Entrepreneurship group recognizes Enterprise Innovation Institute with award

InBIA Award

From left, Charles Ross, vice president for economic development and community at Kennesaw State University; Juli Golemi, senior project manager at EI2‘s Innovation Ecosystems program, and Kirstie Chadwick, InBIA’s president and CEO.

The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), a global non-profit organization that serves entrepreneurship centers, program managers, directors, and policymakers in guiding and developing sustainable entrepreneur support programs, awarded the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) for being a longtime and dedicated member of the organization.


EI2 is the Georgia Institute of Technology’s chief business outreach and economic development organization. Its mission — through a comprehensive suite of programs and offerings — is to help business, industry, entrepreneurs, and economic developers across Georgia grow and remain competitive.


EI2 been an InBIA member for more than 30 years.


The award was presented at InBIA’s International Conference on Business Incubation in Seattle, Washington, which was held in late March 2017.


InBIA recently named EI2 a Soft Landings site, a designation which recognizes entrepreneurship centers that excel in providing international companies with various services to ensure a smooth landing in the United States.

Tech students to present cybersecurity research for commercialization on April 13

Demo Day FinaleGeorgia Tech students will present their best cybersecurity research before a panel of venture capitalists and business leaders for a chance to win cash in the “Demo Day Finale” on April 13 at the Klaus Advanced Computing Building, KACB #1116 E-W, 266 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, Ga. 30332. (RSVP here: http://cyber.gatech.edu/demo-day ).


Five student teams representing the School of Computer Science and School of Electrical Computing and Engineering are polishing their presentations now to deliver TED-style talks before business leaders with tech investment experience in the southeastern Untied States, Europe, and Middle East. Research with the best chance of commercialization or demonstrating the most impact toward resolving an industry need receives a cash prize – up to $7,000.


Demo Day Finale judges include Georgia Tech commercialization catalysts Jeff Garbers and Harold Solomon of VentureLab, and Thiago Olson of the Advanced Technology Development Center.


Work to be presented includes new cryptographic search methods, a malware detection method for IoT or embedded devices, protections for industrial control systems, spectral profiling for catching malware activity, and a model for software engineering policy requirements.


Musheer Ahmed, (left) founder of FraudScope, which won the 2016 Demo Day Finale.

Musheer Ahmed, (left) founder of FraudScope, which won the 2016 Demo Day Finale.

For last year’s inaugural winner – Musheer Ahmed – the event was a springboard to successfully launch FraudScope, a healthcare fraud detection system based upon algorithms he developed as a Ph.D. student.


After winning Demo Day Finale, Ahmed went on to collect more than $400,000 in seed funding in less than three months. He won the Atlanta Start-up Battle, the Technology Association of Georgia’s Biz Launch Competition, and more. The quick success allowed him to invest in a better user interface design, hire staff, and begin marketing his product at health and technology industry tradeshows.


The Demo Day Finale is hosted by the Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP) and aims to give students an early introduction to potential investors as they continue their research or if they are ready to move it to market.


“During the course of research, it can be difficult for entrepreneurial students to know how industry may react to a finished project,” said Wenke Lee, co-director of the IISP and a professor in the School of Computer Science who has successfully transferred research to private corporations. “The Demo Day Finale lets students share ideas underway to active investors so they can receive early stage feedback that will inform research directions, the future application of it, or market considerations. This is one way we think the Institute for Information Security & Privacy can help move solutions to market that will improve the security or privacy of our identities, data, and devices.”

While Ahmed was eager to launch his business as soon as possible, ID for Web, last year’s second place winners, used the experience to get an early “gut” reaction from business investors as they try to create a more secure form of identity validation online. ID for Web’s Demo Day presentation led to an invitation from startup accelerator “CyberLaunch,” where they spent summer 2016 discovering the best application of their technology by talking to both potential customers and potential investors.

“The summer at CyberLaunch put us in touch with business leaders from many different industries, and got us a lot of validation to the relevance of our technology; everybody agrees the current authentication mechanisms are a huge pain to both users and service providers,” said postdoctoral researcher Simon Chung. “Their eyes light up when we say we’re trying to get rid of passwords. Also, since our technology can be used to solve many real-world problems, this process helped us find the best use of our technology and focus on developing our first end-to-end prototype system.”

