Walter De Brouwer

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Walter De Brouwer
Walter de Brouwer 2011-11-09.jpg
Born (1957-05-09) May 9, 1957 (age 60)
Aalst, Belgium
Residence Los Altos, California, United States
Nationality Belgian, permanent resident USA
Alma mater Ghent University (BA Philology; MA Formal Linguistics; postgraduate Epistemology; Tilburg University (PhD Semiotics)
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Personal Computer Magazine, Wave, Eunet (now CenturyLink), Jobscape (now Stepstone), Starlab, OLPC, Scanadu Inc.
Title CEO, Chairman, Scanadu Inc.
Spouse(s) Sam Lounis
Children 2 sons, 1 daughter

Walter De Brouwer ([də ˈbrʌuər]; born May 9, 1957) is a Belgian-born Internet and technology entrepreneur and semiotician. He is a co-founder and the ex-CEO of Scanadu in Mountain View, Calif.


De Brouwer was born in Aalst, Belgium. He earned a Masters degree in linguistics from the University of Ghent and a PhD in Semiotics from Tilburg University.[1] He was a lecturer at the University of Antwerp (UFSIA) and an adjunct professor at the International University of Monaco from 2001-2004.[2] He is an Entrepreneur in Residence with the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge since 2004.[3] He sits on the editorial advisory board of the Journal for Chinese Entrepreneurship.[4] De Brouwer is a member of the American Mathematical Society.[5]


De Brouwer set up Riverland Publications in 1990 to publish personal computer magazines.[6] In 1994, De Brouwer sold his titles to VNU. He then published the cyberpunk magazine Wave, edited by Michel Bauwens and designed by Niels Shoe Meulman. Wave was a cult Belgian avantgarde magazine that joined Boing-Boing and Mondo 2000 as a bridge between the underground and the world of the future.[7]


In 1996, De Brouwer was one of the founders of PING, later sold to EUnet.[8] In April 1998, the company was sold to Qwest Communications International, which in turn later merged EUnet in with the ill-fated KPNQwest.[9] In 1999, his electronic employment site Jobscape[10] merged with eight similar sites to make up Stepstone. Stepstone went public with a price tag of £365m on the London Stock Exchange.[11] In 2008, De Brouwer set up OLPC Europe, the European branch of One Laptop per Child.[12][13][14]

Research labs[edit]

In 1996, De Brouwer set up Starlab.[15][16][17] It specialized in blue skies research,[18] deep future research,[19] and BANG (Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes) research. Starlab produced generic patents in intelligent clothing,[20] and worked on time travel.[21] One of its spinoffs ( was collecting spit for personal genomics typing.[22] The laboratory closed during the dot-com bubble in 2001.[23][24]

Starlab received media attention as the "lab of the last chance” (CNN);[25] for attracting “the world’s brainest nerds” (The Financial Times);[26] and for being the “Nerd Heaven” (Discovery Channel).[27]

De Brouwer is a board member of Tau Zero Foundation, formerly known as NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program, which has published the state-of-the-art work The Frontiers of Propulsion.[28]


De Brouwer is a co-founder and the CEO of Scanadu, a company located at the NASA Ames Research Park in California. Scanadu is developing consumer health diagnostic devices such as the Scanadu Scout, designed to measure various physiological parameters that include temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory rate, ECG, and diastolic/systolic blood pressure;[29][30] and Scanaflo, an at-home, full-panel urinalysis testing device designed to give consumers immediate information about their liver health, urinary tract infections, and other vitals.[31]

Scanadu is seeking approval of the device by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before bringing it to market in 2015 to ensure clinical-grade accuracy.[32] Scanadu has received a number of accolades, such as being named as one of VentureBeat’s 26 Amazing Startups You Need to Watch in 2014.[33] The company is among 10 teams participating in the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize contest, which seeks to make a real-world version of the Star Trek tricorder.[34]

De Brouwer stepped down from CEO in April 2016,[35] and became the CEO and co-founder of artificial intelligence start-up[36]

Other activities[edit]

De Brouwer is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and served as President of RSA Europe from 2006 to 2008.[37] He is a member of TED and curator of TEDxBrussels and is a sponsor of Quantified Self Labs.[38] He was a distinguished lecturer at the National Science Foundation in 2013.[39]

De Brouwer’s articles have been published by The Huffington Post,[40] Techonomy,[41] and others. His article, “How the People Are Taking Over the World,” was among Techonomy’s Most-Read Articles of 2014 and was cited by its editors as “perhaps the most philosophical of Techonomy’s top articles” that year.[42]

De Brouwer has two children with his current wife and a daughter from a previous marriage.


