Tag Archives: innovation

Contained, Stored or Leashed: How not to handle innovation


Have you ever watched an innovator convert an idea into a practical concept, mold that concept into a viable business model then employ an operational process that allows a new venture to spread its wings and soar? If not, you should, because the sheer curiosity and eagerness of a dedicated business leader is inspirational beyond words.

It takes commitment to start a business.

It takes boldness to put forth an innovative idea.

It takes heart to see it through to the very end.

For those of us privileged to work with business trailblazers, we’ve witnessed many new ideas take flight. But in order to help these pilots stay above the clouds, both public and private sectors must do more to avoid putting roadblocks in their path.

Innovation is the idea of thinking differently about how we do things. In many ways it is the key to building a better world. From the development of the polio vaccination to the creation of the Internet and beyond, when we inhibit innovation by not providing the resources needed to mature an innovator’s dynamic ideas, we are also hindering our own personal and professional growth.

Innovation should never be contained, stored or leashed. To grant it the freedom it needs to change the world, it must be unfettered then fueled. But the fueling becomes the problem.  In order to properly drive innovation, public and private sectors must create pools of resources accessible to both thriving ventures and start-up companies.

In a perfect world, every program created in the name of entrepreneurship would offer hefty funding resources, mentorship and collaborative opportunities. But we live in the real world. With countless limits on capital resources for new businesses and political opposition to funding more research and development, roadblocks to innovation will continue to exist over time unless we act now.

So, how can we give innovation the freedom to thrive? Here are my three ideas to help public and private sectors broaden their view of the entrepreneurs’ needs:

Money matters. You’ve heard it a million times: access to capital is key. Well, it is. No company succeeds without financial support.  Call it what you want – crazy, ill-conceived or unorthodox – but the process of creating new technology is a lot like throwing spaghetti at the wall. You sling it until it sticks and when it does, you peel it off, figure out what made it stick in the first place then do it all over again. But if every sling at the wall costs $50,000 or more, innovators may only get one chance at success. Therefore, the key is to ensure that all public and private entrepreneurial programs develop strategies that will provide multiple layers of funding for companies at each stage.  One shot just isn’t enough.

Failure isn’t final.  Public and private entrepreneurial programs should be designed with failure in mind. In a recent Forbes magazine article, “Why is Innovation so Hard?,” writer Edward D. Hess discusses a key factor in what hinders us from accepting failure. He writes: Our educational system and most work environments have taught us that good performance means avoiding failure, not making mistakes. This is a big problem, because failure is an unavoidable part of innovation experimentation.

Innovation requires the willingness to fail and learn. But failure comes at a cost that most investors don’t want to take on. Innovators with great ideas often fail at the early-stage because of a lack of financial support. Programs created to help them will often offer assistance worth the value of one sling at the wall and nothing more. To change this, we must shift our psychological acceptance of failure and instill new ways of thinking into public and private program development.  Although failure may be final to most investors, to a serial entrepreneur it can be the beginning of a new onslaught of creative ideas and concepts that deserve a chance at success.

Supporting the best and disregarding the rest is no way to build a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem. The best of the best technologies can be found at the least attractive places. Great ideas can come from anywhere. From basements in an urban community to labs at junior colleges, entrepreneurial programs should throw out the status quo and start looking for great inventions in some of the most unlikely places. We must learn to support business growth at all levels and create new avenues for innovators to get the recognition they deserve regardless of their educational background, income level or geographical location.

Let’s work together to ensure that innovators are provided the resources they need to soar.

Written by Michelle D. Jackson, CEO, PR Solutions LLC & Executive Director, i.Invest National Youth Entrepreneur Business Competition

Fifth Annual CyberMaryland Conference Provides Platform for Information Sharing Amongst Top Cyber Leaders — FULL TEXT

Fifth annual conference, competition, job fair and Cyber Hall of Fame Dinner to be held during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.

August 17, 2015 (Baltimore, MD) – During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October, Maryland will host CyberMaryland 2015, a multi-faceted conference, competition, job fair and awards celebration. The event, recognized as a catalyst for information sharing amongst public and private cyber professionals, showcases industry innovation, promotes cyber employment opportunities and recognizes cyber pioneers and next generation leaders.

Scheduled October 28 – 29 at the Baltimore Convention Center, CyberMaryland 2015 will connect innovators, educators, employers and students in cybersecurity and information technology. The event demonstrates the state’s leadership in the industry.