Judges on April 13 will include investors Jeff Garbers and Harold Solomon of Venture Lab, and Thiago Olson of ATDC.

Enterprise Innovation Institute receives Soft Landings designation

cFfNSrEyThe International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) designated the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) as a Soft Landings site.


InBIA is a global non-profit organization that serves entrepreneurship centers, program managers, directors and policymakers, by helping to guide and develop viable entrepreneur support programs across a host of industries.


The Soft Landings designation recognizes entrepreneurship centers that excel in providing international companies with various services to ensure a smooth landing in the United States. The designation was given to a select group of U.S. and international entrepreneurship centers and is effective for two years.


EI2 is the Georgia Institute of Technology’s chief business outreach and economic development organization. Its core mission is to help business, industry, entrepreneurs, and economic developers across Georgia grow and remain competitive.


In the last several years, EI2 has worked with several international companies and clients through its Startup Ecosystems program, which works with communities and organizations to analyze and apply innovation-based ideas to drive economic development.


“We are pleased that we were able to receive this valuable designation from InBIA, it will serve to open more opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs to consider Georgia as a landing spot for their U.S. market entrance,” said Lynne Henkiel, Startup Ecosystems’ director of innovation ecosystems practices. “This designation will bring a new level of exposure for international companies looking to establish themselves in the U.S., and specifically Atlanta in the heart of our innovative ecosystem here at Georgia Tech.”

Keysight Technologies opens Software Design Center at Georgia Tech

Keysight Technologies, which officially launched its Software Design Center Oct. 13 at Georgia Tech, said the breadth and depth of student talent and expertise is one of the reasons why it selected the Institute as the design center's home. The company has hired more than two dozen Tech students to work at the design center. (Photo credit: Péralte C. Paul)

Keysight Technologies, which officially launched its Software Design Center Oct. 13 at Georgia Tech, said the breadth and depth of student talent and expertise is one of the reasons why it selected the Institute as the design center’s home. The company has hired more than two dozen Tech students to work at the design center. (Photo credit: Péralte C. Paul)

By Péralte C. Paul


Keysight Technologies, a leading provider of electronic design and test software, equipment, and services, officially opened the doors to its new Software Design Center in Technology Square Oct. 13.


With the official opening of the Fortune 1000 firm’s Software Design Center, the company becomes the 15thmajor corporation to make a home at or near Tech Square to tap into the Institute’s research, student talent, and innovation ecosystem.


“We selected Georgia Tech and Midtown Atlanta based on several things, including the quality of students coming from Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and School of Computer Science,” said Jay Alexander, Keysight’s chief technology officer.


Other critical factors were the quality of research and  longstanding partnerships the company has with researchers in those schools, along with a supportive business climate in Georgia and Atlanta’s quality-of-life attributes, he said. In 2014, Keysight made a $120 million in-kind donation of its software to Georgia Tech, which the Institute is deploying to help students become industry-ready engineers by using the same instruments and software used by customers in government and industry.


“All of those things came together for us, making it  an obvious choice,” said Alexander. “We couldn’t be happier with our decision.”


The Santa Rosa, Calif.-based company’s $13.9 million investment in Georgia is expected to create more than 200 software engineering jobs.


“Tech Square has been a magnet for a number of promising startups, but we’re excited that it also has attracted companies with an impressive legacy like Keysight,” Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said. “For Georgia Tech, it’s a point of pride and a significant achievement that a company of this caliber believes we can add value to its operations. It is the ideal type of industry leader we seek for Tech Square and Georgia Tech.”


Companies such as Keysight also are ideal for Institute alumni and students such as Jonathan Jones, who graduated from Tech in 2016 with a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from ECE. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering in 2015.


At Keysight, he will be part of a team of engineers who are building a new Keysight-wide software platform for rapid application development.


“I’ve heard people compare it to being a heavily funded startup, and that’s how I like to think about being here in Tech Square,” said Jones, a 23-year-old Macon native. “It was very attractive to be with the company as it’s starting something new; I like new challenges and tackling something new every day, so when I saw this opportunity, I knew I had to grab it.”


