Oklahoma Nanotechnology Company Secures $2.7M to Expand Manufacturing Capacity


Food and NT 4153936-3x2-340x227A Norman-based technology company has secured $2.7 million in financing to add staff and expand its production capacity.

SouthWest NanoTechnologies Inc. produces carbon nanotube materials used in printed electronics, energy storage and composites applications.

“We need to add to our capacity to meet the demand for our specialty multi-wall products driven by our strategic partnerships and distribution agreements,” company President Dave Arthur said in a news release.

“This additional funding will also be used for (research and development) to develop additional carbon nanotube materials and inks that meet customer specifications.”

SouthWest NanoTechnologies will use its new funding to expand its Norman plant and fill about eight available positions for scientists, engineers and technical support personnel.

Arthur said the company’s Norman plant has only one shift of workers, but he hopes to increase that to three by the end of the year to churn out more nanotubes.

“We’re shipping as much of that material as we can make,” he said.

The company is getting $1.7 million as part of a $4 million round of convertible notes.

The other $1 million is from a venture debt transaction.

Arthur said the company also intends to invest in ramping up its catalyst operations, which provide the feedstock to make nanotubes.

SouthWest NanoTechnologies has licensed its catalyst to an Asian nanotube manufacturer to serve that market, he said.

Such deals could be expanded to include manufacturers around the world as the technology becomes more widespread.

Dave Arthur w300-97e212016cc04a09d6d1ac403be54d47


Dave Arthur, SouthWest NanoTechnologies Inc. president




Arthur said in the next five years or so carbon nanotubes could be used to enhance cement and asphalt, reducing infrastructure costs and making it easier to detect cracks.

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Chairman Terry: “Nanotech is a true science race between the nations, and we should be encouraging the transition from research breakthroughs to commercial development.”

WASHINGTON, DCThe Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), today held a hearing on:

“Nanotechnology: Understanding How Small Solutions Drive Big Innovation.”




“Great Things from Small Things!” … We Couldn’t Agree More!


Subcommittee Examines Breakthrough Nanotechnology Opportunities for America

July 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, DCThe Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), today held a hearing on “Nanotechnology: Understanding How Small Solutions Drive Big Innovation.” Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is approximately 1 to 100 nanometers (one nanometer is a billionth of a meter). This technology brings great opportunities to advance a broad range of industries, bolster our U.S. economy, and create new manufacturing jobs. Members heard from several nanotech industry leaders about the current state of nanotechnology and the direction that it is headed.UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO - New $5 million lab

“Just as electricity, telecommunications, and the combustion engine fundamentally altered American economics in the ‘second industrial revolution,’ nanotechnology is poised to drive the next surge of economic growth across all sectors,” said Chairman Terry.



Applications of Nanomaterials Chart Picture1

Dr. Christian Binek, Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explained the potential of nanotechnology to transform a range of industries, stating, “Virtually all of the national and global challenges can at least in part be addressed by advances in nanotechnology. Although the boundary between science and fiction is blurry, it appears reasonable to predict that the transformative power of nanotechnology can rival the industrial revolution. Nanotechnology is expected to make major contributions in fields such as; information technology, medical applications, energy, water supply with strong correlation to the energy problem, smart materials, and manufacturing. It is perhaps one of the major transformative powers of nanotechnology that many of these traditionally separated fields will merge.”

Dr. James M. Tour at the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University encouraged steps to help the U.S better compete with markets abroad. “The situation has become untenable. Not only are our best and brightest international students returning to their home countries upon graduation, taking our advanced technology expertise with them, but our top professors also are moving abroad in order to keep their programs funded,” said Tour. “This is an issue for Congress to explore further, working with industry, tax experts, and universities to design an effective incentive structure that will increase industry support for research and development – especially as it relates to nanotechnology. This is a win-win for all parties.”

