Tap into Government - How We Can Connect Innovation and Agency

The intersection between government and technology has everyone’s attention. In the wake of ongoing threats and challenges facing the government, Federal agencies are turning more and more to tech entrepreneurs to solve the biggest challenges. After all, the growing number of innovators and nontraditional startups focusing on issues like cybersecurity and public safety, especially here in Arlington, leads to a natural partnership with national security agencies. The road block, especially in the minds of many entrepreneurs, is the government acquisition process – the proverbial “government red tape.”

Here at AED, we’ve known about these challenges and worked to find ways to help connect the tech entrepreneurs with the project managers at the Federal level. AED co-founded TandemNSI, which has helped to foster connections for hundreds of entrepreneurs and project managers in Arlington and beyond. We’ve hosted workshops and other events that help entrepreneurs get their ideas in front of the decision-makers. And we brought this very topic to SXSW Interactive in Austin earlier this month, where more than 300 entrepreneurs woke up early to hear just what this idea was all about.

“Be the Next Tony Stark” was one of two panels AED submitted that was chosen for presentation by SXSW. We wanted to highlight this ever-growing intersection between government and technology and show how it can really be successful. And we brought the best to tell the story. Dr. Reginald Brothers, the top technology leader at the Department of Homeland Security, joined a project manager from DARPA on the federal side. Joining them were Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and Kearie Peak of RL Leaders. The panel looked at ways to change the landscape, ways to solve government acquisition problems by making the process more user friendly. That way – even more motivated entrepreneurs can bring their brilliant ideas and strategies into the public sector. Dr. Brothers emphasized to the crowd of eager entrepreneurs at SXSW that his industrial base is already made up of entrepreneurs and startups.

Moving forward, the key is streamlining the process. Speed and simplicity are key in today’s ever changing technology world, and so the process of bringing the very best tech minds into that government space needs to evolve to match that world. With their message circulating and contracting vehicles ready, partners in Arlington, VA have the framework in place to help grow these companies while they work with the Federal Government.

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