Deepika Narayanan, who is pursuing her master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at ECE, echoed Jones’ sentiments.


“The fact this is opening in Atlanta and it’s a software design center attracted me to apply for the position, and I’m really excited,” said Narayanan, who expects to graduate in December. The 23-year-old will be working on coding and software development, and she said she hopes to go into data specialization analytics and machine learning.


Uday Ravuri, who also expects to obtain his master’s in electrical and computer engineering at ECE in December, said Keysight’s offerings and culture made it an ideal choice for him.


“I basically looked for three things — a cultural fit, technical fit, and career growth,” said Raburi, who will be working as a software engineer for the company. “And from the feedback I received from the employees, all three of those important factors seemed to be perfect in this company, and that’s why I went for it.”

Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing to hold “Shark Tank” event for students in Dalton

WEAV3DThe Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing, in partnership with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Startup Ecosystems, Floor360, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Calhoun College and Career Academy, Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy, and Shaw Industries, is hosting an event for high school students in honor of National Manufacturing Day. The goal of Sumo Robot Leaguethe Oct. 3  event is to raise awareness of manufacturing, with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The “Shark Tank”-inspired event will be held at the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy in Dalton from 9 a.m. to noon. Four startup companies, including Synapse, Sumo Robot League, Phoenix Rescue, Wish for Wash, along with Chris Oberste, a Materials Science Engineering doctoral candidate at Georgia Tech, will first give a 10-minute overview of their respective technologies and how it was Synapsedeveloped.

Each company and Oberste will move to a breakout area where they will oversee several groups of students who will be split into teams of three. The students will be asked to brainstorm solutions to a problem relevant to
Phoenixthe company and present their findings to their breakout group. The startup companies will each select a winning solution/team and each of the five winning teams will then present their ideas to the entire student assembly. Awards will be given to each winning team.  A total of 90 to 120 students are expected to participate in the event.


National Science Foundation Awards Georgia Institute of Technology’s VentureLab a 5-year I-Corps Grant

Node2-1By Péralte C. Paul

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $3.4 million Innovation Corps (I-Corps) grant to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s VentureLab program to expand its work in teaching entrepreneurship, support research and innovation.

The NSF’s I-Corps program — a boot camp that shows what it’s like to form a startup — helps NSF-funded researchers learn how to commercialize their findings and determine if a market actually exists for what they developed.


“I-Corps nodes support the national innovation ecosystem and help some of America’s brightest researchers test the commercial potential of their discoveries,” Grace Wang, acting assistant director for the NSF Directorate for Engineering, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to support these regional innovation hotbeds, which will help to foster local economic development and expand access to more researchers of all different backgrounds who seek entrepreneurship training.”


The grant, one of five the NSF awarded to schools across the country, supports innovation hubs called I-Corps nodes.


This new NSF grant expands Georgia Tech’s efforts and creates the I-Corps South Node, which includes Tech, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business.


Because of its long experience with forming companies from university research, Georgia Tech — through its VentureLab incubator — was selected in 2012 to be among the first institutions to become “nodes” teaching the I-Corps curriculum. VentureLab is Georgia Tech’s technology commercialization incubator that primarily serves Tech faculty, staff, and students who seek to launch startup companies from the technology innovations they have developed.


“This effort underscores Georgia Tech’s economic development mission and commitment to creating the next generation of entrepreneurial problem solvers,” said Chris Downing, who is the I-Corps South Node’s principal investigator and vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Tech’s chief economic development and extension outreach arm. “Through our collective service efforts to entrepreneurs, business, researchers, and innovators, Georgia Tech and our partner schools in Alabama and Tennessee are working together to design a foundation of regional innovation in the Southeast.”


Specifically, the I-Corps South Node aims to:

  • Accelerate the development of the South’s entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Provide for increased partnership opportunities between academia and industry
  • Focus on underrepresented minorities through programs at historically black colleges and universities and in Puerto Rico to increase the participation of individuals from those communities in research pursuits and entrepreneurship


“We are extremely excited to partner with these three premier schools to collectively leverage our extensive industry relationships, partnerships, mentors, and funding connections to bring economic development through startup formation, workforce development, and entrepreneurial education,” said Keith McGreggor, VentureLab director and I-Corps South Node co-principal investigator and executive director.