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Professor Milan Mrksich of Northwestern University discussed the economic opportunities of nanotechnology, and obstacles to realizing these benefits. He explained, “Nanotechnology is a broad-based field that, unlike traditional disciplines, engages the entire scientific and engineering enterprise and that promises new technologies across these fields. … Current challenges to realizing the broader economic promise of the nanotechnology industry include the development of strategies to ensure the continued investment in fundamental research, to increase the fraction of these discoveries that are translated to technology companies, to have effective regulations on nanomaterials, to efficiently process and protect intellectual property to ensure that within the global landscape, the United States remains the leader in realizing the economic benefits of the nanotechnology industry.”

James Phillips, Chairman & CEO at NanoMech, Inc., added, “It’s time for America to lead. … We must capitalize immediately on our great University system, our National Labs, and tremendous agencies like the National Science Foundation, to be sure this unique and best in class innovation ecosystem, is organized in a way that promotes nanotechnology, tech transfer and commercialization in dramatic and laser focused ways so that we capture the best ideas into patents quickly, that are easily transferred into our capitalistic economy so that our nation’s best ideas and inventions are never left stranded, but instead accelerated to market at the speed of innovation so that we build good jobs and improve the quality of life and security for our citizens faster and better than any other country on our planet.”

Chairman Terry concluded, “Nanotech is a true science race between the nations, and we should be encouraging the transition from research breakthroughs to commercial development. I believe the U.S. should excel in this area.”

– See more at: http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/subcommittee-examines-breakthrough-nanotechnology-opportunities-america#sthash.YnSzFU10.dpuf

New York/ NYC Invests $135 MIllion for Nanotech with General Electric



NY Invests 628x471NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is teaming with General Electric Co. and other companies on a $500 million initiative to spur high-tech manufacturing of miniature electronics, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt announced Tuesday.

The state will invest $135 million for the collaborative program, which will be based out of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany. Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE and other companies will contribute the remaining $365 million.

The work will focus on the development of new, smaller semiconductors for computers and technology used in many industries, including solar power, health care and aviation.

Immelt said small, powerful semiconductors will be one of a handful of technologies that “are going to define the next 20 or 30 years globally.”

“This is going to be at the hub of creating jobs and industries in the future,” he said at Tuesday’s announcement, held at a GE research office.

The public-private partnership, known as the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, will allow private companies to use the facilities at the state’s nanotech campus in Albany. University researchers from around the state will also participate.

The idea is to use the state’s nanotech facility to attract researchers and private companies to create a high-tech cluster in New York state.

“The businesses come for the facility and the equipment and the research and the businesses stay for the cluster of the companies that are all working on the project,” Cuomo said. “The state finances the magnet that attracts the companies.”

GE’s work will focus on developing low-cost silicon carbide wafers, which are more efficient and powerful than traditional silicon chips. That means devices can be smaller and lighter than standard devices that use silicon.


NY Invests 628x471

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt listen to a speaker during an economic development news conference at GE Global Research on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Niskayuna, N.Y. Cuomo joined Immelt Tuesday at the GE research office to announce that New York state is teaming with General Electric and other companies on a $500 million initiative designed to spur research and development in miniature electronic components. Photo: Mike Groll, AP

Concentrated PV Startup Solar Junction Acquired by Saudis

CPV-image_2_310_224Chipmaker Solar Junction executed on its technical plans, but a growth market for concentrated PV never emerged. July 14, 2014

Solar Junction, a venture capital-funded solar startup that raised more than $30 million from investors Advanced Technology Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and New Enterprise Associates, has received a financial commitment from Saudi entity KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology) and one of its investment arms, TAQNIA, according to sources close to the company.

A company founder spoke to GTM of an acquisition, as well as the identity of the new Saudi owner. The wheels started turning on this deal while original founder Jim Weldon was still CEO. Founder Vijit Sabnis, who replaced Weldon as CEO last year, would not provide any details. Weldon has declined to comment. KACST and TAQNIA have not responded to GTM’s inquiries.

