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FYI - For Your Innovation

Author: ARK Invest

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The FYI - For Your Innovation Podcast offers an intellectual discussion on recent developments across disruptive innovation—driven by research, news, controversies, companies, and technological breakthroughs. Hosted by ARK Invest, ARK and guests provide a unique perspective on how to best understand disruptive innovation.
75 Episodes
In this virtual, remote, distant world we need to make sure that the technologies that support us can transfer information that is accurate, safe and trusted. For today’s episode, we had Dr. Alex Cahana join us to speak about the role Distributed Ledger Technologies will play in shaping business, health systems, and definitions of community in the post-pandemic world. Dr. Cahana is the Chief Medical Officer and Market Lead for ConsenSys Health. His experience is in military, healthcare and most recently, blockchain, and he believes that by ‘blockchainizing’ healthcare we can transform people from passive health service consumers into active, self-sovereign health and wealth producers. In today’s show, we discuss the importance of secure, trustworthy data to business and healthcare and how blockchain-based systems are ushering in a new era in this regard. Dr. Cahana tells listeners about what blockchain’s ability to remove ‘fakeness’ means for securing systems in health, law, news and more. Our conversation also covers the global pandemic and what it has emphasized, what we can learn from it, and how technologies that are being implemented now might be here to stay once things blow over. A key takeaway here is that surviving the pandemic should not come at the cost of our privacy. We discuss his efforts with “Failure Is Not an Option” (FINO) as far as their ventures toward reshaping business through blockchain, and the incentives blockchain could provide to people so that they can take a more active role in their own healthcare. Most importantly, Dr. Cahana’s message is that blockchain is a mindset. It represents a mentality where we realize that we have to work together and it enables a behavioral economy which makes things so secure that trust gets taken out of the picture. Tune in for Dr. Cahana’s big picture, cross-disciplinary insights.
From manufacturing to universities, companies and institutions are in turmoil across the board. During the time of COVID-19, businesses are being forced to look for better, faster, or cheaper solutions to the problems that they’re facing. Increasingly new technologies can provide help. We take a look at how businesses, brands, organizations, public services, and institutions are having to make drastic shifts in order to survive and adopt new solutions such as drones, 3D printing, autonomous driving, and online education. As the world makes behavioral shifts to the “new normal,” we are seeing how people are beginning to move toward automation in multiple areas of their lives – be it food delivery, pursuing education, or catching a ride. The entire world is at a tipping point where we are being forced to embrace the move to automation… who will be left behind?
The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has saturated media across the globe. The information available to us is vast, expansive, and can be all-consuming. But a lot of this information is, understandably, geared heavily toward medical and social topics. In this episode, we explore the impact of covid-19 on fintech companies. We ask the question, what does this mean payment methods and the future of transactions across the globe? George Whitridge and Max Friedrich, FinTech analysts at ARK, talks about how various countries have responded to the push for contactless payment methods, the economic benefits we’re seeing in contactless payments, and how companies and brands such as Zillow, Cash App, and DocuSign are responding to the current crisis. We also take a look at the response to the pandemic by The Small Business Administration and US banks, and why startups who live in uncertainty, are more likely to master this crisis than older business models. We ‘round off with some fascinating stats about just how dirty your credit and debit cards really are. If germs were a currency, perhaps we’d all still be in business? Tune in.
This week we are joined by Chip Paucek, 2U’s Co-Founder and CEO. 2U is one of the leading online education software platforms. At ARK we often say disruptive innovation gains traction in tumultuous times. There’s perhaps no better example than in the education space. For six years 2U noted that one of the biggest challenges was fighting the stigma of online education, and then in the midst of COVID-19 nearly every school has been forced into an online only setting. Tune in to hear Chip walk us through 2U’s critical role in helping schools’ transition from the classrooms to online. We talk about the challenges of 2U, how online learning can create more engaging classes, and how 2U’s scale can help lower the cost of higher education.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to strengthen its grip across the globe, it’s natural to feel a sense of dread and despair. However, we believe that tumultuous times can be the best catalysts for innovation, and this pandemic is no exception. In this episode, Simon Barnett and Ali Urman, ARK’s genomics analysts, are here to discuss developments in genomics and biotech, underway in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Simon sheds light on the declining cost curve of DNA sequencing, which allowed scientists to sequence the virus in a handful of days—a stark contrast to the six months it took to sequence the SARS virus. We also discuss improvements in diagnostic tools like synthetic biology in the context of this pandemic. Ali zooms further in on some preventative medicine and vaccine developments. While traditional vaccines use the virus itself, companies like Moderna, Inovio, and Arcturus Therapeutics, among others, are working on a range of unconventional and potentially groundbreaking preventative measures. We also look at how existing anti-viral drugs are being repurposed for the treatment of COVID-19. Lastly, we take a look at auxiliary areas where we have seen an increase of innovations. Simon highlights how telemedicine, organ transplant, and blood safety measures have seen growth during the crisis. Many of the developments are breaking down FDA barriers. We hope that these developments galvanize innovative approaches to prevention, diagnoses, and treatments not only for COVID-19 but for other diseases as well. Be sure to tune in today!
