top of page



May 2018 - October 2018

Exploration of Blockchain through collaborative problem-solving. 

Blockchain technology, which underlies Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies, holds the promise of transforming a broad range of use cases. Through it, third-party trust is replaced by code and mathematical proof, making it possible to reach consensus about data without a central authority.


With blockchain, as with every technological innovation, we are given an opportunity to improve our lives and create a new narrative.  In this Live Well program, we seek to educate as well as bring together vibrant minds to identify key challenges, form relationships for success and construct open-source solutions. The entire life cycle of ideas is supported as we engage at the forum, invent at the design-thinking all-in hackathon, and develop during the incubation period. Healthcare and the environment are key themes of the Live Well Challenges but all topic areas that relate to living well would be pertinent.


All are invited to the activities under this program. We hope to assemble students, technologists, entrepreneurs, educators, creatives, business minds and strategist, lovers of r+d, designers, policy makers, investors, and other interested members of the San Diego community.


UC San Diego Office of Innovation & Commercialization provides campus-wide innovation and entrepreneurism support, building a dynamic entrepreneurial community and promoting a vibrant regional ecosystem.


The Basement provides creative innovation space, mentorship, entrepreneurship programming and resources in support of UC San Diego's innovation, entrepreneurial and change maker focus.


The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur at UC San Diego encompasses a series of programs, centers and initiatives all working toward a common goal: preparing engineers to become change makers and technical leaders who drive innovation within organizations both large and small.

A day-and-a-half workshop by UC San Diego with IEEE San Diego Chapter and IEEE Standards Association, featuring lectures, use cases, applied skill learning and panel discussions from leading experts focused on key healthcare verticals including genomics, the health supply chain, clinical trials, and medical devices.  Related Event, separate registration required.  A limited number of spaces available to qualifying incubated teams. 




The Live Well Challenges represent ideas that promote “living well” by using blockchain technology to
address problems in healthcare, the environment and other areas impacting the quality of life for the
individual, community, enterprise or planet. Such ideas can be implemented by building blockchain
applications on Ethereum, a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts. Smart contracts that execute upon location confirmation can access real-world information by using the ecosystem of devices and decentralized location oracle of XYO Network.


Example: Improving medical care efficiency by incorporating the XYO Network into the operational framework of a hospital to reduce failures in communication and record keeping that result in patient injury and death. See ”XYO Network in Hospitals” use case brief.

"FirstNet is poised to transform the future of public safety communications for first responders -- including firefighters, law enforcement and emergency medical services personnel in all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories, and Washington D.C.  Through a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, AT&T will build, deploy, operate, and provide services on the nationwide public safety broadband network."



News   Authentication



San Diego cohort

VeriCrypt is an integrated solution for tracking coins in personal wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges, that curates a verified news feed based on your crypto-purchases and advise you about risky investments. We will create a visual display of user holdings, equipt with quantitative data analysis and graph analysis. By using machine learning to analyze text in news articles, and classifying them on a scale from objective to non-objective, we can find the most objective news sources and present them first, saving unnecessary frustrations or overexcitement resulting from sensationalist language in many news sources today. The curated news feed will give users an objective glance at their current holdings, and help inform their future investments. We use the utility technology of blockchain in order to store the user data we collect in a secure, decentralized way, and to incentivize return users.. Finally, in order to keep this service available on the web, users consent to sharing some of their personal data with us, and we then use machine learning to process the data, and sell this aggregate, not individual, data to other companies in the space. As such, VeriCrypt is beneficial for the entire crypto-ecosystem.  


Grant Nelson, CTO

Grant recently graduated UCSD with a BS in Cognitive Science, specializing in Computation, and minoring in Business, from The Rady School, and Studio Art. He works to better the internet space through pursuit of decentralization technologies and projects that give a tangible non-zero sum gain to users, makers, and backers. With a particular interest in user security and data transparency, he wants to reward people for sharing opinions and personal data with information on their investment landscape. It is unsafe to browse freely because there are too many scams and threats online, specifically in the crypto space. Grant wants to use machine learning in order to label and filter out misleading articles, fake hype, and biased news. He hopes to create a platform where people can feel safer about their cryptocurrency and token holdings, with easy access to beneficial news relating to their holdings, and warnings about higher-risk investment. Grant is a believer in blockchain technology, but acknowledges that data violations, media misinformation, and outright scams are problems developers cannot ignore in the space. Grant is building VeriCrypt because it will start to solve these problems by perpetuating better information and by increasing our awareness of these risk inducing factors.

