Small Business Innovation Summit 2018

July 30, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Tom Miller, CEO of Clearforce, gives the winning presentation at the shark tank concluded at AFCEA’s Small Business Innovation Summit held July 26. Photography: Elizabeth Moon

ClearForce of Vienna, Virginia, a small business with a prestigious board of directors, was named the champion of an AFCEA shark tank tournament that featured a total of 14 small businesses offering 15 different entrepreneurial technologies. The winner of a two-month long shark tank competition for entrepreneurial cyber-related technology was selected by audience participants in an innovation summit.

July 16, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Joining Michael Hodge, vice president, Federal, Avocado Systems (2nd from r) are the three July 11 Shark Tank judges (l-r) Dan Wolley, founder and managing partner, Ponderosa Management Group; Maria Horton, CEO, EmeSec; and Christina Monaco, chief ventures officer, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Photo by Elizabeth Moon

A small business providing advanced data security is the third and final firm selected in an AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank competition to uncover innovative emerging technologies. The company, Avocado of San Jose, California, won against six other firms with its distributed and deterministic layer-7 application security platform.

June 12, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Tom Miller (c), CEO of ClearForce, stands with the judges who declared his firm’s technology the winner in the second AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank Competition. Flanking Tom are (l-r) Glenn Hernandez, CISO, OpEdge Solutions LLC; Manoj Bhatia, president, Network Runners Inc.; Maria Horton, CEO of EmeSec; and Bill Jones, senior vice president of DSA’s Integrated Solutions Group. Photo credit: Elizabeth Moon

A small business with a prestigious board of directors is the second firm selected in an AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank competition June 7 to uncover innovative emerging technologies. The company, ClearForce of Vienna, Virginia, won against three other firms with its proprietary technology for seeking out employees who might be motivated to commit insider crimes deliberately as well as accidentally.

May 23, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman

A company designing networked drones for disaster relief is the first small business selected in an AFCEA Small Business Innovation Shark Tank competition to uncover innovative emerging technologies. The company, LTAid of Vancouver, Washington, is building unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can serve emergency responders as well as warfighters in theater.

“The demand for logistics outstrips the ability of logistics,” said LTAid’s Chris Thobaben during the competition. “We look to revolutionize a small piece of the supply chain, but it’s the most critical piece.”

July 26, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, speaks at the AFCEA Small Business Innovation Summit. Photo by Elizabeth Moon

Small business may hold the key to helping the Navy meet its advanced technology requirements as it girds for a contested future. Speeding new capabilities into the force, along with breaking the traditional mold of acquisition, could prevent the Navy from falling short of its modernization goals.

These points were presented by James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. Speaking at the AFCEA Small Business Innovation Summit, Geurts described the agility of small businesses as a key asset that could serve Navy needs—and one where small business can have an effect.

July 26, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett, USN, director, Navy Cybersecurity Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, spoke at the AFCEA Small Business Innovation Summit on July 26.

The U.S. Navy is working to speed cyber capabilities to the force to keep up with both technology innovation and adversarial activities. Major obstacles can be found both internally and externally, and security concerns dominate all modernization efforts.