On The Cutting Edge

Who will lead the next tech revolution? B.e. takes a look at entrepreneurs, researchers,and scientists inspired to change the way we work and live.

Motor Co.
“Car, call mom,” might be the words you speak the next time you climb into a Ford vehicle equipped with technology developed by Bridgeman. Her line of convenient, affordable auto features will go into production over the next few years. One such product is My Connected World, an application that allows consumers to connect their offices and homes via PDAs and other mobile devices such as cellular phones. Bridgeman’s Jaguar is already outfitted with the gizmo, which allows her to manage her professional and personal lives more efficiently through voice-recognition, calendar, and contact management functions. Another project spearheaded by Bridgeman and her Dearborn, Michigan-based team is Enhanced Crash Notification, which is currently being used by the Houston Police Department. Each police car is equipped with sensors and instruments that transmit critical information, such as the severity of an auto accident, to local emergency services units and trauma centers.

A graduate of the General Motors Institute with a B.S. in electrical engineering, Bridgeman also holds M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering from Georgia Tech. “I’ve always really liked the electronics end of the business,” she says. “Right now, the strategy portion is also something I [like] because I’m able to show the value of what technology is going to do.”

Colin Hill
Age 30 / Occupation CEO /
Gene Network Sciences As head of Gene Network Sciences (GNS), Hill is on the front line in the war against life-ravaging diseases such as sickle cell anemia and cancer. The Ithaca, New York-based entrepreneur has developed the largest data-driven model of a human cancer cell, enabling scientists to speed up research and drug development.

GNS has developed a suite of applications that aid in the creation of data-driven models of human diseases. By doing so, scientists can create experiments in silico, using the computer rather than traditional test-tube methods known as the “wet” lab approach. Applications include BioMine, a data-mining tool for analyzing DNA, as well as Diagrammatic Cell Language (DCL) and Visual Cell, which enable researchers to engage in large-scale cellular modeling.

Through such technological applications, Hill believes he can compete with big-name pharmaceutical companies, which generally have mammoth budgets and huge R&D staffs. With GNS, which grossed $150,000 in 2002, Hill is hoping to rapidly develop treatments and cures for cancer, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia—century-long scourges on the African American community.

Donnie Henderson
Age 46 / Occupation Communications Services Researcher / AT&T Labs
For Henderson, daily life is often the inspiration for the projects he develops. Henderson, who holds six patents for telephony services and systems, designs with convenience in mind. One day while working on a special project, for instance, phone calls kept interrupting him, and he needed an effective way to manage the volume of calls. That sparked the idea for Phone Man, a telecommunications tool that lets users remotely control and monitor calls through a PC. The technology enables your computer to “talk” to a phone. He built a prototype for his personal use.

Henderson, who works in Voice Over IP in Florham Park, New

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