Solar Junction executed on its technical goals, developing record-setting triple-junction solar cells in the lab for the concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) industry at a relatively modest burn rate. But building semiconductor components for an industry that doesn’t exist is not a workable business plan for a VC-funded firm.


Solar Junction hit an NREL-verified 44 percent cell efficiency (at 947 suns) in 2012, a world record that held until Sharp hit 44.4 percent for its triple-junction solar cell (at 302 suns). At one point, the firm was moving to a 6-inch production fabrication facility, partially funded by a U.S. DOE SUNPATH contract. The hope has been that more efficient compound semiconductors would improve the economics of CPV.

CPV has a few tens of megawatts in the field. The largest CPV deployment in North America is the 30-megawatt Alamosa site in Colorado owned by The Carlyle Group, with hardware from Amonix.

The few potentially viable commercial entrants in this technology-rich but economically challenged science include Soitec and China’s Suncore. Soitec has deeper corporate pockets and is vertically integrated, with CPV plants (at undisclosed costs) in the works in the U.S. and South Africa.

Amonix had to shut down its Las Vegas production facility in July 2012 and has rechristened itself as Arzon Solar with Amonix founder Vahan Garboushian in the CEO role. SolFocus shut down in 2013. GreenVolts went out of business in 2012. JDSU quietly exited the CPV cell market after acquiring QuantaSol. Energy Innovations, Soliant, Concentrator Optics and Skyline Solar’s low-concentration PV (LCPV) have all passed on.

Early-stage startups such as Morgan Solar, REhnu and Semprius still believe that CPV’s economic riddle can be solved. Solaria is still building or licensing LCPV. SunPower believes its C7 low-power concentrator product has potential in China. Cogenra’s combined heat and LCPV technology has a compelling business case.

Solar Junction CEO Sabnis told GTM in an earlier interview that no other PV technology has the headroom to improve its efficiency like multi-junction solar cells. Sabnis cited several studies showing 70 percent theoretical efficiencies from a 5- or 6-junction cell. More practically, he sees 50 percent cell efficiency as being achievable in two to four years, which could get DC module efficiencies to greater than 40 percent.

Weighted-average PV system prices hit $2.59 per watt in the fourth quarter of last year, according to GTM Research’s Solar Market Solar Market Insight report. Globally, large-scale project pricing is well under $2 per watt and regularly under $1.50 per watt, based on GTM Research’s latest figures. Those are the most important numbers for CPV vendors to keep in mind if they wish to compete in the solar industry.


Accelerating Innovation in Alberta

U of Alberta 140618-emerald-awards-ualberta-sign-teaserUAlberta partnership with TEC Edmonton, Innovate Calgary receives federal funding to help grow promising startups. By TEC Edmonton Staff on June 24, 2014 (Edmonton)

A partnership of the University of Alberta, TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary has been selected by the Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Program to help business accelerators and incubators deliver their services to promising Canadian firms.

TEC Edmonton, Edmonton’s leading business incubator and accelerator, will offer additional business services to health-based startup companies, including new companies spun off from medical research at the U of A. Innovate Calgary, TEC Edmonton’s counterpart in Calgary, will focus its funding on energy-related high-tech startups.

With the U of A, the two business incubator/accelerators will also put the new funding to work by linking investment-ready new companies to existing investor networks focused on new, made-in-Alberta technologies.

U of Alberta 140618-emerald-awards-ualberta-sign-teaser

“This is fantastic news,” said Lorne Babiuk, vice-president (research) at the U of A. “It’s another example of how the University of Alberta continues to transfer its knowledge, discoveries and technologies into the community via commercialization to benefit society, the economy and Canada as a whole. We are delighted to be partnering with Innovate Calgary and TEC Edmonton, which are Alberta’s largest and most successful incubators, and among the best in the country. I thank the Government of Canada for their support and for this valuable program.” “CAIP funding allows us and our partners to enhance and expand our services supporting the innovation community and Alberta’s overall economic prosperity,” said Peter Garrett, president of Innovate Calgary.

