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’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)

Advanced Technology Development Center and Georgia Tech Research Corporation to host first-ever “How to License Georgia Tech IP”

Entrepreneurs invited to attend panel discussion and learn how to find, commercialize Georgia Tech research.

ATDC logo

Do you have a great concept that addresses a market need or solves a business challenge, but don’t know how to find the technology to power your idea? Or are you an entrepreneur who wants to find a commercial strategy for an exciting technology coming out of a research lab?

 

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) are co-hosting a panel discussion, “How to License Georgia Tech IP,” on August 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event, which will be held in ATDC’s Community Room at 75 5thSt. NW in Atlanta, is designed to help entrepreneurs learn how to access the Institute’s research findings and commercialize them into viable technology companies. (Register here.)

 

ATDC is the state of Georgia’s technology incubator helping entrepreneurs launch and scale technology companies. GTRC is the contracting unit for all of Tech’s sponsored research activities. It also licenses intellectual property (IP) developed by Institute faculty and students — including patents, software, and copyrights, among other components.

 

Georgia Tech Research Corporation“We often hear from entrepreneurs that they have an idea or have identified a problem their idea solves, but they don’t know how to go about finding the technology around which to build their company,” said ATDC Interim Director Jane McCracken. “Or, if they know they can tap into Georgia Tech’s vast research expertise, they don’t know exactly where to go or how to start that process.

 

“So, with this event, we’re giving entrepreneurs and the public at large an opportunity to better understand how to do that and how we at ATDC and GTRC can be resources to help them access Georgia Tech intellectual property.”

 

The panelists — which include the founders of three companies that have licensed technology developed at the Institute — will share their respective journeys and insights into building their companies using Tech IP.

 

McCracken will moderate the panel, which is comprised of (from left to right):

“This panel illustrates the myriad of ways entrepreneurs can license and leverage Georgia Tech-created IP to form new companies,” Bray said. “Musheer is a Tech Ph.D who created his company from the research he conducted, while Finn, who has no Tech affiliation, licensed technology from GTRC for his startup, and Jim is a serial entrepreneur.”

 

Many entrepreneurs have questions regarding IP law and standards governing licensing, Bray said. Panelist Scott Bryant, an attorney who regularly counsels clients on commercializing university IP, will address that aspect of licensing technology.

 

“ATDC and GTRC want attendees to have a comprehensive understanding of how they can plug into Georgia Tech and how we can help them create strong companies,” Bray said. “Licensing technology and navigating the university IP landscape can be daunting, but we want this to serve as a blueprint for entrepreneurs.”

 

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 $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.

 

About the Georgia Tech Research Corporation

The Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) is a state chartered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation serving the Georgia Institute of Technology. GTRC serves as the contracting entity for all sponsored research activities at Georgia Tech. It also protects and licenses intellectual property (patents, software, copyrights, etc.) created at Georgia Tech. Through technology transfer, GTRC enables the Institute to maintain strong partnerships with the public and private sectors to assure the benefits of discovery are widely disseminated. For more information, visit industry.gatech.edu.

To view intellectual property currently available for licensing, visit technologies.gtrc.gatech.edu.

Inaugural Tech Square Innovation Week a success

Arrested Development

Arrested Development, the Grammy Award winning band with Atlanta roots, capped off Tech Square Innovation Week with a performance in the Centergy Courtyard.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and technology enthusiasts descended upon Midtown the week of May 7, 2018 for the inaugural Tech Square Innovation Week.

 

The week, which featured more than a dozen events, including the Advanced Technology Development Center’s 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase, was designed to highlight the innovation and collaboration occurring in and around Tech Square.

 

Hosted by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) and ATDC, Tech Square Innovation Week brought the spotlight to the different programs and resources that have converged to make Tech Square a national model of an ecosystem where business and industry, startup entrepreneurs, students, and the investment communities grow, succeed, and thrive.

 

The week included more than a dozen events ranging from FinTech South and the Atlanta Startup Battle, to the Georgia Tech Innovation Showcase and the ATDC Startup Showcase. It also included a visit from Ga. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to ATDC to mark a milestone in the incubator’s expansion and reach.

 

“Tech Square has come a long way in the past 15 years, but in many ways I think we are just getting started,” said Chris Downing, vice president and director of EI2, noting the Tech Square concept was launched in 2003.

 

“Technology is all about momentum and change and innovation and Tech Square embodies that because today, it is home to more than 100 startup companies, 22 corporate innovation centers representing Fortune 500 companies,” he said. “We have several flagship entrepreneur-focused programs including ATDC and Venturelab, as well as Engage, our newest accelerator program, and we are building the second phase of Tech Square right now with the new CODA building.”

