As an innovator and founder of the country’s largest science festival for young people, RSF resident Larry Bock is concerned that the pessimism and malaise that has taken over the United States doesn’t bode well for the future. But Bock is also a venture capitalist, used to taking chances on things he believes in. That’s why he has invested heavily in today’s youth.
Bock is executive director of the USA Science and Engineering Festival that drew more than a half–million people over two days in April in Washington, D.C. On Saturday, Sept. 15, Bock will be participating in celebration of another sort – the Ninth Annual Asian Heritage Awards, joining Sally Wong-Avery as gala co-chair. Wong-Avery, who also served as gala chair last year, is the founder of the Chinese Service Center of San Diego, a community leader and principal of the Chinese School of San Diego. The ceremony, honoring achievement in 14 categories, will be held at the Marriott Marquis & Marina, 333 W. Harbor Drive, downtown.
“I am delighted to have Larry join Sally as this year’s gala co-chair,” said Rosalynn Carmen, president of the Asian Heritage Society, which produces the ceremony honoring achievement in the Asian and Pacific Islander community. “Together with our Host and Planning Committee of business, community and academic leaders, they will make this a most memorable event.”
Three finalists in each category will be notified of their selection and the top honoree announced at the awards ceremony. (See www.asianheritageawards.com)
As a culture, says Bock, we celebrate movie stars, rock musicians and athletes. “But we don’t celebrate science and engineering.” Bock is on a mission to change that. His motives are purely personal.
Bock has co-founded or provided early stage financing for some 40 companies throughout the United States who have achieved a cumulative market capitalization of more than $40 billion.
His Internet profile refers to him as a ”serial entrepreneur and seed-stage high technology and life sciences venture capitalist,” something he wants to continue doing. However, without talent available to fill positions at companies he is likely to start, that ambition will be compromised.
“I’ve been investing my energy to help solve a critical need in America that I care about deeply – finding better ways to motivate and invigorate young students and innovators of tomorrow about science and engineering and at the same time, expanding the public’s appreciation and understanding of science and technology.”
Bock is also part-time adviser to the Society’s BOOST-STEM program, which combines an appreciation of science and technology with the self-starting and innovative skills of entrepreneurship. (See www.asianheritagesociety.org) The program was launched last month at Montgomery Middle School. The four best ideas or projects to come out of the program, as judged by a panel of mentors, will be awarded scholarships at the Asian Heritage Awards.
BOOST-STEM is a collaborative program of the Asian Heritage Society, the U.S. Navy, SDG&E, Time Warner Cable, and Alliant International University.
For more information on the awards, contact Rosalynn Carmen, Asian Heritage Society president, at 619 683-7822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org