“Through this partnership, the I-Corps South Node has the potential to reach more than 500,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and many thousands of the nation’s research faculty at research universities and historically black colleges and universities across the Southeast and the island of Puerto Rico.”


NSF created the I-Corps program in 2011 and since then, more than 800 teams have completed the NSF curriculum, from 192 universities in 44 states. That’s resulted in the creation of more than 320 companies that have collectively raised more than $83 million in follow-on funding.


At Georgia Tech, more than 40 teams have finished the I-Corps program, leading to the creation of more than 20 spinouts that have collectively raised more than $4.5 million in follow-up funding.


About VentureLab:

VentureLab — ranked as North America’s No. 5 university-based startup incubator — is Georgia Tech’s technology commercialization program that provides comprehensive assistance to faculty, staff, and students who want to form startups. VentureLab helps those entrepreneurs turn their ideas into early-stage companies through business model development, making connections between the innovators and seasoned entrepreneurs, locating sources of early-stage financing, and preparing these fledgling startups for the business world. Since its 2001 founding, VentureLab — a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Tech’s chief economic development arm — has launched more than 250 technology companies that have attracted more than $1.5 billion in outside funding. Visit venturelab.gatech.edu for more information. For additional information about I-Corps South, visit icorpssouth.com.


About NSF I-Corps: 

The NSF I-Corps program, a public-private partnership program established in 2011, connects NSF-funded scientific research with the technological, entrepreneurial, and business communities to help create a stronger national ecosystem for innovation that couples scientific discovery with technology development and societal needs. Visit www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/i-corps/ for more information.

Georgia Institute of Technology selects Chris Downing to head Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2)

Chris Downing, Vice President, Enterprise Innovation Institute.

Chris Downing, Vice President, Enterprise Innovation Institute.


The Georgia Institute of Technology has named Chris Downing vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), effective immediately.

The announcement ends a six-month national search for a new vice president, following Stephen Fleming’s decision to step down from the position in December 2015. As the Institute’s chief business outreach organization, EI2 is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development.


Downing will report directly to Stephen E. Cross, executive vice president for Research at Georgia Tech.


“I am thankful for this opportunity and I remain focused on our core mission at EI2 to fulfill Georgia Tech’s commitment to economic development,” Downing said. “Working with the dedicated professionals at EI2, we will enhance Georgia Tech’s work in designing the future through our service to entrepreneurs, business, researchers, innovators, and the people of Georgia.”


Downing had served as EI2’s associate vice president since 2012 and as interim vice president since October 2015. He has been at Georgia Tech in various leadership roles related to economic development since 1988.


“EI2, including its multiple programs that support Georgia startups, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs across the state, serves all aspects of economic development in Georgia. It is a vital component of the innovation ecosystem we have built at Tech Square,” Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said. “Chris has worked diligently to support and enhance our economic development initiatives, as well as to forge and maintain strong partnerships with other organizations across the state to strengthen the Georgia economy.”


Downing, whose past posts at Georgia Tech included serving as research engineer, program manager, regional manager, and director of the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) — EI2’s largest program — has brought national recognition to the unit and several awards, including the 2014 Innovation Award in Economic Development from the Association of Public and Land Grant Institutions, the 2014 Outstanding Research Park Award from the Association of University Research Parks, and the National MEP Innovation Award in 2011 for the GaMEP.


Chris Downing - Vice President EI2

Chris Downing (right) accepts the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s 2016 Global Impact Award for Innovation from Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson on June 30, 2016. The presentation followed the announcement that Downing was named vice president of Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

“Chris has elevated EI2’s commitment to technology commercialization, business and industry outreach, and entrepreneurship,” Cross said. “Through his leadership, EI2’s stature and prominence in Georgia as the state’s most comprehensive economic development organization has risen. His passion and commitment to EI2’s mission has helped to make Tech Square the Southeast’s premier neighborhood for innovation and economic development and is instrumental in helping to define other innovation neighborhoods adjacent to the rest of the campus.”


