Walter De Brouwer is the founder and CEO of the Palo-Alto based computational linguistics company doc.ai. Doc.ai is building a robo-doctor, via medical dialog systems for personalized healthcare, a conversational AI that follows biological blood markers across the phenome and the genome.
Walter moved to Silicon Valley in 2011 to found Scanadu Inc. a $57m venture-backed mobile health company, with the mission to revolutionize consumer healthcare with people centric mobile medical devices using machine learning. He served as the CEO of the company until April 2016.
He sits on the board of Scanadu Inc. and the Hong Kong-based Generation Life Inc. (blockchain-enabled InsuranceTech). He is an advisor for Ubiome Inc. and Pat.inc.
Walter’s career as an entrepreneur started 27 years ago as the Publisher of Computer Magazine sold to VNU now 3i Group and Riverland Networks sold to Keyware Technologies.
Together with Nicholas Negroponte (founder and Chairman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Media Lab) he founded Starlab SA, Europe’s premier Deep Future research lab on wearable computing, Quantum computation, computational genomics and MPEG-21 (IP was sold to Philips). In 1993 he co-founded the European internet backbone company PING out of the European UNIX Users Group later EUnet International Ltd. which merged with Qwest Communications and went from NASDAQ to NYSE now Centurylink. In 1994 he had cofounded one of the pioneers of online job boards in Europe called Jobscape which merged into Stepstone ASA and completed an IPO in March 2000. In 2002 he took over Patronale Capitalisation NV (in 2007 sold to Fork Capital NV) and made it into a Fintech Life insurer, specializing in synthetic risk. In 2007 Nicholas Negroponte appointed De Brouwer to set up the EMEA branch of MIT’s NGO One Laptop per Child (OLPC). De Brouwer negotiated with 14 Ministers of Finance and 9 Presidents in South and West Africa and eventually The Learning Center was transferred from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston to Kigali (Rwanda) Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). The XO was the first 802.11 mesh-driven device in Africa.
Walter earned a master’s degree in Formal Linguistics (University of Ghent, Belgium) and a Ph.D. in Computational Semantics (“Bio-semiotics: The Biology of Language. The search for the atomic unit of meaning”) from the Catholic University of Tilburg, the Netherlands. He started as academic lecturer at the Jesuit University of Antwerp, Belgium (Machine Translation and Chomsky’s TGG), but left in 1989 to become an entrepreneur.