Brian Frederiksen

Brian Frederiksen. Photos: Nancy Heslin

“I’ve made millions and lost millions, and I’ve been homeless,” says Monaco resident Brian Frederiksen, “but I’ve always found my way back, believing anything was possible.”

Brian, a Fortune 500 executive who is considered one of the world’s leading change agents for AI innovations disrupting healthcare, moved back to Monaco in 2019 after he sold his last startup, a deep tech company founded in academia with sophisticated algorithms.

“I used to live in Monaco about ten years ago. In pursuit of another adventure in life I ended up leaving, however, it was one of those places I wanted to come back to once I had a family.”

When he returned, he volunteered as a mentor at MonacoTech, the government incubator, which is where he met then-director Fabrice Marquet, who had been heading the show since its launch in 2017.

“Eventually Fabrice and I saw an opportunity to create a business accelerator model with a hands-on approach that didn’t exist anywhere else, where we could use our experience to help early- to mid-stage companies become global market leaders.”

In January 2020, the pair cofounded Monaco Foundry. “It has gone better than either of us could have imagined. Most importantly, I have found in Fabrice an incredible business partner. We have had lots of fun so far and already have an incredible portfolio of startups, all with the potential to change the world and improve the lives of others.”

That’s a pretty bold statement considering Brian’s CV includes stints as former chief strategy & operating officer of Merck’s Healthcare Services & Solutions, and senior advisor on AI and innovation to several European governments, including in Finland where he oversaw half a billion dollars worth of startups.

“The one thing I’ve learned is that eventually everything in life, as in business, always comes down to people. My insight and, I suppose, emotional intelligence have allowed me to make new and disruptive deals in AI, for instance, for healthcare because I create strong bonds with people and they instantly understand that I would go to the end of the earth to not let them down.”

As a young boy in his native Copenhagen, Brian longed to see the world. “I visited California when I was 17 and found a kindred spirit that anything was possible. I returned to the US after finishing my engineering degree in Denmark and my MBA in Paris.”

He lived all over the country, from Santa Fe to Santa Barbara and from Miami to NYC. “Juxtaposed to the Denmark I left as a young man, where you’re expected to fit in and where sticking out is not encouraged, I was a born change agent. The US is the perfect playground to create the life you want for yourself.”

It was in 2004, while working for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office (he was looking to become a sheriff’s deputy) that Brian began to write. “My first novel, The Blood of the Vikings was published in a few European countries. I continued writing more books for the series, The Valentina Chronicles, and now, more than 16 years later, I’m still working on it.”

But it’s Brian’s most recent book that is garnering attention. Published in November in print and for Kindle, UNIVERSO-i reached No.1 as a New Hot Release International Best Seller on Amazon. “After the birth of my son, I decided to write my life story for him. The goal with the book is to help others overcome the fear and anxiety we all experience – especially in the times of Covid – to live the lives we’ve always dreamed of. Everything we want in life is truly on the other side of fear.”

Brian is donating profits from the book to charitable organizations that he partners with to share the message that the “game of destiny is won by loving and giving.”

He explains, “The crazy thing is that I’ve met people of incredible talent, physical abilities or beauty that believe they are not good enough, smart enough or beautiful enough because someone once told them that in their childhood or in school to lower their self-esteem. The mind is very powerful and can be our greatest friend or our worst enemy.”

Has fear or anxiety ever paralyzed him? “I believe strongly in my intuition so when I feel good about something or someone then I tend to pursue it without worrying too much about if everything has been figured out yet. So far it has been an incredible journey. One moment, an entrepreneur starting a company from scratch with a few people and the next, an advisor to governments, then a Fortune 500 executive and then back to a startup. And, as I said earlier, I have made millions and been homeless.”

For Brian, Covid brings out the best or the worst in people. “It seems like a litmus test for humanity as a whole and for us as individuals.”

He has a unique take on how we have been spending our time during lockdown and the pandemic. “If you haven’t developed or created something new in your life during these times then it is not more time you need but more discipline.”

He adds, “For the disciplined, Covid has been an incredible time to progress innovations in healthcare and otherwise. Some people see it as an opportunity to take advantage and others as an opportunity to give.

“Life always seems to come back to the givers and the takers. I firmly believe that the game of destiny is won by giving and loving, not taking and seeking to be loved,” says Brian Frederiksen.