In The News
Director of LaunchPad Operations Bill Olsen will be speaking on a panel at the Lean Innovation Educators Summit, co-hosted by recognized entrepreneurs Steve Blank, Jerry Engel, and Pete Newell. The Summit brings together a select group of educators from across the country that are revolutionizing innovation and entrepreneurial practice through the Lean Innovation movement. Olsen's panel takes place Wednesday, December 4, and will discuss creating and scaling national and regional programs.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity participate in the Lean Innovation Educators Summit," said Olsen. "In addition to sharing the fundamentals of what makes our program effective, I look forward to enhancing skills, tools, and insights that we can use to continue growing and strengthening MasterPeace LaunchPad startups and entrepreneurs."
Over 900 of the region’s entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, legislators and business owners, including Zuul IoT CEO Drew Cohen gathered at TEDCO’s 2019 Entrepreneurial Expo last week.
Cohen took part in a TEDCO Expo panel discussion centered around selling cybersecurity solutions to the enterprise, and spoke about the importance of forming lasting, interpersonal networking connections when creating startups.
CyberScoop’s Securiosity Podcast Interviews MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen
MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen was featured on AHA Radio's CEO Spotlight Show with Greg Otto and Jen O’Daniel, where he spoke in depth about MasterPeace’s unique model and the company’s groundbreaking approach to providing unique career opportunities for government services engineering talent.
Don’t pass up this unique chance to learn about what makes MasterPeace different, and how its LaunchPad incubator encourages engineers to transform creative ideas into commercial-grade technology startups. Our model provides a unique benefit to all employees, equity participation in every startup. It also provides engineers that want to launch their own company a platform, resources, mentoring, and funding. Drew’s interview is featured from 15:45 to 29:00.
MasterPeace LaunchPad CEO Bill Olsen helped cap off Baltimore Innovation Week’s third annual Minority Innovation weekend by taking part in a panel that helped judge the effectiveness of several minority-affiliated startups’ business model pitch presentations. Olsen’s participation was part of his ongoing outreach to local entrepreneurial technology groups, done in part to increase MasterPeace LaunchPad’s visibility in the Central Maryland community.
An anti-cyberbullying mobile application, online legal services platform, and a company focused on facilitating the sale and purchase of vehicle parking assets were judged to be the winners of the event, and as a result received a six-month membership to the Incubate Baltimore program, which offers resources including mentorship and potential seed capital.
MasterPeace LaunchPad today announced the initiation of their newest cohort class. MasterPeace’s program is modeled after the Lean LaunchPad start-up Business and Engineering school class taught at Stanford University, based on a methodology created by entrepreneur Steve Blank to support the launch of commercially focused technology companies.
Led by Director of LaunchPad Operations, William Olsen, this program covers all the technical and business aspects required to transform a startup concept into a viable commercial business, rather than just coaching cohort members on giving fundraising pitches or product demos. Last year’s 2018 graduates of the MasterPeace LaunchPad program created new companies including Yikes, which has contributed network security, engineering, and operations defense expertise to the NIST-led consortium for Mitigating IoT-Based DDoS, and Zuul, currently deploying national transportation market solutions for securing connected devices and payment systems. Another cohort from last year’s class, FactChain, will officially launch and begin selling product in the fall of 2019.
“MasterPeace LaunchPad is diversifying Maryland’s economic base by leveraging its Cyber and Technology talent pool to create new product companies and career opportunities for engineers who have previously focused on the Government Contracting sector,” said Drew Cohen, MasterPeace President and CEO. “We are glad to have the opportunity to support this new group of talented individuals and are eager to continue providing a platform for our engineers to create and launch new product companies.”
The five new SpinCo teams that comprise MasterPeace LaunchPad’s 2019 cohort class, some of which may turn into commercial companies that ultimately “spin out”, are working to build businesses that deliver unique technology to the marketplace. Two examples of the new startup’s offerings are described below:
ElectraZoom, an IoT enablement platform and device toolkit that provides one click onboarding of IoT devices into a mixed vendor/device environment. The ElectraZoom platform controls, manages, and monitors devices in a consistent manner, and is able to perform functions and interoperate in a network of heterogenous IoT devices. Users pick the IoT device they want and are not locked into what is available from a single manufacturer. The platform supports industrial enterprises in implementing machine learning, surveillance, factory automation, and more.
DataLocker, developed by LaunchPad’s Uplift Portfolio Service team as their first AWS service, offers PII-Data-Management-as-a-service to manage and store encrypted PII and HIPAA data to ensure that if a company is breached, critical information is not taken in the process. Advanced analytics monitor and block queries that are potentially malicious, alerting the SOC/CIRT and identifying the potential threat before the data loss. This reduces risk and cost, and will be an AWS marketplace service that can be easily added to existing AWS solutions. With a few simple configuration settings, this capability can be engaged and a company’s critical PII data is secured.
Following the completion of the LaunchPad Program, each company will showcase their technology at Demo Day in early February 2020. MasterPeace’s 2018 Demo Day included attendees such as Maryland Lieutenant Governor, Boyd Rutherford, and Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball.
“From our Innovation Center to the locally-based MasterPeace LaunchPad, Howard County is on the cutting edge of economic growth. By creating a culture that welcomes new businesses, leverages our strategic location, and utilizes our talented workforce, our community continues to be a land of opportunity,” said Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball. “I congratulate the new cohort class at MasterPeace and look forward to the innovative business ideas they are sure to create.”
