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.

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.

I-Corps South hosts group from Mexico for entrepreneurship training academy

I-Corps South I-Corps Mexico

Georgia Tech’s I-Corps South program hosted team of instructors from Mexico for two days of training and education to learn about entrepreneurship processes in commercializing their research. (Photo: Miriam Huppert)

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s I-Corps South program recently hosted 17 university-based instructors from Mexico for a two-day training session to teach them the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and how to build and maintain such programs at their schools.

 

“This is the I-Corps South Instructor Academy, which prepares instructors on how to teach the I-Corps methodology,” said Melissa Heffner, an I-Corps program manager.

 

The instructors came under the sponsorship of the National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT), which is charged with coordinating and promoting Mexico’s scientific and technologic development, she said.

 

I-Corps South is a partnership of Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business.

 

Keith McGreggor I-Corps South

Keith McGreggor (standing), executive director of I-Corps South at Georgia Tech, leads an education session on entrepreneurship. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

Its main objective is to provide entrepreneurs in the Southeast and Puerto Rico with consistent instruction on the principles of evidence-based entrepreneurship, said Keith McGreggor, I-Corps South’s executive director.

 

With universities, I-Corps South offers the tools, support, and resources required to launch and maintain high-quality evidence-based entrepreneurship programs across the Southeast and Puerto Rico.

 

While university researchers often develop great ideas, they don’t always know how to take their findings from the lab to the marketplace, McGreggor said.

 

I-Corps Mexico — created in 2012 and based on the U.S.’s  National Science Foundation’s model — aims to ensure that research developed by scientists in Mexico lead to greater societal impact. The I-Corps Mexico program was the first time that the training model was applied outside the United States.

 

“Mexico’s I-Corps program recently expanded to 8 nodes from 5 and CONACYT wanted a more formal program for this expansion,” Heffner said, explaining why the organization selected Georgia Tech’s program to conduct the training for the Mexican instructors.

 

“I-Corps South first offered a training course in 2016, and since then we’ve built out and augmented the program,” Heffner said. “To date, we’ve offered the program six times and have trained 25 instructors from 11 different universities.”

 

Additionally, I-Corps South has been asked to submit a proposal to the NSF to develop and conduct training courses for NSF I-Corps Sites instructors across the United States, at more than 80 sites.

Georgia Tech to launch health technology initiative at the Advanced Technology Development Center

NASCO’s gift to the Institute will support development

of health technology entrepreneurs and startups in Georgia.

 

NASCO, a leading provider of information technology products and services designed to help healthcare payers across the United States address unique business challenges and revolutionize business operations, is making a significant commitment to Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) to create a new initiative for entrepreneurs in healthcare-focused technology.

 

The ATDC Health Technology (HealthTech) Program is slated to formally launch in July and Atlanta-based NASCO’s gift will provide the initial funding to support the current and future HealthTech startups in ATDC’s portfolio. The initiative is the third of its kind at ATDC and follows other gifts used to launch programs in the financial and retail technology sectors.

 

“NASCO views this partnership with the ATDC and the launch of the HealthTech initiative as critical to our mission to deliver innovative health services and to support the Georgia healthcare and technology communities,” said David Weeks, NASCO’s chief technology officer. “Healthcare is a highly interconnected ecosystem, and new technologies are helping us to both reduce customer friction and improve health outcomes. The HealthTech vertical will be a key incubator of new ideas to enable these changes.”

 

In addition to one-on-one coaching and resources for commercial success, the funds also will support healthcare-focused commercialization workshops, hackathons, and hosting industry thought leaders in healthcare innovations in regulation, production, and manufacturing.

 

The more than 40 startups in ATDC’s current HealthTech portfolio are building companies with innovative approaches to population health, caregiver support, billing fraud, precision medicine, genomics, medical devices, diagnostics, data analytics, and process improvements in drug research.

 

“Healthcare systems across the U.S. as well as the patients in their care continue to explore ways to leverage innovation and technology to reduce costs, improve patient satisfaction, eliminate waste, increase access, and improve outcomes,” said Kirk Barnes, ATDC’s HealthTech catalyst and who spearheaded the development of this initiative. “We are extremely excited about the partnership with NASCO. The company embraces innovation and technology to improve the way that healthcare is delivered.”

