Flatiron Health CEO explains how he negotiated a $2 billion deal during his child’s birth, and how a warehouse full of snakes made him an entrepreneur

Richard Feloni, provided by Published 1:26 pm, Friday, March 9, 2018 Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Nat Turner agreed to sell his company, Flatiron Health, to healthcare giant Roche in February for $1.9 billion. Flatiron Health creates software for cancer centers that organizes patient data and makes some of it available to researchers, which supplements the results of clinical trials. Turner has been an entrepreneur since he was a kid, with thriving website-building and snake-breeding businesses. He explained how his cousin's battle with leukemia inspired him to create Flatiron and reevaluate his career. $1.9 billion. Recommended Video: Now Playing: A Google employee explains how the Jacquard technology in a Levi's jacket works. Media: SFChronicle Turner, now 32, is the cofounder and CEO of Flatiron Health. It's a company that's trying to change the way cancer researchers collect data, with the hope of transforming the way patients are treated. In an interview for Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It," Turner explained that he and his longtime business partner, Zach Weinberg, were inspired to start the business in 2012 shortly after Turner's younger cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. The boy's father asked Turner and Weinberg, as tech guys, why it was so difficult for him to find information about childhood-cancer treatments and their effectiveness over the years. Flatiron Health creates software for cancer-treatment centers, with the aim of helping doctors track patients' progress and figure out what's working and what isn't. Flatiron's programs allow patients' data to be shared with researchers, offering supplementary information to results of clinical trials. It's a unique approach that caught the interest of the US Food and Drug Administration, which teamed up with Flatiron in 2016. Turner told us he's always been an entrepreneur — he had a thriving snake-breeding business as a kid — but he feels Continue Reading

El Paso Electric: ‘Managed outages’ possible

El Paso Electric might need to conduct "managed outages" if the power company were to lose a generating unit or transmission line during the system's peak given the extreme temperatures in the coming days, officials said Thursday.The utility has noticed higher energy usage than normal between the hours of 1 and 6 p.m., El Paso Electric spokesman Eddie Gutierrez said.El Paso and the Borderland remain under a heat advisory until at least 6 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Thursday's high is expected to reach 107 degrees, and highs are expected to remain above the 100-degree mark at least through Sunday.El Paso Electric CEO Mary Kipp said in a statement that the utility does not intend to interrupt services to customers.“However, in the event we were to lose a generating unit or transmission line during system peak, we may need to conduct managed outages in order to maintain the stability of our local electric grid," she said.A managed outage would occur in pockets throughout the utility’s service system in areas that are deemed less critical, but “currently, there’s no interruption of service,” a utility spokesman said. “We want to be proactive and make sure we have resources available.”The last time the utility had managed outages was in 2011 during a freeze.It has been a hot summer in the Borderland, with 23 days of triple-digit heat. As of Thursday, the region has recorded 12 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.Last year, the region only had 18 days of triple-digit temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.In June 30, 1994, the region saw its record high of 114 degrees and a record 23 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures; overall El Paso had 62 days of triple-digit temperatures. In 1884, El Paso had 66 days of triple-digit temperatures. In 2011, the Continue Reading

Elkhart residents to Obama: ‘Tell us how you helped’

A lot has changed in seven years, but President Barack Obama might not want to bring a "Mission Accomplished" banner to Elkhart just yet.Obama's visit Wednesday will spotlight the region's sub-4 percent unemployment rate, comparing it with the 20 percent rate the city suffered when he took office in 2009.Yet, as the president celebrates Elkhart's recovery, some of the city's business leaders are anxious about what they see as the same problem they faced eight years ago: a fragile economy dependent on fickle recreational vehicle sales.Obama is slated to hold a town hall at the Lerner Theatre and deliver a speech at Concord High School, the same site he visited in January 2009 during his first trip as president. The U.S. economy was in tatters then — and few, if any, places were worse off than Elkhart.Today, employment is so robust in Elkhart that some companies are struggling to hire because there are so few job candidates available. The numbers alone suggest Elkhart is among the greatest economic success stories in America.Still, about 60 percent of Elkhart's jobs are tied to the RV industry. That's an improvement from 70 percent in 2009. But it's still a troubling reliance on a boom-and-bust industry — a condition most people say hasn't changed since Obama's early visits to Elkhart."I can't say I believe he's truly responsible for the recovery," said Mark Landis, an Elkhart resident and a senior supervisor for Siemens Healthineers USA. "However, the exposure of Elkhart County to the world because of his visits really gave Elkhart an opportunity to tell the world, 'We're not dead. We're open for business. Come see us.'"Landis, 59, is among the fortunate members of the area's workforce. His company, which manufactures products for laboratories, was relatively unscathed during the Great Recession.Yet Elkhart's overall job numbers are intertwined with U.S. RV Continue Reading

