Georgia Tech to offer Hacking for Defense course in 2019

Hacking for Defense trainee Colin Ake, left, a principal at Georgia Tech's VentureLab, poses a question to Hacking for Defense Inc. trainers Max Weintraub, center, and Alex Gallo. (Photo by: Péralte C. Paul)

Hacking for Defense trainee Colin Ake, left, a principal at Georgia Tech’s VentureLab, poses a question to Hacking for Defense Inc. trainers Max Weintraub, center, and Alex Gallo. (Photo by: Péralte C. Paul)

The Georgia Institute of Technology will begin offering a course in 2019 designed to give students opportunities to study — and potentially solve — challenges from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and related intelligence agencies.

 

The semester-long Hacking for Defense (H4D) course was created and first launched at Stanford University in 2016 by retired U.S. Army Col. Pete Newell, retired Special Forces and Foreign Area Officer Joe Felter; Tom Byers, director of the Stanford Technology Ventures program; and Steve Blank, a retired serial entrepreneur and the creator of the Lean Startup movement.

 

At the Institute, the course will be taught by Keith McGreggor, director of VentureLab, a program in Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute that helps faculty and students create startups based on Tech research. Co-teaching the class with him will be Lawrence Rubin, associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

 

As designed, students will be given a current real problem intelligence or defense agencies face and work on that challenge for the entire semester to validate the problem and work to solve it, Newell said.

 

“Technology is continually changing and by creating this mixing bowl in a university, you’re in an ideal place for bringing government problems to the problem-solvers and energizing young people into doing something that’s impactful,” said Newell, who is managing partner of BMNT.

 

BMNT’s nonprofit arm, Hacking for Defense Inc. (H4Di), oversees the H4D program.

 

H4D addresses four necessary components to help federal agencies be more innovative, said Newell, who is former director of the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force.

 

For the federal sponsors themselves, they get world-class market research to tackle problems at a faster pace than anywhere else and engage with potential employees or future collaborators by creating an innovation network pipeline.

 

Students get to work on a real challenge and learn by creating a case study of a real problem, he said.

 

For private industry, it gives them an early look at the problems government agencies are looking to solve — which often mirror some of the same issues business is trying to address.

 

Finally, universities such as Georgia Tech, are increasingly looking to deliver cutting-edge education to students that gives them experience in building innovative and disruptive solutions beyond basic research.

 

That matches the entrepreneurship experience that Tech wants all of its students to have, McGreggor said.

 

“We’re trying to create an armada of entrepreneurial students and we want every student at Georgia Tech to have that entrepreneurial experience before they graduate,” McGreggor said. “Hacking for Defense is going to be different in that participating students won’t be coming up with a startup idea; these defense and intelligence agencies will meet with us with the problems they want us to figure out. It’s an opportunity for our students to think about solving a different kind of problem.”

 

Keith McGreggor (right foreground), VentureLab director, listens as Michael Hoeschele, trains attendees of the Hacking for Defense forum on Sept. 20. (Photo by: Péralte C. Paul)

Keith McGreggor (right foreground), VentureLab director, listens as Michael Hoeschele, trains attendees of the Hacking for Defense forum on Sept. 20. (Photo by: Péralte C. Paul)

As part of the rollout and expansion of the program to Tech and other organizations, H4Di was on campus Sept. 20 and 21 to train about 60 people from across the country who will be teaching H4D courses on the methodology behind it.

 

“The defense and national security challenges we’re seeing are evolving at a pace we’ve never seen before in our history and to tackle these issues, we have to connect DoD to cultures of innovation and those are largely housed in academia and the venture community,” said Max Weintraub who works to form collaborative relationships between the DoD and universities as the H4D program manager at the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator, the DoD program office that sponsors H4D at Georgia Tech and other leading universities. “We’re excited that Georgia Tech is on the list.”

 

Tech will join a number of top schools already teaching the class, that, in addition to Stanford, include: Columbia University, the University of Southern California, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and the United States Air Force Academy.

 

What makes Tech an attractive choice is Atlanta’s solid base of entrepreneurial activity, Georgia’s manufacturing and industrial capacity, the number of military installations and government labs in the state and its Southeast neighbors, and the federal research dollars the Institute attracts.

 

“It’s easy to draw a circle around Georgia Tech right there in the Southeast as being in the epicenter of a great entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Newell said.

