I have spent the last few days at the Quantified Self Conference in Palo Alto, California. Quantified Self is an emerging movement that’s focused on opportunities at the intersection of low cost sensor technology plus health information, with big data analysis. What’s key is through having real time health information in the hands of the user, great strides in better health are possible. The areas strongest impact is that most of the leaders in this field are citizen-scientists versus being academic researchers, for the technology that are emerging are inexpensive and accessible.
This is an area that I invested in 1999, and started a startup in in 2001, although this was way before the maturity of the area. At the conference, where Austin was represented by myself with the Tech Ranch, as well as Kevin Callahan, founder and CTO of MapMyFitness, UT professor Neal Burns, and Skyler Thomas of IBM, you could feel the excitement of a fiend that is emerging into maturity. Although this conference had only 300 attendees, Google, Intel, Fujitsu, and several investment firms were represented, as well as many veteran Bay Area entrepreneurs.
It is my belief that Austin is well positioned for being a strong player in this emerging industry because of Austin’s historical capabilities in software and hardware engineering, its health conscious citizenry, startups that are leading the way like Map My Fitness, not to mention the coming UT Medical School. At the Tech Ranch, we’re paying particular attention to this area for future development, given the exiting promise of entrepreneurs that inexpensively provide to customers personalized health insight.