“With our shareholders the University of Calgary, the Calgary Chamber and the City of Calgary, Innovate Calgary is committed to accelerating the growth of early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.” “TEC Edmonton is a true community partnership,” said TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb. “We were created by the University of Alberta and the City of Edmonton (through the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation) with strong support from the regional entrepreneurial community, technology investors, the Province of Alberta, the Canadian government and hundreds of volunteers.

With such support, TEC Edmonton has grown into one of Canada’s best tech accelerators. “This new federal funding strengthens TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary’s ability to help grow great new companies and to further commercialize research at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.”

– See more at: http://uofa.ualberta.ca/news-and-events/newsarticles/2014/june/accelerating-innovation-in-alberta#sthash.whh0XCx4.dpuf

A Fresh Approach to the Business of Tech Transfer


Irish Times imageA new tech transfer body, KTI, will use novel ideas for exploiting research, says its head, Dr. Alison Campbell

A fresh approach to the commercialisation of research may be on the way following the recent launch of tech transfer body Knowledge Transfer Ireland.

Its head, Dr Alison Campbell, says she wants to try novel approaches to the business of exploiting research, including “easy IP”, in which a company might gain access to a licence for next to nothing with no strings attached. Impossible, you might say, and yet it makes sense here where a company might have to continue with its own research effort before managing to make a research discovery pay its way.

Irish Times image

Dr. Alison Campbell: “Engaging with the business community means you have a greater chance to see your research having a broader impact.”

Campbell has a clear view of what she wants to achieve in the coming years, and it is not all about fast bucks.

“We have to get away from looking only at the money because it is not just about that. This is about economic development and societal benefit. If we want to benefit the economy then we are not going to do the big fat licensing deals,” she says.

The new tech transfer office, KTI, is hosted by Enterprise Ireland, but is not wholly new given its previous incarnation as the Central Technology Transfer Office.

KTI is run as a joint operation by Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Universities Association and promises to open up a two-way street between business and academia. It will encourage companies to avail of higher education institution expertise, or to become purchasers of licences and technologies from their discoverers. It promises to be a one-stop shop for companies looking to buy into useful research findings, but; however, similar claims were made over the years by earlier efforts at streamlining this problematic area.

Secret ingredient Previous attempts to kick-start Ireland’s knowledge transfer have delivered only limited results, but this one promises to be different due to its secret ingredient: Campbell herself. She was hired by the IUA last July as its director of tech transfer and then took over as the head of the joint Enterprise Ireland/Irish Universities Association office. She has an extremely useful mix of experience and expertise that should serve very well as KTI gets underway.

One of the new approaches Campbell wants to try is easy IP, in which you might give a technology licence away for very little but with certain minor conditions. If the company can’t make proper use of the licence it has to return it so someone else can have a go. But if there is some success with it then the company has to let the higher education institution that made the original discovery know their original ideas worked.

There is a payback even though it won’t all be about money, she believes. “The IP becomes a tool to create relationships.” Adding in a “bonanza clause” to seek a payback if the IP becomes a blockbuster breakthrough is just another IP licence, she argues. “You have to be brave enough to go with it.”

Campbell has a PhD in biochemistry, specialising in protein engineering and conducted research within higher education but also in the biotech industry as a lab staffer, so she knows research from both camps. She enjoyed the contrast between the two and what could be achieved. “I began to get interested in commercialisation and the interaction between industry and academia,” she says.

She next joined a funder, the UK’s Medical Research Council, working in its tech transfer operation at a time in the 1990s when the whole business of commercialising the results of publicly funded research was really getting traction. “We became a wholly owned subsidiary of the MRC as MRC Technology and we began to concentrate on the transfer of applied research.”