How artificial intelligence, robotics could transform jobs in 10 years

You might not be in your dream job. Most likely, you don't make as much money as you would like.But let's face it: Today's employment market has improved substantially over the past several years. The nation already is nearly back to what economists call full employment, with a U.S. jobless rate easing to near 4 percent.But that favorable trend masks a lot of pain, dislocation and disruption for people in certain occupations, with more coming. Robotics, artificial intelligence and other pressures are almost certain to alter the employment prospects for millions of Americans in the coming years, for better or worse. Here are some of the ways jobs and employment could change over the next five or 10 years:Robotics and automation already have made huge inroads, especially in manufacturing. Get ready for more changes ahead. Nearly half of American jobs, 47 percent, are at risk of being automated over the next two decades, according to a 2013 study by Oxford University's Department of Engineering.The researchers examined more than 700 occupations, examining the tasks workers perform, the skills required and the engineering obstacles currently preventing computerization. Tasks less at risk are those requiring creative and social skills.Jobs in transportation, logistics and office administration are at high risk for replacement. Driverless vehicles, including big trucks, already are on the highways. While robots mainly have been utilized so far in manufacturing, millions of service jobs could be next, according to the Oxford report. Automation in service industries could be more significant, given that the service sector has a lot more jobs than manufacturing and agriculture.A recent Ball State University study listed a number of occupations at risk of being automated. Among them: telemarketers, insurance underwriters, tax-return preparers, watch repairers and people who type in data. By Continue Reading

200-mile Frank Lloyd Wright Trail in Wisconsin showcases architect’s diverse works

MILWAUKEE — Frank Lloyd Wright, who has followers around the globe, is perhaps best known for major creations such as the Guggenheim in New York and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania.But it's the rolling hills of southern Wisconsin where the architect was born and developed a love for natural landscapes that would influence and inform his distinctive style. It's those rolling hills where he built his summer home, Taliesin West, a living laboratory and architecture school in Scottsdale, Ariz. that still draws casual and fervent admirers today.Taliesin serves as one stop, and undoubtedly the centerpiece, of the new Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, a nine-stop, self-guided tour of Wright sites in southern Wisconsin that was officially dedicated May 10 at SC Johnson headquarters in Racine.SC Johnson worked with state legislators and the Department of Tourism to create the official trail, marked by 115 highway signs, with 31 more scheduled to be up by mid-July."I think the diversity along this 200-mile trail is what is really going to surprise people," said Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett, noting the tour includes everything from his hallmark Prairie-style home to a church to a corporate headquarters."We take it for granted. We're used to him here, so you forget that this is a guy who has inspired generations of architects, artists and designers, and he was born and raised here."Frank Lloyd Wright was born June 8, 1867, in Richland Center. The A.D. German Warehouse there, a four-story red brick building designed by Wright in 1915, is the westernmost stop on the Wright Trail.The sprawling 800-acre Taliesin estate features not just Wright's home, but also six other Wright-designed structures, including Tan-y-Deri, a home he designed for his sister's family, and the Hillside Studio & Theater, where apprentices learned at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. RELATED: Cool Home: Taliesin shelter is first test for new Continue Reading

