Wireless Electricity and the “Midas Supergroup”

Checking out the latest Nick Hodge teaser for Early Advantage

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, February 25, 2015

“America’s Most Elite Investment Collective Just Netted 67,350% Gains…

“And it’s about to do it again!

“Thanks to a proprietary investment ranking tool, this group has its hands on a game-changing technology…

“And it’s about to take early investors for another ridiculous profit ride

“They’re called the Midas Supergroup…

“And they DO NOT miss.

“When this underground team of elite investment pros decides to take on a project, the results are nothing short of storybook… every single time.”

That’s a solid intro, right? Everyone believes that there are secret cabals who are consistently getting those 50,000% returns, and we just don’t hear about them because they’re so secret and quiet as they bathe in their piles of cool cash. Who can resist?

The spiel is from Nick Hodge, who says this “Midas Supergroup” has “literally never picked a loser” and has generated gains of “19,950%, 49,893%, and, recently, an unbelievable 67,350%” … and, more importantly, he says he has picked out the next stock that will generate massive gains thanks to the backing of this “Supergroup.”

So who is it?

Well, the spiel is about a wireless charging company — a stock that’s seeking what some consider the “holy grail” of consumer electronics: a way to recharge devices through the air, without plugging them in or setting them on a special pad… even, in the most optimistic dreams, from across a room. And we can tell you who that is (you can figure it out yourself this time around as well, I’m sure, and our teaser-chasing reader MRTV has noted the solution for you too in comments this week)… but let’s start with explaining what this “Supergroup” is…

Hodge explains the business this way:

“What it boils down to is this: a comprehensive database that uses complex algorithms to rank companies according to factors like a high CAGR of patent applications, patent novelty, quality, and impact, among other critical pieces of intel.

“It’s dense, complicated, and impossible to understand (unless you have a Ph.D. in mathematics).

“It’s taken over 75,000 man-hours to develop this master system that never sleeps or takes a day off.

“It contains in-depth information regarding 4+ million U.S. patent grants and 2+ million U.S. patent applications…

“It’s constantly running behind the scenes, parsing data on these patents — as well as over 4,000 public and private companies — and continuously updating the internal leaderboard of companies that stand to change the world.

“But most importantly for you, this elite business intelligence is precisely how the Midas Supergroup comes up with its five-digit winners.

“That’s what it takes for the Midas Supergroup to throw its weight behind a company.

“In fact, this system is SO discerning that it’s only led to Midas Supergroup endorsing six companies in its 17-year history.

“And all of them — ALL of them — have delivered massive gains to those who took notice early.

“You’ve already seen for yourself how this uncompromising approach has turned into 19,950%, 49,893%, and even 67,350% returns.”

And he is, in fact, talking about an investment bank with a pretty unique strategy — it seems that the “Midas Supergroup” must be MDB Capital, and they specialize in what they call “public venture financing.” Instead of creating venture capital funds, they help promising patent-rich companies who they think have huge potential become public or uplist from the OTC markets, raise money and raise their profile, and finance the next stage of their (usually still pre-commercial) development. Sometimes they also supply small amounts of bridge financing before the IPO or reverse merger or whatever, or help find other financing like any investment bank would, but they do not themselves have a big balance sheet (they’re a LLC, some of their filings with the SEC are handwritten).

MDB has been the investment bank behind a few names that you may well remember from past teaser campaigns — like Clearsign (CLIR), Second Sight Medical (EYES), Parametric Sound (now Turtle Beach, ticker HEAR), Uni-Pixel (UNXL), Ideal Power (IPWR), VirnetX (VHC) and Medivation (MDVN). I don’t know what MDB Capital’s screening process is really like, or how they try to leverage the patents of their companies to drive value and create something that will appeal to shareholders… but clearly part of what they provide is storytelling, these stocks had (or have) compelling stories that often appeal to investors. And being no dummies, the newsletter teaser writers know that cool “startup” stories don’t just sell stocks, they also sell newsletters.

