Government🏛 News Speaker Series

When tough tech and dual-use ventures collide, with the U.S. Air Force Banshee Program

Banshees of the United States Air Force hunt for mission-enhancing technologies.

Drones🤖 News

Bringing heroes home, featuring Caleb Carr of Vita Inclinata

A helicopter rescue mission gone awry fuels this man’s mission to bring heroes home safely with drones built for aircraft load stabilization.


Bootstrapping mass spectrometry, featuring Mazdak Taghioskoui of Trace Matters

Bearing a smile, Mazdak “Maz” Taghioskoui says he immigrated to the United States from Iran for a good education and same-day shipping, two key features that have supported his focus on building – from scratch – a sophisticated next-generation analytical tool: the Trace Matters mass spectrometer.


Investing in America’s Innovation Engine, featuring Orin Hoffman of The Engine

While aboard a plane nosediving into Baghdad, one may be forgiven for pondering how one’s life path could lead from vacuum cleaners to minesweeping robots. Yet, not only does Orin Hoffman, of MIT’s The Engine venture capital firm, share this humbling connection, but also how it advances an overarching narrative of the United States national industrial innovation base, VCs, and the crucial roles served by tough tech entrepreneurs. 


Venturing into federal tech, featuring Will Dickson and Trinity Torres of Fedtech

What happens to the ideas generated across the United States federal government’s research initiatives? Will Dickson and Trinity Torres walk us through the pathways of taxpayer-funded technological advancements and opportunities for a diverse pool of private citizens-entrepreneurs to find commercial success licensing patents owned by the U.S. government.


Launching dual-use ventures, featuring Katy Person of the MIT Innovation Initiative

Dual-use ventures – tough tech startups pursuing commercial relationships with the private sector and federal government, are a unique class of companies with whom Kathryn “Katy” Person, of the MIT Innovation Initiative, works daily.


Commercializing satellite propulsion, featuring Louis Perna of Accion Systems

No longer the domain of strictly nation-states, ‘new space’ is undergoing a wave of commercialization and growth. Two key engineering challenges, observed Louis Perna, are in-space communications and propulsion. He and his co-founder, Natalya Bailey, launched Accion Systems to provide cost-effective electrospray propulsion for satellites.

Computing 💾 Life Science 🧬

Computing with the Building Blocks of Life, with James Banal

The building blocks of life, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), can be used for computational advantage, posits Dr. James Banal, postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Biological Engineering, in the Bathe Lab.


What is ‘tough tech’?

What is ‘tough tech’? To quote from Who’s Your Ally?, a piece @jmill published by the MIT Innovation Initiative:

Whether spinning out of a pristine laboratory or an unkempt dormitory, tough tech ventures and the entrepreneurs building them may be loosely defined by their work in an emerging area where science meets engineering, and may sometimes be referred to as working in “deep tech” or “frontier tech”. The markets which such companies could serve may not yet exist, and the companies’ development milestones may be measured in years rather than months.