 

Since the original launch, H4D has led to nine startup companies being formed, including Capella Space, a company that makes low-orbit satellites with a synthetic aperture radar technology that takes quality images regardless of clouds, light or other atmospheric conditions.

 

But while some students may ultimately form their own companies, Newell stressed that is not the core goal.

 

“We’re giving them the ability to engage with the government to work on a real problem to gain real-world experience,” Newell said. “They get to develop the critical problem-solving skillsets that will be most in demand in the future.”

Georgia Tech hosts Argentina IT delegation

(From left) Mary Waters, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development; Argentina Consul General Jorge Luis Lopez Menardi; Fernanda Yanson of the Argentina Investment and International Trade Agency, and Juli Golemi, manager of Georgia Tech’s Soft Landings Program. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), the Georgia Institute of Technology’s the economic development arm, hosted a delegation of 12 technology companies from Argentina, as part of a multi-city tour to study successful innovation ecosystems.

 

The 2018 Argentina IT Commercial Mission to Atlanta’s Sept. 18 visit, sponsored by the Consulate General of Argentina and the Argentine American Chamber of Commerce, is designed to give insight into the Atlanta economy and as part of the 12 companies’ longer-term goal of establishing U.S. operations, said Argentina Consul General Jorge Luis Lopez Menardi.

 

“They’re looking for places to come and explore the possibilities of doing business,” Lopez Menardi said. “We thought the best place for them to come especially regarding an IT  mission would be to come to Georgia Tech. The prestige of the university, the talent and the innovation they are promoting from here, we decided the best place to hold the mission would be here.”

 

While on campus, the group met with Juli Golemi, manager of the Soft Landings Program at EI2.

 

Juli Golemi, Georgia Tech’s Soft Landings Program manager, addresses some of the issues foreign companies wanting to do business in the United States face. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Soft Landings, launched in 2018, is a Georgia Tech offering — through its Economic Development Lab (EDL) — that helps foreign companies that want to establish or increase their business operations in Georgia or better understand the U.S. economy. EDL helps communities and organizations apply innovative ideas to economic development in business incubation and commercialization, strategic planning, and economic sustainability.

 

Soft Landings, Lopez Menardi said, offers what the visiting companies need as they explore doing business in Atlanta and the United States. The group, which includes companies in financial technology, virtual reality, cybersecurity, and gaming, wants to “get to know the environment, how to do business here, and how companies procure here,” Lopez Menardi said, adding they will use what they learn on this fact-finding trip to better prepare them for possible U.S. expansion and connections with American companies.

 

“They will want to build top from that and come up again with a specific plan of business to offer different companies,” he said, adding the group, which will visit Tech’s incubator, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), will also visit Chicago to learn about its innovation ecosystem.

 

In a panel discussion that included Mary Waters, deputy commissioner of international trade at the Georgia Department of Economic Development; Fernanda Yanson, a foreign trade consultant with the Argentina Investment and International Trade Agency; Lopez Menardi, and Golemi, attendees learned about the different components of Georgia’s successful ecosystem.

 

Among those components: strong public and private partnerships between state government and industry, a friendly business climate, inter-state agency collaboration, unique assets such as Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and economic diversification, Waters said.

 

Georgia Department of Economic Development Deputy Commissioner Mary Waters explains why Georgia’s focus on innovation is factors into the state being consistently ranked as one of the best places in which to do business. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“Georgia’s economy is very diverse. We’re strong in agribusiness, we’re strong in aerospace, logistics, medical technologies, ICT, and automotive,” she said.

 

Underscoring that success model is technology, Waters said, noting the construction boom in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood and how Georgia Tech plays a critical role in that innovation-driven growth and expansion.

 

“Home Depot, Anthem, Delta Air Lines, Mercedes-Benz — they’re all creating innovation certners here in Atlanta and here in Georgia to take advantage of the Georgia Tech talent that we have. Those are companies and expansions that were not on our radar 10 years ago that now underpin the heart and soul of the Atlanta economy and Georgia’s economy,” Waters said.

 

“Whether you’re talking about automation technology in the manufacturing space or whether you’re talking about tech in agriculture and agribusiness, or innovation in the development of new technologies that will change the world, Georgia is very much in the heart of that and it gets to the heart of what you’re going to hear from Juli and the rest of Georgia Tech and from the private companies you will meet.”