About the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2):

The Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI²) is the Georgia Institute of Technology’s chief business outreach and economic development organization. EI²’s core mission is to provide an exhaustive suite of programs to assist business, industry, entrepreneurs, and economic developers across Georgia. As the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-base program of its kind, EI² helps enterprises of all kinds and sizes and across all sectors improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology, and innovation. For more information, please visit innovate.gatech.edu.

Peachtree Corners readies for incubator program launch with ATDC, Startup Ecosystems

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 09.29.44

More than 200 entrepreneurs, business and community leaders and residents in the city of Peachtree Corners converged May 27 to get a preview of Prototype Prime, the new technology incubator set to open in July 2016.


The 12,000-square-foot facility in Technology Park — a former office space — is located below Peachtree Corners City Hall and is currently being renovated to accommodate Prototype Prime.


The incubator will provide space and access to education, tools, venture capitalists, and other services to help local entrepreneurs launch and scale their startups.


“It’s a win-win for communities with a successful incubator,” said Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason. “Not only is the success much greater when there is an incubator program to help support startups in their early years, those new business owners tend to stay in the same community adding jobs as their businesses grow.”


The main goal of an incubator is to produce successful firms, which have the potential to create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen local economies.


The city partnered with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Startup Ecosystems and Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) programs in its efforts to launch the business incubator.


Startup Ecosystems helps governments, communities, foundations, entrepreneurs, and small businesses foster value creation by applying innovative ideas, technology, and policy to initiatives focused on economic growth.


ATDC, which is the statewide incubator for technology entrepreneurs in Georgia, offers support by providing expertise and resources launching and maintaining a successful incubator program.


Both are part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), which serves as the core unit for Georgia Tech’s economic development efforts.


The Peachtree Corners initiative began in 2015 when Startup Ecosystems conducted a Community Readiness Assessment for a business incubation program in the city. The drive was part of a larger effort to encourage economic development.


“Our team, led by Lynne Henkiel and Juli Golemi, engaged leadership, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to determine if Peachtree Corners not only desired a business incubation program, but could support it, too, “ said David Bridges, Startup Ecosystems’ director. “Our research analysis of the city’s economic and demographic data, along with its innovation characteristics, showed significant support for the development of an incubation program in Peachtree Corners.”


The city, working through Wayne Hodges, a cofounder of ATDC and vice provost emeritus of Georgia Tech, drafted an agreement with ATDC, which will run the incubation program at Prototype Prime.


“There is a huge need for a business incubator in this area,” said Sanjay Parekh, Prototype Prime’s executive director and associate director of CREATE-X at Georgia Tech. “We are already receiving feedback from many who are interested in being part of the program.”


Investing in an incubator service can provide real returns. According to a 2007 study by the Maryland Technology Development Corp., incubators in that state generated approximately $1.2 billion in gross state product and $100 million in state and local tax revenue.

VentureLab nanotechnology startup wins TechConnect Innovation Award on technology developed at Georgia Tech

Jeffrey Whalen, co-founder of FullScaleNANO, accepting the TechConnect Innovation Award at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo May 22-25 in Washington, D.C. Chin-Hui Lee, co-founder and a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Jeffrey Whalen, co-founder of FullScaleNANO, accepting the TechConnect Innovation Award at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo May 22-25 in Washington, D.C.

FullScaleNANO, an early-stage company that automates nanomaterial imaging and measurement and a VentureLab portfolio startup, received the TechConnect Innovation Award at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo May 22-25 in Washington, D.C.


NanoMet’s technology was developed at Georgia Tech by Chin-Hui Lee, co-founder and a professor in Georgia Techn’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


The company also joined VentureLab, the incubator at Georgia Tech for startups created by faculty, students, and staff. VentureLab works with those startups to help them commercialize research into viable companies.


“We created the algorithms that allow us to process thousands of images, faster and with better overall reliability,” Lee said. “This is a new frontier in science that we hope will lead to faster and more cost-effective innovation for industry.”


The company is headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, but its software development team hub is in Atlanta.


