Saturday, May 05, 2012

Meshkin Messes Up

When I first heard about the three thousand dollar lawsuit that Steve Adler filed against school board member Brian Meshkin I knew it wasn’t about the money. In the world of commerce, a three grand bad debt is hardly worth pursuing considering alone the amount of time it will take. In most cases a bad debt like this would be simply written off.

Unless there is something else going on…

It was only a year ago that Steve and Brian were touting a new non-profit incubator for “the creation of viable start-up companies, which create jobs, and contribute to economic growth.”

They called it Venture Rapids.

It turns out that the only thing rapid about the venture was its unraveling. According to this story by Sara Toth in Explore Howard Steve “wasn't aware of any clients Meshkin may have had during the time Venture Rapids was located in Savage Mill.”

"During that period of time (when the business was running in spring and summer 2011), it wasn't happening," Adler said. "I think he just gave up on the business incubator, and was spending more time with his company in California."

Ah yes, Meshkins California business. Remember Salugen?

I’m not sure what is going on with that company but Brian now refers to himself as the CEO of Proove Biosciences in Los Angeles. On the surface at least it looks a lot like Salugen. In fact the chief medical officer for Proove, Gregory Smith, was (or still is) the chief medical officer for Salugen. On the Salugen website, Brian is also still listed as the Executive Chairman.

I’m not sure what is really going on there.

Brian has another job too. He is listed as an Organizational Strategy Consultant for Fuzati in Washington, DC. The Fuzati website says that it “creates impact for our clients by innovating at the cross-sections of viability, feasibility and usability.”

Ok then.

Brian Meshkin is quite the entrepreneur. He likes to tell anyone who’ll listen how he successfully took a tech company public. That much is certainly true. What he doesn’t say is that the company, Surfbuzz, was a classic dot com bomb. As Wired magazine wrote upon its demise, “If ever a startup embraced the whole make-a-fast-buck, dot-com ethos, it was, an auction site that awarded expensive prizes to its customers. The only buzzing to be heard now is from the flies swarming over the corpse of Surfbuzz, which said Tuesday that it is going out of business.”

UPDATE 5/6/2012: Sara Toth has updated her story to report that Steve Adler plans to withdraw his 3K lawsuit "by mid-week". It seems that Steve and Brian suddenly resolved their dispute and now have nothing but nice things to say about each other. Perhaps Steve just wants to make sure the check clears first though.
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