JD Cross grew up in Vancouver, WA, where he played baseball, football, Dungeons & Dragons, and drums. He never thought he would become a physicist, but that’s what happened after he left Washington for Wisconsin to attend Lawrence University. He earned a BA in physics from LU and then migrated father east: to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. There, he dug into that science that he had always managed to avoid in high school and as an undergraduate, biology. He designed nanofluidic devices to create novel separation mechanisms for DNA, proteins, and other biomolecules and eventually earned a PhD in applied physics. While at Cornell, he took up triathlon, became a passable swimmer, and completed Ironman Wisconsin in 2007. Also while at Cornell, he saw a number of his colleagues start companies based upon their research and he thought this seemed like a fun new thing to try. Veratag, an RFID security company, was thus born. As Chief Technology Officer, he built a product suite based on university patents. Wanderlust again setting in, he left Veratag after a few years, moved to Flagstaff, AZ with his wife and cat, and started a new company, Hermes Commerce, a mobile device payment company. Somewhere in and amongst the moving, the triathlons, and the companies, Evolve was written.
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