Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Robotics Cluster Meeting hosted at Sea Machines: August 22, 2016

 
Robotics Cluster Meeting hosted at Sea Machines
August 22, 2016
 
Our Summer 2016 Robotics Cluster meeting and social was attended by about 50 MassTLC members at Sea Machines in the Boston Harbor Shipyard.  The focus of this meeting was Aquatic Robotics.
Sam Godin provided an overview and status of Riptide’s UUVs. Riptide Autonomous solutions made their first 3 production micro-UUVs delivery to SPAWAR System Center earlier this year and recently delivered 6 more to the US Navy this month.  More information on the company can be found on their web site at: https://riptideas.com/
Alex Lorman described Sea Machines Robotics as a forward-looking autonomous technology company which develops control systems and unmanned surface vehicles that increase offshore operational efficiency, quality and safety.  Sea Machines can be applied across most maritime industries.
 
Recent articles on Sea Machines include:  MarineLink.com, Unmanned Systems Technology (UST), Marine Technology News and the most recent article in the Boston Globe.  More information can be found on their web site at: http://sea-machines.com/
David Kelly described the InnovaSea Systems mission:  to create innovative and integrated production systems that efficiently and effectively produce fish, while not harming the environment.  He showed how these SeaStations and Aquapods are deployed and sustained.  More information can be found at: http://www.innovasea.com/
These indoor discussions were followed by an outdoor in-water demonstration of Sea Machine’s prototype.
 
Beer & Bots Casual Networking


Our summer social was enjoyed by all!
 
Special Thanks to Our Event Host
 


 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Open Source in the Enterprise - Part 2 of a 2-Part Series

By: Paul Marcinkiewicz, Solution Architect for Slalom Consulting

How Your Company Can Become An Open Source Organization

In Part 1, I talked about the history and the many advantages of utilizing open source. The advantages outlined are numerous and the more advanced companies are not only utilizing open source, but creating it as well. Part 2 will address how your company can not just leverage open source, but become an open source organization and an active user and contributor.   

Hurdles and Challenges

Overcoming the Legacy Wall

The foremost challenges surrounding a shift to open source are related to platform legacy and existing company culture. Most organizations are using or have built software applications and platforms that are tied up with licenses from big corporations like Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle. This is often a large annual cost burden. These applications and platforms cannot be torn down and replaced overnight. Software professionals are trained and often have lengthy backgrounds in legacy technologies, so introducing them to an entirely new stack and development approach can be challenging. Operations are also in place to monitor and deploy these older technology stacks. So, you may ask, then how do we get started?  


Enterprise Processes and Regulations

Netflix is a sterling example of a company that has not only grown into a large enterprise but has created and adopted a strategy to overcome enterprise processes and regulations. Netflix relies on a model that lowers process and regulation, which will increase innovation and speed of delivery. Rather than creating more process to prevent problems, Netflix relies on individual and team responsibility. This same philosophy holds true for open source adoption. Many enterprises are reluctant to use open source because of the lack of enterprise support. However, if each team is responsible for their development, testing, deployments and service level agreements (SLAs), they are free to explore and build as long as they deliver quality. 

Your Company’s Open Source Strategy

Think Like a Startup

Startups have traditionally been early adopters of open source for a number of reasons. Startups are often cash-strapped and do not have the resources to acquire software licenses, so using open source is often a decision made out of necessity. As a result, startups usually lead the way in terms of innovation and time-to-market. How do they do it? It’s done through constant experimentation and tremendously fast iteration cycles achieved by quickly leveraging and adopting these tools ad hoc. Unlike large companies that are often limited by vendor software, startups are able to choose the right tool for the job at the right time. This is especially important in the technology industry, where software release cycles are accelerating as quickly as ever. In an ecosystem where frameworks, tools, and technologies are falling in and out of favor virtually every day, the advantage of being a startup is not necessarily in the tools they choose, but in their ability to rapidly prototype, iterate, and swap technologies as they see fit. This is in stark contrast to many large companies, where adding layers of complexity to combat legacy software is the status quo.

While it’s unrealistic to advocate for the same level of flexibility often achieved at startups, it is imperative that companies approach open source in a similar spirit. We’ve seen numerous examples in recent years of large, seemingly invincible companies suffocating under the weight of a legacy tech stack. Organizations looking to join the open source movement must not expect to find a “golden hammer,” but rather build their systems to be as flexible and loosely-coupled as possible.


