About

About Me

Brian Meshkin, Living a Life That's About Something Bigger Than Himself

If you were to ask serial social entrepreneur Brian Meshkin, Managing Partner at Profound Ventures, to tell you about what is important in his life, he would probably spend a moment thanking you for your kindness and then tell you in his contagiously enthusiastic way about all the good things happening, ranging from his kids’ activities as a proud dad, his community service and volunteer activities, and professionally how he’s working with incredible innovators on health technologies with the potential to save hundreds of thousands of people from various ills such as opioid addiction, chronic pain, heart failure, and cancer.

Brian Meshkin’s Life Journey as a Social Entrepreneur Began as a Teenager Saving Lives

What motivates Brian Meshkin to spend so much of his energy looking for ways to save people from preventable death? As Meshkin tells it, his passion doesn’t come from growing up wealthy because he didn’t. It doesn’t come from the power of his last name. As Brian puts it, he has kind of a weird last name. Meshkin’s life-long commitment to saving lives comes from witnessing the death of his friend Chris Kelly when they were 13 years old right in front of Brian’s home. Chris wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet. As a teenager, Brian learned that one of the noblest things you can do following a tragic loss is to help others avoid similar difficulties.

So, Brian Meshkin initiated and led an effort to lobby for and enact the nation’s first bicycle helmet law for children under 16 years of age in Howard County, Maryland.[1] Remember, this was 1989 and 1990 – long before the Internet, email, social media, smartphones, digital cameras, and other modern forms of communication. Thus, his advocacy involved countless hours of in-person meetings, phone calls, letters, and public testimony.[2]

Following the law’s passage and enactment, Brian was inspired to continue advocating for similar pieces of legislation. However, like all progress, this effort to help others invited critics.[3] Due to this new law led by Brian Meshkin and his classmates in Howard County, Maryland, and the accompanying bike safety education program developed by students and distributed through the Howard County Public School System, researchers found that helmet use among people younger than 16 in the community increased from 4 percent to 47 percent. It was the highest rate of bicycle helmet use ever documented among U.S. children.

In a peer-reviewed publication in the journal Pediatrics, researchers suggested that a similar increase in helmet use among children younger than 16 years nationwide could prevent about 100 deaths annually, as well as 56,000 emergency-department-treated head injuries annually.[4]

Following the efforts in Howard County, Brian Meshkin worked closely to help start a new non-profit at the time, called the National Safe Kids Campaign, now called Safe Kids Worldwide. As its first cause for childhood injury prevention, Brian worked closely with them on advocating for and enacting over 300 similar laws nationwide, which have saved thousands of lives. These efforts came to define Brian Meshkin and the direction his life would take. Today, Safe Kids Worldwide is the largest childhood injury prevention advocacy organization in the world.

Getting involved not only bettered the community, but it gave Brian purpose and healed his heart. Brian Meshkin was even honored to be selected as one of the Baltimore Sun’s five “Earthly Angels” for his contributions in the community, including “fighting prejudice, hunger, homelessness, domestic violence and cancer.”[5] Additionally, Brian’s efforts were featured in the book, No Kidding Around: America’s Young Activists Are Changing Our World and You Can Too! by author Wendy Lesko, founder of the ACTIVISM 2000 Project and School Girls Unite.[6]

Brian's journey started with a device, a bicycle helmet, proven now to save lives and reduce childhood mortality from bicycle accidents by over 90% over the past 30 years. Brian has invested his life promoting other devices and technologies that prevent preventable deaths ever since.

[1] Norris P. West. Howard gears up for bike helmet law. The Baltimore Sun, September 28, 1990.

[2] Dan Byers. Setting Young Lobbyists on the Road to Influence. The Washington Post, January 30, 1994.

[3] Brian Meshkin. Helmets Avert Tragedy. The Baltimore Sun, July 17, 1991.

[4] Cote TR et al. Bicycle Helmet Use Among Maryland Children: Effect of Legislation and Education. Pediatrics. June 1992, Vol 89, Issue 6.

[5] Mary Corey. “Earthly Angels In the season of comfort and joy, celebrate those who comfort in despair.” Baltimore Sun, December 20, 1992.

[6] Wendy Schaetzel Lesko. “No Kidding Around! America's Young Activists Are Changing Our World and You Can Too”. Information USA Inc (August 1, 1992)

Brian Meshkin as a Social Impact Investor

Since 2018, Brian has been Managing Partner at Profound Ventures in Newport Beach, California and since 2021, he has been a Venture Partner at Cancer Fund in Phoenix, Arizona.

As an early-stage investor in for-profit businesses that do good things in the world, Brian and the team invest and help find seed money, create the infrastructure for governing the business (finding executives, researchers, and board members), and find partners for businesses as they grow.

