"INSA is delighted to Partner with the American Security Challenge which will provide substantial and unique new value to our current stakeholders, as well as enhance our appeal to a broader community.
ASC's model is proven to accelerate the deployment of important technology into the marketplace and provide substantial value to both the innovative community as well as the end customers…both of which are major stakeholders in our membership."
Frances Fragos Townsend, INSA Chairwoman
Former Deputy National Security Advisor to the President
Former Chair of the Homeland Security Council to President
The American Security Challenge (ASC), approaching its 4th year, has quickly become a recognized program within the defense, intelligence, security, investor, innovation and entrepreneur communities as an effective tool to accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies into the public and private marketplace.
Various organizations approached ASC to "use" the proven ASC platform to help their network and community of innovative companies establish connections more quickly and efficiently among themselves as well as ASC's ecosystem of qualified customers, investors and enablers. In response, ASC has developed a collaboration partnership model providing others (Licensees) to leverage the ASC platform and duplicate successful results for their own constituents.
Generally, ASC provides its technology platform, Challenge business model and advisory support for qualified Licensees to promote and host their own Challenge. This License has several options (see below Exactly what does a Licensee get?). The Benefits of being a Licensee are many including:
- Provide revenue value to the Licensee's community:
A Challenge is an innovative support tool that provides a meaningful program to enhance the relationships within a Licensee's community. The Challenge construct naturally establishes a new opportunity for transactions between technology innovators (supply side) and organizations that seek innovative technology (demand side) to connect to each other more efficiently. The innovators and tech seekers (prospective customers, channel partners and investors) are qualified by the Challenge that increases the likelihood of a transaction or relationship which might be to:
- deploy the technology within a customer's enterprise
- sub-contract, license, team, or otherwise be a strategic channel partner relationship to resell the technology into the marketplace
- Invest in and/or acquire newly identified technology
- Provide relationship value to Licensee community:
The technology companies are vetted and brought to the attention of a short list of qualified enablers that can provide legal, mentoring, staffing, training, sales and other services.
- Differentiate from the norm:
There are few new forums for organizations to differentiate themselves from the avalanche of events, conferences, receptions and other programs in the marketplace. ASC Licensees can leverage the uniqueness and freshness of the ASC model to stand out in the market.
- Running a technology competition on a proven matchmaking competition platform:
There are many business plan competition platforms out there but ASC Challenges are very different. ASC has considerably customized its platform to accommodate the matchmaking objectives of the program. To most effectively manage this process ASC has embedded efficiencies, dashboards, intelligence and tools learned from many years of successful technology scouting (matchmaking) and competition challenges.
- Revenue neutral or positive program:
For those organizations concerned about costs, Challenges should be revenue neutral or even profitable.
ASC will provide the Licensee access to the ASC platform that supports the Licensee's efforts to identify innovative technologies and evaluate how well the companies match the current state of the art requirements including ASC's public and private sector customers. Top scoring Licensee Challengers are granted a bye into ASC's annual Challenge for improved exposure and business opportunities. In addition to security technology customers, ASC has and makes available to top scoring Licensee Challengers a support system of business enablers that includes early and late stage technology investors, government sales experts (GSA schedule, clearances, FOCI, SBIR, etc.), channel and other strategic partnerships, executive staffing professionals, incubators, research and development partners, mentors and the customary assortment of service providers (accountants, investment bankers, payroll services, admin staffing, marketing, public relations and consultants).
- ASC will provide the technology platform, which includes the elements below. The platform will be accessed through Licensee's website, will have Licensee branding and will be virtually identical to the platform ASC itself uses. Elements include :
- Application Portal: This allows Licensee to manage efficiently the Challenger registration process, the Challenger application and submission process, and the document collection. ASC has learned over time the most effective application information to request. These lessons learned help standardize the information to be scored by the Reviewers. Also learned over time is the information that is necessary to maximize Challenger participation. Too much initial information requires too large of an investment in time by the Challengers (reducing participation) and burdens the first round of scoring (creating Reviewer dissatisfaction) which is meant to eliminate the pretenders from the contenders. Too little information may generate more Challenger participation but provide too little information for Reviewers to make proper differentiating scores (a weak filter overloads the next round with unqualified Challengers burdening Licensee administration and Reviewers). Finally, ASC has learned the best format to accept submissions to provide a "standardized" application allowing for more apples to apples scoring efficiency. ASC's platform provides a painless Challenger experience and efficiently manages the Challenger document/information submissions. Information is collected in a series of forms which is then recompiled and exported into three documents easy to review. The exported information is formatted into an industry standard single page application, single page executive summary and defense friendly quad chart.
- Scoring Portal: The scoring portal includes a number of evaluation tools and perhaps the most important tool is a standardized scoring model. ASC has learned over time the most effective scoring criteria to determine the technologies that most closely match the requirements of the customers. This obviously includes technical capabilities but also include time to deployment, business stability or scalability, mission criticality and organizational structure/ownership that might factor into deployability. The scoring model has continually matured to increase the objective scorability and reduce the subjective swings common to multiple Reviewers. The Scoring portal also assists Licensee in matching Challengers with the most appropriate Reviewers from their Selection Committee roster.