Find or Hire Your Own Open Source Mavericks

These open source mavericks are often hidden gems within your company. These are the developers who work nights and weekends at home and tinker. They often have their own GitHub pages showing what great work they’ve done.  A lot of them have an entrepreneurial spirit and many are working on their own side projects.  

Sometimes, these open source mavericks are professionals who have been working with the same technology for a while and want the opportunity to work on something new and challenging. Some people in your organization are happy with working on the legacy systems, while others want to be challenged. Recognizing these mavericks and giving them the opportunity to work on what’s new and shiny can change a stale culture into a fresh and exciting one and can transform your company into a destination that is desirable for the best and brightest.  


Offer Incentives

Companies such as Yahoo will offer incentives for developing technology that will either make or save the company money. In some cases, these will be in the form of offers that will give employees a direct percentage of revenue or savings generated from the initiative.  Innovating will take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Employees will often ask “what’s in it for me?”, other than building a good resume to allow them to move on to a better opportunity somewhere else.


Hackathons

Hackathons are another great method to market and find talent for a specific technology. Open source skills are some of the most sought after in the marketplace both from the employee and the employer perspective, so this is a great way of matching potential prospects with an opening. This is also a great way to market to the masses that your company is using these technologies.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

More often than not, teams and organizations are under constant pressure to deliver. This can cause enterprises to fall back to what we know and often take us to the path of least resistance. However, this approach will never spur innovation. If we keep patching the same legacy systems, we can never move forward and will only build the legacy wall even higher. Well-run organizations understand that consistent investment in their software is paramount to their success as opposed to constant band-aid solutions.  It’s OK to fail as long as you learn and iterate and do not spend an undue amount of time. This is what R&D is all about.  


Organize Into Small Autonomous Groups

It is often the case that not everyone will have the same opinion within an organization on how to best solve a problem. While many of your teams may be trying to solve similar problems, the backgrounds and skillsets may vary greatly. Many companies have found success with a Microservices architecture, providing their engineers with the autonomy to create the best solutions for themselves in the context of the support network that large companies benefit from. Yelp and Spotify are two examples of companies that have found success with and written about this approach.

Pick a Pilot Project

The best way to get started is to find a project that is either net-new without legacy dependencies or a project that can be retrofitted into your existing architecture. This will allow you to do "bake-offs" and "A/B performance tests" against different technologies.  To start, try something small to experiment with the new technology stack. Don't be afraid to try a number of competing technologies such as MongoDB vs Couchbase or NodeJS vs Tomcat.  Do this for every layer of your stack, from client tools through the database.  This will allow you to find the lines of demarcation within your organization.  


Create a Layer of Abstraction

Since each technology has its own tooling and modules, the last thing you want to do is be tied to a particular product because it's all wired together too tightly or has too many dependencies.  To account for this, design an API for each tier of your application to develop layers of abstraction. This approach is consistent with Microservices architecture patterns and best practices.

As an example, Node.js provides excellent asynchronous API orchestration. A NodeJS layer can stitch together compound requests into a single asynchronous request. These requests can be written in any blend of technologies and languages. For instance, high computational requests can be written in something like C++ or Java and be fronted by a Tomcat/Spring server.   


MVP (Get Your Win)

Projects often suffer from overdesign and extensive  timelines. Think long and hard about determining what your project's minimum viable product (MVP) is. The principles of Agile will support iterations before and after the initial MVP release. Getting your open source-based project released will allow your team to put a “stake in the ground” and begin to establish an open source culture within your organization. If you can eliminate the need to renew licenses or replace them with less expensive licensing deals, then that’s a big win.    


Cloud Agnostic Approach

Building an application or platform that will only run on a specific cloud provider’s infrastructure like AWS or Azure can lead to the same legacy wall issues. Your organization will become dependent on a provider’s proprietary tools.  Certainly leveraging these tools can provide benefit, but a design around a specific cloud provider’s tooling can also lock you into that specific vendor. Avoid this pitfall by leveraging tools that work on a number of cloud providers. Good examples of this are Docker for deployment containers and Node.js.  Some organizations will require certain assets to remain within their walls, so there is usually a need to think agnostically. Doing so will also allow you to burst out onto the public cloud in the future.