Zubatiy headshot.jpg

Tamara Zubatiy, CEO

Tamara recently graduated UCSD with a BS in Cognitive Science with emphasis on Machine Learning and Human Computer Interaction with High Distinction. With VeriCrypt, she hopes to create a service that uses machine learning to curate news based on users’ crypto holdings, and rate the news available according to how biased, sensationalist and/or objective it is. She is using machine learning to rate news articles based on certain criteria identified as being “objective”. After she trains a model to classify an initial training set of articles as objective or not, the model will be able to predict whether any new article is objective. She also strives to design intuitive interfaces that people want to use, and encourages the team to talk to and share with users throughout the process in A/B testing and focus groups. She is interested in this project because by identifying and thoughtfully displaying “false” or non-objective news in the cryptocurrency space, VeriCrypt can save many real users time and money, while giving them more trust in the crypto-ecosystem. She is devoted to user privacy, and by using machine learning to analyze user data, can ensure data privacy, because no single user’s data will ever be revealed. Finally, Tamara is interested in this as a blockchain application because of blockchain-based incentives, which allow VeriCrypt to get more data, making its models smarter. In the wild space of cryptocurrency, Tamara want VeriCrypt to be the trusted source of verified news for any personal investor or company.


Robert Park,

Chief Research Advisor

Robert graduated with PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M. He specializes in numerical analysis, optimization and mathematical programming. As a researcher, he has published a paper that was cited by Nature and Science. As a lifelong learner of cutting-edge technologies, he has an intrinsic sense of business. He believes the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem have huge potential to solve various technological challenges such as AI, IoT and autonomous driving. He has a passion for creating a decentralized crypto platform where every participant can be incentivized. Researcher, developer, programmer, crypto investor, and advisor

Malama Me:





San Diego cohort

Malama Me is a web application that will connect people from opposite sides of the fence, to help one another meet their basic needs. There will be three types of users. The first user, Covert Leader, self identifies as in need to meet their basic needs. The second user, Overt Leader, would like to be a mentor to the Covert Leader in helping them create and achieve goals. It is my hypothesis that the Covert Leader will fortuitously end up helping the Overt Leader in ways yet to be discovered. After being interviewed by Malama Me organizers, the Covert and the Overt will be manually matched up to be a mentor-mentee pair. After the initial meeting, the pair will create a shared profile where they create goals. For instance, a Covert Leader may create a goal of wanting to move into an apartment in Pacific Beach. The project goal's milestones could be find temporary shelter, apply for jobs, etc. Each week, the two will be in contact with each other and indicate their progress towards the goals. These indications and summaries will be publicly posted. The third type of user, the Observer, will reward and encourage the pair's progress or story by allocating points, tokens, or money.


Kelly Chess, CEO

Kelly Chess grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii and studied Hospitality Business Administration at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Her first serious gig was as an Account Manager for, a Dutch travel metasearch engine. Working for a site with millions of viewers worldwide, she marveled at the web’s power to connect people and disseminate information. Curious to understand what was happening behind the scenes, she started dabbling with Python. After programming further at LEARN Academy, she went on to gain professional software development experience at a healthcare technology company for two years. Kelly has been a dedicated practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga for almost 10 years and is addicted to self improvement and experimenting with the limits of her body, mind, and spirit.



Scott Scheper

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Marketer & Blockchain Technologist

XYO Network

Greg Horowittz

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Innovation Ecosystem Architect, Venture Capitalist, Serial Entrepreneur, Author, and Global Innovation Policy Adviser

Dawn Barry

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Co-Founder and President at

Luna DNA 

Victoria Cajipe

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Innovation and Commericalization Manager University of California San Diego 

Steven McCloskey

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Founder and CEO at Nanome Inc.

Tim Mackey

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Associate Professor at University of California San Diego, School of Medicine

Annie Brown

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Marketing Executive & Entrepreneurship Mentor

Julian Bryant

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Contract iOS developer and lawyer. 

 Organizer for Legal Hackers and Startup Weekend.

Lolita Taub

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

B2B Enterprise Tech · AI · Blockchain · VC · TEDx Speaker · World Economic Forum Global Shaper

Jacques Chirazi

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Sustainability Expert and Policy Adviser: I enable and support the development of innovative technologies and companies

Mike Sherbakov

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Founder, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Adventurer, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Speaker, Consultant, Investor

Amanda Toombs

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Human Capital • Social Impact • Communication • Technology & Society

Brian Dirkmaat

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Founder Coeptus Law focuses on new venture startups: formation, angel and VC financing, IP licensing and registration, and nirvana at M&A

William Gleim

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

ÐArchitect at ConsenSys

Engineering complex adaptive (decentralized) systems. Assembling a highly decentralized society with a focus on security (creation of ConsenSys Diligence), protocol and privacy advancements (creation of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance ConsenSys technical team) and organization structures as adaptive systems.

Yuan Wang

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Technologist, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Professional, Manifestation Architect.

Gloria Negrete

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

|Strategist |Connector |Collaborator |

University of California San Diego. Professional with years of experience in strategy work, business development, higher education programming, and startups.

Dennis Abremski

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Executive Director, Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, Jacobs School of Engineering, UC San Diego

Amber Brandner

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Human first tech, innovation, inclusion and community engagement. 

Director AbsoluteSUM

CoFounder of Trippin Inc. 

Patricia Stitson

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Learning Experience Designer. Organizer TEDxSolanaBeach 

Mark Lovett

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Organizer, TEDxSanDiego | Speaker Coach | Storytelling Workshops

Aaron Cantwell

Personal + Professional Success Catalyst, partnership development.