Georgia Tech’s ATDC hosts federal health technology summit, mental health panel discussion

Kirk Barnes, health technology catalyst at Georgia Tech's ATDC, welcomes a HealthTech entrepreneurs to the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Kirk Barnes, health technology catalyst at Georgia Tech’s ATDC, welcomes a HealthTech entrepreneurs to the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

A core tenet of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) mission is the use of innovation and ideation not only to drive economic development in Georgia and beyond, but to improve and advance the human condition.

 

On Sept. 13, 2018, EI2’s ATDC incubator — led by its health technology catalyst, Kirk L. Barnes, hosted two important events, the first with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to connect federal health agencies with HealthTech startups’ solutions and technologies.

 

HHS, which runs the largest balance sheet of any time of organization in the world at nearly $1.3 trillion a year, wants to better connect with HealthTech entrepreneurs and the solutions they have for the healthcare sector and related fields.  The ATDC Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit was co-hosted by NASCO, a leading provider of information technology products and services designed help U.S. healthcare payers, and sponsor of the ATDC HealthTech Program.

 

“The main goal of what we’re doing here today is total a very inward facing organization and turn it outward, and give everybody an opportunity to interact with us,” said Ed Simcox, HHS’ chief technology officer.

 

The second event was ATDC’s Silence The Shame for mental health awareness, which was sponsored by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises and coincided with September being designated as National Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. That effort, which was an interactive panel discussion with hip-hop music industry executive Shanti Das and other leading experts in mental health and wellness, sought to highlight the role technology can play in mental health and in reducing the stigma of discussing depression and suicide as part of Das’ Silence The Shame initiative.

 

 

Ed Simcox, chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addresses attendees of the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by ATDC and NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Ed Simcox, chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addresses attendees of the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by ATDC and NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

 

From left, Dr. Richard Wild, chief medical officer for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Atlanta Region, Chaouki T. Abdallah, Georgia Tech's executive vice president for research, and Kirk Barnes, health technology catalyst at ATDC. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

From left: Dr. Richard Wild, chief medical officer for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Atlanta Region; Chaouki T. Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for research, and Kirk Barnes, ATDC’s health technology startup catalyst at the Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit co-hosted by ATDC and NASCO Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

 

Panelists address issues related to mental health and how to move away from the stigma of discussing mental health, depression and warning signs of suicide at the ATDC and Cox Enterprises-sponsored Silence The Shame Panel Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Ben Andrews)

Panelists address issues related to mental health and how to move away from the stigma of discussing mental health, depression and warning signs of suicide at the ATDC and Cox Enterprises-sponsored Silence The Shame Panel Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: Ben Andrews)

Southeastern Trade Adjustment Assistance Center receives $1.2 million in federal funds

SETAAC serves eight southeastern states and helps manufacturers affected by foreign import trade better compete.

SETAAC serves eight southeastern states and helps manufacturers affected by foreign import trade better compete.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded $13 million in federal funds to support 11 Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs), including the Southeastern Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (SETAAC) at Georgia Tech, which received $1.2 million.

 

TAACs support a wide range of technical, planning, and business recovery projects to assist companies and the communities that depend on them adapt to international competition and diversify their economies.

 

“President Trump is engaged in a daily fight to ensure the latest success of American manufacturers and businesses turns into a permanent trend,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement. “This program is just one element of a vast, government-wide effort to restore jobs, strengthen domestic manufacturing, and ensure free, fair, and reciprocal trade.”

 

The announced grants are for the third year of a funding cycle that runs from 2016 to 2021.

 

SETAAC, a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), was established in 1974. In addition to serving Georgia, SETAAC works with companies in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

 

SETAAC provides up to $75,000 of matching funds for third-party consultants to help guide a client’s economic recovery. Eligible manufacturing firms contribute a matching share to create and implement their respective recovery plan.

 

In Fiscal Year 2018, SETAAC worked with 65 clients and helped those firms generate more than $178 million in sales and to save or create 284 jobs.

Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech awarded grant for food safety modernization program

U.S. Department of Commerce award will support targeted 

focus on small food and beverage manufacturers in four states.

 

GaMEP Associate Director Timothy D. Israel.

GaMEP Associate Director Timothy D. Israel.

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at Georgia Tech was awarded a $986,805 grant to create a food safety program that will serve small food and beverage manufacturers in Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, and Oregon.

 

This four-state MEP effort, led by the GaMEP, is aimed at helping these small manufacturers comply with the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements. The law, enacted in 2011, seeks to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply by shifting regulators’ attention to contamination prevention to reduce outbreaks.

 

The grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)will support the effort over a three-year period. The award was part of $7 million in total grants NIST gave to MEP centers in seven states and the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico.

