Amir Monsouri

By Community, Leadership 2 Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, we’re about to take you on an exhilarating ride into the world of digital dentistry innovation that could change smiles across the globe. Our special guest is Amir Monsouri, the genius mind behind SprintRay. As founder and CEO, he shares how his company is revolutionizing dental care through cutting-edge 3D printing technology. 

Join us as we explore not only this promising dental innovation but also an extraordinary conversation packed with personal anecdotes and professional wisdom! Tune in now!

Learn more about SprintRay and get a FREE 3D-printed sample today!

In this Episode:

  • A deep dive into SprintRay and the company’s role in digitizing dentistry.
  • Discover how what seemed like science fiction two decades ago has become today’s reality.
  • Listen in to personal past dental experiences compared to the rapid advancements that now allow same-day procedures.
  • Hear the importance of going digital, emphasizing why patients should seek out digitally equipped dentists for better preventative care and bio-copies of their teeth.
  • Discover the transformative impact on individuals who can once again enjoy eating thanks to modern prosthetics offering up to 85% bite power restoration.
  • Learn about Amir’s inspiring story of entrepreneurship and his accidental entry into dentistry through product development.
  • Explore why companies obsessed with product innovation are leading today’s market, including those like Tesla, Apple, Google, and OpenAI.
  • Highlighting how portable 3D printing allows high-quality dental services even in remote locations globally—bridging care gaps between affluent neighborhoods and less accessible areas.


“If I told you that I can 3D print your teeth in 25 minutes that is better than your God-given one, or if the one you’re born with, you would have said, this is not real. This is science fiction. But it’s happening right now.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“That is the efficiency that we believe in this time and age when everyone is in a hurry, people don’t have time, and people are busy. Expecting people to go back twice, three times for a dental appointment is just not reasonable.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Let me tell you this, just a part of digitizing your teeth, this is what every one of us needs, a bio, almost digital bio copy of our teeth as we age. This is something that you want every year, a digital scanning of your teeth because you’re going to lose a tooth here and there.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“You don’t want something to be designed with AI. It’s a bio copy of your own teeth. So the entry to this digital dentistry world is a scanning technology.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“If you think about it, this is, we’re giving someone else another 20, 30 years worth of life to that teeth. And it’s just possible with the advancement of biomaterial as well as digital technology.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“We have our own issues and challenges in life. We all grind our teeth, no matter what income class you are at, that happens. And the ability and I mean, grinding teeth is the beginning of it. And then it goes to gum recession. That’s the next thing that happens. And it goes into the whole downward spiral of losing a lot of your health in the oral cavity.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Once that damage is done, you’re right. The quality of life drastically drops. You go from biting on one apple to eating good food, and good nutrition, to not enjoying eating and not getting the nutrition you want.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Using 3D printing and milling technology that are fabricated, you have up to 85 % of your original teeth back.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Don’t quit. Keep going. Do something disruptive. Don’t just get out of college and just go the normal way that everyone else goes. That’s what I did.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“You can turn anything into your passion. It’s all about being a little, having a little bit of perseverance taking pleasure in solving those problems and making progress, and turning it into positive reinforcement.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Companies with absolute obsession over product developments are the ones who are winning today and we see it over and over and over.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“Once you conceive the product idea to the point that you bring it to life, the job begins. You have to come up with the next one.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“What keeps people excited is that shared vision that really being excited about making a difference and the ability to bring something that is disruptive.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“To me, failing, if you keep trying, it’s not failing. That’s the reality.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“So if you can sustain and survive a long term trying is where people start to see success.” ~ Amir Monsouri

“You can’t be a hundred percent of the time, right? you make bad decisions and good decisions as long as the sum of the good decisions is better than bad decisions. You survive and win.” ~ Amir Monsouri


Amir Mansouri, PhD, is the CEO and Co-founder of SprintRay. Before founding SprintRay, Amir received both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in the field of additive manufacturing. A unique blend of scientific and entrepreneurial, he pursued a technology commercialization program at USC Marshall School of Business, which led to the co-founding of SprintRay in 2014. Under his direction, SprintRay has grown from a proof-of-concept business plan to a multi-national dental equipment company. Today, Amir is uniquely suited to his responsibility for planning and strategizing SprintRay’s product and commercial development growth.

