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Connecticut Post: A New Tech Ambition for Connecticut, and for Seven Stars


Sam Belden

Sam Belden

Bruno Z. Wu first met Shane McMahon in 2011 when both men were media entrepreneurs in China.

McMahon, son of wrestling magnates Vince and Linda, had a struggling video-on-demand business, a U.S.-based company that had already changed names and industries more than once.

“I said to him that I believed the video-on-demand business has no future in China,” Wu told me in an interview on Wednesday.

They became friends and co-board members, and remain so. Wu eventually invested in YOU On Demand, McMahon’s company. With the swagger of a guy on his way to making a billion dollars as an investor in TV syndication, technology and media-related businesses, Wu thought of it as a turnaround play.

Also in 2011, as it happened, Wu started investing in a process called blockchain, a form of electronic ledger that uses artificial intelligence and big data to record and execute transactions with ultra-high efficiency, literally in chains of huge information blocks — the same technology that underlies bitcoin and other so-called crypto-currencies.

By the fall of 2017, the picture came together. Wu bought a controlling interest in YOU On Demand, renamed it Seven Stars Cloud Inc. and maintained its status as a publicly traded, U.S. corporation — with an eye toward creating the first fully integrated blockchain business.

In the switchover from media to blockchain, from YOD to Seven Stars Cloud, the company needed a new center of operations. Its landing spot: West Hartford, Connecticut, a bucolic, if rundown, 58-acre former greater Hartford UConn campus.

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