Here at ARK we are always talking about disruption and now we are faced with huge disruption. The coronavirus outbreak has massive implications on many levels for the whole world, not least of which is the need for many people to work remote where possible. This episode is a discussion about what that looks like during a time of mass quarantine. We are focusing our discussion on the realms of communication and entertainment. First of all, we discuss video conferencing and naturally, our eyes are on Zoom. Having grown rapidly in the last few years, Zoom will probably prove to be even more important as social distancing is enforced. From there we turn to messaging and texting in a professional context, looking at Slack in particular. We consider some of the other concerns in this period of remote work, particularly security and how the cloud has helped businesses alleviate security concerns. The conversation then turns to entertainment, as we first look at professional sports events, almost all of which have been postponed or canceled, and what might take their place in people’s lives. We can already see E-sports growing, even before the outbreak. We finish off talking about television and movies, arguing that on-demand services will probably strengthen under current conditions with traditional cable suffering due to the absence of sports. Listen in to get it all!
Our guest for this week’s episode is Nic Carter, Partner at Castle Island Ventures and Cofounder of In this episode, we dive deep into some of Nic’s current cryptocurrency obsessions. We start off covering the history of Bitcoin’s predecessors, leading to an interesting realization that the crypto industry today may be forgetting the lessons drawn from previous attempts to create a private money. We then shift the conversation to stablecoins and the implications of their continued growth. In doing so, we highlight that stablecoins today are virtually no different than reserve-backed currencies of the past. We end the conversation on an interesting theory that, contrary to popular belief, crypto may actually be good for the dollar. We explore different cases of dollarization and the heterogenous mechanisms by which they’ve emerged. Tune in for all of that and more!
Today’s guest is Matt Zeiler, Founder, and CEO of Clarifai. Clarifai is one of the first startups to apply modern deep learning for image recognition. Their tools are currently used by clients like Staples, OpenTable, and the US Department of Defense (DoD). In this episode, Matt sheds light on the company’s founding story and how an internship at Google was the catalyst for the creation of Clarifai. He also talks about what it’s like competing against industry giants like Facebook and Google. Clarifai’s algorithm and their ability to collaborate rather than compete with their clients truly sets them apart. Matt also sheds light on the benefits of the network effect for both the customers and the company. Matt talks about some of the interesting use cases of their technology, like Trivago, which uses image recognition to organize hotel photos or how the DoD uses it in natural disaster recovery. Matt believes that AI is a great service to the government in helping citizens in many ways, and Clarifai is incredibly proud to be a partner. Tune in to learn more about AI image recognition and be inspired by Matt.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is dominating most headlines of every news channel in the world. To learn more about this virus and its implications we talked to Professor Isaiah Arkin. He is the Arthur Lejwa Prof. of Structural Biochemistry at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the former Vice-President for Research and Development at the University. He holds a Ph.D. from the Yale School of Medicine in Cell Biology. Professor Arkin’s research has succeeded in shedding new light on the inner workings of flu viruses and in particular how a virus avoids anti-viral therapy. In this episode, Prof. Arkin clarifies some of the misconceptions around the coronavirus and draws parallels between the common flu and SARS. We discuss the threat level of the coronavirus, what we can expect from the disease, how we can control it, and whether the global fear is justified. In the second part of the show, we discuss immunotherapy, which he believes is ‘the next big thing’ in healthcare. He walks us through what the future of cancer research holds, why we should look to the natural world for answers and highlights some interesting research that is currently happening. As usual, our interaction with the Hebrew University was a fruitful one and we look forward to engaging more at NEXUS: Israel 2020 in New York.
Comments (3)

Andraž Žnidarčič


Apr 9th

Idriss Boudhina

I love this man. I wish I could have him as my mentor

Feb 27th


so sad, another poor woman suffering from vocalfry-itis

Feb 19th
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