Frank Ricotta, CEO/Co-Founder of BurstIQ exclusive interview at Converge2Xcelerate Conference (Boston, MA)
- BurstIQ is the first blockchain company to be accepted into the ITA strategic partnership program
- In 2018, BurstIQ was ranked #1 enterprise level blockchain solution in the world
- BurstIQ goal is to be the most trusted platform to store your data
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Frank Ricotta, CEO/Co-Founder of BurstIQ
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:01
Hi, Ed Kim with Traders Network Show. We’re back here at the converge to accelerate conference. We’re very pleased to have with us right now. Frank Ricotta, founder and CEO of BurstIQ. Frank. Hello. Thanks for joining us. BurstIQ is arguably the most successful enterprise scale blockchain platform to exist in the entire healthcare sector. BurstIQ is a global data network that connects solutions to each other as well as the people they serve. BurstIQ enables health applications and services to incorporate complex data, ownership, consent and monetization at scale. Frank, congratulations on all the success. I know you’ve done it on a relatively shoestring budget up to now. But I understand that you did recently close your first institutional round.
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 00:56
That’s a pretty big milestone from the standpoint of crossing over from the blockchain space into traditional investor and institutional space.
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 01:05
Yeah, very few companies have been able to do that at all. And how long would that will the money you raised take you?
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 01:15
Well, I think on the short end, it’s 18 months and it’s probably more like a two year runway for us and it depends on really the acceleration of growth over the next 12 months. The faster we go, the more we’ll be able to invest in the market.
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 01:31
Tell us about the past year. You and I have been talking for a couple of years and you were already at a level of progress that really nobody else had made in the sector two years ago. But your past two years have been extraordinary. Tell us about that progress.
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 01:48
Sure. When we were talking, it was really towards the tail end of the hype cycle around all the token offerings, right. And we, we actually looked at doing a token raise and didn’t think the market was really mature enough to support that on a broader base, particularly in the health space because normally at folks that understand blockchain and really more a cryptocurrency centric. And those that understand health are tend to be open to blockchain but a little hesitant. So we kind of retrenched a little bit and went back and started really started to sell into customers and, and helping them do things they couldn’t do without some of the features of the technology. And started doing that in late 2017 able to kind of cross over to profitability in ‘18 and really seeing some really good solid growth both on the enterprise customer side as well as a really solid basis with our development community.
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 02:45
Yeah. You’ve developed some partnerships with some extraordinary entities both at the government and organizational level. Talk about that.
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 02:54
We set out with the strategy to really kind of enter the market through partnerships. So that was our view, the only way to really deliver a validated solution. So we started with large enterprises and large health systems and particularly our corner, our corner cornerstone partners and pair of kelp and empiric health is a company that was spun out of inner mountain healthcare. So it was a great partnership to really launch the product. But we also really pushed this whole public private partnership side of life because you know, dealing with health and, and governments really have a vested interest in regulating health and health care delivery. So we created some public private partnerships at the state and local level, particularly starting in the state of Colorado with the health information exchanges. Have developed a national public private partnership with the department of commerce on facilitating awareness and economic growth for US-based blockchain companies, particularly enterprise based blockchain companies. And also have a couple of international public private partnerships, a UN global compact really fans of that mission of also team with the OECD on regular policy issues internationally, both healthcare and FinTech. And support some humanitarian efforts, Humanity 2.0 in conjunction with a private organization in the Vatican.
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 04:17
That’s terrific. Now are you seeing, you mentioned the OECD and, and we’ve spoken to a few other folks here about their efforts in Europe. It does seem like companies are having some more success in Europe breaking ground than they are in the United States. Why do you think that is?
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 04:35
Well, I, I think the regulatory bodies in Europe were initially resistant to the whole blockchain current crypto currency space. I think they got on board a little quicker, particularly with some of the outlying jurisdictions like Bermuda as an example that we’re able to pioneer some, some really innovative regulatory and, and governance legislation. But the main bodies, particularly the financial regulatory bodies have really begun to embrace it for a lot of different reasons. Some for increasing liquidity of some of the currencies as well as the whole anti-money laundering approach. They see it as a very valuable method.
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 05:22
Let’s talk about data privacy. Obviously a very big issue recently. Going back to even earlier this spring, when Facebook got slapped for exposing user health data how do you allay or address the concerns that at a consumer level that people may have about how their data is being used?
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 05:45
I mean, that’s a great question. And really one of the foundational problems and ushering the next generation health and overall health access is, data’s kind of key in that liquidity of data. But you want that, you want a person to own and control it. And that was our foundational premise. We actually started the company with the premise around privacy and data privacy. We, you know, myself and my co-founder really got tired of our data being stolen. And when I received the notice from the US government that all my background security clearances from a previous life for compromise we decided we wanted to do something about it. And at the end of the day, there’s no more valuable data on the planet than health data. And so we started again with that premise that even in a small individual data elements for the owner of the data to know how it’s used and it’s built foundationally in the platform.
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 06:37
And do you think that’s why blockchain seems to have gotten more traction in healthcare than in any other large industry? Is it because of the foundation foundational element of the data?
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 06:49
For data? Yeah. And data and data sharing. You know, privacy is a key part. And we’ve seen GDPR on the consumer side in Europe and we’ve seen even tougher legislation in California and other States are really pushing that forward. I think we’ll get national legislation around that soon. But we’ve always had it with HIPAA here in the US right. And, and through other jurisdictions have always had some regulatory oversight on, on personal health data. But what we’re seeing is really a push from the research side of life that and you starting to see some really great strides on the research based on data. And then this whole wave of data coming at us from precision and personalized medicine all the elements, you know, testing, phenom and, and even so there are several, there are biomarkers.
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 07:38
Okay. So now that you’ve got this, a bit of a war chest institutional war trust in you looking out over the next two years, where do you hope, what do you hope to accomplish? Where do you hope to be in the next two years?
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 07:51
Yeah, I think I think there are really three things that at a big level, we want to be viewed as the most trusted platform to house the house and manage your private privacy data. And that not only is health data, but maybe extension to some, some of the ID has electronic ID had test stations that really make up who you are. But second, you know, we want to see broad scale adoption on an enterprise level with our partners and really penetrate more all the verticals within health, not just the healthcare delivery side but biotech and pharma, medical research. And finally the third thing this is our big swing. We want to really turn on the inner exchange network, the ability for different enterprise applications to really share and for a person’s overall health profile to transcend applications and time.
Ed Kim – Host, Traders Network Show: 08:46
Terrific. We’ve been talking to Frank Ricotta, CEO of BurstIQ. Frank, thank you so much for your time.
Frank Ricotta – CEO/Founder, BurstIQ: 08:51
Oh, it’s a pleasure to catch up with you again. Thanks for everything.