For a long time, my dream has been to solve homelessness. That dream led me to begin researching experimental housing communities and eventually stumbling upon using retired cruise-ships as an affordable housing solution. The ships are renovated, docked permanently to land, and connected to city power, water, and sewage, so that they are essentially converted into a waterfront housing complex.
Unfortunately, after years of research I’m not sure that cruise ships are a good fit for the complicated needs of the homeless. It is however a PERFECT fit for millennials, entrepreneurs, and community driven people looking for a more affordable housing solution. Thus CommuniShip was born.
CommuniShip is a modern take on affordable housing, where residents receive an all-inclusive housing experience with free food, laundry, WiFi, and 100’s of weekly activities for free along with their rent. The ship is not just a place to live, but a place to work, make friends, and entertain guests from around the world. CommuniShip has more beds (1,500) than the largest housing complex in America and more space (100,000sq ft) than the largest entertainment complex in the world. And it can be profitable for less the typical affordable housing costs in most major metropolitan cities.
I’ve partnered with my friend Shawn Bolour on this project who comes from the affordable housing industry and brought in some new partners in the Maritime industry who have been managing and operating cruise ships for 20+ years. Together we are forming a consulting company, CommuniShip LLC, and will be looking to form a non-profit, CommuniShip.org, which will be looking to own the first CommuniShip. If successful, we look forward to helping many others launch CommuniShip-like projects in the future.
We’re planning to launch CommuniShip in 2019 with a GoFundMe page and hope to build a community of people around the project who we can work with on things. The biggest X factor for our first ship is where it will be located. We believe the best cities would be Hawaii, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, San Francisco, or Miami, and are actively looking for a city that will take us in to launch the first ship. Please reach out to us if you think you can help — hello@CommuniShip.Org
CommuniShip is my 10th company and 3rd non-profit.
For the last 2 years I’ve worked in the blockchain industry, first as the founder of distributed computing company and later as an event producer to the largest conferences in the industry.
I continue to work in the space through my consultancy, Token Society, which organizes community experiences, advises on strategy and communications, and helps companies plan and manage their fundraising roadshows.
My main client currently is CBC Casper, which is the major upgrade to the Ethereum chain. I get to work side by side with Vlad Zamfir and help guide what will hopefully be the future of core technology of the blockchain industry.
For fundraising efforts, I also have my series 82 license for selling securities and am one of the few licensed professionals in the industry.
the Photon network (akash)
I spent 2017 learning about crypto currencies and building a distributed computing copmany in the space, The Akash Network.
Akash was a Hybrid Cloud Service Provider on the Blockchain. We allowed any cloud service provider (AWS, Azure, Packet, etc) to sell computing power on our network, where developers could purchase services. That’s the simple version, the technical part is that none of these providers work well together and we automated the DevOps work to allow these companies to work together and moved between each providers Spot Instance prices so that our clients were always getting the best price possible. The end result was a Cloud Service Provider that was up to 90% cheaper than standard AWS services with the same quality of service.
We built Akash on the blockchain, but investors never came. We threw the parties, gave the talks, and eventually launched the product, but for some reason, it never inspired the right people. We built great tech with Akash and we’re confident someone will end up using it. I left the project in mid-2018 to get a broker-dealer license, while Akash continues to try and find product/market fit.
I spent much of 2016 and early 2017 learning about the VR industry and eventually building VR Worldwide. VRW is an entertainment company that builds VR Arcades, VR Arcade Operating Software, and VR Arcade games, all of which are on display in our VR Arcades. I built the company with my good friend Ben Taller, although neither one of us currently work in the company, as our investors thought they would do a better job running it then us.
VR Worldwide is still in operation today and is the largest VR Entertainment center in the US. As of mid-2018, we’ve raised over $5,000,000 in venture funding and are expanding the concept internationally.
A Better San Francisco
I spent most of 2014 and 2015 learning about homelessness and starting my first non-profit organization, A Better San Francisco. ABSF was a community group that I used to launch most of my non-profit initiative work including the Homeless Solutions Town Hall, ShelterTech, and Transition Centers.
Many of the things my team and I researched led us to discovering new solutions to affordable housing and in many ways, culminated in my current company, CommuniShip. You can learn more about my work with ABSF on my Non-profit work page.
AngelHack // Hackathon.io // HACKcelerator
In 2011, I moved to San Francisco with big tech dreams and started AngelHack, an hackathon events company, which scaled to being the largest hackathon organizer in the world. From 2011-2013 I launched AngelHack Hackathons across 50 cities around the world with over 100,000 developers attending my events.
At the same time, I built Hackathon.io, an online hackathon organization tool, and HACKcelerator, an global accelerator program for top AngelHack hackathon teams that wanted to build companies out of their hackathon projects. Hackathon.io was sold to AngelHack when I left in 2013 to build something else, which unfortunately didn’t work out like I planned.
AngelHack still produces the top rated hackathons in the world today for MasterCard, Paypal, EOS, QTUM, and dozens of other corporate clients. Our HACKcelerator program has also helped over 100 teams launch companies some of which have gone on to raise millions of dollars before selling to Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others.
I spent 2008-2011 building one of the first smart-phone repair businesses with my sisters friend, Ari Meltzer. Ari and I were super early to the phone repair business and if we were smarter, we could have built a huge company out of it like IBreakYouFix. However, we didn’t anything other than how to watch YouTube videos on how to fix phones, buy cheap supplies from China, and post CraigsList ads to get clients.
We built Phone Nurses into a great life-style business, but after a few years I could tell I didn’t know how to scale the company and packed my bags to move out to San Francisco and learn how to use technology to make more scalable products.
In 2007, I built Weekend Gator, a bus company that went from Gainesville, FL (UF Gators) to South Florida on the weekends. Similar to Bolt Bus, Weekend Gator sold tickets and made multiple stops in cities where there was demand. We were widely loved by the student body at University of Florida and if you were there in 2007, you probably remember us.
After 6 months of operations my partner made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and I sold Weekend Gator to him. He owned the buses and saw all the money that could be created and basically forced me out of the company. It sucked. He later sold Weekend Gator and his bus company for $50,000,000, which was CONSIDERABLY higher than what I sold Weekend Gator to him for.
Nocturnal Promotions // Elite Promotions
In 2005 I started my first real company, Nocturnal Promotions, a nightclub and advertising company at the University of Florida. Not only was Nocturnal my first company, it was my first events company, something I would have a knack for (producing and promoting) my entire life. Together with my best friend AJ we threw some of the greatest parties at what was considered at the time, the #1 party school in the country.
Nocturnal eventually rebranded to Elite. And we eventually purchased a party bus. And a nightclub. And I left real quick because living that life was CRAZY! Still, those were some great years and I’m still best friends with AJ to this day.