And yes, some of those stocks have had tremendous returns over relatively short periods of time — though in many (not all) cases those returns were very short-lived and the companies crashed back to earth because the (partly MDB-generated) “bubble” in their share price was pricked after it became clear that the valuation was unsupported by any real business prospects… as with Uni-Pixel and Parametric Sound.

You can see the case studies that MDB provides on their website here, or their investor presentation here… or, if you want what I think might be a more balanced perspective, you might also check out the more cynical assessment of the success of the companies MDB helped to fund in this article from last year.

That doesn’t necessarily mean MDB is terrible, just that they do not have a golden touch when it comes to creating great, sustaining businesses — they might have a golden marketing touch at getting IPOs of teensy weensy companies accepted by investors, and helping to drive them up based on news flow and R&D-type news, I haven’t studied how they work and they don’t publicly release their strategy when it comes to when they invest in the company, when they sell after (or during) the IPO, or the full list of all the companies they’ve funded that haven’t actually made it through to the IPO or other public funding (presumably there are some, I don’t know).

One of the companies teased by Nick Hodge and claimed as a success by MDB that has turned into a real and dramatically successful investment did so years after MDB was involved, apparently — that was Medivation (MDVN), which they took public with a reverse merger and drove to an $800+ million market cap on the strength of a potential Alzheimer’s drug, but it collapsed in 2008 on bad trial results. A couple years after that crash, Medivation did develop and advance another drug that has been much more successful, driving them to a $5+ billion market cap now… but it doesn’t seem as though MDB had anything to do with that. MDB is essentially selling a service (intellectual property consulting and arrangement of financing through public equity or debt markets), and in exchange they receive fees and multi-year warrants from the company. They don’t seem to be investing in the company with their own money, but they are, through the warrants, incentivized to get the stock price higher.

So what’s the company that Hodge is talking about as the latest one “blessed” by MDB Capital?

Well, I suppose I should supply at least a little bit of the hype from the ad for you… don’t want to spoil the fun:

“Considering the ridiculous historical precedent the Midas Supergroup has set, its backing is a strong enough signal to buy in its own right…

“But when you pair this elite endorsement with an unparalleled technology like wireless electricity — one that has consumers going crazy with interest and Big Business licking its lips — it could easily produce gains that eclipse any of its previous endeavors.

“Just like with the Midas Supergroup’s storybook success, words can’t capture the astonishing nature of this technology.

“No more wires, batteries, or electrical outlets necessary. No more forgetting to charge your phone before an important call.

“Take a look for yourself, and bear in mind that this video shows only a small sample of what you can actually do with this revolutionary technology:”

And they embed a video in the ad, which essentially shows a family moving about their house while all of their devices, from watches to video game controllers to tablets and phones, are being constantly charged by a wireless charging network.
But yes, as others have guessed this is, in fact, Energous (WATT), which produced the “conceptual video” that demonstrates “some of the potential.” You can see that video on the Energouos website, as well as their second and third conceptual videos and the demonstrations they did at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month.

It does look pretty cool, to be sure, and Energous has made a little bit of progress in getting partners and raising money — they had a secondary offering with a “real” investment bank (Oppenheimer) late last year, so they have a good pile of cash now for their continued R&D efforts, and they’ve gotten a lot of attention from a group of bloggers over at Seeking Alpha and from Louis Basenese, who touted both Energous and fellow MDB-IPO Resonant as disruptive tech stocks in a CNBC segment late last year (he has touted several of the other MDB Capital-associated companies over the years, using similar language about being “patent-centric,” and also wrote positively about Second Sight late last year after they went public). For more of a long-form look at the technology, there’s an interesting article here from a Forbes contributor last month.

Energous has also joined one of the task forces of a tech standards alliance that is trying to develop unified standards for wireless charging to ensure wide compatibility, though they’re really in a separate, much less developed category of “uncoupled” power (the more advanced stuff are the charging “mats” and similar “immediate proximity but not actually plugged in” chargers, like the Duracell power mats that you can buy now, or the charger that will accompany the Apple Watch). I don’t really understand whether their technology uses WiFi signals or if that’s just a useful way to visualize it for dunderheads like me, but that’s what the demos look like — and the range is more in the Bluetooth neighborhood, with devices having to be within 15-20 feet of a charging station in their demos.

