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'Apprentice' Star & Telecom Entrepreneur Dies

Stuart Baggs, a telecom entrepreneur and former star of the UK version of The Apprentice, was found dead at age 27 in his home in Britain on Thursday, just as his company was on the verge of launching an innovative wireless home broadband service.

Baggs was the youngest-ever contestant on the BBC program when he appeared in 2010 at age 21, calling himself "Baggs the Brand," The Guardian reports.

His body was discovered by a friend in his home on the Isle of Man, and local police say they're not treating his death as suspicious.

A colleague at Blue Wave Communications, the ten-person company Baggs founded in 2007, told the Guardian he'd seen Baggs at a local store 9 p.m. Wednesday, and another colleague talked to Baggs on the phone at 11 p.m. and he seemed in good spirits on both occasions.

On the TV show, Baggs "became well known for his immodest though oddly endearing exclamations," the Guardian reported. Examples: "Everything I touch turns to sold," "I'm not a one-trick pony, I'm not a ten-trick pony, I've got a whole field of ponies, waiting to literally run towards this," and "I'm Stuart Baggs, 'the Brand' -- I've got a certain type of charisma."

Blue Wave focused on providing 4G data, and had 4,000 customers, according to his final interview, published Wednesday on Isle of Man Today, less than a day before his death. He said he worked 18 hours and slept four hours per day.

Blue Wave's service for the Isle of Man is an alternative to fixed-line broadband in the home, and is intended for people who are unable to afford or commit to a long-term Internet contract, including short-term residents, according to the interview.

The first project, the BlueWave Home Hub, would enable consumers to connect to broadband in three hours, without an engineer site visits, according to the interview. The device would connect to Blue Wave's 4G network using a BlueWave SIM card and transmit WiFi within the home. Baggs described it to Isle of Man Today as "broadband without a landline."

Baggs said he expected the service to go online in mid-August, priced at £27.95 ($43.60 US) per month for unlimited coverage for an unlimited number of devices, without a contract. The device would include a phone connection for free calls.

A company named Relish offers a similar service in London, he noted.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

mhhf1ve 8/6/2015 | 5:55:02 PM
Re: Sad Sleeping only 4 hours per day... that's gotta take its toll on a person's health.. Even though we dont' fully understand the role of sleep -- it's still important. 
thebulk 8/3/2015 | 10:55:02 AM
Re: Sad I agree I think the pressure has a lot to do with it. The startup culture is a stressful one. So I guess we have to ask if that is the right path for some people. Sure the payoffs can be great, but if you don't make it to that point then there is no need to go down that path. 
Susan Fourtané 8/3/2015 | 10:36:22 AM
Re: Sad Bulk, shouldn't it be an alert to pay attention to how much life it goes into making a business work? What are the consequences of such much pressure? -Susan
thebulk 8/3/2015 | 10:29:10 AM
Re: Sad @Susan, it does seem to be a disturbing trend in the tech world right now. 
Susan Fourtané 8/1/2015 | 10:43:37 AM
Re: Sad Bulk, that's something that should make everyone think. -Susan
Susan Fourtané 8/1/2015 | 10:42:36 AM
Re: Sad Maybe he worked himself to dead. It seems he was working 18 hours a day, sleeping only four, suffering from insomnia and stress. He wanted to succeed, which is all good, but sometimes one needs to stop since the body might not respond. That, no matter how old the person is. I think it's really sad he worked so hard on something disruptive that seems to have a great response from consumers, but was not able to see the results of his hard work. -Susan
Susan Fourtané 8/1/2015 | 10:17:03 AM
Re: Sad Mitch, yes, disruptive, indeed. I suppose the service can still go online in mid-August, as it was planned before his dead. -Susan
thebulk 7/31/2015 | 2:01:58 PM
Re: Sad Very sad indeed, it seems as though a lot of young tech founders are passing away far to early recently. 
Mitch Wagner 7/31/2015 | 11:13:29 AM
Re: Sad Indeed, yes -- very sad. The Blue Wave service seems like it would be genuinely disruptive if it can be made to work. Everybody would love it -- carriers save money on truck rolls, and consumers get extra convenience. 
Susan Fourtané 7/31/2015 | 6:57:11 AM
Sad A tragic story. No news yet about the cause of his sudden dead. It's sad he couldn't see the launch of the service that was planned to be in just a couple of weeks' time. -Susan
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