City’s bike share partner hits snag, but that’s how they roll

The company behind the city’s much-ballyhooed bike share program has struggled with delays, software glitches and other problems in nearly every locale where it’s tried to set up shop. San Francisco and Chattanooga, Tenn., have both had to postpone their programs with Alta Bicycle Share. And in Montreal, taxpayers had to bail out the company’s Canadian partner to help keep it afloat. It’s not clear if the issues facing Alta Bicycle Share elsewhere are the same ones that have affected the rollout of New York’s effort to rent 10,000 bicycles to riders on an hourly basis, but the hangups in other cities do raise questions about the fate of a program that has been a major priority of the Bloomberg administration this year. New York’s bike share program — called Citi Bikes as part of a $41 million sponsorship deal with Citigroup — was supposed to launch this month but is now on hold until at least August or September. Mayor Bloomberg blames a software glitch, saying on his weekly radio show Friday that the company behind the project “had some software problems, changed one of their software vendors.” That sounds familiar to officials in Chattanooga, where a bike share program was supposed to go live May 1 — but now isn’t likely to open before the fall. “The system’s been in . . . testing, and certain components are working quite well and other components may not be working flawlessly yet,” said Chattanooga bicycle coordinator Philip Pugliese. Chattanooga parks and recreation spokesman Brian Smith said the problem mainly affects the Global Positioning Systems — used to track where the bikes have traveled — and its locking mechanism. “When you return the bike and lock it, we’re having a little bit of small trouble with it locking completely,” Smith said. The software issues could be related to an ongoing legal battle between Continue Reading

Phoenix homeless system overhaul reveals bigger problem than expected

Donovan Thompson spent several years sleeping at an old warehouse near the outskirts of downtown Phoenix, until the building known as the Men’s Overflow Shelter closed the morning of April 1.He moved next door to the East Lot — a patch of asphalt patrolled by off-duty police officers — until that, too, was shuttered in May. He moved across the street to a new overflow space that aimed to offer more than just security. Then, in October, Thompson moved into an apartment.Thompson is one of more than nearly 150 people transitioned from homelessness into housing, more than six months after a coalition of agencies opened an emergency shelter to end the controversial phaseout of a condemned building and parking lot where hundreds of people slept each night.But at the six-month mark targeted by state, county, city and non-profit leaders as a trial period to assess the new system, the housing placements were at less than half the goal of 300. An overflow strategy meant to be temporary will continue for the foreseeable future.And the need is much larger than officials had thought. While they targeted resources for about 500 people — more than the average number seen at the emergency shelter each night — a new tracking system shows more than 4,000 individuals have stayed there since May.Agency leaders say the goals were unrealistic as they build a system that prioritizes engagement over enforcement, and that hundreds of people are in the pipeline to be housed.The organizations are still learning what services that larger community needs, though, through assessments now administered to everyone who uses the shelter. The data will guide a long-term plan, said Bruce Liggett, director of the Maricopa County Human Services Department.“We’ve got a big population that has a Continue Reading

How four Trump issues may affect NJ’s economy

As talk now turns to the transition of power, there's a new focus on President-elect Donald J. Trump's economic policy proposals.Those measures, as they take shape, would cause ripples throughout New Jersey."Business hates uncertainty," said James W. Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.  "For a number of months going forward, there is going to be a high degree of uncertainty, wondering what will be the impact of some major changes in trade policy, regulations and the like."Let's sketch out four issues that are central to New Jersey's economy. 1. Trade.New Jersey is the the third-largest warehouse and distribution market in the United States, accounting for about 10 percent of the state's jobs, and a center for fulfillment, Hughes said. Look no further than Amazon's massive center in Robbinsville, and plans for two more in the state, to appreciate why trade policy matters in New Jersey. New York and New Jersey have the largest ports on the East Coast, including Port Newark and the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal. MORE REACTION:  New Jersey celebs react to President-elect Trump MORE ON TRADE: A Trump trade war would be bad for NJ businessesOpposed to President Obama's trade deals, President-elect Trump has promised to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. "Anything that hurts trade is going to be felt in the port and in our distribution systems within the state," Hughes said. That could include the warehouses that store goods and truckers who distribute them. 2. Infrastructure improvemen ts.President-elect Trump has promised to transform America's "crumbling infrastructure" with investments in transportation, water, and energy infrastructure, among others. It could be a boon to companies that employ construction workers and build roads, power grids or railways, said Douglas S. Continue Reading