 

The GaMEP is designing an affordable FSMA compliance and food safety management system implementation program with its partners for small and very small food and beverage manufacturers within each state.

 

“Agriculture and industries related to food are critical to the economies of Georgia and to the states that we’re partnering with, both in direct financial impact, and jobs,” said GaMEP Associate Director Timothy D. Israel.

 

“But as large as the sector is, it’s chiefly comprised of small companies or very small family-run businesses or partnerships that don’t always have the resources or expertise to meet all the requirements for safety compliance.”

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2017 it monitored between 18 and 37 potential food poisoning cases and clusters each week and almost 200 weekly cases of outbreaks affecting multiple states.

 

Protecting the nation’s food supply chain is critical, but even more so for small and very small food processors that are responding to consumer taste trends, are often processing high risk foods that include fresh produce, dry ingredients, and dairy, he said.

 

“All of those types of foods have experienced outbreaks in the last few years and most of the small food processing businesses in Georgia and those of our partner states simply can’t afford the financial toll of a recall or disruption,” Israel said. “This is one of the reasons this critical need has to be addressed.”

 

The program services will first target FSMA compliance in the development of food safety management systems for human consumption, Israel said. It would then potentially be expanded to support manufacturers of pet food, as well as food safety management system certification, third-party certification audits, food defense compliance, and technology insertion for hazard controls.

 

“Agriculture contributes $73 billion to Georgia’s economy each year, and food processing manufacturing adds another $11 billion to $12 billion each year to it,” he said. “That’s why it’s imperative we focus our efforts on ensuring these small companies and very small companies have the tools, resources, and training to be in compliance.”

 

About Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP)

GaMEP exists to serve manufacturers and advance Georgia manufacturing. GaMEP is a program within Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute and is a member of the National MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). With offices in 10 regions across the state, GaMEP has served Georgia manufacturers since 1960. Through coaching and training, GaMEP offers solutions-based approaches designed to increase top-line growth and reduce bottom-line cost. For more information, visit: gamep.org.

Advanced Technology Development Center and NASCO to host ATDC Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit

Summit is part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national

Startup Days tour to showcase opportunities for entrepreneurs and coders.

HHS Idea Lab

 

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is hosting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) and several other federal agencies in a daylong conference designed to connect them with local entrepreneurs and startups in the health and government technology sectors.

 

The ATDC Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit will be held September 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at ATDC. (Register here.) It is being co-hosted by NASCO, a leading provider of information technology products and services designed help U.S. healthcare payers, and sponsor of the ATDC HealthTech Program.

 

HHS officials, including Edward Simcox, the agency’s chief technology officer, are coming to Atlanta as part of the department’s Startup Days tour of eight cities across the United States.

 

Startup Days aims to engage entrepreneurs, inform them of HHS’ processes and funding opportunities, and feature a “Shark Tank” pitch competition for select HealthTech and GovTech startups. (Apply for the Shark Tank pitch competition here.)

 

“Health and Human Services, through its HHS Idea Lab, is always trying to find new ways to interact and engage with entrepreneurs in the technology and health spaces,” said Kirk Barnes, ATDC HealthTech catalyst. “We are excited to help facilitate connections between HHS and Georgia’s technology ecosystem and we’ve expanded this initiative to include several federal agencies that have an interest in HealthTech innovation.”

 

Other federal agencies participating in the ATDC Federal Healthcare Innovation Summit include the:

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

 

With the Shark Tank competition, startups selected to participate will be asked to deliver their five-minute pitches that will include information related to:

  • Traction
  • Ingenuity of idea
  • Problem solution fit
  • Market fit
  • Scalability
  • Potential to work with HHS

 

After the pitches, healthcare leaders from across HHS, will provide constructive feedback to help entrepreneurs get a better understanding of how they can better engage with federal agencies.

 

Following the Summit., ATDC is hosting Silence the Shame: Bringing Together Technology, Entertainment, and Academia to Address Mental Health for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month will take place from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Tech Square. (Click here for more details.)

 

About the HHS Idea Lab

The Health and Human Services IDEA Lab, within the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, was established to encourage and enable innovation at HHS. We help HHS explore, test and accelerate solutions that improve the delivery of health and human services. The IDEA Lab is the Department’s go-to resource to solve complex problems with innovative approaches and best practices from federal agencies, industry, and non-profits. To learn more, visit, hhs.gov/idealab.