Use Licensing Where It Makes Sense for our Organization

There are situations where it may make sense to license certain software. If your company’s lifeline depends on a highly-available application, then buying an open source support contract may be the right decision. This license agreement can be temporary as your organization ramps up its internal skill set.  This is why it’s best to build software that does not have a strong dependency on versions that are only available in a licensed product.   


The Benefits to Contributing and the Power of Community

As you become proficient with open source, consider contributing back. This can be achieved in several ways. For one, you can submit pull requests directly to packages’ repositories on GitHub. NPM (Node Package Manager) is a great example of this. The NPM community has grown exponentially over the years and new modules are uploaded constantly.  Of course, this can also create a bit of a minefield, so proper QA and due diligence is a must.  Contributing back to open source can also provide a great way to attract talent and advertise your organization as a destination of open source innovation.


Get Bootstrapped By Getting Help

If you truly feel your company just doesn’t have enough experience with open source in-house to get started, then you can always scaffold the effort with a consulting firm.  This can provide the benefits of rapid building and allow your in-house talent to pair up with consultants to learn and sharpen their skills.  Again, this can be a transitional step once your company feels comfortable with your level of background, skill, and proficiency.


Final Thoughts

Open source provides many good options for your organization and should be seriously considered as an option to utilize. My suggestion is that you proceed in incremental steps and try to create a technological and cultural shift that will make your organization more innovative and adaptable in the fast changing marketplace. 

Paul Marcinkiewicz is a Solution Architect for Slalom Consulting - Boston and is an AWS Certified Solutions Architect. Paul has worked as an architect ranging from startups to Fortune 500 firms and has experience designing, building and migrating onto platforms utilizing open source technologies. Connect with Paul on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Talent Retriever Puppy Love – Supporting a Great Cause at Boston TechJam 2016


Woof! If you came down with a case of “Puppy Love” with Talent Retriever’s Pet My Puppy booth at TechJam, you’ll be happy to learn that the rescue group they partnered with, Sweet Paws Rescue of Essex, MA, raised over $800 (100% of that goes directly back into the costs of saving more dogs’ lives), gained 300+ Facebook followers and had several TechJam attendees personally reach out to Sweet Paws to volunteer! Sweet Paws Rescue only exists by donations; every dollar counts to help their rescue pooches! And to give you an idea of where donations go- take a look at this amazing video of Sweet Paws SuperStar Elinor last week taking her first steps! 


The attending pups, Austin, Margo, Willie the Wonder Doxie and the amazing Elinor, were a hit with TechJam attendees and we are happy to report Margo has found her adoptive “furever” home.

Elinor continues to thrive in her foster care and does hydro therapy daily and continues to inspire as all. She even has a very interested adopter that is hoping to one day take her home! If you would like to follow Elinor’s progress, like her page on Facebook: Saving Elinor


And get involved! Sweet Paws is always looking for volunteers, fosters, etc- www.sweetpawsrescue.org

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Data Governance in the Cloud

We continued our data governance series on June 22 with the topic Data Governance in the Cloud. Our moderator, Rashesh Jethi of Amadeus North America, was joined by panel members: Michael Lemire of QuickBase, Samir Mehra of CloudHealth Technologies, and Shawne Robinson of Pegasystems.

While governance is substantially easier to manage on premise, the fact is most companies are migrating to the cloud. The panel began with identifying the drivers of data governance in the cloud:
  1.          Regulatory compliance
  2.          Contractual obligations with your customers
  3.        Risk assessment: what are the data types and classification


For CloudHealth, their main driver is about providing visibility for the user and setting up automated governance plans based upon need and usability. For many of their customers it is not only an accessibility issue - the right people with the right access - but also about optimizing their cloud use.

All panelists agreed that governing data in the cloud is complicated but there are general guidelines. Michael made mention of 10 generally accepted privacy principles that were released by the AICPA. And Rashesh spoke about technological advancements in machine learning that allow for better automation and detection to ensure that governance rules are being followed properly.

Shawne suggests for companies that are skittish about moving to the cloud to start small. Move those data sets that are not as critical and secure as a way to build and test your strategies.  


