Doubling Down with TandemNSI: White Paper Released

31 Jul Doubling Down with TandemNSI: White Paper Released


At the beginning of the year we began working with a new client, TandemNSI, which is a public/private partnership between Amplifer Ventures and Arlington Economic Development, to bridge the gap between national security agencies and entrepreneurs of forward-thinking technologies, or “non-traditional performers.” I’ve written about them before, not just because they are a client, but because what they are doing is critical to our country’s national security and the commercialization of new technologies.

This is not intended to be shameless self-promotion, but rather a hat tip to the successes the organization has accomplished in a short period of time.

This past week, the Executive Director Jonathan Aberman (see our Influencer Q&A) released a white paper, the third written on the topic, entitled Building a Bigger Tent for Technology Innovators: The Government Is More Creative than You Think, which takes a deeper dive into what government and business can do to solve this greater problem. There has been such interest in this that national security agencies have taken notice, and the community supporting this effort has grown to nearly 1,000 people.

The mission began as Aberman realized there truly was a gap in how the agencies could engage with entrepreneurs who didn’t understand the complexities, nor the pace of the government procurement process. The agencies wanted to know where to look to find the entrepreneurs that were developing spot-on products in the commericial world.

Jonathan would argue there are several main data points that drive toward the mission:

1.  The nation’s security is threatened by not engaging with non-traditional sources of innovation.
2.  National security agencies have tried some experiments to engage and the experiments have been successful.
3. The experiments have required, in some cases, super human effort on the part of agency personnel or Congressional acts on a one-off basis.
4. We now have tools to solve a big problem: how to engage nontraditional performers in a really big way.

TandemNSI stoked the fire by introducing the concept and the vision through several sold-out events featuring government and industry panelists, product demonstrations, and even a venture advisory service…helping emerging firms with innovative intellectual property to successfully engage with government.

We are halfway though the year and they have surpassed the goals and milestones it set for itself. It’s refreshing to see public sector and the commercial world engaging in a way that benefits us all!

David Stegon from FedScoop/StateScoop recently recorded a podcast that captures the essense of the mission, and discusses the highlights of the white paper. Take a look!

Oher validators: The Washington Post published Jonathan’s commentary: “Region’s national security agencies are where our entrepreneurial focus should be.” Rita Boland at Signal Magazine discussed Connecting Private Innovation and National Security. The Huffington Post included his editorial stance with the article “We Need To Stop Burning our Furniture to Keep Warm” and Jill Aitoro and Bill Flook at the Washington Business Journal wrote several times about TandemNSI, and why it is the next big idea, and what it took to get it started.

There is a great new program coming up next week on August 7th, where leaders from national security agencies and industry will come together for a panel celebrating the successes they’ve seen from working in tandem. Here are some details if you want to learn more:

Discuss: The Government is More Creative Than You Think

August 7, 2014

7:30-8:30 am

Basic Research Innovation and Collaboration Center | Arlington, VA


–  Mike Daniels, former chairman of Network Solutions (1995-2000)

–  Dan Doney, Chief Innovation Officer of DIA

–  Mike Geertsen, Program Manager for DARPA

–  Fernand A. Lavallee, Partner at Jones Day.

Hope to see you at the next event, or just sign up to learn more and get involved! Excited to see what the second half of 2014 will bring!

— Elizabeth Shea @eliz2shea

Elizabeth Shea
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