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Dr. Timothy T. Childs of ViruTech: “All money is not good money”

All money is not good money. A highly reputable investment broker firm came to our office with an interested investor on a Thursday. By the end of the meeting the investor agreed to invest more than 20 million dollars by mid of the next week. That Saturday that investor was on front page of the […]

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All money is not good money. A highly reputable investment broker firm came to our office with an interested investor on a Thursday. By the end of the meeting the investor agreed to invest more than 20 million dollars by mid of the next week. That Saturday that investor was on front page of the Tribune as being arrested by the federal government on funds embezzlement, etc. He went to prison! Our attorney stated that if they had invested the feds would have retrieved and frozen our bank accounts as well. It would have been a nightmare.


As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Timothy T Childs from ViruTech Systems Inc.

Dr. Timothy T Childs is the founder of ViruTech Systems Inc. After helping lead his undergraduate football team (Florida A&M University-FAMU) to a National Championship, Dr. Childs became a graduate research scientist at Bell Labs while attending Stanford University. His dual Bell Labs/Stanford University physics research training led to a series of semi-conductor innovations and patent development experiences at Honeywell Research Center in Minnesota. Some career highlights of Childs include the successful launch of TLC as a Honeywell Inc. independent spinoff and its selection by the Pentagon Special Program Office in 1994. As well as his work with Lockheed Martin developing futuristic Millimeterwave technologies for the U.S. military and commercial industries. His latest venture, ViruTech Systems Inc. MMW Rapid Virus Detector (MRVDS) provides actual virus detection within seconds targeted for > 99.9% accuracy. The product is a result of converting next-generation military technologies to addressing medical issues.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Growing up as the last of eight children, my father, as an entrepreneur and pastor, imparted his philosophy about the importance of religion and knowledge to me. Salvation and education are the two most important items in my life. Not only did I drink the Kool-Aid, but my thirst for learning was insatiable. At home, I was always asking questions, wearing down my older siblings and parents to teach me as much as they possibly could. Around the house, I continually tried to invent solutions and repair electronics, appliances, automobiles, etc. It was no surprise my brother taught me how to do simple algebra and long division with a slide ruler before starting first grade. In my integrated elementary and junior high school classes, teachers either loved me or were annoyed by my persistence to learn. There was no hesitancy in my asking challenging questions and “I do not know” answers were green lights for doing research to find out the answers. Even my “cool” teammates of various sports knew that math and physics were what really kept me motivated to go to high school, then college. In graduate school, the seemingly unlimited access of doing innovative physics and technical instrumentation development at Bell Labs and Stanford University in California was like a child learning the various types of goodies in a candy store. Meanwhile, I went to church religiously, paid my tithes and thanked God for my blessings. In fact, I helped design and physically build one of the largest churches in the East Palo Alto area.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

We have captured the Sars-Cov2 Virus Multi- fingerprint signature. We have the profiles versus concentration (level of infection). Therefore, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), ViruTech Systems Inc. intends to instantly detect viruses and other biological invaders in saliva and other human samples. We hope to provide the level of infection within seconds of the test, on the spot, without shipping to a lab. Rapid testing can be done autonomously without chemicals, swaps, needles or multiplying the virus. The objective is to help stop the pandemic spread and help the economic recovery of various business sectors as the vaccination rolls out.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I thought when I won my first million-dollar military contract, the company and I would have no financial issues. Within 30 days after being awarded more than a million-dollar Air Force contract, I was sleeping in a phone booth at Washington D.C. Reagan Airport penniless before going to a Pentagon mandatory debriefing the next day. Lesson learned — for small businesses, positive cash flow management is key to success and survival, period!

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

Not including my awesome siblings and parents, I have been gifted with god-sent mentors including my present advisory board. I would like to specifically highlight:

Mr. Stafford, a retired Air Force test pilot who kept me on the edge of my seat with excitement for physics as my high school physics teacher.

My FAMU National Champion Football Coach Rudy Hubbard & Pastor Virgil Robinson of East Palo Alto California, both taught me that success is a committed mindset, personal discipline to execute and reach the goal. They used opposite language and temperament to teach the same message.

Fred Green, former president of Ault Electronics, Clint Larson and Mannie Jackson (both former Honeywell executives) instilled that I must be accountable for taking care of business well and with integrity.

My key mentors for this project specifically are Dr. Neville V. Smith and Dr. James West (both former Bell Laboratories scientist). They exposed, taught and supported me to focus on meaningful innovative research and product development. They did this as I was a repeated intern traveling and working at various national laboratories, interacting with research and technology inventors, pioneers and Noble Prize Laureates. I used to regularly play “Go” with Nobel Prize Laurette Philip Anderson. The hard work, interactions, conversations and relationships were priceless!

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Disrupting technology in an industry is inevitable as we evolve and address issues and problems facing mankind. However, a positive or negative disruption in technology and industry can be determined by the quality of life resulting from such disruption.

Negative and positive examples include:

Nuclear/atomic bomb: Although developing such a disruptive technology was inevitable, the quality, the quality of life, fear and the ability to destroy mankind is quite high-risk and a negative result for mankind. We all may have been better off if such disruptive technology was never invented.

NMR Nuclear magnetic resonance-Now MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Provide precise details of your body parts, especially soft tissues, with help of magnetic fields and radio waves. This has provided diagnosis that has saved numerous lives.

Digital Music: Although it allows accessibility and transfer of music like never before the quality of the sound cannot compare to the analog sounds from the Vinyl records. This disruptive technology to the music industry is a worthwhile compromise.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

All money is not good money. A highly reputable investment broker firm came to our office with an interested investor on a Thursday. By the end of the meeting the investor agreed to invest more than 20 million dollars by mid of the next week. That Saturday that investor was on front page of the Tribune as being arrested by the federal government on funds embezzlement, etc. He went to prison! Our attorney stated that if they had invested the feds would have retrieved and frozen our bank accounts as well. It would have been a nightmare.

Do not ignore the fly in the soup, as the soup may be worthless. A major customer wanted to combine one of our patented technology with another company’s unique technology for a major contracted deal. When we reviewed the other companies’ technology, the physics made no sense. When they said their product defies the laws of physics, we passed on the project. Three years later they were arrested on fraud.

Customer management is as important as project mgmt. Doing a project beyond the contract on promise to pay not only jeopardizes the financial position of the company but strains the customer/supplier relationship. As such, we found customer management is as important or more important! Cash is king and it helps build strong relationships.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Yes, we have a few more innovations we hope to be forthcoming includinginstant detection and analysis of viruses or other diseases by scanning the individual directly. However, first thing first, we are focused on instant detection in human samples.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking?

No

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Give the best contribution you can during this one shot of life.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Have more physicists doing medical research. Instead of medicating and treatments for medical conditions, physicists have a tendency to want to figure out the physics/cause and eliminate or cure the issue. (But I still want a medical doctor around so the patient lives). As a physicist can detect the composition of Mars and the life of a star light years away, there should be no issues remotely detecting viruses and bacteria in a person a few feet way.

How can our readers follow you online?

Check out our website: www.virutechsystems.com and LinkedIn

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