Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch  

The fifth week of the Digital Engineering for Space Applications: Modeling and Simulation (#CADES) programming was full of pertinent information! The week kicked off with an incredible briefing from Yoriko Morita, Founder of Patents Integrated, about IP and IP alternatives. She offered some advice by stating, “Regardless of the type of company, decisions related to intellectual property are not made in a vacuum. IP decisions should be collaborative and intentional, taking into account your business goals, product plans, and legal risks.” Karri Palmetier, Partner at Palmetier Law, then presented about U.S. Government data rights. When asked if she had any advice for the cohort she explained, “I love the accelerator cohort sessions where I can learn about cool, new technologies and potentially provide some tips and insights to help them protect their intellectual property. When contracting with the U.S. Government, my best advice is that companies should develop a proactive IP strategy to include treating IP like an inventory asset, developing processes for tracking IP, and properly marking any IP delivered to the Government. The rules may seem complex but proactive management can simplify the process. Additionally, a strong IP protection program can increase a company’s value. I wish this group of cohorts the best of luck and hope they have fun during the remainder of the accelerator program.”

Lt Anthony “Stark” Fernandes and his team joined programming on Tuesday to offer a use case of the 71st ISR Squadron. He explained, “In order for US Space Operations to succeed in future warfare with our near-peer adversaries, the US Space Force must leverage our commercial industry partners and their capabilities. This effort is crucial to the success of future war planning, and we must utilize capabilities such as simulator software to create better training and enhance USSF Guardians against future adversary threats.” The cohort companies then participated in a lunch and learn with the topic focused around hiring top talent. Several incredible recommendations were offered including the DoD Skillbridge, Lever, and Cleared Jobs.

David Schiff is a Defense Innovation Leader who has an impressive network of people that he helped connect the cohort with and great experience to share as well. He wanted the modeling and simulation cohort to know, “For companies in the modeling and simulation arena trying to break into defense, it is critical that you succinctly, clearly, and transparently explain your technology, products, or services to champions and potential defense customers with language that a scientist would appreciate but that your grandparents would understand. It is great to have some testimonials from interested users, but nothing speaks louder and clearer than having a SBIR, OTA, CRADA, or other successful contractual transaction under your belt. Build relationships and trust with humans in the various branches of service, their respective innovation cells, offices of small business programs, SBIR/STTR programs, and other industry-facing folks, especially trying to connect with somewhat tech-savvy or tech-literate mid-career contracting, engineering, logistics, IT, and program management professionals. Have strategic patience and carefully diversify your portfolio of attempts to get your foot in the door, and ideally, make the commercial sales your main revenue generator until you’ve successfully demonstrated your capabilities to bought-in defense customers. Remember that there are different levels of experience and interest in these program offices, and if one person you talk with isn’t interested, you might just be talking with the wrong person. Therefore, it’s so important to quickly explain what you think your team can solve to someone who can act as a guide to getting you to the right front door, saving you time, money, and frustration, and landing your capability with the right warfighter or acquisition team.”

Thursday kicked off with an astounding briefing by Brig Gen Todd Moore from Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM). He enthusiastically spoke to the cohort about the importance of modeling and simulation within the United States Space Force and what is needed. The week then wrapped up with a scaling and business panel with Mark Stafford of Delta Solutions and Strategies, Rebecca Decker of Bluestaq, Colin McIntosh of Sheets & Giggles, and Heather Potters of PharmaJet, Inc. These are several professionals from various industries who spoke about their experiences successfully scaling their businesses, including their human resources and hiring aspects. Finally, the Honorable Sue Payton gave an unclassified security threat briefing. She stayed for pizza and a dynamic roundtable discussion afterwards.

Thank you to each of the subject matter experts who donated their time to speak with the Modeling and Simulation cohort and answer their questions. The Catalyst Accelerator team is looking forward to what week seven has to offer!