AFCEA Innovation & Entrepreneurship


AFCEA Small Business Committee and DataTribe present the

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Series: How to make the leap and launch a business from a government project or research effort

January 21, 2021

2:00 p.m. ET

This is the first of a series of webinars on innovation and entrepreneurship.  This series will cover topics ranging from funding programs and useful small business resources to insightful early startup tactics.

This webinar will run approximately 60 minutes and is brought to you by the startup foundry DataTribe and AFCEA’s Small Business Committee.
Government projects and university research are at the heart of the most leading edge innovation in the country. But what is the best way to create a product and business based on one of these projects? Join us on January 21 to hear from our panel of experts on the best ways to commercialize a research project. With backgrounds in government programs, university programs, the venture community, and a CEO that has done it - the panelists will provide tangible insights on how to navigate the process from all viewpoints.


About the panelists:

Mojdeh Bahar, Associate Director, Innovation and Industry Services at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Mojdeh Bahar is the associate director for innovation and industry services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In this capacity, she is responsible for the NIST suite of technology partnership, quality and advanced manufacturing programs, including the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the Office of Advanced Manufacturing, the Technology Partnership Program and other extramural activities.

Ms. Bahar comes to NIST from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the chief scientific in-house research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), where she served as the assistant administrator for technology transfer. There, she had broad responsibility for managing the intellectual property that evolves from the research program of the agency and served as a resource for management of intellectual property and technology transfer across the USDA. She led ARS's interactions with government agencies, industries, commodity groups and universities on matters dealing with intellectual property and technology transfer. Read more here.

Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Maryland

Julie Lenzer has held every role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem – from successful entrepreneur, policy advisor, funder, ecosystem builder and investor. She is currently the Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Maryland. In this role, she is charged with fostering and deploying innovation to drive greater economic and social impact from faculty, students, and alumni endeavors. Her portfolio includes the tech transfer office, UM Ventures, the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Maryland International Incubator (MI2), TechPort (an incubator in Southern Maryland), the Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center (MAVRIC), as well as university engagement with the Discovery District (UMD’s research park).

Prior to joining the university, she was the Director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) within the U.S. Department of Commerce and Special Assistant to the Secretary for innovation policy. While there, she created the Regional Innovation Strategies grant program (now called Build to Scale). As of 2018, that program helped create over 8,000 jobs and raise just over $1B in capital to support startups.


Leo Scott, Chief Innovation Officer, DataTribe

Leo is the Chief Innovation Officer at DataTribe, a startup studio. There he works with leading founder teams to co-build companies in domains including cybersecurity, data science, and AI/ML.  He previously has founded three successful technology startups and guided them from inception through acquisition.   Over the years, he has been in organizations ranging in size from two guys in a basement to thousands, building products to solve a variety of business and technology challenges. He has led high-growth, venture-backed companies and has helped to lead companies through difficult restructuring and turnaround situations. Leveraging this experience, he is now helping other teams to traverse the adventurous terrain of startup land.

Gregg Smith, CEO of Attila Security and Chair, Cybersecurity Association of Maryland

Gregg Smith is the Co-Founder and CEO of Attila Security and the Chair of the Cybersecurity Association of Maryland. Prior to launching Attila, he was CEO of several successful companies, including Silent Circle, Optio Labs, and Koolspan. His experience as a leader includes eight successful exits and growing a business from 3M to 100M. Gregg is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an Eagle Scout, and he is committed to protecting the nation state from data theft and solving some of the biggest security challenges facing both enterprise and government agencies today. Outside of work, Gregg is a proud father and grandfather, as well as a youth lacrosse coach.


This webinar is $45 for AFCEA members, $95 for non-AFCEA members (includes 1-year individual AFCEA membership).


The small business offerings and opportunities for AFCEA members continue to grow. Not an AFCEA Small Business Corporate Member? View our membership overview presentation and then contact us to help us help you leverage the AFCEA brand to grow your business. 


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