Personal Early Life:
Born in October of 1981, Philip Odegard was brought up passionate about the mechanics of engineering, building, and launching high-powered model rockets. Philip Odegard scaled his garage-based homebrew rocketry hobby into a thriving media and communications company, acquired after only graduating high school. He then moved to San Francisco where he lived with and was mentored by some of Silicon Valley’s most notable entrepreneurs.
In 2013 Philip was introduced to the then-early-stage ridesharing startup, Uber, and became a prominent initial investor and advisor towards the company. Since Odegard’s Silicon Valley debut, he went on to launch one of the first US-Based Unmanned Aerial Vehicle manufacturing companies, AERIAL.
Aerial developed the first Artificial-Intelligent autonomous flight software for navigation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Odegard’s company, Aerial, gathered ‘dark data, or data that is unstructured such as text and images, and sources it into structured data. The company does so with a ‘human-caliber’ quality and machine caliber scale. Between 70 percent and 80 percent of data is unstructured, dark data.
Aerial, took the gathered unstructured data and turned it into a data that is used for processing and analytics, all employing machine learning and neural networks. The applications of Aerial’s software were developed for both unmanned aerial systems and upscaled manned aerial systems for human transportation. In 2017 Aerial was acquired for $724 million by a United Arab Emirates-based transportation firm with the intent to use the proprietary technologies for human-scale flying UATV’s or Unmanned Aerial Transport Vehicles.
Following hot on the heels of his successful exit with Aerial, Philip founded his next venture, Swiss-based AI Medical Systems. He took his desire for machine learning and automation to the health sector where it could lead to potential life-improving benefits through pattern recognition in diagnostic and imaging tools, like MRIs and CT and PET scans. AI Medical Systems was acquired for $10 billion in 2018. The acquisition includes its proprietary first-to-market artificial intelligence algorithms and machine learning that are used in medical diagnostics worldwide.
Since the success of his two Artificial Intelligence startups, Philip has shifted gears back to his early roots in digital media by acquiring Tribune Publications in2019 through his holding company Odegard Group, in a cash transaction that is valued at $3.2 billion. Odegard’s mission is to salvage the once-dominated physical print media into a scalable on-demand digitized and personalized experience. Tribune Publications currently owns and operates over 300+ news and magazine editorial publications globally.
Going forward, Philip is focused on the various philanthropic grantmaking decisions through his non-profit organization, Odegard Foundation, and plans to address some of the world’s demanding areas of modern research. The Odegard Foundation is comprised of separate private charitable entities, including the Artificial Intelligence Foundation, Environmental Institute, Genetics Foundation, and the Life Longevity Foundation.
Net Worth: $3.7 billion (January 2020)