Larry Salibra is a technology entrepreneur who lives is South China. He is currently an Engineering Partner at Blockstack where he is building a new internet for decentralized apps.
Larry was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended Mayfield High School. He has swam competitively since elementary school, first for the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins and later for both his high school and NCAA university teams.
Like many athletic teenagers, his first job was in education, teaching young children how to swim. In high school, he began working in a sleep research laboratory at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine. It was there that he wrote his first software package, a custom program to process the respiratory data of rats and mice.
During this time, he worked on several animal studies, spearheaded the transition from analog to digital recording of sleep data, performed immunohistochemistry and co-authored a research paper published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that was later presented at the NIH.
Larry graduated from Wesleyan University in 2004 with a degree in East Asian Studies. At Wesleyan, he studied government, history and economics before realizing that the government, history and economic courses in which he was most interested in were those related to East Asia.
After spending years trying to learn French, including three semesters at Wesleyan, he put it aside after his first trip to China. Captivated by the fast pace of change and energy and excitement of the rising nation, he decided in his junior year to give foreign languages another go and learn Mandarin Chinese.
Unlike his experience in French, Larry’s access to language immersion through study abroad enabled him to complete four years of university-level Chinese in only two years time.
At Wesleyan, he met his friend and Appartisan co-founder, C.S. Hsia. While discussing their respective foreign language learning experiences in between fixing the brakes on C.S.’s 10 year old Civic and economics and Japanese history classes, they observed that their successes in foreign language were directly correlated to access to native speakers, thus making the fundamental realization that would eventually lead to the Attigo concept.
After graduation from Wesleyan, he returned to China where he studied at Harbin Institute of Technology before moving to Guangzhou to work in the Quality Assurance department of one of AIG’s information technology subsidiaries.
He then went out on his own and worked on a water treatment project with the Henan Province Water Conservancy Bureau and two American engineering firm that strived develop unique solutions to the ground water pollution suffered by villages in rural Henan.
In late 2005, Larry founded Attigo with C.S. Hsia and began designing what would become the Attigo Virtual Language Immersion Service. In early 2006, alternating between his parents’ basement in Northeast Ohio and C.S.’s family’s apartment in New York, he began working on Attigo full time, developing the business plan and a functional prototype of the system and gaining the support of educators and other key parties.
In mid-2007, he relocated to Guangzhou, China, where he put together the team that has become Appartisan and in 10 short months, brought the Attigo service to market.
Towards the end of 2008, Larry became frustrated with the cost and difficulty of getting beta testers scattered around the world to report problems with Attigo’s platform in a timely fashion. Being well-grounded in economics and one of the few who still believe in free market capitalism as an ideal instead of a necessary evil to be regulated by the government, the obvious solution to him was providing a financial incentive that would entice testers to quickly report problems.
Such was the origin of the Pay4Bugs concept. In less than 10 weeks, the Pay4Bugs Software Bug Marketplace, born of necessity, was completed and launched by Hong Kong-based Appartisan at exactly midnight Hong Kong Time on Valentine’s Day of 2009.
Larry now lives in Hong Kong but still spends a lot time in Guangzhou, China, where he leads the Pay4Bugs team spread among the Pearl River Delta, Taiwan, the USA and Italy. He continues to swim and periodically competes in races in both Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
Larry is fluent both written and spoken Mandarin Chinese, including technical software engineering jargon and cheesy jokes. He can write Cantonese better than he can speak it. He is also determined to one day finish learning French despite his horrible pronunciation and learn how to properly pronounce “jus d’orange.”
Larry is the third (III) or “terzo” in Italian. He is not his father, Larry II, an accomplished corporate litigator and furniture craftsman extraordinaire. Nor is he his grandfather, the late Larry I, a distinguished member of the Navy Seabees during World War Two and the Korean War.
Likes: swimming, sailing, mountain climbing, karaoke, qq, hong kong, classical liberalism, octopus card, atlas shrugged, arthur c. clarke, dancing, frédérick bastiat, waterpolo, ubuntu linux, the broken window fallacy, post-qing dynasty chinese history, top gear, stan freberg presents the united states of america volume one the early years, ruby on rails, backpacking, ipv6, french, mtr, flying, airports, overnight trains, lanzhou beef noodles, adirondacks, lou monte’s pepino the italian mouse, ayumi hamasaki, pingyao, karaoke, mandarin chinese, foot massages, road trips, mobile phones, rock climbing, dukang-brand baijiu, liberal arts
Dislikes: second-hand smoke, shellfish, beer