Make connections The main thrust of her approach is quite simple: to get the business community and academics talking. “We want Irish companies to engage with the research community where appropriate and to make connections with experts that exist within the research organisations. There is knowledge in there that might help them.”

But there also have to be benefits for the researchers. “Engaging with the business community means you have a greater chance to see your research having a broader impact. Academics don’t do research in a vacuum – they want to see some benefit coming from it.

“Involvement with companies should also allow them to bring back insights, for example, knowledge of how a company works. The institutions that will be really successful in this are the ones where the heads see this as strategically important.”

She will not be drawn into the old argument about funding for applied versus basic research. “It is all about the knowledge so let’s get the knowledge out.” One way or the other, ultimately it will be about the researchers, she believes.

“You can build a technology transfer team but actually it is the researchers who will deliver this agenda.”

The KTI will be assessed on a number of metrics but Campbell has a clear idea of what success will look like.

“At the end of the day it will be when the business community become advocates for the KTI system,” she says.

New Group Promoting Arkansas Biotech, Nanotech Firms

ARK nctrA new group representing Arkansas’ biotech and nanotech firms hopes to raise statewide awareness of its member companies and drive commercialization of their technology.

Brian Umberson, spokesman for Bio+Nano+Arkansas, said Arkansas boasts a “surprising assortment” of biotech and nanotech companies that provide research-based services related to cell lines, diagnostics and raw materials.

“We have a blend of companies and institutions to support the product development of new diagnostic platforms and assay kits, but it is very unique in that it can also provide things like bio-conjugated nano particles and quantum dots,” he said. “We can provide revolutionary nano particle-based assays with higher performance to propel the growth of smart drug delivery, improved bio sensors and bio-nano biological material.”

ARK nctr

A new group hopes to foster collaboration between researchers at the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (above) and Arkansas biotech firms. (Photo by Michael Pirnique)

Umberson has worked with Arkansas tech firms and helped found Innovate Arkansas client firm Vivione Biosciences of Pine Bluff, where he secured grants and funding. He believes the state has yet to fully capitalize on its most distinguishing characterisitc in the biotech industry: The National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) at Jefferson, the national research facility of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Bio+Nano+Arkansas, he said, was formed to establish a networking structure for the industry in Arkansas and potentially create public-private research collaborations based on NCTR research. The state’s biotech cluster can collaborate to provide contract research services; develop market assays and diagnostic tests; collaborate on federal SBIR and NIH grants; and create cell lines, bio-conjugated nanoparticles and raw materials for reagents.

The group’s goals are to create awareness of the Arkansas biotech cluster across the region and drive commercialization partnerships with the animal health corridor in Kansas City and the biotech clusters in Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Austin and Memphis. Access to NCTR research makes such collaborations possible.

“That ability for advanced collaborations differentiates Arkansas,” Umberson said. “NCTR offers possible research collaboration and access to world class researchers, facilities and equipment. It plays a critical role in the missions of FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services to promote and protect public health. Regulatory science researchers, academia and other regulatory science research organizations and groups from around the world investigate, learn, and train at NCTR. Arkansas is the beneficiary of NCTR’s inherent transfer of technology and an infusion of a technology culture.”

In 2011, the state of Arkansas and the FDA officially established a collaboration between NCTR and the state’s five research-based universities, and last year the FDA partnered with the Arkansas Research Alliance. Umberson hopes his group can help spur collaboration with the state’s growing roster of biotech companies.

Umberson said another effort to bolster the biotech and nano industries in the state was the establishment of the nanoscale research-focused Institute for Nanoscience & Engineering at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

“Its capabilities include materials growth and characterization, protein transportation, nano-bio photonics, theoretical modeling, tribology and materials manufacturing,” he said. “It’s at the forefront of research in nanoscience and nanotechnology.”

The institute’s Arkansas Nano-Bio Materials Characterization Facility provides analytical services covering disciplines such as physics and bio-engineering. Services include high-resolution imaging, spectroscopy and sample preparation capabilities, Umberson said.

