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Defense Innovation for the Warfighter

 Introducing New Technology to the Defense Community

Interested in connecting with non-traditional innovators? Want to learn about DIUx and connect with other DoD innovation organizations and prime contractors? 

Join the NDIA New England Chapter for a defense innovation mixer with host Venture Café in Kendall Square at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). The mixer will bring together over 300 defense innovation organizations, prime contractors and non traditional vendors for informal networking around panel discussions and concurrent small group breakout sessions, office hours, information tables and startups demo tables -- Venture Cafe Style!!  


3:00 PM

Venture Cafe Registration Opens (All attendees must register onsite)

4:00 – 6:00 PM     

Panel Sessions (Havana Room)

Seating is Limited during 4-6pm panels. Click here to RSVP.

4:00 – 4:15PM

NDIA New England Welcome

Rear Admiral (retired) Clarke Orzalli, NDIA NE President & Strategic Business Development Executive, Dassault Systèmes

4:15 – 5:00PM

Defense Prime Contractors – Advancing DoD Innovation

Defense industry prime contractors discuss their role in DoD innovation, how they bring new technology to the warfighter, and working with startups and small businesses. Come learn about how leading contractors solve real problems for the US soldier and transition new innovations from the lab to the field.

Moderator: Karen Krause Bencal, CEO, K2C Associates

Lena Furci, PhD, Business Line Manager, Integrated and Unmanned Systems, Mission and Defense Technologies, Battelle

Ellen Ferraro, PhD, Director of Research and Technology, Advanced Technology, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems

Jerry Wohletz, PhD, VP and General Manager, Technology Solutions, BAE Systems

Joe Simonelli, Senior Director of Engineering, Cyber and Electronic Warfare Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems 

5:15 – 6:00PM

DoD Innovation Organizations – New Technologies for the Warfighter

Learn about government innovation organizations with a mission to expedite access to commercial innovations, as well as the development of new technologies for the warfighter. Hear from leaders and subject matter experts about technology focus areas, as well as near-term and long-term needs.

Moderator:  Nathan Wiedenman, Director, Sembler Office, Draper

Brad Pantuck, Program Manager, US Navy, Navy Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF)

Col. Michael McGinley, East Coast Military Lead, DIUx

Israel Soibelman, PhD, Assistant to the Director for Strategic Initiatives, MIT Lincoln Laboratory 

6:00 – 8:00PM

Networking Mixer – Join various activities in and around Venture Café Kendall Square on the 5th floor of the Cambridge Innovation Center at 1 Broadway.

6:00 – 7:00PM

Breakout Sessions


How to do Business With the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) (Havana Room) - Col. Michael McGinley, East Coast Military Lead, DIUx and Bernadette Johnson, Chief Science Officer, DIUx


Partnering with Defense Primes to Transition Your Innovation from Idea to Product Launch (Octav Room) - Christopher Bencal, Business Development Executive, Advanced Technology, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems 


How Startups Can Leverage University Relationships with Industry and Facility Resources (St Thomas Room) - Nancy Saucier, Director, New Venture Development, UMASS Lowell 


How to work with the Navy Rapid Innovation Fund (Santa Clara Room) - Brad Pantuck, Program Manager, US Navy, Navy Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) 


Opportunities at MIT Lincoln Laboratory John Hybl, Group Leader, Laster Technology and Applications, MIT Lincoln Laboratory


A Decentralized Data Infrastructure for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence (Grand Bahama Room) - Allen Razdow, Inventor of Truenumbers and Mathcad 

6:00 – 8:00PM

Information Tables

Draper Sembler Office for Startups and Small Businesses
Battelle Mission Defense Technologies
BAE Systems
National Defense Industry Association, New England Chapter
General Dynamics Mission Systems
MITRE/ Massachusetts Innovation Bridge




6:00 – 8:00PM

Startup Demos 

3:00 – 5:00PM

Office Hours

Office hours are available for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to receive advice from experienced government, business professionals, entrepreneurs and investors.  Register onsite for office hours with:

• Coming Soon!


This event is open to the public and does not require pre-registration to attend. Seating is limited for panel sessions and advanced RSVP is suggested. To RSVP for the panel sessions, click here


    Panel Discussions & Networking Mixer
Dress:   Business Casual

Cambridge Innovation Center
1 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Parking:   There is parking in the building of 1 Broadway, as well as several parking garages in the area.  There is no parking reimbursement provided for attendees of this event.
Fees:   None, Free to Public







Event Sponsors: 

Image result for RAYTHEON
Image result for DRAPER BOSTON


Host Sponsor:



1 Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge, MA