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NBA’s First Deaf Player Pivots To Social Entrepreneurship

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Lance Allred played professional basketball for a decade all around the world, including a stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008. Born legally deaf into a fundamentalist polygamous family, his life experience has been anything but typical. Now, with his playing days behind him, Allred is turning to social entrepreneurship.

Allred is creating a tech company called Manestream that he says will provide radically faster access to internet resources, allowing users to work directly from the web at speeds approaching the time to access a hard drive. The system will be commercially available any day now.

The bandwidth, the website says, comes via a license to what was the MCI fiber optic network. That will be combined with “patented process of enterprise-grade global cloud servers and secure data storage providers.”

The plan is also to make the system compliant with HIPAA and other privacy standards, allowing medical providers and other users with security use the network.

While the system will work with your laptop, the company also plans to sell slimmed-down devices that access the cloud service and don’t require a hard drive.

The website claims: “With our system we are storing your files and a full Windows desktop OS compatible with all Windows applications within the cloud giving you full functionality and incredibly fast speed as the OS and files are both in the same location.”

With each commercial sale, Allred’s Manestream has pledged to donate a unit to a child in need. He plans to provide powerful educational content and tools on the platform. As a professional speaker, he hopes to provide inspiring content from other speakers on the platform to benefit kids who might not otherwise have any connection to professional basketball players.

Allred explains the mission: “To empower any child, anywhere in the world, with the world’s fastest internet and computer database, leveling the playing field for everyone.”

Manestream, Allred says, will be transparent about giving away the service to students. He notes that the company will disclose to the commercial buyers the schools that receive the service as a result of their purchase.

On Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 3:00 Eastern, Allred will join me for a live discussion about about the technology and his plan to donate the service to schools. We’ll also probe the ways that his unique background influences his business philosophy. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Manestream:

Twitter: @manestreamtech

Manestream is a full end-to-end technological service that provides our own high powered data storage facilities, traveling through our own private internet of 500 mbps, projecting on our own manufactured endpoints that have no hard drive. For ever three mobile desktop kits we sell, we provide one to a child in need. The Manestream Education Initiative will be partnering with various channel partners and edutech experts to modernize education into the 21st century for every child, no matter their socio economic background.

Lance Allred, courtesy of Manestream

Lance Allred, courtesy of Manestream

Allred’s bio:

Twitter: @lanceallred41

Hearing impaired since birth due to RH complications and raised in a polygamist commune, Lance Allred became the first Legally Deaf Player in NBA History. An Amazon Best Selling Author of LONGSHOT and BASKETBALL GODS, Lance Allred played for 10 years around the world, hitting every continent except for Antarctica, being a team captain on most of his teams despite the language barriers due to his ability to read body language and the room settings. When Lance Allred retired from professional basketball in April of 2015, he quickly established himself as a local television and radio personality in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah and transitioned into a Keynote Motivational Speaker, speaking to Corporate and Non-Profit Settings, to gain the funds to then speak to at-risk youth. But Lance knew he needed a “game-changer” to break the status quo of the speaking world rife with hustling and selling. Through founding Manestream, Lance has created a whole new platform to speak directly to kids around the country, that otherwise would never be given the time of day by most speakers.

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