 

The NASCO partnership will help the Georgia economy by helping entrepreneurs launch viable companies in the state, said ATDC Interim Director Jane McCracken.

 

“We look forward to working with NASCO to establish this program for HealthTech entrepreneurs,” McCracken said. “We will leverage NASCO’s market knowledge and that of other leading companies in the sector. Combined with Georgia Tech’s expertise and organizations throughout the state, we will help entrepreneurs develop and bring to market dynamic, leading-edge technologies that will benefit healthcare providers, payers, and patients.”

 

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.

 

About Georgia Tech

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world’s premier research universities. Georgia Tech is a national and international leader in scientific and technological research and education and is the nation’s leading producer of engineers as well as a leading producer of female and minority engineering Ph.D. graduates. Ranked among the top public universities by U.S. News & World Report, the Institute enrolls more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students in fields ranging from engineering, computing, and sciences, to business, design, and liberal arts. For additional information, visit gatech.edu.

 

About the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC)

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.

Economic Development Lab hosts Peruvian delegation seeking innovation development

Universidad del Pacifico's Emprende UP

Members of the Universidad del Pacifico’s Emprende UP, were at Georgia Tech to learn about entrepreneurial ecosystems and best practices for innovation development and support. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Economic Development Lab (EDL) hosted a group of 12 professionals from Peru’s Universidad del Pacifico who sought to get a better understanding of entrepreneurial ecosystems and best practices for innovation development and support.

 

The group represents the university’s Emprende UP, which serves as its center for entrepreneurship and innovation. Emprende UP runs pre-incubation, incubation, and acceleration programs at  the Universidad del Pacifico, a small, private Jesuit school and highly ranked in Peru and across Latin America.

 

“We chose Georgia Tech because the Tech model in entrepreneurship and innovation is similar to what we are doing in Peru,” said Javier Salinas, Emprende UP’s director. “At the end of our three days here, we recognized that we’re on the right track, but we can improve and refine our services for the Peruvian innovation ecosystem.

 

EDL, a program of Tech’s economic development arm, the Enterprise Innovation Institute, helps communities and organizations apply innovative ideas to economic development in business incubation and commercialization, strategic planning, and economic sustainability.

 

Economic Development Lab workshop

Brandy Stanfield-Nagel (right), program manager and faculty researcher at Economic Development Lab, discusses best practices techniques in startup development, with Diego Joseph Rengifo (left) and Carlos Zapata of Universidad del Pacifico’s Emprende UP. (Photo: Péralte C. Paul)

“The objective of this three-day immersion program at Tech was for the Emprende UP team to experience and learn from the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems here at the Institute and across Atlanta,” said Mónica Novoa, an EDL project manager.

 

“The group learned and acquired key insights and best practices by interacting with us, and with the invited speakers, entrepreneurs, and city officials through a series of intensive and experiential workshops.”

 

As part of that learning process, the Emprende UP team toured Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), which is the state’s technology incubator, and met with some of its startups in the financial technology (FinTech) sector.

 

The FinTech space was of particular interest because Emprende UP has spent the past 18 months developing an ecosystem around it and working with Peru’s banking regulators, leading financial institutions and international technology firms towards that initiative, Salinas said.

 

Beyond FinTech, the team focused on learning about other components that comprise successful innovation ecosystems, such as closer alignment with academics. They also saw how corporations seek to be near universities and tap into those schools’ research and innovation expertise.

 

In the past five years, more than 20 large corporations, including Delta Air Lines, AT&T, and Anthem, have opened corporate innovation centers in and around Technology Square to access the talents and technologies developed at Georgia Tech.

 

“The first takeaway is that we need to work more closely with the academia side — teachers and students,” said Martha Zúñiga, Emprende UP’s head of special projects. “The second takeaway is that Peru is just developing its innovation ecosystem and we have to support the growth of corporate innovation centers, because their inclusion is part of that ecosystem growth.”

 

EDL, which has had projects in 151 of Georgia’s 159 counties and more than six dozen initiatives in 9 countries, will be going to Peru in August as a follow up in continuing its ecosystem development work with Emprende UP.

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.”