Guest Contact Info:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amir-mansouri-91604661/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@Amir_Mansouri

Website: https://sprintray.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SprintRay

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sprintray/

Chloe Duckworth

By Community, Leadership, Personal Growth, Science No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our host Gary Scott Thomas had a thought-provoking conversation with Chloe Duckworth, the co-founder and CEO of Valence Vibrations, an AI startup delivering emotional classifications in real-time conversation, aiming to augment emotional perception across different neurotypes, languages, communication styles, and cultures. They delve into how her company is revolutionizing the way we perceive and interact with emotions in digital spaces, especially for neurodivergent individuals. Join us for fascinating insights that spark ideas about where humanity and technology converge. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you!)

In this Episode:

  • Learn how Chloe’s startup aims to make virtual environments more accessible by helping users better understand social cues via haptic feedback.
  • Hear about the creation of an Apple Watch app designed for autistic, ADHD, and neurodivergent individuals to assist in reading room vibes through vibrations.
  • Discover how emotion AI can minimize misunderstandings caused by cultural differences or atypical neurological wiring.
  • Discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on digital communication and the need for tools that bridge emotional perception gaps in virtual environments.
  • Find out about new tools that could transform our approach to video conferencing by adding layers of emotional context. 
  • Discussion around ethical considerations when implementing emotion detection technologies in sensitive areas like courtrooms.
  • Hear personal stories about self-discovery and improved communication skills as a result of engaging deeply with emotional data analytics.
  • Get excited about the potential future developments where emotional AI could serve as an ’emotional subtitle’ for internet communications globally, fostering greater empathy online.


“Every time there’s a mismatch of accents, cultural backgrounds, or in this case, neurotypes, it makes it a lot harder to perceive emotions.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“The way that we all express emotions is different.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“It’s helping people better gauge how each person is feeling within this group on a real-time level, but then also a larger conversational understanding of the highs and lows points of that conversation and how successful that conversation was.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“The way that we think about the technology that we’re building is that it’s really powerful in improving human communication and connection across people. And that’s really what we care about as a company is like, how can we use this technology and the most pro-communication, pro-humanity use cases.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“People get very good at hiding their emotions from themselves. So because it feels like if I don’t acknowledge that I’m feeling a certain way about a situation, then I don’t need to sort of deal with the repercussions of that emotion. And I think oftentimes we’re trying to find a level of equanimity that requires us to understand our reactions to things in order to get back to our baseline.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“Our moonshot is building the emotional subtitle of the internet.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“I think that what’s important in the next wave of AI technologies is to consider what is left that’s distinctly human and how can we highlight that in a digital environment.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“I think that being able to empathize and connect across people is something that is distinctly human and will not be able to be automated away. The human will always be in that loop, in emotional connection. And so using AI to actually improve our ability to do that really well, while keeping humans in the loop is a pro-human application of the technology. And I think we see the technology serving as an emotional passport to help people gain access to the emotional patterns of types of people they’ve never encountered before or situations they’ve never encountered before • to be able to improve that connection.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“I think people feel so entitled to have an opinion on other people’s lives because we now have such unprecedented access to the mundanity of other people’s lives and being able to criticize very specific types of interactions that we just didn’t know about before.” ~ Chloe Duckworth

“It’s like, how can I check in with myself? My emotional reactions to things? How can I understand other people’s emotional reactions to things? And in particular, their emotional reactions to me.” ~ Chloe Duckworth


Chloe Duckworth is the co-founder and CEO of Valence Vibrations, an AI startup delivering emotional classifications in real-time conversation, aiming to augment emotional perception across different neurotypes, languages, communication styles, and cultures. Chloe is personally motivated by democratizing access to wellness in every facet of being well. In the wake of the pandemic, she co-founded Hope Hearted, a Bay Area-based nonprofit that has provided PPE to thousands of unhoused and low-income people.

Chloe has worked as a Program Manager and an Advanced Special Projects Team Intern at BrainMind and was involved in managing programs and special projects related to neuroscience. Additionally, Chloe has served as a Research Assistant at the University of Southern California, where they contributed to the development of a model of neuronal circuits and created a graphical flatmap heat map tool for visualizing brain data. Chloe has also completed a Cognitive Neuroscience Internship at Stanford University School of Medicine and worked as a Research Assistant at Stanford. Chloe Duckworth has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computational Neuroscience from the University of Southern California.