 

See photos from the 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase and the Georgia Tech Innovation Showcase at our Facebook photo gallery.

 

ATDC’s Jen Bonnett accepts position with Savannah Economic Development Authority

Jen Bonnett headshot

Jen Bonnett is general manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center.

Jen Bonnett, general manager of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), has been named vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship for the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA).

 

Bonnett was also named executive director of The Creative Coast, which is partly funded by SEDA, the city of Savannah, and ATDC. She will leave Georgia Tech effective June 2, said Chris Downing, vice president and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Tech’s economic development unit that includes ATDC.

 

Downing said EI2 will launch a national search for new general manager and that Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director, will serve as interim general manager until a permanent replacement is found.

 

“Jen has done an exceptional job for Georgia Tech and ATDC over the past six years and her leadership of ATDC during the past two years has put us in an excellent position with a very strong bench,” Downing said. “The vision she had to accelerate ATDC’s scope and impact here in metro Atlanta and across the state will continue. I am extremely pleased her new position with SEDA will allow her to help us continue to build the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Savannah.”

 

A technology entrepreneur with more than 25 years’ experience in the information technology and software development fields with a specialty in Web and mobile technologies, Bonnett joined ATDC as a community catalyst in October 2011.

 

She held that role for three years before being named assistant director of education and curriculum in October 2014. She was named acting general manager in October 2015 and named general manager in July 2016.

 

“It has been an honor to serve the state of Georgia, the Institute and our Entrepreneurs for the last six plus years,” Bonnett said. “The ATDC team is amazing and I have full confidence that they will continue to create innovative, impactful programs and meaningful connections for our companies across the state to ensure ATDC’s future success.”

 

Among her many accomplishments, Bonnett helped ATDC secure two $1 million gifts to Georgia Tech that funded the creation of a financial technology and retail technology initiatives to identify and help entrepreneurs build viable Georgia-based companies in those sectors. In 2017, the incubator served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs across the state and she more than doubled the number of companies in ATDC’s top tier portfolios to 180.

 

She played a critical role in developing the Entrepreneurs Education Series, a curriculum designed to move “concept stage” entrepreneurs from idea through to angel funding. She also is the architect of the “ATDC @” program which delivers coaching and curriculum to ATDC Entrepreneurs across the state.

 

Bonnett has served as founder or chief technology officer of a number of venture- and angel-backed firms, acting as both lead architect and growing or managing their technology teams. She and her co-founders raised more than $46 million to fund three companies.

 

An ardent supporter of diversity in technology, she also is the founder of StartupChicks, a 501c3 focused on empowering women entrepreneurs through education, community, coaching, connections, and investment. StartupChicks has touched more than 10,000 women globally through its content and events.

 

Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly, which funds it each year, ATDC is one of the longest-running and largest research university-affiliated incubators in the United States. Since its inception, ATDC has fostered innovation and economic development and has graduated more than 170 companies, which, collectively, have raised more than $3 billion in outside financing n investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia.

Georgia Tech marks startup expansion milestone with visit from Lt. Governor Casey Cagle

Chris Downing (left), vice president of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, shows a new suite of offices to (from left) ATDC Assistant Director Jane McCracken, Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. The office expansion is designed to meet growing service needs of Tech’s startup programs, ATDC, VentureLab, and CREATE-X. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

In a 2016 visit to the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle challenged the state’s tech startup incubator to double the number of resident startups it served in Atlanta and the rest of the state.

 

Two years later, ATDC — a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology — not only met the challenge, but has exceeded initial expectations, with more than 180 companies now in its Signature and Accelerate portfolios across the state.

 

The growth has led to an expansion of ATDC’s offices in Technology Square to accommodate that demand. The creation of new suites at ATDC’s second floor offices in the Centergy Building — and expansion onto the third floor — allows for the incubator to house an additional 25 resident startups.

 

Cagle was on the Tech campus in a May 8 reception to mark the milestone, visit with some ATDC startup company CEOs, get an update on the Engage venture fund and growth accelerator, and to learn more about the innovation ecosystem that also includes the Institute’s VentureLab, CREATE-X, and Flashpoint programs.

 

His visit was part of a weeklong series of events taking place during Tech Square Innovation Week, which celebrated Tech Square as a hub of ideation.

 

Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, during a visit to Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Develpment Center, discusses how technology startup entrepreneurship programs such as ATDC and VentureLab incubators are to giving new economic development opportunities to communities across Georgia. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“Entrepreneurship is critically important to what the new economy is going to look like,” Cagle said during his visit. “I am thrilled to be with you here today and I can’t tell you how proud I am of each and every single person here. We’re just getting started and we’re going to take Georgia to even higher levels than we ever imagined, and you are the very reason for that.”

