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A Grand Unified Theory of Tech Startups…

The association between searching for a grand unified theory of the universe and searching for one’s first customer might not seem obvious, but there are some clear connections. That’s why NEXUS-NY has invited Dr. Brian Greene, an expert on superstring theory, to give the keynote speech at an event promoting some of the region’s most promising clean energy startups.

The primary job of any technology startup is to avoid death by acquiring resources as quickly as possible. Startups have many advantages as compared to large companies; most notably they can operate very nimbly. What they lack are resources: financial, human and strategic (customers, partners, suppliers, etc.). Entrepreneurs are most likely to attract required resources when they are able to precisely hone their message for multiple intended audiences.

Anyone who has read Dr. Greene’s books will agree; he is a master of explaining the complex in simple terms. The Washington Post described him as “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.” After listening to his talk, no tech entrepreneur will be able to claim their invention cannot be explained clearly and concisely to a wide range of audiences.

The field of astrophysics has produced some of the greatest and most stunning discoveries and has attracted some of brightest minds of all time. From Cavendish measuring the earth’s gravitational constant in the 18th century, to Young determining the wave properties of light, to Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity, to Hubble determining our universe is expanding, and so on.

Dr. Greene’s talk will focus on innovation, exploration, and discovery and how they are deeply ingrained in human nature, and how the keys to their success transcend disciplines. Professor Greene’s presentation explores how we can unleash our innate drive to innovate. It is clear that innovation is desperately needed in most scientific fields. Even despite the work of all prior physicists, the composition of 95% of the matter in the universe is still unknown. Similarly, access to cheap, abundant, and clean energy remains elusive.

I hope you’ll join us on 10/27 to hear Dr. Greene’s speech and from our startups. For those with school age children, I encourage you to bring them along. There is one thing we know for certain… we need our best and brightest minds trained on tackling the big challenges which remain. We also need entrepreneurs to translate scientific discoveries into products and services which will benefit society.