Moments of truth: New Yorkers share their experiences working on some of year’s best movie scenes

New York is full of characters — and if you watch a year's worth of movies shot in the city, you'll likely see people from every borough stealing scenes and catching our eye. Some are professionals who've worked in the filmmaking or theatrical world for years. Others are regular folks who happened into moments we couldn't forget. So as Hollywood goes to the polls to select this year's Academy Award winners, the Daily News acknowledges some of our own, homegrown talent that shone in front of the camera in 2010. ELIYAS QURESHI HIS STAR TURN Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," Michael Douglas, as financial snake Gordon Gekko, is attempting to get his estranged daughter's fiancé (Shia LaBeouf) to give him information on her in exchange for Street advice. As they get into a taxi in Tribeca, Gekko's hard-sell approach is cut off by the cabbie (Qureshi) — who's also yelling into his hands-free phone. Gekko makes a comment and the driver spends the rest of the trip cursing out the King of Greed in Hindi. They arrive at their destination, Gekko gives money and a wisecrack to the driver — and gets an earful best left untranslated. WHY IT'S MEMORABLE "Stone wanted me to improvise a bit, but not too much," says Qureshi, who recently moved to New Jersey from the city. "I was yelling at Michael, and then, in character, I apologized to him. Stone said, 'No, keep going, don't apologize.' "So I improvised in Hindi. Stone said, 'I want you to imagine something drastic. You're really p—d off. You don't care about Gekko.' So in my mind, I created a scene where I'm calling home to India, and my wife is harassing me to send money. I created a character stressed about money. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, but I was playing a cab driver, and that guy would be worried about bills and family." BEHIND THE SCENES Bombay and moved to New York in 1997. He has had roles in movies and on TV, and has written and directed his own films. His Continue Reading

How the Colorado Rockies built a winner out of thin air

In a town that has always belonged to the Denver Broncos, Matsui's No. 7 is suddenly magic. And the long-forlorn Rockies, second-class citizens for most of their 15 seasons here, have shoved the 2-3 Broncos to the back of the bus in a crazy month Denverites are calling "Rocktober." "This is a dream that just doesn't end," Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday said on the eve of the team's first trip to the World Series. "I know I'm not ready to wake up yet." If Colorado's otherwordly surge into the spotlight - Clint Hurdle's club has won 21 of its last 22 games, including playoff sweeps of the Phillies and Diamondbacks - seems improbable to old-school baseball fans elsewhere, it's just as astonishing to the purple-and-black-clad throngs who've mobbed the shiny new bandwagon circling Coors Field. Consider: The Rockies' only previous playoff appearance came back in 1995, when they were quickly dispatched by the Atlanta Braves. In 2004 the Rox dropped 94 games, one short of the franchise record. Not to worry: the next year they lost 95. In 2006, they staggered home in fourth place. For most of this season, it looked like more of the same. Before their flames engulfed Jake Peavy, Jimmy Rollins and Brandon Webb, Colorado stood fourth in the National League West as late as Sept. 16, 6½ games behind first-place Arizona. While the Mets degenerated into the ugliest baseball spectacle of 2007, the Rockies cornered the market on sunshine and feel-good. The most amazing thing? Their Opening Day payroll came to $54 million and change - sixth-lowest in MLB and about twice what Alex Rodriguez earned to play third base in the Bronx. So. Who are these guys? And how did they get on the charter to either Cleveland or Boston? Young, a bit naive and hungry as a gaggle of snowboarders after a day on Aspen Mountain, 15 of the 25 so-called Kid Rocks came up in Colorado's minor-league system, where they were quietly developing for years. Right fielder Brad Continue Reading