Guest Contact Info:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chloe-duckworth/

Website: https://www.valencevibrations.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/valencevibrations/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@valencevibrations

Chase Harmer

By Community, Personal Growth No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, we delve into the entrepreneurial journey of the CEO and founder of PayCertify, Chase Harmer, from his early days in payment processing to his latest venture, Wishes. As a seasoned entrepreneur and innovator in fintech, Chase shares insights on embracing failure, the power of persistence, and his vision for transforming charitable giving.

This episode provides an enlightening perspective on taking risks, overcoming adversity, and leveraging one’s experiences toward making the world a better place through technological advancements within philanthropy. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you so you can save 20%!)

In this Episode:

  • Listen in to Chase’s background story from growing up in the Los Gatos area, hustling from a young age, and starting business ventures at 19 years old.
  • Discover how he started in credit card sales during its nascent stage in 1998, then quickly moved on to start his own business after learning about profit margins.
  • Hear his lessons learned through failures, including an initial failed partnership due to a lack of experience and understanding of marketing needs.
  • Be inspired by how he turned an initial investment into a $40 million/year business before moving into building technology for merchant services without a prior tech background.
  • Discussion on how success has changed him personally: facing challenges that almost led him to lose everything but choosing redemption over despair.
  • Chase shares wisdom on valuing human capability beyond monetary wealth—what you can do without money often defines your true worth.
  • Discover how Wishes was born out of Chase’s desire for meaningful impact rather than personal wealth accumulation. 
  • Explore the topics and his insights on his blog about astrophysics.


“I burned through a lot of that capital, uh, learning how to do things wrong. you know, I was able to escape out of there 11 years later, but pioneering some new and novel concepts inside of the payments business.” ~ Chase Harmer

“You know, in my mind, I never thought, I never thought, you know, I never thought failure was an option.” ~ Chase Harmer

“I’m an optimist by nature. I think most entrepreneurs pursue something that’s crazy to most people, we all believe that we can do it.” ~ Chase Harmer

“I think being a founder and just being connected to the outcome was more meaningful for me to create a product that mattered, that actually was real, than, you know, making a fortune or trying to make money. It was all about making something that mattered, you know, and that people want it.” ~ Chase Harmer

“You either get killed by those failures or you choose to just keep on going and I don’t see keep on going as a choice. I just feel like it’s like an obligation. Like you’re the only person that can say it’s over. There’s, it’s not over until you say it’s over.” ~ Chase Harmer

“If there’s an ounce of daylight to grasp on to, I grasp on to that daylight and I try to make the sunshine.” ~ Chase Harmer

“When the world turns and you are on the verge of losing things or you know you can’t make payroll or all these different things, you know, you really feel, you really see like who’s with you and who’s not with you in a lot of times. It just feels like you’re by yourself. You’re on an island, you know, and nobody really understands what you’re going through. So I think a lot of times when you have that spiritual connection, it allows you to at least know that there’s someone else or something else with you, um, to help you along that journey.” ~ Chase Harmer

“I think that’s really why I built this: to really make the world a better place and to help as many people as possible.” ~ Chase Harmer

“I think the American, like, we’re all like pioneers at heart. Like, we all want to blaze our own trail, I think. And, you know, some people, um, have the balls to do it. And, you know, other people are part of the overall strategy.” ~ Chase Harmer

“God made us is like, we’re not all supposed to be, they’re supposed to be crazy idiots that follow dreams that maybe are possible, but are not afraid to do it. And that those dreams may turn out to be real and or maybe they don’t. But you know, I think. It’s only in trying that we really find out who we’re made of and what we’re supposed to be doing in this world and what our purpose is about.” ~ Chase Harmer

“Your journey is going to be different than everyone else’s.” ~ Chase Harmer


As the Chief Executive Officer, Chase Harmer is the visionary for PayCertify, a worldwide payments company that works with businesses in the e-commerce, healthcare, and travel verticals, processing billions of dollars in transactions annually. Having started in banking at the age of 19, Chase has built portfolios processing billions globally and created several patents through his two decades of experience.