Inevitably more data is going to be stored, accessed, and processed in the cloud. Companies and service providers must work together to create policies that make it safe and cost effective. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

CXO Forum: Designing the Future in an Age of Disruption

Designing the Future in an Age of Disruption


Last Tuesday over 50 CXOs from the tech community joined together for Designing the Future in an Age of Disruption. MassTLC’s CEO, Tom Hopcroft began the discussion with some key findings from MassTLC’s State of the Tech Economy report, highlighting the large role of tech on the Massachusetts economy, the need for more talent, and the need to focus on women and minorities as critical components of the tech workforce.




Following Tom, economist and co-editor of MassBenchmarks, Michael Goodman presented his state of the state. Michael walked through a number of factors that, in spite of the State’s economic forecast being strong, will affect growth of the Massachusetts economy including global markets, global conflict, huge demographic shifts, and even climate change.




Michael’s presentation dovetailed into our panel where members shared their stories and their insights on how regulatory and public policy agencies must work faster to move the regulatory processes in line with tech and enable innovation. Panelists included Sarah Biller of State Street Global Exchange, Jim Noga of Partners Healthcare, Tom Ryden of MassRobotics, Brian Tilzer of CVS Health, and Cathy Zhou of Uber.

Sarah spoke of the huge opportunities that have continued to evolve due to the massive data - both structured and unstructured - that have allowed corporate and individual investors to make substantially smarter decisions.

Jim and Brian also spoke of using data to deliver more individualized healthcare in a much more efficient and effective manner. Examples from Jim included having the ability to see multiple specialists who all have access to your health record, allowing your care to become more tailored to you. While Brian spoke of providing care on demand coupled with pharmaceutical care.

Tom and Cathy focused most on transportation citing autonomous vehicles and ridesharing respectively. Yet both warned of the negative impact that the current regulatory framework could have on moving Massachusetts to the forefront, not only as an economic development opportunity but also the ability to combat our ever increasing infrastructure and mass transit issues.

This conversation has only just begun, we will be continuing the discussion and taking a deep dive into these topics on November 18 at MassTLC’s TRANSFORM, an initiative in which the tech industry, along with academia and policy makers come together to talk about how we embrace the new opportunities coming about through our technology oriented, data driven, and on-demand economy.



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Robotica 2016 – June 7-9 2016

Many MassTLC community members participated in the AUVSI 3 day Robotica event at Devens MA, 7-9 June.

The event featured several presentations, panels and discussions including technical, regulatory and policy on autonomous vehicles (land, air and sea).  There was a medical track featuring presentations and discussion on Surgical Robotics, Exoskeletons and Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics, as well as robotic application discussions focusing on e-commerce/warehousing/logistics, collaborative robotics and Robotic/IoT in the future connected home.


Thanks to all of our MassTLC members who made the event a success!

E-commerce, Warehousing and Logistics Panel moderated by Vik Gopalakrishnan, Senior Supply Chain Manager at Staples Inc.  Panel members left to right: Mary Ellen Sparrow (NextShift), Gino Stone (Wynright), Rob Sullivan (Symbotic), Bruce Welty (Locus), Yaro Tenzer (Right Hand Robotics)


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Talking Talent with Tech Execs in Cambridge

By: Mike Johnson, Director of Communities, MassTLC


As the Director of Communities at MassTLC, I hear about a lot of issues and trends happening within our tech ecosystem. The most common theme of late is tech talent in the region. Where is it, where is it going, and why is it so hard to fill seats. 

Our 2016 State of Tech Report scratches the surface of what’s happening in the region but we wanted to dig a little deeper and bring together leaders in our community that are either growing their organizations or have successfully grown in Massachusetts.  

Tuesday June 7th, MassTLC hosted a dinner at Catalyst in Cambridge that was graciously sponsored by Digital Realty. This event set the stage for 11 of the smartest tech executives ranging from startups to household names to share their experiences, strategies, and some hilarious stories with each other. 

Below are the common problems/excuses organizations have and how our attendees overcame some of these hurdles. 

Only 27% of students are staying in Massachusetts after graduation from college. 

Yes, this is true, but many of that 73% weren’t Massachusetts residents before school so we can’t expect them to be locked in. We have one of the highest concentrations of higher education institutions in the country so this high percentage is a standard that we can’t do much about. 

It’s really hard to compete against the big tech players with recognizable names for talent, even if you are an enterprise level company. 

