First to See the Light

Chairman Gives Talk on Smartphone Origin

Spencer Trask & Co Chairman Kevin Kimberlin Gives Presentation on the Origin of First Pocket Sized Cell Phone

OLD GREENWICH, Conn., PRNewswire/ — Spencer Trask & Co., a privately held advanced technology development firm, today released a presentation that its Chairman Kevin Kimberlin gave in conjunction with this year’s Mobile World Congress Americas event in held San Francisco.

As the new iPhone X was being unveiled in nearby Cupertino, Kevin Kimberlin spoke about “some of the shoulders Steve Jobs stood on” when launching the iPhone, considered by many to be the most popular consumer product ever introduced.

Kimberlin detailed his experience working with Millicom and Jan Stenbeck to make practical two tipping points that launched the smartphone revolution: the pocket-sized portable cellular phone–which set a standard for the shape, form and size of mobile phones for 30 years– and the first cellular network to carry data via text message.

“When I discovered Millicom in 1982 and saw the mocked-up prototype of a consumer-friendly, portable cellular phone, I calculated the market need,” said Kimberlin. “People may not realize that only approximately 8% of the people in the world had a landline telephone in 1982; that’s why I saw the cell phone as the phone for the rest of the world.”

The full video and transcript of Kimberlin’s presentation are available online at

Kimberlin also participated in a panel discussion at Mobile World Congress Americas where he discussed the evolution of mobile technology and the future of IOT.

About Spencer Trask & Co.

Spencer Trask & Co. is a privately held advanced technology development firm helping entrepreneurs, CEOs and corporate partners start and grow high impact ventures that change the world. The company has been instrumental in helping companies pioneer many technological and scientific advancements in the fields of genomics, healthcare technology, mobile technology, the Internet and Open Innovation. Please visit for more information.

The Immune Response Corporation

Revolution in Immunotherapy

DISCOVERY – Non-infectious viral vaccines.

INNOVATOR – In the history of medicine, few figures have had as profound an impact on human health and wellbeing as Dr. Jonas Salk. His polio vaccine breakthrough was the culmination of centuries of research, dating back to Louis Pasteur discovering inoculation. However, Salk’s method was different. He found a way to protect people from viruses without giving them the very disease the vaccine was designed to prevent.

Using this no-infection method, Salk worked with Kevin Kimberlin of Spencer Trask to develop cancer vaccines and an immunotherapeutic to slow or prevent AIDS. They patented and conducted preclinical studies on a cancer vaccine that demonstrated a startling 90% protection against lethal malignancies. 

IMPACT – A fusion of dendritic cells and the cancer antigen, their technology formed the basis for the first FDA-approved cell-based immunotherapy. Over 40,000 men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer have received the treatment, and it appears especially effective for African-American men who receive a 48% improved survival benefit compared to white men.

The team and facility making this immunotherapy also made clinical and commercial supplies of the first approved gene therapy, the CAT-T drug Kymriah.

The first approved cell-base immunotherapy and gene therapy prompted the FDA Commissioner to say, “New technologies such as gene and cell therapies hold out the potential to transform medicine and create an inflection point in our ability to treat and even cure many intractable illnesses.”

The noninfectious vaccine approach developed by Jonas Salk eliminated polio from the developed countries, his flu vaccine mitigated the effects of influenza for the past 75 years, and finally, the cancer vaccine developed at his Immune Response Corporation led the way to gene, cell-based, and immune therapy innovations that will impact human health for generations. In summary, Salk released the last step in enabling the most important preventative medicine – non-infectious viral vaccination.