 

About the Advanced Technology Development Center

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the State of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly which funds it each year, ATDC’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has grown to become one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, with its graduate startup companies raising more than $2 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the State of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.

 

About NASCO

NASCO provides an integrated suite of information technology products and services that help healthcare payers address unique business challenges and revolutionize business operations. Owned by and exclusively serving Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans for more than 30 years, NASCO provides seamless benefit management, eligibility, membership, billing and claims processing support for Blue Plans, allowing them to provide competitive healthcare products in federal, state and multistate markets for nearly 25 million members. NASCO’s partnership with multiple Blue Plans cultivates a community that fosters the collaboration needed to promote innovation, deliver shared solutions and create a competitive cost advantage. NASCO is shaping the future of healthcare IT. For more information, visit nasco.com.

Advanced Technology Development Center presents Silence The Shame for mental health awareness

Experts from technology, entertainment, and academia to address

mental health for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

 

Silence The Shame logo

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is bringing attention to mental health and the role technology has in raising awareness and providing tools to professionals and those seeking help alike.

 

ATDC is hosting an interactive panel discussion as part of former music industry veteran Shanti Das’ national mental health movement, Silence The Shame.

 

Sponsored by Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, Silence The Shame brings together a panel of industry experts from the entertainment, professional sports, technology, academia, and science backgrounds to address the negative stigma associated with mental health, said Kirk Barnes, ATDC’s health technology catalyst and panel moderator.

 

The event, which coincides with National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, will be held at the Garage at Tech Square on September 12, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (The event is free and open to all, but attendees are asked to register here.)

 

Panelists include Das; Amber D. Barnes, founder of Motivate to Elevate, a health and wellness company; Yared Alemu, founder of TQ Intelligence, a mental health technology startup in ATDC’s portfolio; and Kirk Barnes.

 

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But it ranks as the second leading cause of death among those who are between 10 and 34 years old, CDC data show.

 

For Das, an Atlanta native and music industry executive who has worked with a wide range of acts including OutKast, Usher, and TLC, mental health is a deeply personal issue for her.

 

“My father committed suicide when I was seven months old and my best friend took her own life four years ago,” said Das, who launched the Silence The Shame initiative as part of her Hip-Hop Professional Foundation. “No one is immune to having a mental health struggle, or the situations that can trigger those issues, whether it’s divorce, or the death of a loved one, racism, or the PTSD of a mass shooting.

 

“We need to talk about mental health more and as we do so, we’ll begin to the end the stigma and normalize those discussions around our mental health and self-care, and silence that shame many of us have in discussing mental health.”

 

Barnes said the interactive panel discussion and Q&A will be forum for the exchange of ideas and sharing of tools and techniques to help attendees find ways to improve their emotional, psychological, physical, and social well-being.

 

“Having unique perspectives from people in multiple industries can help shed light on what mental health is and help people find real-world solutions regarding mental health,” Barnes said.

 

“Historically, there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in mental health in the technology space because it’s a subjective and personal subject. But now, we’re finding you can use technology to help give access to mental health professionals and the resources and tools they use for mental wellness and well-being.”

 

About Silence The Shame

Established by music industry veteran Shanti Das, Silence The Shame is an initiative designed to help remove the shame and stigma related to mental health. Silence The Shame, which aims to educate and provide resources for treatment, support, and care, is part of the Hip-Hop Professional Foundation, whose goal is to empower and enrich the lives of those in underserved communities around youth empowerment, mental health, and poverty. To learn more, please visit silencetheshame.com.

 

About the Advanced Technology Development Center

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the State of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly which funds it each year, ATDC’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has grown to become one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, with its graduate startup companies raising more than $2 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the State of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.

MBDA Centers at Georgia Tech win Century Awards

Staff Award Photo

The staff of the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency Business Center accepts its MBDA Century Club Awards.

The Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center and the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center — two programs at the Georgia Institute of Technology — were both given Century Club Awards at the MBDA’s National Training Conference held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Aug. 20-23.

The MBDA, a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is charged with promoting the growth of minority-owned business through public and private sector programs, policy, and research. More than 40 such centers exist across the country, including the two that are part of Georgia Tech’s economic development arm, the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

The Century Club Awards recognize those MBDA centers across the country that exceed the federally program’s success metrics — scoring above 100 — in a number of areas including job creation or retention, access to financing and capital, and clients served.

The Atlanta MBDA Business Center and Atlanta Advanced Manufacturing Center received scores of 120 and 106, respectively.