What’s the timeline to commercialization? I have no idea. The stock “sold on the news” after the CES presentation last month, and I think investors probably always understate how long it takes to develop standards, get partners on board, design products, and build an actual ecosystem to support and sell those products — so much of that happens in the labs of a huge company, hidden away in the R&D budget that we never know much about, or is done while venture capitalists have a firm hand on the management and are watching costs and monitoring progress and sweet-talking buyout partners… in cases like this (or Uni-Pixel a couple years ago, for example), where a stock that should be venture-funded and private is publicly traded, all this wooing of partners and rumor-sharing about potential products happens out in the open, drives press releases that move the stock, and it sometimes goes very badly for shareholders when either the technology or the commercialization fail to develop on pace to keep up the interest level in the individual investors who hold shares.

Which doesn’t mean that they won’t get a great, strong partner and turn into the new standard for wireless charging — maybe they will, they are doing something different from the other publicly traded companies in the space (the other companies are mostly using inductive charging, mats and the like, and are in many cases big, established semiconductor firms like On Semi, Broadcom, etc.). We will almost certainly see charging “mats” in widespread use a long time before there’s a viable “central charger” that you can install and charge things over the radiowaves in your home or in your local Starbucks, but I can’t tell you what a “long time” means — just that without any big partners on board yet, the design and production cycle hasn’t really even begun, these are still prototypes. Prototypes that apparently work, per the CES demonstration, but that’s all I can tell you about them.

So, of course, there’s no reasonable way to arrive at a valuation for this company. Right now it’s got a market cap of around $100 million and has something in the neighborhood of $40 million in cash ($20 millionish from their IPO last Spring, $20 millionish from their secondary in December that’s not in the reported earnings yet). They won’t become profitable anytime soon, but they should have enough cash to continue their current pace of spending (about $6 million a quarter) for at least the rest of this year, even if they up their investment a bit. The news flow looks interesting, they have lots of enticing deals and partnerships, but none of it seems to be on any kind of timeline that lets us guess about the financial implications… even if we had any idea of what it would cost to scale up, get partners, or whatever. Really, it’s a bit like biotech — it’s about getting partners, developing the technology, and keeping investors interested and excited about the uniqueness of the potential product… and, most importantly, not running out of money before investors run out of patience.

I’d love to see a product like this — but it will have to be built in to every device that uses it, so this is a massive ecosystem to break into and, to be honest, it probably relies on either Samsung or Apple signing on if it’s going to be a big deal — if you can’t charge your phone, the only device you really care about running out of power in the course of a day, there’s no real need for the product, and if you want to charge your iPhone with this future Energous product, your iPhone is going to have to have a power receive chip in it that works with the Energous “power network.” That’s an exciting opportunity, and also a huge hurdle.

So what do you think — excited about Energous? Think it will either become a huge company in the long run, or be such a good story for a short while that it becomes a spiking thrill-ride of a stock that gives you the chance for great returns? Have a bit more pessimism on this one? I’d love to hear what you think — shout it out with a comment below.


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55 Comments on "Wireless Electricity and the “Midas Supergroup”"

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AllanTrends
Irregular
72

I put IDTI in front of my subscribers today, the difference between the two is IDTI is going up, WATT is going down. If you’re going got invest in wireless charging, why not invest in a stock going in the right direction?

modernrock
Irregular
234

who are your subscribers? what service do you run? How do you know what price they put WATT out at?

AllanTrends
Irregular
72

Just click on my name, it will take you to my site.

john
Guest
0

Hmmm Is that why Watt went up today and IDTI went down??

JOHN
Guest
0

there is already a company private selling working over the air products its CALLED OSSIA

OnceBurned
Guest
0

Be very wary of ANYTHING Nick Hodges hypes. He’s like a one man pump and dump show.

Tim Hunter
Guest
0

Yes, I’ve seen Nick’s stuff before. Ditto on that comment! Just say NO to Nick.

modernrock
Irregular
234

Actually he has been quite hot lately, which is surprising. He doubled SBOTF, has traded TVIX for 25% or more at least four times recently and most recently EYES has popped 60% from his buy.