“Maryland is very pleased to again play host to the CyberMaryland Conference,” said Mike Gill, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED). “Founded in 2011 by DBED, the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, and Leidos (formerly SAIC), the CyberMaryland Conference has historically brought together the brightest minds, the most innovative solutions, and the most advanced technologies to address the critical cybersecurity issues facing our nation. Organized this year by the Federal Business Council, the conference continues as a national forum that showcases Maryland’s unique attributes and accomplishments as the epicenter of cybersecurity.”

The fifth annual CyberMaryland Conference will include panels, speakers, exhibitors and new this year, the Cyber Shark Tank. During this event, select cybersecurity early-stage companies will pitch before investor “sharks” for venture capital dollars.

Among the notable speakers will be Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland – Baltimore County; Andy William, Cyber Envoy UKTI Defence & Security Organization, British Embassy; Robert Bigman, former Central Intelligence Agency, Chief Information Security Officer; Guy Filippelli, President & CEO, Red Owl Analytics; Lynne Clark, Chief, National Information Assurance Education and Training Program, National Security Agency and Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer, Facebook. Stamos will be the keynote speaker at the Cyber Hall of Fame Dinner. Chief Information Security Officers from Legg Mason, T. Rowe Price, Johns Hopkins University, Marriott International, Exelon Corporation and Northrop Grumman Corporation will be participating in various panel discussions. The conference has also attracted cyber industry leaders from Rapid7, Damballa, Tanium, Tenable Network Security, NowSecure, Terbium Labs, CyberPoint International, Symantec, TeleCommunication Systems and Good Harbor Security Risk Management.

“The world of cyber touches everything from mobile devices to the power grid. We must make sure networks are protected from hackers and critical infrastructures are safeguarded from cyber criminals. This is an invaluable investment in our future,” said Ed Goetz, Vice President and Chief Security Officer, Exelon Corporation. “Exelon is committed to ensuring these investments are made in Maryland and beyond.  CyberMaryland provides a platform for information sharing amongst top cyber leaders. We are excited to support the effort and to help keep cybersecurity a top-of-mind issue for this country.”

CyberMaryland 2015 is comprised of the CyberMaryland Conference and Industry Showcase, the annual Maryland Cyber Challenge & Competition, the Cyber Job Fair, the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame awards banquet and new this year, bwtech@UMBC Cyber Incubator will host a CyberTini Networking Event. The conference, industry showcase and competition will be held from 8 am – 5 pm, October 28 – 29 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The Cyber Job Fair will be held from 11 am – 3 pm on October 28th at the same location. The CyberTini Networking event will take place at the conclusion of day one at the Columbus Center in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame awards banquet will be held Thursday, October 29th from 6 pm – 10 pm at the Four Seasons – Baltimore. For more information on all CyberMaryland events visit, https://www.fbcinc.com/e/cybermdconference/about.aspx.

“The unique combination of government agencies focused on the cyber mission, combined with an incredibly skilled workforce, excellent academic institutions, technology development, policy development, risk management, thought leadership, and business opportunity all work together in Maryland,” said David Powell of the Federal Business Council, Co-Chair of the CyberMaryland Conference. “Our cyber community is dynamic, growing and unlike anywhere else in the world. CyberMaryland is where our ecosystem comes together.”

The CyberMaryland Conference includes five tracks designed for government contractors, business service providers, technology companies, entrepreneurs, policy makers and government agency officials. The tracks include: Cyber Risk, Cyber Education and Workforce, Cyber Innovation, Cyber Investment & Emerging Opportunities and Securing Cyber’s Future. An industry showcase featuring 100+ exhibits and demonstrations will run concurrent to the sessions. Respected industry thought leaders will present workshops and panels on various topics. Scheduled sessions include: Cybersecurity Post OPM Breach; The Evolution of Security Innovation and What is Next; Exploring Maryland’s Core Competencies in the Generation of New Cybersecurity-related Intellectual Property and Top Cyber Concerns in the C-Suite.

A featured activity of CyberMaryland 2015 is the Maryland Cyber Challenge & Competition. Launched in 2011, the Challenge features teams of high school, college and professional “cyber warriors” who compete in a “Capture the Flag” competition for prizes, internships and cash awards funded by the National Security Agency (NSA).  Sponsored by Leidos and supported by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the event teaches participants the skills necessary to secure systems and defend against adversaries on an escalating basis.

