2016 02 Family Letter – Fifty Things At Once

Hi Family,

What did we even do in February? It has all been such an exciting and exhausting blur.

In an exciting turn of events, Oliver is in the process of starting a company (General Radar) with a fellow engineering student (former NASA engineer) developing and selling military grade radar for autonomous motion systems (self-driving cars, commercial drones, etc). The trick? They can produce the radar for 30-50x cheaper than everyone else, and have a range of sight that is so much farther than the competition, it’s making car companies giddy. They are early on in the process (it’s been a month) but have already met with Google x, Ford’s Innovation labs, and a handful of early stage investors expressing serious interest and progressing to next steps.  Luckily we got a tax refund this year, as our biggest grad school expense (other than tuition/living) is looking like it is going to be having a valley-worthy patent attorney on retainer. Hah. I am SO happy for him, and so happy he found such a great partner. Dmitry is a good guy, and, obviously, a straight up genius. Who knows if/what it will all amount to, but at the very least it is all going to be a fun and valuable experience.

Outside of that, he is having a ball at B school and getting through most of his classes well (though occasionally skipping some to meet with investors). He received an internship offer from a company in Hong Kong for the summer, which is good to have in the back pocket. It’s at a Bio Tech company, though, which is not something he has ever considered. It all depends on what happens with General Radar. While I think it would be fun for him to intern abroad, and Moz is a good snuggler, I am secretly hoping not to be all alone this summer. 🙂 He also continues to volunteer for StartX in a venture capital role and just helped close a partnership deal between StartX and the DIUX (the venture arm of the DoD).

I, also, am doing far too many things at once, and I love it. Work is work. And outside of work, I now have two other major projects, and outside of that, two other little things as well. First, my website has been going well. The magazine loved my article and will be publishing it in their next issue. They’ve asked me to write a series in the next few issues as well. Should be good exposure for AP. Updating the inventory still all manual, and time consuming, but it’s a labor of love, so I don’t mind. I love hearing from girls who find my site and are excited about things they bought from it 🙂 I try to work on AP on the weekends, particularly because I recently joined a startup myself called Trove. (SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THIS)…I saw Rich, the CEO, pitch at a VC night a couple weeks ago and loved their project so much I literally chased him out the door and asked if I could help them build/launch it. After a couple meetings (also with his wife, a cofounder and fashion blogger) and hours of excited discussion where we (happy to report) totally hit it off….they asked me to help out on the user success side! Since then, I’ve been putting a LOT of time in the evenings into beta testers and one on one user interviews. They already have a team of engineers, a really awesome working beta, are in the middle of raising their first round of funding, and are hoping to launch in the next month or so. I won’t go into the details of why I think this company is the next coolest thing ever, in an effort not to bore the guys ;), but the idea of being involved with this company makes me very, very excited. It feels so good to have ownership over my work and to have my hands right in the middle of creating something awesome. Turning money into money, while profitable, is maybe not something I want to do my whole life. I would rather turn nothing into money. And make something really cool happen. And make people happy.

For fun, I have also started the process of testing NFC tags in clothing that can be read with a smartphone app and direct someone back to the vendor of that particular item. And, when I am up to my eyeballs in tech, I have been having lots of fun sewing, making tiny baby dresses and bows for my niece, Meg, and other various babies surrounding our apartment (three more pregnancy announcements this month!)

Mozzi is cute. I gave him a haircut and evening of pampering/brushing the other night….which makes him even more snuggly and wonderful. Lately, we have been teaching him to be the ball-boy (pup?) on the tennis courts. We practice our serves and he fetches and returns the balls. Workout for him, fun for us. Win win 😉

So, needless to say, we are happy, busy, tired, and most importantly…excited.  

Until next month!



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