Omaha, Nebraska – For innovative entrepreneurs interested in working with the Department of Defense, Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) and the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) hosted a series of events to help participants prepare for Technology Transfer Day (TTD), which occurred September 9, 2020.
TTD Nebraska was launched in 2019 under the name “Encountering Innovation – Omaha”. Hosted on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus, Encountering Innovation was a launchpad to a larger event of the same name in Kansas City.
These events, and others like them across the nation, bring Department of Defense (DoD) and Federal Agency Technology Scouts to those with innovative technologies in academia and small businesses that may not have access to federal customers and sponsors. In 2019, the event garnered 16 participants from across Nebraska. This year, the event attracted 21 participants eager to learn how to market their technology to federal customers.
Due to COVID-19, 2020 TTD was held virtually, with participants and Scouts joining via Zoom. The event required the collaboration of NSRI and two programs of NBDC: Innovation & Technology and Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). All three collaborators bring a combined knowledge of technology commercialization and government contracting expertise.
“Due to the amount of materials required, we began material development 2 months prior to the actual event. This was the appropriate amount of time needed to produce effective and quality materials and avoid a rush during the last weeks before the event,” said Josh Nichol-Caddy, Technology Commercialization Director, NBDC.
Identified parties self-selected into the event were provided significant training from NBDC PTAC with 1:1 engagement to help them develop very specific materials required for the event. These materials include:
- Quad Chart
- Information Paper
- Pitch Deck, depending on Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
These materials are used for the direct engagement with the Technology Scouts as well as to introduce these innovations to identified interested parties within the broader DoD and Federal Government.
“As participants in Tech Transfer Day, we really liked the process that forced us as a company to focus on what was most important to the DoD and the Tech Scouts. The process of creating a quad chart and problem-solving poster, allowed us to see what was most interesting to the DoD. We could really hone in on our services and solutions. As a start-up, this experience was valuable as it will make Truthos a better company,” said Scott Kroeker, Truthos Co-Founder, Managing Director - Sales & Operations.
Each participant was scheduled for a specific time and had clear instructions about how best to present their technology and handle Q&A with the Tech Scouts. These interactions were recorded in order to capture all feedback from the Tech Scouts for each participant. Following the event, participants were given time to update their materials before NSRI distributed the documents to the Tech Scouts for the final step.
The final step for participants is “Socialization,” the process by which the Tech Scouts introduce the innovations to potential customers and other partners. Upon receipt of the updated materials, the Tech Scouts conduct a final review of the materials, their event notes, and develop a plan to introduce the innovation/innovators to federal contacts. The participant, as well as NBDC and NSRI, will be included on these introductory emails. It is then up to the participant to develop a plan/process for follow-up engagement.
Mailani Veney, CEO of Kana Systems participated in TTD 2020. Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kana Systems is already seeing success from attending this year's event. "We've had fast wins in the government contracting space. NBDC is a valuable contributor to those wins. Tech Transfer Day is a great example of building towards future wins, Veney says. "We connected with decision-makers from multiple agencies that is already bearing fruit. Thanks, NBDC."
Starting this year, NBDC and NSRI decided to move away from the feeder event in Kansas City and are now hosting TTD Nebraska as a stand-alone project incorporated in the annual tour for 100+ Tech Scouts. TTD Nebraska will be hosted in Omaha, June 15-17, 2021. For more information about TTD Nebraska or technology commercialization, contact Josh Nichol-Caddy, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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