Fred Di Francesco
Guest
0
Although I believe it was manipulated, and probably will be, again, I have to say that I, too did extraordinarily well in Stellar (SBOTF). I didn’t like the way they sprang various news events, such as Secondary Placement Offers; some well run companies actually announce such things in advance, give investors a chance to decide whether they would rather leave, or hold through the changes. The way Stellar did their SPO seemed more to me like locking investors in a barn, then setting the barn on fire. I’ve also thought that if a company is so anxious to sell their… Read more »
Sable Arms
Guest
0
The last individual whom pursued the distribution of wireless electricity for the masses, he died penniless at the age of 85 in a small apartment in New York City. the following day all of his research was seized by our trustworthy Federal Government. Fortunately, prior to his death, he was wise enough to have mailed his life’s work to several family members and friends back to his native village of Smiljan, Croatia. Thus his work now lives on in posterity. Of course, I believe you know of whom I speak. One of many throughout the history of our world and… Read more »
takeprofits
Guest
0
That may be a little harsh, he has had some spectacular winners as well. I agree, he has a reputation for hype that is well deserved and caution is justified. Many winners tend to be short term and that is certainly true with MDB promoted stocks. The negative notes on WATT by Travis are well justified according to this in depth article on the subject. As he said, this may well be one of those rise like a rocket that quickly fizzles. Optimism on new technology is sometimes rewarded by hype analysts like hodge can push the boundaries on pretty… Read more »
Deborah
Guest
0

every time I see one of his hypes I start to hear the Circus Caliopi. His pitches tell me to bring in The clowns.

Lydia Nichol
Guest
0

You’re right!

Alan Harris
Guest
0

Couldnt you place your phone etc on the cable BEFORE your meter?

arch1
Irregular
7730
Alan if designed properly ,,,yes you could. I have not seen the patents,,,obviously ,, but this is almost certainly using an electrical field in one device to harvest power in another,,,much as the rotor and stator do in a generator.,,,altho in this case it would be static or not moving. As frightened as some are concerning radiation from a cell phone I wonder how well they would take to living in yet another radiation/magnetic/electrical field? Of course as you know a field surrounds every wire that is charged and Nicolai Tesla did not do well in sending home electric through… Read more »
Peter
Guest
0

Poor cows!!

Dave C
Guest
0
IDTI does have the upperhand with the onset of commericialization dead ahead. Starbucks spent 2014 installing new tables with the chargers embedded into them in no. Amwerica and is continuing into London for the first part of 2015. Intel will be releasing a laptop end of year that will charge by setting it on the table. I also hear rumours that Marriott Hotels is doing the same thing with embedded charging stations. Watt is schedule for a product release early 2016 and has partnered with Foxconn ( huge manufacturer) I se Without doubt every home will want a wireless charger.… Read more »
Dave C
Guest
0

Sorry from what I understand initially youll install batteries with antenna receivers to enable the charging and within a fee year products will incorperate these as well. Seems little far fetch but the concept is proven to work and can easily see popularity. So some specualtion or another probably pie in the sky.

cw99
Irregular
1235

Thanks Travis

backoffice
Irregular
221

Thank you Travis for another save.

Dave C
Guest
0

Of course youve got Toyota partner ( encouraging) shopping malls install the chargers along with other retail locations so as the driver can pull up near a station and recharge without plugging in. Wirelss charging is here and will be for sometime estimates are of 5 million products by end 2017 growing to 1.7 billion by 2030. For all the hype? Most evrybody hasnt even heard of it yet.

masthead
Member
37

Holy ZAP!!! I don’t want to be near those things. Period. I have received more than a few sparks while touching the bimini frame (aluminum) on my bowrider that was parked in a storage lot located under a high voltage (TVA) power line. I was able to get assigned a different parking space for my boat. Just glad there were no gasoline fumes lingering in the boat when I learned my lesson.
Some of these ideas remind me of eighth graders shooting the bull on the school bus…

Gino D
Guest
0

ZAP! ZAP! is correct. Soon, with all the high voltage to current ratio in the air that will be “created”, we will all be walking around with Afro looking hair style! Enjoy the future.

