Brown delivering the keynote address at MITA Tech Talks, 2013
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
|Home town||Oneonta, Appalachian Region|
|Title||Co-founder & CEO of Averon|
Wendell Brown is an American computer scientist, entrepreneur and inventor best known for his innovations in Telecommunications and Internet Technology, Cybersecurity, Smartphone app development, and the Internet of Things. Brown has founded multiple notable technology companies including Teleo, LiveOps and eVoice.
Brown is regarded as a pioneer of the gig economy and the work-at-home virtual workforce industry, having co-founded LiveOps as its chairman and chief technology officer in 2002. LiveOps designs call center solutions and social media management for companies such as Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut, and eBay. As of July 2016, LiveOps employed the world's largest work-at-home call agent workforce with more than 20,000 agents, and its cloud platform had processed more than one billion minutes of customer service interactions.
In 2015, Brown founded the San Francisco-based cybersecurity company Averon, which develops frictionless identity solutions based on mobile technologies. Averon presented a verified location concept on the main stage of the global TED Conference in 2016, and introduced its Direct Autonomous Authentication (DAA) mobile security technology in 2018. Multinational telecommunications provider Telefónica is a technology partner of Averon.
Brown co-founded Nularis in 2011, a developer of high-efficiency LED lighting technology that supplies global franchises including Hyatt Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
In 2006, Brown co-founded Teleo, an early competitor of Skype, where he created VoIP applications enabling users to send and receive phone calls over the Internet. Teleo was acquired by Microsoft and became part of Microsoft's MSN group in 2006.
As co-founder and chairman of eVoice, Brown created the eVoice voicemail platform in 2000, the world's first large-scale, Internet-enabled voicemail system. He invented techniques such as voicemail-to-email, visual voicemail, and enhanced caller ID, innovations that are considered some of the earliest "apps," and which were later deployed by Google Voice and Apple. eVoice supplied voicemail solutions to AT&T, MCI, AOL, and regional phone companies. eVoice was acquired by AOL Time-Warner in 2001 and became part of the AOL voice services group.
Brown was recognized as one of the Top 100 leading computer industry executives in America by technology magazine MicroTimes in 2002.
As a Silicon Valley angel investor, Brown has helped raise funding for notable startup companies including Appeo, ADISN, MOEO, and IronPort, which was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007 for US$830 million.
As one of the earliest creators of cybersecurity software, Brown founded WalkSoftly in 1996, which released the first mass market software cybersecurity programs for PCs. In 1997, Brown developed WalkSoftly's innovative Internet security package Guard Dog, which was awarded by the Software Publishers' Association as one of the Top 4 most innovative security products of the 1990s, and named by PC Data as one of the Top 10 bestselling retail security software products of all time. WalkSoftly was acquired by CyberMedia Inc. in 1997.
Brown founded Hippopotamus Software in the 1980s, an early software developer for the Apple Macintosh. Brown's Hippo-C C compiler was a leading software development environment for the Mac and Atari ST computer systems.
Brown is known among classic video game fans for his design and programming of several best-selling games for Imagic, including Star Wars for ColecoVision, and Beauty & the Beast, Nova Blast, and Moonsweeper for Mattel's Intellivision.
In the mid-1980s, Brown developed the ADAP SoundRack system, a pioneering direct-to-hard-disk audio recording system that replaced the traditional method of tape-splice sound editing. ADAP was used to create and edit soundtracks of Hollywood movies and TV shows, including Born on the Fourth of July, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Die Hard, The Cosby Show, Falcon Crest, and the pilot episode of Beverly Hills 90210. ADAP was used by recording artists Peter Gabriel, Fleetwood Mac, The Pointer Sisters, Mötley Crüe, David Bowie, and Natalie Cole among others. Utilizing his ADAP technology, Brown consulted on sound projects for The Walt Disney Company and Toshiba, and later worked as a telecommunications cryptography expert with National Semiconductor to help build hardware implementations of DS3 algorithms.
In January 2012, the World Economic Forum in Davos honored Brown's energy efficiency inventions as a Technology Pioneer Award Nominee. Brown's innovations in smartphone apps won the CTIA Smartphone Emerging Technology Award in May 2012. Brown's telecommunications technologies have been used to connect more than 1 billion minutes of phone calls and are used in millions of voicemail accounts.
Brown has created dozens of U.S. and internationally patented inventions in the fields of cybersecurity, telecommunications, mobile phone apps, virtual workforce, electric vehicles, LED lighting, 3D cameras, renewable fuels, and online music distribution.
In 2008, Brown invented WebDiet, a method of using mobile phones to count food consumption to improve health. The WebDiet app was recognized as the first app to count calories and automate meal coaching.
Early life and education
Brown's parents were both native West Virginians. His father, Foster Brown, was a professor of statistics and psychology from Wheeling, West Virginia while his mother, Barbara, was an elementary school teacher from Tunnelton, West Virginia. Brown has stated of his upbringing, "I'm proud of my West Virginia heritage, where my family tree has deep roots dating back to the founding of our nation, and I treasure many memories from times spent in the lush countryside of my parents' hometowns."
Much of Brown's upbringing was in the northernmost Appalachian town of Oneonta where his father worked as a professor and taught a variety of subjects at SUNY Oneonta. Brown attended Oneonta High School, during which time he began programming and selling personal computer systems, and published his first computer article in Byte (magazine). In 2013, he was honored with a permanent plaque on Oneonta High School's Wall of Distinction for his accomplishments in business and technology.
Brown graduated from Cornell University in 1983, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. While at Cornell, Brown was awarded a Hughes Aircraft Bachelor of Science Undergraduate Fellowship.
Brown’s philanthropic involvements include the endowment of a named scholarship at Soka University of America (Aliso Viejo, California), support for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Aviation Safety Lab & Library, and private sponsorship of underprivileged students in South America.
Brown participates as a speaker, technology judge and advisor in communities including the Israel Conference, the World Economic Forum, TED (conference), Google and MIT Hackathons, Digital Life Design Munich and DLD Tel Aviv Conferences, the Web Summit Dublin, TechCrunch, CTIA - The Wireless Association, AlwaysOn ("Networking the Global Silicon Valley"), El Financiero (Bloomberg), and the Mita Institute Tech Talks.
Brown is an advisory committee member of the Progressive X Prize for automobile innovation including new fuel technologies and electric car development, an advisor to the MITA Institute Venture Fund, as well as an advisor to Gener8, a stereoscopic 3D movie company with film credits including The Amazing Spider-Man and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Brown is a licensed private pilot and is active in the development of new airplane, rocket, and electric vehicle designs.
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