“It is imperative that we host challenges like these to hone cybersecurity skills and build the talent pipeline needed to protect our nation’s intellectual property, sensitive information, and critical infrastructure from global cybersecurity threats,” said Michael Leiter, Leidos senior vice president for business development and strategy and former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. “We’re incredibly proud to continue to offer the Leidos CyberNEXS™ training, exercise and certification system platform for the competition.”  Participant and sponsor information can be accessed at https://www.fbcinc.com/e/cybermdconference/cyberchallenge.aspx.

CyberMaryland 2015 culminates Thursday, October 29 when 300+ industry leaders gather at the Four Season Hotel in Baltimore to celebrate information security pioneers and luminaries at the annual Cyber Security Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “CyberMaryland has grown into a world-class event,” said Tom Sadowski, CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. “The National Cyber Security Hall of Fame Awards event welcomes pioneers and leaders in the field from all over the world.  It is a great opportunity to celebrate innovation, success and the role Maryland has assumed as the epicenter of cyber.” Tickets are $250. To learn more visit, https://www.fbcinc.com/e/cybermdconference/hof.aspx.

For information on becoming a CyberMaryland 2015 sponsor or exhibitor, contact Gabe Wollner at 240-841-2211 or Gabriel@fbcinc.com. CyberMaryland 2015 sponsors include KeyW Corporation, CyberPoint International, Johns Hopkins University, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Whiteford Taylor Preston and many others.  Follow conference updates, including announced speakers and exhibitors, on Twitter @CyberMaryland and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/theCyberMD.


About The Cyber Maryland Conference

Launched in 2011, The Cyber Maryland Conference is driven by a public-private partnership guided by a volunteer Industry Advisory Board consisting of business leaders, top educators, and public sector representatives. Timely and informative, the event provides an annual forum to unite private sector businesses, federal, state and local government, academia and the developing workforce.  The conference is supported and funded by over 100 private companies, educational institutions and government organizations. Now in its 5th year, the Conference will continue to address the security challenges facing our nation’s digital infrastructure, reinforce Maryland’s position as the epicenter of cybersecurity, and help fulfill Maryland’s responsibility to support America’s cybersecurity mission. The Federal Business Council, Inc. (FBC http://www.fbcinc.com) has produced The Cyber Maryland Conference from its inception, providing capital, personnel and expertise to launch and grow the program. More than 2,500 people participated in 2014.  For more information, call 240‐841‐2205 or email katie@fbcinc.com.  Follow us on Twitter @CyberMaryland or LIKE us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theCyberMD.

For more information contact:

Michelle D. Jackson



CyberMaryland Conference Opens 2015 Call for Speakers

Annapolis, Maryland – Speaking proposals are now being accepted for the 2015 CyberMaryland Conference, held October 28-29 in Baltimore, Maryland. This year’s theme, “Leading the Cyber Generation,” offers unparalleled opportunities that demonstrate how continuing development of cyber assets on the human and technological side will drive business and job growth.

CyberMaryland Conference seeks presenters with new ideas in the areas of cyber workforce development, threat intelligence, innovation, and policy. Case studies in cyber product integration, social applications, digital health and wireless technology security, big data analytics and intrusion software are highly valued. In addition to topics related to intrusion software, trends in anti-malware software and new data protection applications are sought.

The deadline for speaking proposals is June 15. Full information on CyberMaryland Conference programs along with instructions on how to submit speaking proposals is available here.

For more information about speaking opportunities contact Michelle D. Jackson at mjackson@cybermarylandconference.com.

About CyberMaryland Conference

Launched in 2011, The CyberMaryland Conference is driven by a public-­ private partnership guided by The Federal Business Council, Inc. and a volunteer industry advisory board consisting of business leaders,top educators, and public sector representatives. Timely and informative, this issue-­ driven event provides an annual forum to unite private sector businesses, federal, state and local government and academia. With more than 1,000 attendees and 100+ exhibitors, the Conference is supported and funded by over 100 private companies, educational institutions, and government organizations. For more information, please visit  www.thecybermarylandconference.com, call (800) 878-2940 x283 or email katie@fbcinc.com.

About The Federal Business Council, Inc.

The Federal Business Council, Inc. (FBC www.fbcinc.com) has produced the CyberMaryland Conference from its inception, providing capital, personnel, and expertise to launch and grow the program. Now in its’ 5th year, the Conference addresses the security challenges facing our nation’s digital infrastructure, reinforces Maryland’s position as the epicenter of cybersecurity, and help fulfill Maryland’s responsibility to support America’s cybersecurity mission while maximizing the benefits to and opportunities for Maryland.