Discover more from Securing Our Future
Innovation Through Crisis, Fundings: Ambient.ai, Tessian, Anthropic
1 November 2023 - A Weekly Publication by New North Ventures
In our latest episode of the Securing Our Future podcast, host Jeremy Hitchcock sits down with Austin Gray, a Masters candidate in Public Administration Candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. Austin also holds an MBA from MIT and a BA from Davidson College in Economics and Arab Studies.
Austin's professional journey has been nothing short of impressive. Currently, he plays a pivotal role in Prototyping for the Kyiv Engineering Corps, a position that showcases his dedication to innovation and problem-solving. Prior to this, he served as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy, dedicating five years of service in roles to protect national security and contribute to vital intelligence efforts.
Austin Gray is not only a highly educated and experienced professional, but he is also someone deeply committed to making a positive impact on the world through his work and endeavors. In this episode, Austin gives us a real-world look into how wartime and urgent situations drive innovation.
Join us in discovering the fascinating journey of Austin Gray and the valuable insights he brings to the table. Listen wherever you stream your podcasts or on Spotify below:
As we navigate yet another volatile week marked by the continued war in Ukraine, the Israeli-Hamas conflict, and at least two mass shootings in the US, it helps to report on a positive step forward in strengthening our nation. We at New North Ventures are pleased to shine a spotlight on an Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence issued this week by the White House.
This Executive Order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans' privacy, advances equity and civil rights, supports consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, and enhances American leadership worldwide, among other objectives.
This development is particularly significant for New North as it directly impacts the advancement and integration of AI technologies within the defense sector, one of our top priorities.
The order's emphasis on safety and security aligns with our mission to support critical technologies that enhance both national security and commercial interests. It's a pivotal development for us to monitor closely as it signifies the government's commitment to strengthening the integrity and reliability of AI systems, offering significant potential for defense innovation and national security. We're excited to see the administration's embrace of the potential AI can and will bring.
We are thrilled to share yet another success of our portfolio company, Hawkeye 360. They've just secured a Phase II contract with the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific.
This Phase II contract is a testament to HawkEye 360's unwavering commitment to bolstering maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region, and it's a testament to their exceptional work with the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA). This partnership, proudly supported by the Quad nations—Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, is poised to make waves in the realm of maritime intelligence.
HawkEye 360 has been a valued commercial partner to the IPMDA program since late 2022, and this Phase II contract will strengthen these collaborative efforts. Together, they are focused on providing cutting-edge technology, training, and unparalleled insights into maritime activities across the Indo-Pacific. The overarching goal is to foster an open, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
This is a remarkable achievement for HawkEye 360, and it paves the way for an exciting chapter in their mission to revolutionize maritime intelligence. Congratulations to the entire team at Hawkeye 360 for this significant milestone!
IBM has unveiled a prototype microchip design, the NorthPole chip, inspired by the human brain, which combines memory and processing, potentially eliminating the need for the cloud or the internet for AI intelligence.
The NorthPole chip addresses two critical challenges in AI development: energy efficiency and the limits of transistor density on traditional chips.
With 22 billion transistors and 256 cores, the NorthPole chip demonstrates superior energy efficiency in tasks like processing moving images, making it attractive for applications like drones, robots, and cloud computing.
The U.S. Department of Defense has invested in the development of these chips for military applications, which could improve perception and interpretation capabilities in various systems, potentially transforming self-driving cars and reducing dependence on foreign chip manufacturers like Taiwan.
Atom Computing, a startup founded five years ago, has announced the 2024 release of a second-generation neutral atom quantum computer equipped with 1,225 qubits, marking a significant development in the quantum computing industry.
The company was initially founded with $5 million in seed funding and created the world's first nuclear-spin qubit quantum computer using optically trapped neutral atoms, with its first prototype called Phoenix, featuring 100 qubits.
Atom Computing's next-generation machine overcame the challenges of scaling up the number of atoms and creating 1,225 individual traps to achieve this milestone, which is crucial for increasing computing power and algorithm complexity.
The company's goal is to build a fault-tolerant quantum computer capable of running complex algorithms, and it has already made significant progress in achieving this goal, with plans to release specific technical details about the new machine in the future. The switch to ytterbium-171 atoms for qubits is expected to enhance the system's performance.
Key People: CEO Shikhar Shrestha
Elevator Pitch: An AI-powered security platform designed to help organizations prevent physical security incidents and improve their response capabilities.
Funding: The company raised $20 million of venture funding from Allegion Ventures on October 30, 2023.
Key People: CEO Timothy Sadler
Elevator Pitch: A next-generation email security platform intended to detect and prevent inadvertent data loss.
Funding: The company entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Proofpoint, via its financial sponsors Thoma Bravo and Barton Technology Ventures, through an LBO on October 30, 2023.
Key People: CEO Dario Amodei
Elevator Pitch: An AI safety & research company intended to build reliable, interpretable, and steerable large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) systems.
Funding: The company raised $2 billion of venture funding from Alphabet on October 27, 2023.
Look for a new episode of Securing the Future Podcasts wherever you listen. In our latest episode, we have guest Austin Grey sit down with General Partner Jeremy Hitchcock for an engaging conversation about innovation in the defense space.