We found funding labs or research projects was a good way to get students to become aware of who we are and build an affinity towards our organization. This helps with recruiting them at the end of their education. 

We have a hard time getting people to apply or accept offers. 

Sometimes you need to look at the top. If the right leadership isn’t in place your organization can become a no-go zone no matter how much you’re paying, and if people are accepting offers to work in a place that’s not great just because the money is good, they’re not going to work out in the long run. 

How do we get marketing to allow us to use our social channels as a recruiting platform? 

This needs to come from the top and from HR. It’s a little more difficult when you’re a B2C but you need to sell that supporters of the organization often make the best employees and that marketing works for everyone in the organization, not just sales. 

It takes so much longer to fill the mid and senior level roles but it feels like we spend all of our time reviewing or interviewing entry level candidates. 

Create higher hurdles for the entry level gigs. Homework before the application can even be submitted so you know the people submitting are really interested and have some of the skills right from the start. This way you’re not wasting time and can spend more time working on mid and senior level roles. 

There is a huge mid-level gap. 

Separate management from mentorship and have all mid and senior level engineers mentoring lower level engineers. Too often its just left to managers when it needs to be a company-wide collaborative effort. 

Why is everyone asking for titles that they’re not qualified for yet? 

The talent crunch has changed the balance of power for some engineering specific jobs where the demand is so high that applicants shoot for the moon, and often times get it. The market is unfortunately growing faster than the skillsets. You need to be a little weary of these people. Yes, it’s great that they’re vocal about what they want which is a good asset to have on your team, but they also might be over confident and take on things which they are grossly underqualified for. This could be disastrous for your products or organization.  

I need to scale my teams hype-growth style. 

It’s said that doubling your teams in a year can’t/shouldn’t be done. When you try to scale too quickly you often make poor hiring decisions which leads to you either cutting some of those new hires because they don’t work out, or losing some veterans because the team dynamic has changed. You had 10 to start, you hired 10 more, but you let 2 go and 3 left due to the mess that was created, so you’re really only +5. 

Where does culture fit into the importance level of applicants? 

Culture fit is the MOST important part of any hire. You can teach skills but if someone can’t acclimate to the culture, it’s impossible to work around that. Bad hires are almost always due to bad culture fit and the bad ones you make are always more costly than the good ones you miss.  

How big of a role does data play in your hiring? 

There are lots of data points to look at, such as testing scores, and quantitative feedback from interviewers. But at the end of the day, hiring is an emotional decision. Most people have panels that decide and some even involve an advocate for the minority opinion but numbers rarely, if ever, are a final decision maker. Although, earlier in the process, they could be. 


The take away from this dinner is that these leaders play a much larger role in their organization than their titles state. They are the #1 recruiters charged with thinking about how to fill the funnel and build the best team possible all while still being extremely productive in their day to day job functions. For them, their livelihoods are all about risk management, from the decisions they make on products and code to the people they hire to support them.  

Friday, May 13, 2016

MassTLC, CHEN PR and What’s Next

CHEN PR has enjoyed a long relationship with the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. We strongly believe in its mission and, in fact, our agency’s history parallels MassTLC’s. We’ve always been involved in one way or another, so the decision to become a Global Sponsor was an easy one for us.

When CHEN PR opened its doors in 1996, we did so with an enthusiasm for the vibrancy of the Massachusetts innovation community. It was a time of great promise – and much turmoil – for the technology industry here and around the world.

Through the ups and downs, the optimism of the people of this community has never wavered. MassTLC and its member companies have consistently been at the vanguard of that positivity and progress – leading with a vision and a message that embodies the history of our region’s world-leading innovation, while keeping a steady focus on what we can continue to do collectively to make the world a considerably more efficient, safer, healthier, happier and ever-advancing place.

Like MassTLC, we’ve enjoyed having a front row seat to some of the most important movements of the digital age. With tens of dozens of clients through the years, we’ve worked with multibillion-dollar, publicly traded global leaders, venture-backed startups defining new markets, and hyper-growth companies capitalizing on bringing just the right product or service to market at just the right time. M&As. IPOs. Funding rounds. Information security and privacy. Networking and telecommunications. Software. Hardware. Services. On-prem. In the cloud. And we can’t wait to see what the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings next.

