN, Innovate Pasadena, Cross Campus, and Counsel for Creators LLP! About Stephanie Stephanie Hurder, PhD is Partner and Founding Economist of Prysm Group, where she advises blockchain organizations on economic design and governance. Stephanie was previously a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, where she advised Fortune 50 corporations and global NGOs on organizational design and effectiveness. Stephanie has held research positions at MIT, Microsoft Research, and Merrill Lynch, and given invited seminars to faculty at top research universities across the country. She holds a PhD in Business Economics, an AM in Economics, and an AB in Mathematics from Harvard University.
- Blockchain Applications in Healthcare
One of the most exciting areas for the application of blockchain technology is within the healthcare sector. Whether it is better management of healthcare records, more effective recruitment for clinical trials, or even healthcare IoT, the blockchain's immutable record, privacy and security, and traceable data provenance can prove a great boon in the healthcare sector. This month, Eman Safadi, Principal Consultant at EHS Consulting and COO of the LA Blockchain Labs, will be discussing her efforts as head of the Healthcare Blockchain Vertical at Los Angeles Blockchain Lab and some of the revolutionary applications of blockchain in the healthcare space. For our featured project, Bill Tang, Managing Director of ICONIZ, the world’s leading blockchain accelerator, talks about what it's like to work with and help build blockchain innovation with startups in the space. Schedule: Doors open 6:30pm Networking 6:30-7:00PM Presentations and Q&A: 7:00-8:30 Spaces fill up fast, so sign up soon to secure your spot! Sponsored by Project PAI, Innovate Pasadena, and Cross Campus! About Eman Eman is a strategy consultant and general manager who is passionate about helping organizations identify and implement key technologies that can fundamentally change their business, most recently focusing on blockchain, tokenomics, and use cases across the healthcare vertical. She is also the COO of the LA Blockchain Lab, a collaboration of UCLA, USC, the City of LA, businesses, and nonprofits working to build the blockchain ecosystem in Southern CA. Prior to moving to LA, she led key technology initiatives for the Dept of Education to overhaul and modernize the FAFSA process and its underlying solutions and technologies. She spent a year in Jordan as Chief of Staff for HM Queen Rania where she strategically reorganized and oversaw all local and international operations. Previously, Eman cofounded Xypnos, a developer of embedded software for IoT devices and Ultiverse, a cross-platform messaging venture. She spun off and ran WorldCare Technologies, which operates the largest telemedicine network internationally and spent time at the World Bank, McKinsey, and Verizon Broadband Services. She holds an MS in computer science from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. About Bill Bill Tang works as Managing Director of ICONIZ. Prior to joining ICONIZ, Bill worked at Plug and Play Tech Center (early investors of Google, PayPal, Dropbox) as Senior Ventures Associate. PNP is the largest accelerator in the world with over 25 offices across the globe. Before that, Bill worked for Draper Fisher Jurvetson's as a venture analyst, specializing in performing industry analytics. DFJ is a pioneer in the blockchain space and one of the world’s leading VC firms, with successful exits in TESLA, SpaceX, Baidu, etc. Bill holds degrees from the University of Oxford in the U.K and Pitzer College in the U.S.
- Follow the money - Whose benefiting from the crypto boom?
Schedule: Doors open 6:30pm Networking 6:30-7:00PM Presentations and Q&A: 7:00-8:30 Maseratis, lux vacations, expensive watches. During the latter half of 2017 stories of average people making it big in the crypto market was all over the news and social media. But as the market begins to mature, where is the money from these large blockchain and cryptcurrency projects really going? This month, Heidi Pease, cofounder of the Los Angeles Blockchain Lab, takes us through the crypto boom and follows the money trail to explain who is truly profiting in this market, and the basics of what people should look for before diving into the brave new world of blockchain startups. Our featured project this month is The Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL), with a presentation by Fan Token Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Grant Cohen! Historically, professional sports have been slow to implement new technology and are severely lacking when it comes to fan influence and engagement. Global sports organizations are losing the next generation of fans – those who desire engagement and interactivity in their media consumption. FCFL are building a decentralized mechanism to provide fans with voting power, enabling them to unlock tiers of access to content and merchandise, and engage in exclusive experiences with teams, leagues, events and sponsors. The Fan Controlled Football League will combine the passion of live sport, the competition of fantasy sports, the engagement of video games, and the global reach of esports. They recently closed an agreement with Amazon’s Twitch to purchase the streaming rights to their first two seasons, as well as a production partnership with IMG and a commercial relationship with CAA to help sell TV rights and sponsorships. FCFL games will be produced in a state of the art production facility that allows for a heightened viewing experience. We had a packed house at our last meetup, and spaces fill up fast, so sign up soon to secure your spot! Sponsored by Project PAI, Innovate Pasadena, and Cross Campus! About Heidi A leader in the Los Angeles blockchain ecosystem, Heidi promotes blockchain technology. She is cofounder of the Los Angeles (UCLA/USC/City of LA) Blockchain Labs -- a collaborative community of universities, government, startups, enterprise, nonprofits, and investors on a mission to educate, elevate and innovate in blockchain technologies. In addition, Heidi is CEO of Proof Of Art – a social publicity network used to promote and pay artists using blockchain; and Cofounder of HomeSidekick – a peer-to-peer mortgage-lending platform using smart contracts. She is also an advisor for numerous startups including Spire (mobile crypto wallets for emerging markets) and DApper Network (developing blockchain technical talent), a guest lecturer at UCLA and USC, and a hand-selected participant for Richard Branson’s Blockchain Summit where 40 global thought leaders were invited to address blockchain’s potential for social impact. Prior to her blockchain activism, Heidi focused on turning around distressed assets, growing small businesses into top-tier national firms, and leading sales teams for companies including Ascension Insurance Services and AIG.
- The Foundations of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Want to learn more about blockchain and cryptocurrency? Excited to hear about companies in the space, and get an expert’s view on the industry? Then join us for an evening of networking, learning, and discussion. This month, we are excited to announce Tim Swanson as our keynote speaker. Tim will speak on the foundation of blockchain and cryptocurrency, with an expert’s insight on the current market landscape. Tim Swanson is the founder and Director of Research at Post Oak Labs. In addition to serving as a consultant at Elm Labs and an advisor to Clearmatics, he was also an advisor to Hyperledger and has been featured in noted crypto publications including Coindesk, Cointelegraph, and Bitcoin Magazine. This month’s company profile will feature ObEN, a Pasadena-based AI company working to put AI on the blockchain. ObEN’s COO Adam Zheng will talk about their Personal AI technology and how the company is using the Project PAI blockchain protocol (Project Project PAI is the winner of the World Blockchain Summit) to enable everyone in the world to create and use their own Personal AI, or PAI, which look, sound, and behave like each individual user. Spaces are limited, please RSVP to secure your spot! Schedule: Doors open 6:30pm Networking 6:30-7:00PM Presentations and Q&A: 7:00-8:30 About Tim Swanson Tim Swanson is the founder and Director of Research at Post Oak Labs. He was previously a visiting research fellow at the Singapore University of Social Sciences as well as at Sim Kee Boon Institute at Singapore Management University. He worked in East Asia for more than six years and is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University. His 2015 paper: “Consensus-as-a-service: a brief report on the emergence of permissioned, distributed ledger systems” popularized the term “permissioned” blockchain (or ledger), a topic which remains a mainstay at fintech conferences globally. He is currently a consultant at Elm Labs and an advisor to Clearmatics and was an advisor to Hyperledger (acquired by DAH). He was previously the Director of Market Research at R3. His research papers have been cited in a variety of media and he has appeared on more than one hundred industry panels and events over the past four years. He is also frequently quoted in media including: Wired, MIT Technology Review, Reuters, The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New Republic, American Banker, and International Business Times. About ObEN ObEN is an artificial intelligence company that creates Personal AI (PAI), intelligent 3D avatars that look, sound, and behave like the individual user. Deployed on the Project PAI blockchain, ObEN’s technology enables users to create, use, and manage their own PAI on a secure, decentralized platform - enabling never before possible social and virtual interactions. Founded in 2014, ObEN is a K11, Tencent, Softbank Ventures Korea and HTC Vive X portfolio company and is located at Idealab in Pasadena, California.