Dave C
Guest
0

™™Smart meter on that boat?

cdrsuds
Guest
0

There are other companies out there that are still private that have the working technology to wirelessly recharge electric bus batteries in 5 – 10 min. Check out W.A.V.E. in Utah, or Jay Leno’s Grarage U-tube. They have buses on the street.
Would that Tesla would marry up with them. Much bigger deal than the paltry cell phone charge.

AlB
Guest
0

Nick Hodge is a snake-oil salesman who always inflates how much you’ll make if you
actually buy his recommendations!

modernrock
Irregular
234

Don’t they all?

Dr Rick Foster
Guest
0

What about health risks with continuous electromagnetic field activity

quincy adams
Guest
0

Actually, I’m a bit surprised Mr. Hodge isn’t also touting potential health benefits from these fields, as possible cures for everything from eczema to brain cancer.

Rod
Guest
0

We’ve been in the constant presence of low frequency fields since electricity became widespread, has there been any documented increase in any type of disease attributable to those fields? We’ve been in the constant presence of medium and high frequency fields with widespread over-the-air radio and television. Cell phones operate above the TV band and WiFi well above cell phones, any attributable effects documented? Only issues I’ve heard of are overheating due to poor battery or power distribution design.

doug9694
Member
10

The U.S. is not the #1 in education. Could be all that radiation is affecting smarts.
And the next thing Nick could push are stocks involved with Faraday cages and
other wave protection devices.

kc
Guest
0

WiTri City – A private corp. by M.I.T. has patented many advances in the field and may have an agreement with the company. Keep in mind INTEL has signed an agreement to put some tech in market place. I believe MIT holds many of the patents.

grriverajr
Member
4

As a long time telecommunications infrastructure engineer working with such standard bodies as BICSI, I can attest to the long lead times for new development. Sure, the initial sprint out of the starting gate is exciting, and the finish line can be envisioned; however, the actual race is long, difficult, and oft times brutal. For every technological game changer that becomes a reality, legion are the bleached bones of those on the side of the track. Just think of Tesla, Edison and the development of power transmission and distribution. Caveat Emporium – ’nuff said.

joan_in_houston
Irregular
26

Wireless electricity?? Does he mean lightning??

Rod
Guest
0
No, it most likely is a novel application of the same principle used to generate and step up or step down electricity in the first place. A time varying electric field will induce a current in a conductor, a static field will not. To keep devices small the frequency of the field must be high. My understanding is that only the 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands are unlicensed so it probably operates there, same bands as WiFi. Has to be low power (thus 15 foot radius) or it would interfere. Sounds like a proximity chip is required in the compatible… Read more »
mike chace
Guest
0

Hey Travis. Enjoy your insights and comments. I am wondering if you are familiar with the hype that the Oxford Club is recently pushing in a new technology called RNA interference(sp)? It is being hailed as the cure all and one company owns the patent rights. I don’t know anything about the legitimacy of the Oxford Club. “If it sounds too good to be true,” as the old saying goes and ends with, “it probably isn’t.”
Check it out, if you have the time..http://pro.oxfordclub.com/BIOTECH49BRKIUP/EOXFR154/

JohnM
Irregular
1785

This is Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY)

Jonathan
Guest
0
Disclaimer – I’m not an analyst or have any special insight (I use references to some valid sites, but mostly rumors….I’m just a technology geek. So, Nikola Tesla is finally getting recognition 😉 Personally (and sorry for the length), I’d be suspicious of these over-the-air charging devices/companies that are selling this for portables like laptops/tablets. As already mentioned in the article, the pad charging devices already exist for portable devices (nothing new), what is new is the near-field capabilities with computing devices that have a CPU. If these new products can handle 120/220 volts for any old household device, then… Read more »
Rod
Guest
0
For those who don’t understand the references to 22nm or 14nm, Jonathan is basically saying that Intel has/is developing two new chips with higher densities so more semiconductor components in the same sized chip. More components means more capabilities. So Jonathan, it appears you’re suggesting that the CPU will be the device with the smarts to talk to the charging tables in Starbucks to get them to turn on. That also suggests that since it’s built to a standard, the charging table may have the smarts to get the laptop to spill your browsing history or something more sensitive. Maybe… Read more »
Robert Mourey
Guest
0

You don’t know the full story nor understand the full potential behind the tech. I recommend doing some DD on Witricity’s website and going from there.