Three years ago, we made the decision to relocate from our longtime location in Waltham, which served us well for so many years, and take up residence in Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood. The city was on the cusp of a Renaissance, a reversal of the flight to the suburbs that had previously driven construction of the impressive string of office parks that line our famous Route 128 and Route 495 corridors. We knew something big was unfolding – and we wanted in.

Today, we’re excited to be in the thick of “what’s next” for technology and our great city. With the Innovation District across the Fort Point Channel to one side and Kendall Square across the Charles River to the other, the hum of DTX is undeniable and invigorating.

Serving as a vanguard for the state’s tech industry, MassTLC has been in the thick of it, too. The organization and the people who drive it have built a robust community comprising Thinkers and Doers alike. MassTLC’s programs draw the best and brightest (and those who aspire to be) in their respective industry segments, like security, internet of things, cloud, big data, healthcare technology, robotics… and other areas where innovation is transforming industries.

Look no further than the recent NewCo Boston festival for evidence, as more than 1,000 people throughout the Greater Boston Area got a look behind the curtain at 80+ of the region’s most creative firms. Host companies’ expertise ranged from virtual reality, ecommerce, clean tech and marketing to transportation, exercise, food and drink.

Given the dynamic nature of the innovation economy, Massachusetts is now home to multiple associations and organizations, emanating from both the public and private sectors. It is outstanding to have this type of infrastructure; it’s a requirement for expanding upon Massachusetts’ role among the world’s most influential tech capitals.

We’re equally fortunate that MassTLC remains the region’s consistent, proven voice and the leading network for tech executives, entrepreneurs and investors. We’ve always applauded MassTLC’s tireless dedication to furthering the tech industry agenda in Massachusetts to the benefit of the state as a whole – working on its own and by partnering with other groups.

CHEN PR is excited to be increasing our role in those initiatives. Working even more closely with MassTLC and the hundreds of companies it represents, together we’ll help make “what’s next” unfold.  

(P.S.: Stop by and see us every Thursday eve in Boston’s Dewey Square Park near South Station for the Boston Calling Summer Block Parties. Catch some live music, have a drink and challenge us to a game of corn hole… if you dare.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

NewCo Boston Host Company Fun Facts - Bob Dame, Executive Director, Year Up Boston





    

Bob Dame, Executive Director, Year Up Boston


1. Why Boston?
Boston is a vibrant, diverse city with a lot to offer in terms of opportunities and culture.

2. What's the one word to describe how people will feel after leaving your NewCo session?    
Inspired    

3. If you could have a beer with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?    
Abraham Lincoln    

4. If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?    
Cheerios - it does the job.

About Year Up BostonYear Up envisions a future in which every urban young adult will have access to the education, experiences, and guidance required to realize his or her true potential. Our mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

Want to learn more? Visit the Year Up Boston offices and meet their leaders on April 27, 2016 during the inaugural NewCo Boston Festival of Innovation!

Session Time: 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Session Title: Year Up - proven diverse talent in sales, IT, and accounting (and, coming soon, programming!)


Learn More & Register at bos.newco.co

Monday, April 25, 2016

Barriers and New Pathways: Exchange with the U.S. Air Force : April 22, 2016


MassTLC non-defense companies were invited by the MA Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force to join discussions at a U.S. Air Force Innovation Forum on April 22nd at the Boston location of the Cambridge Innovation Center.

The Air Force is initiating a series of forums to engage with non-traditional innovative tech companies and to understand how they can work to incorporate this innovation into their “business plan” in the future.  The launch of this series took place in Boston last week and attending were Governor Baker and the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force.  Secretary James chose Massachusetts for the initial session as a jumping off point for a series of regional forums the Air Force is holding across the country - all aimed at accessing America's intellectual capital.

A variety of non-traditional defense companies attended the forum and participated breakout sessions discussing strategies and potential paths forward.

The Air Force in Massachusetts employees tens of thousands of people and adds billions of dollars annually to the Massachusetts economy.  At this forum the Air Force discussed key efforts currently underway to access technologies from non-Defense companies, and they listened to our industry partner’s ideas, interests, and experiences.

A new Commonwealth partnership to help companies match their products and services to federal agency needs and programs, and to educate companies on quicker and simpler pathways to doing business with federal agencies was also announced.



Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James with Sampriti Bhattacharyya, Founder of Hydroswarm Inc. (underwater drone intelligence)