Defense Track educates entrepreneurs on how to collaborate with the U.S. Government and scale their business through government contracts
Dayton, Ohio- On September 16, 2021, Parallax Advanced Research, in partnership with Infinite Management Solutions, and Treble One Aerospace Consulting, hosted a Defense Track during Launch Dayton Startup Week, which is a week-long celebration of everything entrepreneurial in Dayton. The Defense Track brought together panelists with experience interacting with the government and writing winning government proposals and entrepreneurs seeking to scale their business by collaborating with the government on product development and science and technology innovation.
"Being so close Wright Patterson Air Force Base presents unique opportunities for our entrepreneurs to tap into federal funding to grow businesses that will make an impact,” Parallax Program Manager John Owen said. “We're thrilled to create space for business owners experienced in working with the Department of Defense to share their knowledge with a new cohort of founders."
The first Defense Track session focused on leveraging the government to launch a company invested in areas important to the Department of Defense. This session featured presentations from a diverse set of entrepreneurs who have successfully connected with Wright Patterson Air Force Base and beyond. The panelists included Dr. Sivaram Gogineni, president of Spectral Energies; Jason Molnar, chief strategy officer at Infinity Labs, and Atossa Alavi, president and cofounder of Immobileyes. Participants learned which local programs to connect with to get their foot in the “federal door”, how to tap Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Technology Transfer (STTR) funding to scale their company, and how to get final products into the hands that can make a difference. Scott Koorndyk, president of the Entrepreneurs’ Center, was the moderator of this session.
“There is an assumption that working with the U.S. Government as a small business owner or entrepreneur is impossible or nearly impossible,” said Koorndyk. “Our panel tore down that assumption by bringing together entrepreneurs and small business owners who have successfully connected and collaborated with the U.S. Government for science and technology innovation. Our Defense Track also featured organizations that provide free support resources that help entrepreneurs connect with the government, especially as those entrepreneurs seek connections to obtain federal funding and increase innovation in Ohio.”
During the second session, Dr. Darrell Lochtefeld, Vice President of Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, at Parallax Advanced Research, presented on the complexities of preparing government proposals. Dr. Lochtefeld has been both a proposal writer and a proposal reviewer during his career, and he is well-versed on the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of government proposal writing. Participants of this session learned about what to do, and more importantly, what not to do, as they pursue federal funding and draft federal contracts.
“Having been in the position of writing proposals and reviewing proposals, the key takeaways are customer understanding, making ideas accessible, and leverage resources. Many resources are provided free by the government. For example, the Department of the Air Force provides proposal process navigation and consulting free of charge through its program. There are many additional services provided by the larger Department of Defense partnership intermediary programs,” said Lochtefeld.
The final session of Defense track was about executing contracts. Lisa Coker, founder of Infinite Management Solutions, led this panel that consisted of panelists Jeff Addison, president of Techknowvate, and Kevin Clemons, president and chief executive officer of ClemCorp. The panel addressed how the government operates differently than the average private corporation and how to prepare for those differences, how to secure capital to carry a company through pay day, to getting security clearances for employees, and to contract timelines.
About Parallax Advanced Research
Parallax is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that tackles global challenges by accelerating innovation and developing technology and solutions through strategic partnerships with government, industry and academia across Ohio and the Nation. Together with academia, Parallax accelerates innovation that leads to new breakthroughs. Together with government, Parallax tackles critical global challenges and delivers new solutions. Together with industry, Parallax develops groundbreaking ideas and speeds them to market.
About Launch Dayton
Launch Dayton is a collaborative effort of regional entrepreneurial support organizations to connect and support Dayton’s entrepreneur and startup community. Launch Dayton partners believe everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to determine their own economic prosperity. The Launch Dayton community exists to support and inspire all Daytonians who are building businesses. Launch Dayton partners collaborate to build an easily accessible environment, run high caliber programming, and connect a network of champions, mentors, and resource providers.