Turning "Special Weapons" Into Profits

By Lou Basenese, on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Editor's Note: Thanks for your overwhelming response to our guest writer, Louis Basenese, the founder of Disruptive Tech Research. Here’s a second article from Lou. Enjoy.

Way back in my youth, I ran a sub 5-minute mile.

Sure, at 4 minutes, 59 seconds, I cut it pretty close…

But fast-forward 20 years, and today I’m intent on running a 4-minute mile.

What makes me think I can pull off such a feat?

A special weapon.

Specifically, a super-light jetpack designed to help soldiers elude danger.

In my article today, I’ll tell you more about this special weapon – and then I’ll show you why, if you’re early, it might turn into a big investment opportunity.

From ReWalk to Run

Last week, Wayne shared the wild investment success of ReWalk Robotics (RWLK).

ReWalk’s a pioneer in the wearable robotics market – what’s called “exoskeletons.”

Exoskeletons are battery-powered robots that people can wear

They enable individuals, including the disabled, to achieve mobility or endurance that would otherwise be impossible.

ReWalk’s IPO handed public-market investors a quick 116% gain.

And earlier investors, the folks who invested when the company was still private, walked away with even higher returns – in some cases, far in excess of 500%.

Another top company in the exoskeleton market is called Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (EKSO).

EKSO went public in January, raising $20.6 million.

Like ReWalk, it made quite an impression when it hit the public markets:

Shares rallied more than 700% before gravity finally kicked in.

But here’s the thing:

Both companies got their start thanks to government-funded research.

And that’s not a coincidence.

The Government: A Disruptive Technology Incubator?

The fact is, many disruptive technologies get their start as government-backed projects:

They either begin as special projects directly for the military, or they receive government grants to help fund early development. And if they’re successful, these technologies eventually make their way into commercial applications.

One example is unmanned aerial vehicles, or “drones” – a subject that Matt and Wayne have recently written about.

And now let’s look at how this fits into my quest for a four-minute mile –

And look at why you should care.

Codename: 4MM

Several years ago, the Pentagon’s research arm – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or “DARPA” for short – approached researchers at Arizona State University (ASU).

Their request?

Create a robotic device to give soldiers superhuman abilities – including the ability to run a 4-minute mile.

And that’s how the “4 Minute Mile” Project was born.

Its codename is 4MM.

The current prototype is a jetpack with two thrusters. It weighs in at 11.2 pounds.

To see it in action with a test dummy – I mean test subject – check out this video >>

Obviously, additional testing and design modifications are still needed.

To be practical, the jetpack needs to be lighter. Maybe it’ll be built directly into a soldier’s backpack.

Nevertheless, the early results are extremely promising.

As ASU researcher Jason Kerestes said: “If you think of a Navy SEAL or an Army soldier that has to get in somewhere quick and do whatever they’ve gotta do, but maybe get out of there just as quickly… these devices can really help.  [They could] potentially save human lives as well.”

Now that’s an inspiring mission.

Be Early. Period

There are a couple of reasons I’m eager for the 4MM project to work:

First of all, I really want to run a four-minute mile.

But secondly, I believe it could end up being a life-changing investment opportunity.

You see, EKSO got its start at UC Berkeley, an academic institution – and then it was spun out so it could capitalize on its commercial potential.

If 4MM delivers on its promise, I’m convinced it will be spun out from ASU in the exact same way.

Maybe it’ll materialize as an equity crowdfunding opportunity, like ReWalk did…

Or maybe it’ll be a public venture opportunity like Ekso.

Either way, to gain the most profits, you need to get in early.

So consider yourself officially “clued-in” –

As a subscriber to Crowdability, I’ll keep you posted on 4MM’s progress, and I’ll alert you immediately if any direct investment opportunities materialize.

Best Regards,
Lou Basenese
Contributing Editor

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