Jonathan
Guest
0
So…to circle around on the Broadwell/Skylake and Apple rollout. Didn’t see them reviving the old MB (white clamshell), but it makes sense…drop Broadwell in that as the entry to the MB line just as the old MB was followed by MBP and Air. So MB gets retina and the first fanless and a trackpad/kb update….whoopy! Plus a 9-hour battery…double whoopy…that’s the same as current MBP and 3 hors short of the Air. But — Skylake drops in time for ’15 holiday season with all new MBP and Air…all retina, all wireless charge, fanless, etc…. so what if you have a… Read more »
Malcolm
Guest
0

Way out of date this one . Ikea have just announced they re launching a range of furniture in April with built in wireless charging in all the units . Just put your phone or anything else that needs charging on any unit and it will happen automatically

wiremubell.com
Guest
0
kia ora future Investors,,,,,yep, Wireless Electricity via Digital Audiology technology APPS will become richer than hello mr Bill Gates Microsoft owner, ok inventor + designor! ,,,,n yep, Im here in Aotearoa NZ, + Samsung Mobile phone company, have given, ok Invested 5 million KIWI dollars in Powerby Proxi via Auckland University Technology Scientist hello Inventors of Wireless Electricity again!!!!,,,,n yep, I am also an inventor of the hello, the above + my great, great, grand, uncle Alexander Graham Bell invented the copper WIRE telephone, hello 60 billion txters, txtn on Wireless mobile phones , per day every day, in 2015!!!,,,,,n… Read more »
doug9694
Member
10

I think the higher strength signals should be used in those countries where
you want to limit births.
Tesla’s system may have used a different type of energy than we are aware of.

sgoldham
Member
1
Lots of hot air here, as well as by Hodge. There is no need to speculate about the technology; Energous spells it out on their website. Yes it’s focussed 5.8GHz RF energy directed at the places (up to 12) where the transmitters detect receivers. No doubt “phased array type transmitters”, probably multiple transmitter sites so not all the energy comes from one direction. But they mention numbers like 4W…. thats a lot of RF, i.e. necessarily very intense in the areas of reception. (compare to typical cellphone radiation of say a quarter watt). However to deliver that 4W to 4… Read more »
Larry
Guest
0

I didn’t read every word of every post but never saw the word “induction” used. It’s been around for decades. Non-contact charging a la “shake flashlight”.

fred
Guest
0
something all of you need to realize, is that gold will go down when the world declares it has achieved “peace and security” at last, that will be a nice time to grab some silver, and some gold. you will be able to survive sometime after that, if you have protection from the Creator, much longer. But, after the fighting begins, gold and silver will not protect you, neither will all the stock you invest in. In the meantime, stock market should sky rocket, if it makes it to 30,000 like the experts say, better jump out. get gold. then… Read more »
backoffice
Irregular
221

I getting ready for retirement and need to build a decent nest egg after putting myself through college and 2 kids through college and still paying off school loans. I’ve been researching and there seems to be a newsletter for everything under the sun. Mostly long winded come ons to riches with very little substance. Any pointers will be sincerely appreciated. Thanks. extet@aol.com

wvm3hst
Member
4
First, Travis, thank you for years of ridiculously sublime debunking of these lairs and thieves. Second, I hate Nick Hodge. As such, I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo very happy that you already had reviewed this pitch. It made my week Travis ! : ) Hopefully you have disuaded people to stop foolishly giving away their hard earned money to a low level conn man, schiester, like Nick Hodge. Hodge is a parasite, and a leach. His presentations are typiclaly so far flung from reality, that if you invested with Hodge, you would pretty much lose everything you invested, as such, Hodge is… Read more »