In Fiscal Year 2018, the two centers reported more than $550.4 million in the value of new contracts, increased sales, bonding and financing to assisted firms, 893 jobs, and served more than 332 minority entrepreneurs served.

“Our goal is to expand business opportunities for our clients, connect them with capital to sustain and fuel their growth and help them increase their bottom-line profitability,” said Donna Ennis, who serves as director of both centers at Tech.

“These awards are a recognition that we are one of the top performing centers in the country and that we’re really focused on strengthening and growing our minority-owned businesses and making a difference.”

Georgia Tech welcomes second cohort in Professional Master’s Occupational Safety and Health program

Class photo of PMOSH Class of 2020

Members of the Professional Master’s Occupational Safety and Health (PMOSH) Class of 2020.

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Safety, Health, and Environmental Services program (SHES), welcomed its second cohort to its Professional Master’s Occupational Safety and Health (PMOSH) program — the only offering of its kind in the state.

The 21 students who comprise the cohort will spend two years studying for the degree, which SHES is offering in partnership with Georgia Tech Professional Education.

The students represent a wide range of industries, including aerospace manufacturing, food production, retail, construction, and biotechnology.

Launched in 2017, the PMOSH degree is designed to give individuals ascending to leadership positions with the knowledge and skills needed to define and effectively manage safety and health programs in a wide range of organizations where they can have a positive impact in the well-being of the labor force.

Among the things they will learn to:

  • Define and describe the principles of managing safety and health.
  • Analyze the attributes of an organization with respect to safety and health and identify gaps that warrant improvement to attain better safety and health performance.
  • Design and implement an action plan to improve and sustain the highest level of safety and health performance.
  • Apply the analytical, technological and business concepts necessary to measure, improve and sustain safety and health performance.
  • Demonstrate the value proposition of effective safety and health management within an organization.

“Our research showed there is a strong need for this type of training,” said Myrtle Turner Harris, director of the SHES and OSHA Training Institute Education Center programs. “The education and training they will receive will allow them to have that professional education to advance in their fields. For companies, they’re putting people in these critical occupational safety positions who are trained to be there. They’re supporting safety in the workplace, which is an important factor in the companies’ bottom lines.”

Daley Ervin joins Engage Ventures as Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Veteran entrepreneur and ultramarathoner spent more than a decade leading venture capital-backed startups around the world.

 

 

Daley Ervin

Daley Ervin has joined Engage as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. (Photo: Allie Schonberg)

Engage, the strategic grouping of 11 major corporations in an independent venture fund and platform,announced today that Daley Ervin, a seasoned entrepreneur and executive, has joined as an entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR).

 

Ervin, who is Engage’s first named EIR, will focus on deepening corporate partner relationships and assisting portfolio founders in partnership development, go-to-market refinement, and the issues surrounding high-growth and scale.

 

“Engage’s mission is to leverage our platform to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain access to customers, distribution channels, and Fortune 500 scale,” said Engage Managing Director, Thiago Olson “Daley will bring immediate value to Engage, our portfolio founders, and our corporate partners, we’re excited to have him on board.”

 

Ervin has more than 10 years leading four venture capital-backed startups on three continents that raised a collective $4.6 billion. Most recently, he was Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Amazon-backed Nucleus in New York. Prior to that, he was the General Manager and Head of North American Operations for Student.com, launched international offices for YPlan, and was part of the International Expansion Team at Airbnb.

 

“My belief in the Engage mission and seeing howcommitted the corporate partners are – from the CEOs down to operating teams – is what drew me to Engage. The partner appetite for more engagement seems to be growing rapidly. They want to build out an even more comprehensive platform,” Ervin said. “I am excited to help create opportunities for the Engage partners to connect and learn from each other by building out that platform.”

 

As a competitive ultramarathoner and extreme endurance athlete, Ervin set the United States’ pairs record having rowed 3,000 miles over 45-days across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain to the Caribbean in the “World’s Toughest Rowing Race.”

 

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business and communication from Arizona State University.

 

About Engage

Engage is a venture fund and growth platformthat gives entrepreneurs what they need most — customers and market access. Engage corporate partners contributing capital, expertise, time, and resources include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia Tech, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc., The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., Tech Square Ventures, The Home Depot and UPS. These corporate partners, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and Tech Square Ventures, provide tools, hands-on support and resources.Engage is headquartered in Georgia Tech’s Technology Square. For more information, visit engage.vc.