Jens Albers

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Jens Albers is co-founder at Decentrl.Agency where he specialises in helping blockchain startups develop marketing strategies.

Cecile Baird

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Cecile Baird co-founded Decentrl.Agency a boutique marketing agency for blockchain startups following 5 years of working in crypto with over 40 startups.

Mia Mian

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Works with organizations like Startup Weekend, 1 Million Cups, Startup Grind, Women Entrepreneurship Day and Global Shapers

Sarah Lubeck

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Communications | Digital Marketing | Economic Development

Eric Gasser

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Founding Partner @ SEED San Diego

Tsung-Ting Kuo

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Postdoctoral Scholar at UCSD Health Department of Biomedical Informatics 


Nicole Leandra

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Creative Director, Web Designer, Community Builder |, SD Venture Group, Startup San Diego, AdAstra Ventures

Sam Hessenauer

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Co-founder + Leading Blockchain Engineering @Nanome Inc.

Founder of Virtual Reality Club at UCSD

Max Howard

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Co-Founder + Blockchain Architect and Network Engineer @Nanome Inc.

Daniel Silvers

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

COO ICTE, A leading Fintech executive and market expert. I have specialized in building distributed electronic financial trading systems, research and analytics, hosted many smart algorithmic strategies on US and foreign electronic exchanges, and have been active in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space from it’s infancy. 

Alex Kaplin

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

CEO ICTE, American entrepreneur and Investor who during his 20+ year career has worked and managed some of the top financial institutions in the country as a specialist, market maker, trader and investor.

John Saboe

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Senior leader experienced in the development, management, and continuous improvement (cost andquality) of wireless telecommunications products and services.

Exploring the sum of our efforts



absolute sum

Our mission is to bring individuals who have the ability to implement solutions into the conversation early, building relationships with local and future partners from the days of problem identification and ideation.


We explore our absolute sum, by engaging communities in creative problem solving while embracing emerging technologies such as blockchain.


Absolute solutions are conceptualized during a weekend hackathon and develop with the support of an incubator, teams have access to an ongoing community, mentorship, resources, pathways to funding, and access to relationships with accelerators.


Absolute Sum is experimentation, exploration and unfolding story documenting the shift in the narrative of possibility.

Made Possible.




Blockchain Forum

Local blockchain company leaders and university researchers take part in a panel discussion about blockchain technology and its various applications.  Speakers include Dawn Barry (LunaDNA), Scott Scheper (XYO Network), Steve McCloskey (Nanome), Tim Mackey (UCSD Global Health Policy), Tsung-Ting Kuo (UCSD Biomedical Informatics), Victoria Cajipe (UCSD OIC), and Greg Horowitt (T2VC/UCSD). Cecile Baird reviewed social innovation and the opportunities within blockchain. This informational kickoff event is open to the public and aims to provide context for the weekend hackathon. Organizations 7CTOs, BC4G, ICTE, CPK Law Firm and on-campus resources exhibited. 

All in Hackathon

We gather individuals for conversations on problem identification and ideation. We have been building relationships with potential partners and collaborators who will provide mentorship. The hackathon is open to all.  The idea is to pull together minds from different backgrounds to imagine and implement blockchain solutions to the Live Well Challenges. To be eligible for the incubator program you must join a team at the hackathon. Selected hackathon teams/team members will be eligible for 4-6 free registrations to the May 24-25 Blockchain Applications in Healthcare workshop.


Amber Brandner: Absolute Sum Mission

Cecile Baird: Review of 10 Principles of BC4G

Sam H (Nanome): Intro to Ethereum & dApps 

Scott Scheper (XYO): XYO tools overview

Mike Sherbakov (Greatness Foundation) Transparency in Philanthropy

John Saboe FirstNET Challenges

Xavier Leonard, "Navigating Open Data"

Breakout: Question Everything

William Gleim of Consenys 

Lunch from Bella Vista Caffe Catering

Jacques Chirazzi, "BioMimicry + Blockchain"

Breakout: Big Idea

Yuan Wany (BCI) + Dave Taylor - "Tokenomics "

Annie Brown "How Blockchain Will Revolutionize Female Expression"

Breakout: Connecting Ideas + Story

Present Panelist: Eric Gasser, Lolita Taub, Erika Pingatore, and John Saboe 

Idea Pitches

Panel Discussion 

Julian Bryant,  Blockchain + Legal Considerations

Announce Ideas into Incubation at Bella Vista 

Blockchain Summer Incubator

Hosted by The Basement

Ongoing support for solution development is provided by a three-month incubator hosted at The Basement providing access to resources including physical space, mentorship and access to on-campus activities. XYO Network is also offering hacking space and onsite mentorship at their downtown facilities during incubation.  Teams who complete the incubator will be eligible for awards (including cash and sponsor issued tokens), further support and the opportunity to participate at San Diego innovation showcases and entrepreneurship events. 

Please reload

bottom of page