The TechConnect Innovation Awards identify the top 15 percent of submitted technologies. Innovation rankings are based on the potential positive impact of the technology on a specific industry sector. Submissions come from global academic technology transfer offices, early-stage companies, small business innovative research awardees, and government and corporate research laboratories.

Chin-Hui Lee

Chin-Hui Lee, co-founder of FullScaleNANO, is a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


FullScaleNANO won for its NanoMet automated nanomaterials software that measures and characterizes thousands of nanomaterials in seconds.


“We are honored to receive this award that recognizes our innovative approach to measuring and characterizing nanomaterials, essential particles that are used in today’s product innovations, from medicine to manufacturing,” said Jeffrey Whalen, CEO and co-founder.


Nanomaterials are tiny particles that can’t be seen with the naked eye. The only way they can be viewed is by taking pictures with an electron microscope that contains a built-in camera. Measuring and characterizing these images is a slow, manual process — done one by one using a ruler — that takes hours, Whalen said.


NanoMet speeds up the task, using an automated system that processes images in seconds, takes thousands of measurements and provides objective quality assurance, enabling a shorter time to market. NanoMet “sees” every individual pixel in an electron microscope image to properly identify the exact edges of nanomaterials, providing a repeatable process that saves time and money.


Nanomaterials are used or being evaluated in a variety of products from batteries to shampoos and in a number of industries from food and medicine to electronics and the environment.


In medicine alone, applications being developed for nanoparticles include delivery of chemotherapy drugs directly to cancer tumors, resetting the immune system to prevent autoimmune diseases, and delivering drugs to damaged regions of arteries to fight cardiovascular disease. Other industry uses include producing hydrogen from water, reducing the cost of producing fuel cells and solar cells, and cleaning up oil spills, water pollution, and air pollution.

Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers elects Chuck Schadl Region 4 Director

Chuck Schadl, group manager of government contracting services at the Georgia Institute of Technology's Enterprise Innovation Institute.  He is APTAC’s Region 4 Director and the Association’s Communications chairman.

Chuck Schadl, group manager of government contracting services at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He is APTAC’s Region 4 Director and the Association’s Communications chairman.

The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) announced that Chuck Schadl, group manager of Government Contracting Services at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), was elected Region 4 Director of the Association. APTAC’s Region 4 includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Puerto Rico. At APTAC’s annual membership meeting on April 6, 2016, Schadl also was appointed chairman of the Association’s Communications Committee. APTAC’s Board and Committees are comprised entirely of volunteers employed by member PTACs.

In his role at EI2, Schadl provides instruction and guidance to government contracting officials and business professionals on behalf of the Contracting Education Academy, an official equivalency training provider for the Defense Acquisition University. Formerly the Program Manager of the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center, Schadl also continues to perform procurement counseling duties for the PTAC, bringing to bear more than 40 years of experience in the government contracting field at both federal and local government levels. He served as APTAC’s Vice President for Education from 2011 until taking the Region 4 post. In 2014, he was honored with APTAC’s Betty McDonald Outstanding Member Achievement Award, the highest recognition the association bestows.

APTAC is the professional organization of and for the 97 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) awarded under the Department of Defense’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program. These PTACs are located across the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, as well as the United States territories of Puerto Rico and Guam. They help local businesses become capable government contractors, on the belief that a broad base of small business suppliers provides the highest quality and best value to our government agencies and at the same time creates a strong and vibrant economic base for our communities. They assist small businesses by offering training events, bid-matching services, one-on-one sessions with a procurement counselor, notification of important contracting changes, help with understanding government contracting procedures and requirements, guidance in registering with the federal government, and much more. They assist government agencies by locating and educating the contractors and potential contractors which can provide the products and services they need.

APTAC supports the PTACs by providing them critical updates on the ever changing procurement processes across all federal agencies, comprehensive training opportunities and certification to ensure that PTAC staff can bring the highest level of capability to their work, networking forums so that PTAC professionals across the country can share best practices and draw upon their collective expertise, and a national presence to collaborate with federal agencies on small business contracting initiatives and otherwise provide a voice in national government contracting assistance and policy arenas. The work of APTAC is carried out by a cadre of dedicated volunteers, all of whom are procurement professionals employed by member PTACs, and supported by a small administrative staff.