Dov Moran, the Israeli inventor, entrepreneur and investor who is best known as the inventor of the USB memory stick, sees a bright future.
Speaking recently to Maryland Smith MBA students in the Managing Global Risks and Opportunities course, he discussed his own career-launching his first company, M-Systems, in 1989, seeing it go public in 1993 and be acquired in 2006. And he discussed his current work, running Grove Ventures, an early-stage investment fund that invests in promising new tech companies.
In his chat with Smith MBA students, he offered this hypothetical scenario:
In the year 2044, a sick goose infects a human with a brand-new virus, COVID-44. However, in this future, the infected individual has a body sensor that immediately detects the deadly virus. The sensor alerts a World Health Organization official through the cloud, who then sends a self-driving autonomous vehicle to pick up the patient for quarantining. The patient receives personalized care, determined based on very specific genetic markers. The patient is cured; there are no subsequent infections and no deaths.
It’s not a science-fiction story, Moran says. His venture capital firm is investing in companies that can make this future a reality. Trieye is a company in the Grove portfolio that is working on improving autonomous driving and making it more affordable. NeuroBlade is developing technology to analyze vast amounts of information at once. The companies Navina and NucleAI are working on personalized healthcare that considers a patient’s DNA to provide tailored care to individual needs. And the companies Tingo and Wiliot are both developing those personal sensors that can detect health issues as soon as they arise.
“Life is clearly better now than it was 100 years ago, which was better than it was 1,000 years ago,” Moran said. “We are a part of a global effort to create a better future [and] each one of you can become a part of it.”
Moran was speaking to Maryland Smith MBA students as part of the Managing Global Risks and Opportunities course taught by Bennet A. Zelner, associate professor of logistics, business and public policy, and sponsored by the Center for Global Business. As an alternative to the traditional MBA global business courses, which involve travel, this course provided students with the opportunity to meet virtually with global business leaders in five countries, network with MBA students from across the world, and work with a U.S.-based firm on a global consulting project.
This program is funded in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
–By Braden Walden