 

The expansion underscores the explosion of demand for ATDC’s services not only in Atlanta, but across the state, including Athens, Augusta, and Savannah.

 

“We were able to meet that demand in part because we received an increase in state funding — thanks to Lt. Governor Cagle’s leadership — that allowed us to increase our services and statewide reach,” said Chris Downing, vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Tech’s economic development arm whose programs include ATDC.

 

In 2017, ATDC’s portfolio companies raised $130 million in investment capital and in the in the first quarter of 2018, they attracted more than $33 million in investment dollars to the state.

 

Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director, explains how the incubator’s portfolio companies raised $130 million in investment dollars in 2017 and about $33 million in the first quarter of 2018. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“All of the ATDC’s work — the coaching, connections and community building — further establishes Georgia’s reputation a leading place for entrepreneurs and technology companies to flourish,” said Jane McCracken, ATDC’s assistant director. “That means jobs, additional funding and increased revenues, which benefit all of Georgia’s citizens.”

 

Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, who welcomed Cagle to campus, said ATDC’s success is just one of the many successful components in the Institute’s technology startup support.

 

Other programs include CREATE-X, a faculty-led initiative that helps students pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

 

VentureLab collaborates with Institute faculty and students to create startups based on Tech research. Flashpoint is a startup accelerator, and Engage is an independent, early-stage venture fund and growth program.

 

The additional office spaces will allow for greater collaboration and partnership between ATDC, VentureLab and CREATE-X.

 

Keith McGreggor (left), director of Georgia Tech’s VentureLab program, gives Ga. Lt. Governor Casey Cagle an overview of the incubator and explains how its companies raised $125 million in investment dollars in 2017. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

 

“This success all around Tech Square has been possible largely due to state support, and the lieutenant governor’s vision for fostering innovation in the state,” Peterson said.

 

“Thanks to increased state funding to ATDC and establishment of the Invest Georgia fund, we can continue to foster home-grown innovation. We are dedicated to helping keep these entrepreneurs in Georgia.”

Tech Square Innovation Week Coming to Midtown Atlanta in May

Weeklong events from May 7-10 to shine spotlight on innovation ecosystem and feature open houses, tech summits, block party and 32nd annual ATDC Startup Showcase.

 

Tech Square

The area around the intersection of Spring and 5th streets is a hotbed of technology startups, research, and economic development.

Technology Square is abuzz with the activity of startups, corporate innovation, and disruptive research, as well as outstanding student talent from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

For one week in spring 2018 — May 7-10 — the Tech Square neighborhood and the components that make it one of the nation’s most successful ecosystems of ideation and disruption will be on display as part of Tech Square Innovation Week.

 

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and its Enterprise Innovation Institute are the hosts of Tech Square Innovation Week.

 

“With this week, we and our partners really wanted to show all the various components that make Tech Square the vibrant innovation ecosystem that it is,” said Jen Bonnett, ATDC general manager.

 

“Tech Square is a national model of economic development, ideation, and technology disruption. With Tech Square Innovation Week, this is the opportunity for visitors and event attendees to see how and why we’re succeeding and possibly join to continue that momentum.”

 

The week’s events include a “portfolio night” at Engage, the private startup accelerator and venture fund owned and operated by its 10 founding companies, the Georgia Tech Innovation Showcase of up-and-coming research ideas Georgia Tech students and faculty have developed, and the Atlanta Startup Battle at Tech Square Labs, with $100,000 at stake.

 

Tech Square Innovation Week also includes the Technology Association of Georgia’s FinTech South 2018, a two-day summit focused on the latest trends in the financial technology sector, and the ATDC RetailTech Summit, which will explore technological disruptions and opportunities in that sector.

 

Tech Square Innovation Week will culminate with the 2018 ATDC Startup Showcase on May 10 at the Georgia Tech Academy of Medicine and the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel.

 

Now in its 32nd year, the ATDC Startup Showcase is Georgia’s largest spring startup confab. The event, which draws nearly 1,000 attendees, features more than 80 of disruptive technology companies from the state of Georgia.

 

About Tech Square Innovation Week:

Tech Square Innovation Week — May 7 through May 10, 2018 — is a weeklong celebration that highlights and celebrates different components that combined, make Technology Square in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood, a national economic development model that entrepreneurship, disruption, research, corporate partnerships and investment. For more information, please visit techsquareinnovates.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 $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.