The Profound Ventures portfolio includes Flint Rehab, which is the world-leader in gamified neurorehabilitation for victims of stroke and traumatic brain injury; Acellus, which is the nation’s leader in providing behavioral health services for injured workers to help them get back to work; Tasso, which has developed a novel “Easy Button” blood collection device to enable lab test specimens collected at home; and Neuraura Biotech which has a next-generation brain sensor to allow for better brain mapping to help patients with epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and other neurological conditions.

Other companies Brian has been involved with include various telehealth companies such as BlueStar Senior Tech, Fruit Street Health, Monj and more. These ventures have raised over $50 million in subsequent capital in 2020 and over $100M in 2021.

In addition to Profound Ventures, Brian is a Venture Partner with Cancer Fund, helping a new social impact early-stage fund for technologies to help cancer patients, and he co-founded a podcast to inspire others to be social impact investors called HeartInvestors available on Spotify, as well as Google and Apple Podcasts.

Despite his busy entrepreneurial endeavors, Brian is a devout member of his church where he volunteers, and an active dad, having been PTA President at his kids’ schools, serving on numerous non-profit boards, being elected to the Board of Education for four years in his kids’ school district which was also where he grew up, and coaching or volunteering for his kids’ sports teams and volunteering for their theater productions and other extracurricular activities.

Brian knows that trying to change things is both rewarding as it helps people, but also difficult because it invites criticism and judgment from those who profit or gain power from the current way of doing things. Despite the ups and downs of being an innovator, Brian enjoys helping people. He always has. As an activist, entrepreneur, and innovator to his core, he has a reason to spring out of bed every morning. He knows he is doing good. And his over 30-year track record shows how many thousands and thousands of lives his efforts have saved.

Brian Meshkin and Proove Biosciences

From 2009 to 2017, Brian was the founder and CEO of Proove Biosciences – one of the fastest-growing life science technology companies in North America.[7] Prove’s mission was to deliver on the promise of personalized medicine for the nation’s largest and most prevalent health condition – chronic pain.

Proove Biosciences did this by providing clinicians with information to help them make better diagnostic and treatment decisions for patients in pain. The company provided this information through unique laboratory testing and predictive analytics – involving the analysis of genetic and non-genetic information – reported in a state-of-the-art clinical CLIA-certified laboratory in Irvine, California, and accredited by the College of American Pathology - the nation’s most scientifically rigorous laboratory standards. Proove “proved” this by tracking the outcomes of most patients tested using a unique technology invented by Brian Meshkin and demonstrated these outcomes in numerous published studies. These studies involved over 15,000 patients, where 90% of patients achieved an average pain reduction of 3.4 on a 0 to 10 scale – or about 45% in less than 3 months.[8],[9],[10] Equally as important, Proove developed the only technology in the peer-reviewed medical literature that is capable of accurately predicting patients who will be at risk of opioid abuse. Three million people in the United States and sixteen million people worldwide suffer from opioid use disorder. The National Institute on Drug Abuse tells us that, just in the United States, over 68 thousand people died from opioid overdoses just in 2020.

"We have heard about the tremendous toll that opioid abuse has had not only in this country, but also in Canada and other countries around the world," Meshkin told MDG Premium. "We developed an algorithm that, with genetic testing and some non-genetic factors, is able to predict with 96.7 percent accuracy who would mouse opioids." [11],[12],[13]

"Obviously, for a clinician who is looking to prescribe opioids post-surgery or in a chronic pain situation to be able to know that information is very important. You can't just look at a patient and make a judgment call. You can't just give them a questionnaire and hope they are going to be honest. You need to know the risks before you prescribe them something that could be very, very deadly."

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Over the company’s first seven (7) years, Proove and its CEO Brian Meshkin received many documented accolades due to its strong support from leading key opinion leaders in the field and strong business performance. Those accolades included:

Being listed on the Inc. 500 list (#373) in 2016 and (#724) in 2017 as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States;[14]

Being listed on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 (#69) in 2016 as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America; [15]

Winning the 2016, OCTANe High Tech Innovation Awards, Emerging Technology Company CEO of the Year Award; [16]

Winning the 2016, Orange County Business Journal Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award; [17]

Being selected as a two-time finalist in 2015 and 2016 for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Orange County, California [18]

Being selected as a 2016 finalist for the Association for Corporate Growth, Orange County, Annual Award – Innovator Category; [19]

Winning three times in 2014, 2015, and 2016 the Future50 Award in the Baltimore region from SmartCEO Magazine; [20]

Winning the 2013, Bridging the Gap Award, from Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) as a minority-owned business;[21] and,

Winning awards and recognitions for the quality of our research and studies from many medical societies including the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP)[22] , American Academy of Neurology (AAN)[23] , and the American Society for Regional Anesthesia (ASRA).

Portfolio

Brian Meshkin Portfolio