Chase has spent 26+ years as a payments entrepreneur and was one of the pioneers of virtual credit card technology. After building several companies and creating 7 patents since 2013, Chase leverages his past successes to give back to the community and help other entrepreneurs build businesses as a Lecturer and Mentor at the Founders Institute.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: https://chaseharmer.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chase-harmer-657a5b5/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@wishesinc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chaseharmerrr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chaseharmerrr/

X: https://twitter.com/chaseharmerr

Sam Liccardo

By Mental Health, Personal Growth, Politics No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas welcomes Sam Liccardo, the 64th mayor of San Jose, for an insightful discussion on technology’s impact on legacy and memory. Join us on a fascinating journey as we explore his lineage and the intriguing blend of Sicilian, Irish, and Mexican roots that converge in his family tree. During this engaging episode, Sam Liccardo delves into the unique leadership challenges he encountered, particularly those faced by mayors of big cities. A role often regarded as one of the most demanding. Yet amidst these difficulties lie opportunities for growth and resilience.

Tune in to this conversation filled with captivating stories about our past while providing thought-provoking insights about our present and future! 

This episode is sponsored by:

In This Episode:

  • Unity and Division: A Historical Perspective
  • Technology’s Role in Remembering Personalities 
  • Candid Conversations with Leaders
  • Ancestry Documentation and its Significance
  • Debunking ‘The Good Old Days’ Concept 
  • Future Technology and Social Implications
  • The Power of Mementos 
  • Transition from Physical Spaces to Virtual Studios  
  • Story Topping: A Conversation Killer
  • Politics, Human Interaction, and Quick Connections
  • Door-to-Door Politics: A Deep Insight into Community Concerns 
  • The Rise of AI and Trust Issues
  • Resilience: A Recurring Theme 
  • Ego and Hubris: Obstacles to Scientific Discourse
  • Housing Crisis: Need for Innovation 
  • Balancing Ideological Differences: Finding Middle Ground
  • Pandemic Response: Challenges and Triumphs
  • High Construction Cost: Need for Innovative Models
  • Digital Divide: Bridging the Gap
  • Leadership Effectiveness in High-Pressure Situations 
  • Name-dropping and Celebrity Encounters
  • Future Political Aspirations: A Return to Public Service
  • Free Speech and Diverse Viewpoints


“The reality is, you know, we’ve survived to this country because somehow or another, one generation or another found a way to be resilient and said resilience, and we gotta find again.” ~ Sam Liccardo

“I certainly hope that real human communication comes back into vogue because the trend lines are going exactly opposite direction.” ~ Sam Liccardo

“You know, there are no easy solutions to a lot of these complex urban challenges.”

~ Sam Liccardo

“You know, really, the best approach of all was just asking questions.” ~ Sam Liccardo

“It’s a terrifying prospect that we just can’t all agree on just a few basic truths so that we can begin to disagree about something more interesting, rather than the fact that we have to question whether or not, you know, whatever anybody said was deep, fake, or real.” ~ Sam Liccardo

Guest’s Bio:

Sam Liccardo became the 64th mayor and one of the youngest individuals to serve in San José, California’s highest elected office. A member of the Democratic Party, Sam was elected mayor in November 2014. He was re-elected in 2018 with 75.8% of the vote. After graduating from Bellarmine College Preparatory in San José, Sam attended Georgetown University, where he rowed crew as captain of the heavyweight squad. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991 and enrolled at Harvard Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. After graduating with honors with a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy, Sam returned to the Bay Area in 1996. Sam’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other publications.

Prior to his election to public office, Sam spent a number of years in public service, serving as a federal and local criminal prosecutor on a range of felony cases, from sexual assault and child exploitation to international narcotrafficking. Sam’s extensive work in the community also included teaching political science at San José State University, co-founding an innovative program to mentor children, serving on the boards of several affordable housing organizations, and advocating for several successful countywide ballot measures that are bringing BART to San José. 

Under his leadership, San Jose thrived with his efforts by growing the economy equitably, supporting struggling neighbors and broadening inclusion, investing in youth, beautifying San Jose and advancing smart environmental policies, improving public safety, building a 21st-century transportation network, and embracing innovation in the government. Sam and his wife, Jessica Garcia-Kohl, live near downtown San Jose.

Guest’s Contact Info: