Full Biography

Walter De Brouwer



Walter A.A De Brouwer holds B.S. Applied Linguistics, M.S. (“Formal”, now called “Computational”) Linguistics (University of Ghent, Belgium) and a Ph.D. in Computational Semantics (“Bio-semiotics: The Biology of Language. The search for the atomic unit of meaning”) from the Catholic University of Tilburg, the Netherlands. He started as academic lecturer at the Jesuit University of Antwerp, Belgium (Machine Translation and Chomsky’s TGG), but left in 1989 to become an entrepreneur. Until 2016 he was a member of the University of Cambridge Center for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) which merged in 2016 with the Judge School and Professor of Entrepreneurship at the International University of Monaco (IUM) from 2001-2003, where he lectured the popular course, “from zero to IPO”. In 2015 he became a faculty member of Scripps DIGIMED17: Transforming Medicine Through Evidence-Driven mHealth (San Diego).

His career as an entrepreneur started 27 years ago: he was the Publisher of Computer Magazine (now Personal Computer Magazine –PCM- sold to VNU now 3i Group plc [LSE:III]); the internet media company Riverland Networks sold to Keyware Technologies right before the IPO [Euronext: KEYW]. Together with Nicholas Negroponte (founder and Chairman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's MIT Media Lab) he founded Starlab SA, Europe’s premier Deep Future research lab on wearable computing, Quantum computation, computational genomics and MPEG-21 (IP was sold to Philips). In 1993 he co-founded the European internet backbone company PING out of the European UNIX Users Group later EUnet International Ltd. which merged with Qwest Communications and went from NASDAQ to NYSE [Q] now Centurylink [NYSE:CTL]. In 2000 Qwest became the third long- distance carrier in the US and the backbone was carrying more than 50% of European IP traffic. In 1994 he had founded one of the pioneers of online job boards in Europe called Jobscape which merged into Stepstone ASA and completed an IPO in March 2000 raising €232m with Morgan Stanley as the lead underwriter and traded on the Oslo and London stock exchanges. It was later taken private by Axel Springer SE and became Digital Classifieds GmbH which intends to go public [AXEL.RC] again in 2017 with Renaissance [Euronext:PHIA] in a naked patent deal. In 2002 he took over Patronale Capitalisation NV (in 2007 sold to Fork Capital NV) and made it into a Fintech Life insurer, specializing in synthetic risk. In 2007 Nicholas Negroponte appointed De Brouwer to set up the EMEA branch of MIT’s NGO One Laptop per Child (OLPC) out of the SWIFT headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. De Brouwer negotiated with 14 Ministers of Finance and 9 Presidents in South and West Africa and eventually The Learning Center was transferred from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston to Kigali (Rwanda) Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). The XO was the first 802.11 mesh-driven device in Africa.

In 2011 De Brouwer came to live in Silicon Valley to start Scanadu Inc. a $57m venture- backed mobile health company located at NASA Ames Research (Moffett Field-Mountain View) which broke the world record of crowdfunding on Indiegogo ($1.66m in 3 weeks) and is still in the running to win the mythical Tricorder XPRIZE (started with 330 competitors, now 4 left). In September 2015 Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) completed enrollment in the very first pre-market, public clinical trial of the Scanadu Scout™ supervised in real time by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA): 8,000 units of the SCOUT™ tricorder™ were shipped to pre-order consumers in 89 countries (4,000 in USA). Scanadu is going through clinical trials for its mobile urine diagnostic consumer paddles (Scanaflo) and will introduce its 510k to FDA in November 2016; clearance is expected in Q1 2017. The Scanadu urine paddles are expected to change the way consumers monitor biomarkers in urine: the paddles are mailed in the post to the patient who uses an app with an algorithm on the smartphone and get the result in one minute.

In May 2016 he left Scanadu to found the AI company “doc.ai” in Palo Alto, CA to build a medical neocortex in silicon, a robo-doctor. He sits on the board of Scanadu Inc. and the Hong Kong-based Gen.life (blockchain-enabled InsuranceTech). He is an advisor for Ubiome Inc. and the NLU company Pat.inc. Together with Sam, his wife, he runs Glasgow3 llc. which organized the first DareToKnow™ conference in October 2016 under the TED level II banner (TEDxSanFrancisco), broadcasted in China via Tencent University.

Walter De Brouwer is a member of the American Mathematical Society; the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) and its Special Interest Group on Computational Semantics (SIGSEM); the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) subgroup Knowledge Representation (KR) and the International Society for Bio-semiotic Studies (ISBS). He sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal for Chinese Entrepreneurship; is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a long-time member of TED, a distinguished lecturer at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and together with Marc Millis, was a member of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program (later TauZero.aero) which together with American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) published in 2009 the state-of- the- art work on interstellar travel, The Frontiers of Propulsion Science.

Walter De Brouwer has 5 US patents published, filed 21 invention disclosures and wrote 3 textbooks. Two of his academic articles were published in the Oxford University journal “Notes & Queries” where he was one of the first to use Machine Learning for authorship attribution of the 18 th -century periodical “The Analytical Review” thereby unveiling Mary Wollstonecraft and Joshua Toulmin as two of the most radical polemicists of their day. Two of his popular articles – I.Am.The.Greatest (Huffington Post, 2014) and How the People are taking over the World (Techonomy, Forbes 2015)- reached major audiences.

Quarterly Speaking Engagements. In Q4 2016 Walter De Brouwer has been the keynote speaker at the 100 th anniversary of LIMRA-the worldwide association of insurance and financial services companies (Hong Kong), AIA Leadership Conference (Hong Kong), the Global Capital Summit (Stanford), panelist at the DLA Piper Technology Summit (Menlo Park), Illumina’s Understanding your Genome Conference (San Francisco) and was part ofTechonomy Health Round Table TE16 (Half Moon Bay).


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