Happy New Year! Reviewing Past Events and Recent Thoughts, Fundings: Portal, ABL Space Systems, Firm Pilot
3 January 2024 - A Weekly Publication by New North Ventures
As we step into the new year, we want to extend our warmest wishes for a joyful and prosperous 2024. The past year has been an exciting journey, and we are thrilled to reflect on our collective growth in bridging the innovation gap between the public and private sectors within the national security realm.
One highlight that stands out from 2023 is the success of The Tuck National Security and Innovation Conference at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business. This groundbreaking event brought together thought leaders, industry experts, government officials, and academia to delve into the crucial importance of collaboration to drive innovation and fortify the national security mission. Keynotes from Ron Corsetti and Mike Pyle illuminated the significance of partnerships across public and private sectors, addressing the challenges posed by complex acquisition procedures and the need for streamlined innovations.
The conference served as a platform for diverse discussions, ranging from government-driven innovation to the integration of emerging technologies by intelligence and defense sectors. Breakout sessions explored key topics such as streamlined acquisitions, innovation networks, and the integration of strategic industries like energy, AI, and cybersecurity. The emphasis on non-dilutive capital opportunities, policy innovation, and strategic engagement underscored the need for long-term, strategic investments in technology, infrastructure, and energy security.
We are proud to have sponsored these crucial conversations that shed light on the intricate interplay between policy, innovation, and a robust ecosystem for sustainable growth and global security. The Tuck National Security and Innovation Conference marks the beginning of a foundation for future collaborations, especially as the government navigates how to best fund innovation and support collaboration with the private sector. To read more about the event, click here.
As we move forward into the new year, we remain optimistic about the continued progress and collaboration across different sectors, knowing that the strides we've made together are laying the groundwork for a more secure and innovative future!
Dr. Hammond Pearce of NYU Tandon has successfully fabricated the QTCore-C1 chip, designed using ChatGPT, marking a significant advancement in democratizing chip design.
The QTCore-C1 chip, a co-processor with an 8-bit accumulator-based architecture, demonstrated its functionality by powering a Christmas light show.
The chip's design process involved translating 'plain English' descriptions into Hardware Descriptor Language (HDL) using ChatGPT.
The QTCore-C1 chip, created through conversations with OpenAI's GPT-4, won the Efabless Corporation AI-generated open-source silicon design contest, showcasing the potential of AI-powered chip design to revolutionize the market.
Viasat, Inc. secures a significant collaboration with the U.S. Air Force's Life Cycle Management Center (USAF LCMC) through a $900 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, known as LCMC XA IDIQ.
The contract spans an initial five-year term, with the option to extend for up to five additional years, and involves Viasat's responsibility for prototyping, testing, and integrating systems, hardware, software, and cybersecurity solutions for the Air Force.
Viasat, with its 35-year history in satellite, networking, and cybersecurity, is selected across all three contract categories: 'Development Planning,' 'Systems Development,' and 'Synthetic Environment Development.'
The partnership aims to expedite the availability of integrated technology for the USAF, facilitating the transition of developments from the laboratory to operational use, and is one of the first major Department of Defense (DoD) IDIQ contracts for Viasat post its acquisition of Inmarsat in May 2023.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and other top officials attended an event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, highlighting the influence of defense technology startups in the Pentagon lobbying landscape.
A growing number of former Pentagon officials and military officers are now joining venture capital firms, leveraging their connections to Washington to capitalize on the potential sales of new-generation weapons to the Pentagon.
Over 50 former Pentagon and national security officials, who left the government in the last five years, are identified as working in defense-related venture capital or private equity roles, advocating for policy changes or increased military spending that could benefit their invested firms.
The rise of venture capitalists with defense ties signifies a shift from the traditional path of retired officials joining established weapons makers to joining venture capital firms, aiming to accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge technologies by the Pentagon.
Key People: CEO Chandra Duggirala MD
Elevator Pitch: A decentralized financial platform designed to help secure the trading of bitcoins.
Funding: The company raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding from Michael Bouhanna, Max Crown, and Chen Zhancheng on December 31, 2023.
Key People: CEO Harrison O'Hanley
Elevator Pitch: Low-cost rocket vehicles designed to launch small satellites.
Funding: The company raised $40.65 million of venture funding from undisclosed investors on December 29, 2023.
Key People: CEO Jake Soffer
Elevator Pitch: An artificial intelligence marketing platform designed to generate search-engine-optimized content and monitor marketing activities in one place.
Funding: The company raised $2 million of seed funding from SaaS Ventures, The Legal Tech Fund and Valor Ventures on December 29, 2023. Early Light Ventures and Integral Private Wealth Advisors also participated in the round.
Look for a new episode of Securing the Future Podcasts wherever you listen. In our most recent episode, we have Ben Colman, CEO of Reality Defender, sit down with General Partner Jeremy Hitchcock for an engaging conversation about AI, cybersecurity, and internet ethics.