- Challenger Database: the Challenger database is designed to allow Licensee authorized persons (Licensee Administrator and possible top/key Sponsors) to sort/filter through their registered Challenger records based on changing interests and purpose. The user can filter for Challengers that meet any number of criteria of interest. For example, one can filter for Challengers with technology that is applied in one or more customer applications of interest such as data mining and multi-language search engine, or network intrusion detection security and malware detection. The matching Challengers can then be sorted by any number of other criteria including TRL level (technology maturity), location, security clearances, patents, foreign ownership, profitability, SBA certifications etc. Challengers of interest can be designated/flagged for individual review of their application, submitted documents, scoring and Reviewer comments. This flexible database has evolved to provide the most usability and value to key stakeholders.
- Licensee Administrator Management Dashboards: the ASC platform has dashboards to provide the Licensee a current status, or snapshot of valuable information which can be used for public relations purposes and program management.
- The Challenger dashboard provides a summary of the Challenger data including totals or percentages of Challenger applicants regarding the types of technologies, TRL levels, historical or projected financial information, size of companies, location, number of employees, etc. For instance, the top 50 ASC Challengers this year were from 21 US states and four different countries, 56% have received grant funding with the median amount being $2M (range from $200K to $45M), 34% self funded without raising angel or venture capital, had a median 2010 projected revenue of $2.2M, major differentiators were primarily performance and size (44% and 41% respectively), 56% had TRL levels of 9 with 43% ranging from TRL 6-8, and only 11% had previous direct sales with Department of Defense in the last year. This data is previously uncollected and VERY telling if knowingly interpreted.
- The Scoring dashboard provides the status of the scoring process allowing Licensee Administrator to see an overview of scoring completion, which Challengers applications and which Reviewers might need immediate attention and scoring trends among Reviewers or different technologies. Again, this data is previously uncollected and provides valuable market intelligence.
- ASC Advisory Support: ASC will provide consistent advisory and support for all program elements and Licensee execution. This will include lessons learned for Challenger outreach and marketing, Challenger registration and communications, Reviewer recruitment and scoring, important milestones and timelines, event promotion and management, and sponsor procurement.
- ASC Community: ASC will provide top Licensee Challengers the incentives and benefits of various members of ASC's community including but not limited to:
- Qualified customers seeking to acquire, deploy, license, sub-contract or team with innovative Challenger technologies.
- Current technology requirements of the defense, intelligence and Fortune 500 communities.
- Qualified investors seeking to make investments into innovative companies matching their criteria.
- A robust ecosystem of qualified and professional stakeholders to help position Licensee Challengers for entry into this market (GSA schedule, IP, local R&D, etc) or facilitate their penetration (licensing, sales channel, joint venture, clearances, etc) or exit (licensing, acquisition, etc).
- Licensee will provide the resources to promote, manage and operate a Challenge in their region and/or for their constituents:
- Challenger Outreach and Marketing: Licensee will publicize their Challenge and associated Challenger benefits directly and indirectly to innovators through their network which may include tech associations, tech service providers, incubators, research labs, investors, etc (see lists described elsewhere in this document). ASC will provide advisory support.
- Challenger Registration and Communications: Licensee Challengers will register on the Licensee application portal (ASC provided) and Licensee will interact/address Challenger requests and questions. ASC will provide advisory support but Licensee responsible for necessary resources and execution.
- Reviewer Recruitment and Scoring: Licensee will recruit qualified Reviewers and use ASC platform for their enrollment, scoring and management. Licensee will interact/address Reviewer requests and questions, and manage the Reviewer scoring process and stages. ASC will provide advisory support but Licensee responsible for necessary resources and execution.
- Event Promotion and Management: Licensee will identify and reserve an appropriate facility, promote the event, manage guest registration, exhibitor tables (if any), speakers, food, AV and associate event activities. ASC will provide advisory support but Licensee responsible for necessary resources and execution.
- Sponsor Procurement: Licensee is responsible for funding all aspects of its Challenge, which should be easily met with modest sponsorship, registration fees and other possible revenue lines. Sponsors participate to deepen their brand within that community (communities may overlap but include security, entrepreneur, defense, R&D, intelligence community, technology, innovation, etc) as well as a tool for business development and prospecting. Popular sponsor candidates include system integrators, management and IT consulting firms, channel sales partners, investors, and the usual service provider community including usual firms, law accounting firms, audit firms, staffing, I-banking, recruiting, payroll, benefits, commercial real estate marketing, PR, and other business advisory organizations. ASC will provide advisory support but Licensee responsible for necessary resources and execution.
All of the above plus Licensee procured Customer/Sponsors
- Licensee may identify Sponsors that also have an interest in being a "Customer Sponsor or Pilot Award Partner". A Customer or PAP seeks more than branding and client development. In addition to the benefits of sponsorship, some organizations may actually be interested in the technologies harvested through the Challenge for testing and possible deployment within their own enterprise, for resale into their customer base, as a differentiator for new sales opportunities, for market intelligence and/or for acquisition.
- These Customer Sponsors will provide their own specific requirements, which will likely have substantial overlap with existing ASC Customer requirements. Licensee will include Customer Sponsor requirements in its marketing seeking innovative capabilities that match those requirements.
- Customer Sponsors will have access to Licensee database and all Challenger information generated by Licensee.
All of the above, plus the Licensee procured Customer Sponsors become full ASC tech-scouting clients. All ASC programs including other Licensees will be marketing for Customer Sponsor's requirements. As a full ASC tech-scouting client, they will be entitled to access ALL Challengers in ASC's database.
For more information about the Licensing fee, benefits or availability please contact Roger London at 410-340-5335 or Roger@AmericanSecurityChallenge.com.