CyberScoop’s Securiosity Podcast Interviews MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen
MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen was featured on CyberScoop's Securiosity podcast with Greg Otto and Jen O’Daniel, where he spoke in depth about the MasterPeace’s LaunchPad model, and the company’s groundbreaking approach to building commercial-grade startups using government services engineering talent.
Don’t pass up this unique chance to learn about what makes MasterPeace different, from its shared equity model to its vigorous approach in transforming nascent ideas into viable companies. Drew’s interview is featured from 29:05 to 47:53.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) announced that it has taken steps to formalize internet standards in regards to Manufactured User Descriptions (MUDs). MUD allows manufacturers to specify the intended network behaviors of the devices they build. LaunchPad engineers actively participated in this standard, and also developed an open source MUD Manager, osMUD.org, that implements the MUD standard. The MUD Manager communicates with network services, detecting when devices enter and leave the network and automatically implements network security rules based on a device’s MUD specification. In addition, Yikes!, a commercial startup incubated within the MasterPeace LaunchPad accelerator, will deliver a commercial product, available later this spring. The Yikes! product will bring automated, state-of-the-art network security and management, including MUD, to small business and consumer networks.
Zuul CEO Drew Cohen spoke to The Washington Post's Aaron Gregg about the future of transportation infrastructure and the increasing need for effective cybersecurity systems like those provided by the Industrial IoT Security startup being spun out of MasterPeace's Launchpad incubator. Following the announcement that an early prototype of Boeing’s self-driving air taxi completed its first test flight at an airfield in Manassas, VA on Tuesday, January 22nd, Cohen told the Post that when people are being flown through the air, “the price of not getting [security] right is higher.” Zuul provides a full security industrial IoT lifecycle for transportation networks that discovers, enrolls, and manages devices, hardens devices against compromise, manages updates remotely, provides network defense and situation awareness, and supports rapid and effective response.
A newly launched MasterPeace LaunchPad cyber startup, Yikes!, is looking to market technology that could prevent internet-connected devices from infecting the networks in people's homes and small businesses. When a new smart device comes on a network, it has a URL web address. Using that URL, Yikes! technology could check with the manufacturer to get specific information about what the device is supposed to do. Devices can then be classified, segmented and monitored on a home or small business network, to ensure no device is behaving in ways it shouldn't, or allowing potentially harmful external forces to gain access.
The company is currently working to validate its technology through an ongoing project with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Yikes! plans to begin selling to consumers by the end of the first quarter next year. Yikes! plans to pilot test internally at MasterPeace, and is in the process of identifying managed services providers, or IT services providers, as potential distribution partners.
MasterPeace LaunchPad hosted its 3rd annual Demo Day, which took place on Wednesday, December 5th. Attendees were joined by a notable group of state and local influencers and industry speakers, including Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, and former Tenable CEO/Chairman Ron Gula, to discuss the growing Maryland Cyber startup eco-system. The Zuul IoT, FactChain, Uplift and newly unveilved Yikes! startup teams treated attendees to demonstrations of four products taking shape in the MasterPeace LaunchPad accelerator. MasterPeace leadership also provided some insights into how it is helping these startups put Lean LaunchPad methodologies into practice, including a virtual shout out from Lean LaunchPad creator and author Steve Blank.
The discussion highlighted the significant progress MasterPeace has made as it leverages the region's engineering talent to contribute to Central Maryland's development as a hub of commercial technology innovation. The four startup products on display address a wide range of commercial market needs including IoT Security, Transaction Fraud Protection, Home and Small Business Network Security, and Serverless Computing Migration and showcased the breadth of MasterPeace LaunchPad's development approach, which utilizes a broad range of cutting-edge technologies, including IoT PKI, Blockchain, Software Defined Networking and AWS Lambda.
As MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen put it, “The key to MasterPeace LaunchPad’s success is our talent. The Columbia area is a world class resource for cyber and engineering talent, but the vast majority of that talent is deployed in Federal Government or Commercial services companies. MasterPeace LaunchPad provides a platform for those individuals to create and launch new product companies, scale the impact of their skills to a global market and become an engine for the region’s continued economic growth. This is the reason key state and county officials like Lt. Gov. Rutherford and County Executive Ball, along with proven Cyber entrepreneurs like Ron Gula, are willing to take time from their business schedules to support our startups.”
MasterPeace Solutions has announced osMUD, an open source project to reduce the vulnerability of IoT devices within consumer and small business environments based on the new IETF MUD standard. The project was shared with NIST's National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) and will be further developed as one of the first open source Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD) managers.
The project will rely upon the combined expertise of device manufacturers, security vendors and administrators to proactively and automatically secure IoT endpoint. Implementing MUD in routers and network devices will assure that IoT connected devices do not communicate with or access places that are not approved ahead of time. Together, the consortium will produce a NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide, a freely available description of the solution and practical steps needed to help consumers and small businesses mitigate IoT-based threats.
MasterPeace Solutions Welcomes Bill Olsen as Director of LaunchPad Operations
Please join us in welcoming our new Director of Launchpad Operations, Bill Olsen.
Bill brings his significant experience with nationally recognized programs: Hacking for Defense and I-Corps, enabling him to scale and accelerate the companies in our LaunchPad portfolio. A proven leader, most recently as a Director at Booz Allen, Bill has over 30 years of extensive background in developing and mentoring technical teams, developing systems and solutions that meet critical mission needs, and applying best practices in rapid start-up processes to technology innovation teams. Bill also brings a large network of executive-level relationships with labs, entrepreneurs, and academic institutions. We look forward to integrating Bill into our leadership team and scaling our innovation program at Masterpeace.