FORGE Ask-Me-Anything with Brian Ellerman and Special Guests

·Zoom

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Event Information

Join FORGE Founding Director, Brian Ellerman, this upcoming Wednesday for an Ask-Me-Anything session with a panel of experts on opportunities and resources for entrepreneurs interested in working with the US Government.

When: Wednesday, September 29th, 9:00 AM (AZ/PT) 
Where: Online event, Zoom link will be sent upon registration

Meet The Panel:

William (Bill) Waynick - Bill retired as a Colonel from the US Air Force in September of 2021 after 30-years of passionate and dedicated service. He received his commission in 1991, graduating from the University of Arizona’s ROTC program with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems

Bill started his military career as a computer programmer and worked his way through a myriad of experiences to include over ten combat deployments, mostly supporting special operations, and finishing as the Director of Air Force CyberWorx, the service’s innovation hub for all things cyber.

Bill is now serving as an Executive in Residence for FORGE as well as serving as a board member for the non-profit Arizona Cyber Initiative program which is focused on educating and motivating Arizona’s high school students to seek opportunities in the cyber ecosystem. 

Rachel Conn - After years of work across large corporations, startups, and research in the innovation industry, Rachel got tired of seeing the same problems prevent great ideas from coming to life no matter where she worked. She started her software company, Productable, to help organizations overcome politics, silos, and antiquated thinking so innovative ideas can drive successful outcomes. 

Rachel’s expertise is rooted in her experience as an academic innovation research with University of Texas, MIT, and SUTD in collaboration with schools such as Oxford, Cambridge, Tsinghua, and Harvard. She has 8 published papers in innovation process with over 80 citations.

John Grigg - As CyberWinter’s founder and Operations Director, John has 15 years of diverse experience within the Navy, the Intelligence Community, and in the commercial industry with focuses on building and maturing cyber operations teams, and custom systems design and engineering.

His notable achievements include having acted as the senior authority responsible for an extremely successful team of security engineers who architected, implemented, and managed a virtual operations center and acting as a Team Lead for Army Cyber Command to help create, manage, and mature newly formed cyber-centric teams. Since starting CyberWinter Studios, John has used the SBIR program to help bootstrap his company and provide solutions with tangible benefits to the warfighter. 

Brent Nichols - After 11 years in the Air Force, Brent transitioned out of the military in fervent pursuit of his passion and to put his full suite of capabilities and drive toward meaningful work with great teams. After a decade of guiding teams across numerous functions and managing a wide range of complex projects, he now serves as a small business innovation funding expert, engaging with innovators, leading motivated creators, and providing a spark to high-energy teams.

Greg Bennett - Greg works to develop engagement models and opportunity identification for Government, Academia, and industry to support AF CyberWorx activities. He also creates strategies to expand the number of small businesses co-creating National Security and develops business models to increase transition to practice. Finally, he connects industry and government through various activities to accelerate novel solutions.

Learn more about Arizona FORGE at forge.arizona.edu

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