  • De Brouwer, Walter. Notes & Queries: Mary Imlay, Analytical Review (Oxford, 1982), 29:204-206.
  • De Brouwer, Walter. Notes & Queries: Joshua Toulmin, Analytical Review (Oxford, 1983), 30:209-212.
  • De Brouwer, Walter; Ayris, Stephen (1985). Computer Buzz words : Teacher's guide. Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0815-7
  • De Brouwer, Walter (1985). Cybercrud : computer terminology for advanced students of informatics and industrial engineering. Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0819-X
  • Vanneste, Alex; Geens D, De Brouwer, Walter (1987). Het Nieuwe Landschap, Wolters Leuven, ISBN 90-309-0825-4
  • De Brouwer, Walter (2004). Echelon: Three can keep a Secret, if Two of them are Dead. Delaware, ASIN B004J3UHGG
  • De Brouwer, Walter (2004). The biology of language: the post-modern deconstruction and denarration of modern and pre-modern grand narratives. Universiteit van Tilburg, ISBN 978-90-810022-1-9


  1. ^ De Brouwer, Walter (2004). The biology of language: the post-modern deconstruction and denarration of modern and pre-modern grand narratives. Universiteit van Tilburg, ISBN 978-90-810022-1-9
  2. ^ International University of Monaco Faculty: Walter De Brouwer (Adjunct)
  3. ^ Entrepreneur in Residence Walter De Brouwer via University of Cambridge Judge Business School
  4. ^ Journal for Chinese Entrepreneurship
  5. ^ "Walter De Brouwer". CrunchBase. TechCrunch. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  6. ^ BELGIUM Major Manufacturers Directory. Business Information Agency, ISBN 978-1-4187-8348-8
  7. ^ Wave, the Belgian cyberpunk mag at the Wayback Machine (archived March 28, 2012)
  8. ^ Schroller, Alex; King, Tim (January 4, 2010). Smart ways to improve innovation. European Voice
  9. ^,-Qwest-team-on-European-network/2100-1033_3-218186.html
  10. ^ Schroller, Alex; King, Tim (January 4, 2010). Smart ways to improve innovation. European Voice
  11. ^
  12. ^ Fildes, Jonathan (December 23, 2009). OLPC Unveils slimline tablet PC. BBC News
  13. ^ Hartley, Adam (May 1, 2010). How OLPC plans to give 30 million kids in Africa a laptop by 2015. TechRadar
  14. ^ Curtis, Sophie (January 11, 2010). Poor Families to get Government Laptops. eWeek Europe
  15. ^ Kalia, Kirin (August 9, 2000). Belgium: Europe's Overlooked Diamond-in-the-Rough (Part II). Silicon Alley Daily
  16. ^ Lane, Frederick S. (2003) The naked employee: how technology is compromising workplace privacy, p. 54. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, ISBN 978-0-8144-7149-4
  17. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (April 2, 2001). Where the deep future is familiar territory The Financial Times
  18. ^ Geary, James (November 22, 2000). The Web site that wants your spit. CNN
  19. ^ Discovery Channel (September 2000). StarLab segment via YouTube
  20. ^ Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity, and Deathliness’, C. Evans, pg. 276
  21. ^ D'Amico, Mary Lisbeth (July 2, 2001). Tornado Insider: Lights Out at Starlab Tornado Insider
  22. ^
  23. ^ Giles, Jim (2001). Utopian dream in tatters as Starlab falls to earth. In D. Butler, Ed. Nature Yearbook of Science and Technology, p. 412 Palgrave Macmillan (2002) ISBN 978-0-333-97147-5
  24. ^ Casonato, Regina; Jones, Nick (2002) How will enterprises achieve a return on investment in knowledge management? Gartner, Inc.
  25. ^ "University of Cambridge Judge Business School Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning". University of Cambridge Judge Business School. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (2 April 2001). "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Wayback Machine. The Financial Times. Archived from the original on August 23, 2001. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "Starlab Discovery Channel Special". YouTube. Discovery Channel/Quantum Interface. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ Gorman, Michael (22 May 2013). "Scanadu finalizes Scout tricorder design, wants user feedback to help it get FDA approval". Engadget. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  30. ^ Vogelbaum, Lauren. "How the Scanadu SCOUT Works". Blog post. FW:Thinking. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  31. ^ Hein, Buster (6 January 2015). "Scanaflo brings hospital-quality urinalysis to your home". Cult of Mac. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  32. ^ Higginbotham, Stacey (12 November 2013). "Scanadu scores $10.5M and paves the way for FDA trials". GigaOM. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  33. ^ Tweney, Dylan (31 December 2013). "26 amazing startups you need to watch in 2014". VentureBeat. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  34. ^ Kelly, Heather (3 September 2014). "The race to create a real-life tricorder". CNN. CNN. Retrieved November 28, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Scanadu Announcement". Scanadu. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  36. ^ Tas Bindi (August 24, 2017). " launches blockchain-based conversational AI platform for health consumers". 
  37. ^ Chairman of RSA Europe Fellowship
  38. ^ Ramirez, Ernesto. "What We Are Reading". Website. Quantified Self. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "Dr. Walter De Brouwer of Scanadu Visits IIP". YouTube video. National Science Foundation. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  40. ^ De Brouwer, Walter (9 March 2014). "I. Am. The Greatest". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  41. ^ De Brouwer, Walter (8 November 2014). "How the People Are Taking Over the World". Techonomy. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "Techonomy's Most-Read Articles of 2014". Techonomy. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 

External links[edit]