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Highlights from SOFWeek2023, Fundings: Myota, Clean Hydrogen Works, Stoke
17 May 2023 - A Weekly Publication by New North Ventures
SOF Week 2023, the premier gathering for the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community, recently took place in Tampa, FL. This electrifying event, organized by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and co-sponsored by the Global SOF Foundation (GSOF), brought together military, government, commercial, and educational stakeholders to confront global threats head-on.
The agenda boasted an awe-inspiring lineup of 100+ speakers, each sharing their unparalleled expertise and insights. From top-ranking military officials to industry leaders, the stage was set for an extraordinary exchange of knowledge.
Under the overarching theme of "People - Win - Transform," SOF Week 2023 delved into the most pressing priorities of the SOF community. Discussions on attracting key talent, enhancing human performance, and prioritizing mental wellness set the stage for a game-changing week.
One of the standout moments was a captivating panel discussion featuring our founding partner, Jeremy Hitchcock. With his extensive experience building companies and in venture capital, Jeremy provided invaluable insights on how defense start-ups can thrive with external support.
SOF Week 2023 was a testament to the collaborative spirit and unwavering dedication of the SOF community. As the curtains closed on this remarkable event, the echoes of groundbreaking ideas and transformative discussions reverberated throughout the industry.
Let's keep this momentum going! If you are a startup with an innovative solution to a complex problem, we invite you to pitch us here.
Key People: Chairman & Chief Executive Officer James Walker
Elevator Pitch: An AI-based data security management platform designed to protect critical data.
Funding: The company raised $985,024 of venture funding from undisclosed investors on May 15, 2023.
Key People: Chief Executive Officer Simon Zhang Ph.D
Elevator Pitch: A project development company intended for safe, responsible, and innovative clean energy for a carbon-free world.
Funding: The company raised $30 million of venture funding from undisclosed investors on May 12, 2023.
Elevator Pitch: Reusable rockets designed to make space access sustainable and scalable.
Funding: The company raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding from In-Q-Tel on May 12, 2023.
U.S. Fleet Forces Command is exploring alternative funding sources to address major infrastructure spending shortfalls at bases and shipyards.
Adm. Daryl Caudle acknowledges that the military construction budget is insufficient to tackle all the necessary projects.
Discussions are underway with Navy civilian leadership and outside groups to pursue public-private ventures for near-term facilities improvements.
Various types of arrangements are being considered, including private companies paying upfront for projects and the government paying them back through usage fees or using grant money for specific outcomes.
The Navy is seeking creative alternative financial opportunities and exploring partnerships to address infrastructure challenges and leverage external capital.
Three business leaders, Jack Daly, Joseph Castonguay, and Victor Lozinski, decided to move their companies from California to Florida after considering their customers' preferences and growth opportunities.
Jack Daly, CEO of TRX, moved his fitness equipment and training company to Delray Beach, Florida, to provide a better quality of life, safety, and accessibility for both employees and customers.
Joseph Castonguay, president of Autoslide North America, relocated his automatic door systems company from Glendale, California, to Tampa, Florida, to improve logistics, reduce costs, and benefit from a more business-friendly environment.
Dr. Victor Lozinski, president and CEO of LeverX, shifted his software engineering services firm from Silicon Valley to Miami, Florida, to overcome communication challenges, be in a favorable time zone, and tap into growth opportunities in the eastern United States.
The decision to move to Florida was driven by factors such as cost savings, favorable tax rates, lower living expenses, better infrastructure, convenient transportation options, and a supportive business environment, contributing to the overall appeal of the state for these companies.
The United States is facing a new "Sputnik moment" with China's significant investments in emerging technologies, posing a challenge to America's technological superiority and national security.
To address this challenge, the Department of Defense (DoD) should establish an In-Q-Tel (IQT) for DoD, a not-for-profit venture capital firm, to drive research, attract venture funding, and accelerate the process of bringing new technologies to the market.
An IQT for DoD would provide funding to defense startups, help them overcome funding gaps, and incentivize other venture capital firms to invest. It would also increase the chances of technology adoption by the U.S. government, leading to innovative solutions for national defense.
Existing institutions within the DoD have limitations and bureaucratic constraints, making an IQT for DoD a necessary and unique entity that can focus on equity investments and long-term returns, independent of the traditional chain of command.
Look for a new episode of Securing the Future Podcasts wherever you listen. In our latest episode, we have guest Dr. Jennifer Rudolph sit down with General Partner Jeremy Hitchcock for an engaging conversation where Dr. Rudolph discusses her passion for Asian history and politics, her research on Taiwan's political identity, and shares critical insights into the complex US-China relationship from her latest book, The China Question.