Presented by Mr. Brian Abbe Brian’s early career was spent working with Lockheed Martin in Syracuse, NY, where he designed FPGA’s, ASIC’s, and single board computers for various RADAR signal processors, eventually working his way up into functional and program management. In 2010, Brian left Lockheed for his first startup venture as part owner of a nanotechnology company, Ephesus Lighting. After a few lean years, Ephesus began designing and selling high powered LED stadium lighting which led to outfitting the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, and many other sporting arenas. The company was purchased by Eaton Corp in 2016. Brian left the startup to join the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in 2013, where he worked as a Branch Chief and the Head of the Technology Transfer Group. In 2017, Brian entered the Entrepreneurial Opportunities Program (EOP) program and licensed technology from AFRL Information Directorate to form a cyber security business. Since leaving AFRL, Brian’s new company, Mentis Technologies, has been awarded two Phase I SBIRs. Mr. Abbe will discuss his personal experience as an entrepreneur working through the Federal Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and describe a new pilot process for special Federal Agency research topics; intended to accelerate technologies to the warfighter, these new awards have shortened technical durations, reduced reporting requirements, and varying award dollar amounts. The Air Force is also introducing “Pitch Days” - new fast tracks for startups, modeled after commercial investment pitch competitions. Per Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics: “…our goal is to award $40 million to startups using one-day, one-page contracts. These awards use convenient credit card payments— we want partnering with the Air Force to be easy and energizing!"