2010 Events:

Note: The presentations are available for browsing and downloading at each linked subject title.

Date, May 18, 2010: "The Business of the Brain" by MODERATOR: Christie Nicholson, Freelance Science Journalist; Contributing Editor, Scientific American; PRESENTER: David P. Dickinson, President & C.E.O., Zeo, Inc.; PANELISTS: Lawrence A. Farwell, PhD, Chairman & Chief Scientist, Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories; James Sullivan, Co-Founder and VP of World Wide Partnerships at NeuroSky;Timothy Chang, Principal at Norwest Venture Partners

Abstract: Brain-Computer Interfacing (BCI) promises a quantum leap in human interaction with technology-enabling our thoughts and emotions to control devices and enabling devices to know what we're "really thinking" and feeling. Currently, there are more than 300 million brain toting people in the United States alone, making the opportunities for BCI products far-reaching.

BCI is bringing fresh and often unexpected perspectives to established industries, from entertainment and transportation to medicine and information systems. In this emergent phase of consumer-related BCI, innovators are redefining sleep management, gaming, user interfacing, courtroom evidence, and national security — and this is only the beginning.

For the first time, neuroscientists and savvy entrepreneurs, from a number of traditionally unrelated industries, are teaming up to move BCI technology out of research and medical labs and into our everyday lives. The Business of the Brain event will address the challenges and opportunities of this exciting revolution, including limitations of "wet" sensors, "noise" interference, government regulation, novel user interfaces, designing industry-specific BCI applications and the cost engineering of current applications.

Meet the minds behind this wave and find out how entrepreneurs are using the way we think to drive the future of technology.

Topics to be explored:
Christie Nicholson
Christie Nicholson is a science journalist based in New York. She hosts and produces Scientific American's 60-Second Psych, which covers the latest research in neuroscience. Last year she participated in Discovery Channel's Neuroethics Salon, that culminated in her co-authoring a Nature paper on communicating ethical issues in neuroscience. This year she spoke on brain-machine interfaces at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, TX. She is an on-air contributor to Web and TV shows on Slate, Scientific American, Discovery Channel and the Science Channel. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, she co-created the "Science of Sex," that won two Webby Awards. Currently a contributing editor at Scientific American, she teaches Web journalism each summer at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

David P. Dickinson
After a long career with four Fortune 500 corporations, Dave is now the Chief Executive Officer of Zeo, Inc. (f/k/a Axon Labs), an early stage startup founded by an entrepreneurial team of computer science and engineering students at Brown University.

Prior to Zeo, he was the Chief Operating Officer and a division President/CEO of StemCyte, a global umbilical cord blood stem cell banking company. In addition, Dave has held numerous executive positions including Director and President/CEO of Pericor Science, and Vice President, New Ventures, and Vice President, Global New Business Development/Innovation for the Mead Johnson Nutritionals Division of Bristol-Myers Squibb after starting his career in brand management with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products and sales with Procter & Gamble.

Dave received a B.S. in Industrial Economics from Union College in 1977 and an MBA in Marketing from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1982.

Lawrence A. Farwell
Dr. Farwell is the inventor of Brain Fingerprinting® technology. Brain Fingerprinting is a scientific technology for detecting concealed information stored in the brain by measuring brainwaves (EEG). It has been over 99% accurate in research and applications at the FBI, CIA, and US Navy. Dr. Farwell used Brain Fingerprinting to help to a catch serial killer and to help free an innocent man who was serving a life sentence after having been falsely convicted of murder.

Dr. Farwell also invented the first EEG-based brain-computer interface. This "mental prosthesis" allows an individual to communicate directly from the brain to a computer and speech synthesizer using electrical brain activity, so that paralyzed people can communicate, "talk," and control computers and other devices even though incapable of moving.

He is a Harvard graduate and former research associate at Harvard University. He is the Chairman and Chief Scientist of Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories, Inc.

TIME Magazine recently selected Dr. Farwell to the TIME 100: The Next Wave, the innovators who may be "the Picassos or Einsteins of the 21st Century." In addition to dozens of articles in scientific journals, he has written a book entitled How Consciousness Commands Matter: The New Scientific Revolution and the Evidence that Anything Is Possible (Sun Star Press, 2001). Dr. Farwell also has a Black Belt in Kung Fu.

James Sullivan
James Sullivan brought over 25 years of experience in high-tech sales experience in both hardware and software, to the NeuroSky founding team. Through his success developing OEM/ODM relationships and technology partnerships he was able to identify the unique opportunity of creating a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) platform technology that focuses on usability and low cost.

Prior to NeuroSky Jim was involved in several early stage and start up opportunities, and was part of explosive growth and success on more than one occasion including an IPO and follow on Public Offerings. His success has included tenures at Lanier, Canon, Arrow Electronics, Novell and Nuance Communications.

Timothy Chang
Tim brings a combination of operational, technical and international business experience to NVP. He focuses on investments in mobile, gaming, digital media, and also leads NVP's investment practice in China and Asia-Pacific. Tim led NVP's investments in and joined the boards of directors of ngmoco, Lumos Labs, Brite Semiconductor and 3jam. He also led NVP's investment in PCH International, a turnkey global supply chain services firm based in Shenzhen. Tim is a board observer working closely with Borqs, deCarta, Double Fusion and Veveo.

For a complete biography of Tim, please visit

Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2010

6:00pm: Networking & Refreshments
6:30pm: Presentation
8:00pm: Adjourn

Location: Board Room, Cogswell College, 1175 Bordeaux Drive, Sunnyvale


Solving Radio Frequency Interference Problems


Steve Thomas, Senior Product Manager, Anritsu Company


As wireless systems proliferate worldwide, the number one enemy of wireless systems designers and service providers is signal interference. Interference hampers coverage and capacity, and limits the effectiveness of both new and existing systems. It is an unavoidable fact that wireless communications systems must coexist in extremely complicated signal environments. These environments are comprised of multiple operating wireless networks ranging from mobile communication services to specialized mobile radio and paging/broadcast systems.

At the same time, wireless local area networks (WLANs) and digital video broadcasting are introducing new technologies and signal sources that further threaten to disrupt wireless communications service. Compounding the problem are regulatory and environmental restrictions which have effectively limited the number of suitable new base station transceiver sites that can be put in place. Hence, many wireless service providers are now faced with co-location issues further contributing to the potential for signal interference as more antennae are placed on individual cell towers.

This talk will cover the background of the technology which includes the terminology, measurement and industry standards. You will also hear about the warring strategy inside a NFL stadium. Each stadium is now equipped with the technology in order to counter-measure and counter countermeasure any move regarding potential interferences or signal intruders.


Steve Thomas is a Senior Product Manager for the Anritsu Company in Morgan Hill. He currently works in the Field Solutions Business Unit of its Microwave Measurement Division as product manager for handheld spectrum analyzers. He has more than 30 years of varied experience in the RF and microwave instrumentation arena including work in noise figure measurement and vector network analysis. In his first job out of college he designed ECM equipment. He has spent many hours on towers installing and maintaining antenna systems at his amateur radio station, N6ST. In his home he has Wi-Fi, multiple cordless telephone systems, multiple microwave ovens, remote control cars and all sorts of other interferers.

He has run down jammers and personally taught the NFL Game Day Coordinators how to use a handheld spectrum analyzer to find interferers in stadiums during games. He is the author of numerous technical articles on the subject of interference, including an article on finding hidden transmitters. He has made multiple presentations at the IWCE trade show on the impact of interference and how to find various sorts of interfering signals.