All this research has a natural, homegrown commercial outlet in the state’s growing roster of biotech and nanotech firms, he said.

Sample Bio+Nano+Arkansas member firms include Boston Mountain Biotech (another Innovate Arkansas firm), Pel-Freez Biologicals, Zystein, ImmunoVision and AC Diagnostics. Joining Umberson as group founders are Zoraida Aguilar of Zystein, Ellen Brune of Boston Mountain Biotech and Beverly Graham of Pel-Freez.

TAGGED: National Center for Toxicological Research, Brian Umberson, Bio+Nano+Arkansas

How Thomas Edison Changed The World – Reactions

imagesCAMR5BLR Einstein Judging a Fish

Published on Jun 2, 2014

Thomas Edison is hands-down one of the greatest inventors in history. He also had a love of chemistry that banished him to the basement as a kid. In this episode, we go behind the scenes at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park to see how Edison’s love of chemistry fueled his world-changing inventions.
Subscribe! http://bit.ly/ACSReactions

Edison Park is an amazing complex home to more than 400,000 artifacts (which we definitely weren’t allowed to touch) and is considered the template for modern labs everywhere.

For more info on Edison’s amazing chemical discoveries: http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/edu…


“If You Want to Change the World … “

Surfer at Peahi Bay on Maui, HawaiiNaval Admiral William H. McRaven gave a commencement speech at his alma mater at the University of Texas at Austin worth reading, printing out and hanging on the inside of your front door.


No one has to be a Navy SEAL to get the most out of these 10 life lessons (life lesson listed first for ease of reading). Via Business Insider:


“If You Want to Change the World … “


#1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.


“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. […]


If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”


#2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.


“For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle.


You can’t change the world alone—you will need some help— and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.”


#3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.


“The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African American, one Polish American, one Greek American, one Italian American, and two tough kids from the mid-west.


They out paddled, out-ran, and out swam all the other boat crews. […]


But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the Nation and the world, always had the last laugh— swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.


SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.”


#4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.


“For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand.


The effect was known as a ‘sugar cookie.’ You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.


There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right—it was unappreciated.


Those students didn’t make it through training. […]


Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.


It’s just the way life is sometimes.”


#5 But if you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.


“A ‘circus’ was two hours of additional calisthenics—designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.


No one wanted a circus.


A circus meant that for that day you didn’t measure up. A circus meant more fatigue—and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult—and more circuses were likely.


.Life is filled with circuses.


You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.”


#6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.


“But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three level 30 foot tower at one end and a one level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot long rope.


You had to climb the three tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.


The record seemed unbeatable, until one day, a student decided to go down the slide for life—head first.


Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.


It was a dangerous move—seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training.


Without hesitation—the student slid down the rope—perilously fast, instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.”


#7. So, if you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.


“During the land warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island which lies off the coast of San Diego.


The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks. To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One—is the night swim.


Before the swim the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente.


They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark—at least not recently.


But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position—stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid.


And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you—then summons up all your strength and punch him in the snout and he will turn and swim away.


There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.”


#8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.


“To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel—the center line and the deepest part of the ship.


This is your objective. But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship—where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship’s machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.


Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission—is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.”


#9. So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.


“The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit—just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.


Looking around the mud flat it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up—eight more hours of bone chilling cold.


The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything and then, one voice began to echo through the night—one voice raised in song.


The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm.


One voice became two and two became three and before long everyone in the class was singing. […]


The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing—but the singing persisted.


And somehow—the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.


If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan—Malala—one person can change the world by giving people hope.”


#10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.


Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see.


All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims.


Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training.


Just ring the bell.”


Of course, if you ring that bell, you can never accomplish your goal in life. When things seem hardest, that’s when you push hardest. That’s the only way you can stop being a “sugar cookie.”


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