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Destination Innovation Highlights Technology Advancements and Connects Innovators

On April 29, more than 150 members of the technology community gathered at The Washington Post to attend NVTC's Destination Innovation, the premier event highlighting the vibrant technology community in our region. Presented by the NVTC Technology Innovations Committee, in partnership with Capital Business, the event connected innovators from both large and small companies with parties interested in collaborating on technology development and job creation. During the event, 16 of the region's innovators pitched their company's technologies.

Tony Moraco
SAIC CEO Tony Moraco addresses the crowd at Destination Innovation on April 29 at the Washington Post headquarters in D.C.

The event also featured keynote remarks from SAIC CEO Tony Moraco and 1776 Managing Director Paul Singh, who is also a general partner of 1776's Seed Fund. Moraco discussed innovation, and began his address by telling companies to “think differently, act differently” in order to find success. To do so, Moraco said, leaders should set strategic goals and trust their team to be the best at what they do. Companies that do so encourage innovation, which should be driven by a “holistic” and “economic” view of a solution. Moraco reminded the audience that all innovation doesn’t come from Silicon Valley, and that they shouldn’t be afraid to fail or to be selective in partnering. Ultimately, to succeed, he said, companies need to get innovation to market and make sure it’s scalable.

Paul Singh
Paul Singh works the crowd during his keynote address at Destination Innovation on April 29, 2015 at the Washington Post headquarters in D.C.

Singh discussed companies’ ability to grow from anywhere, and the need for the U.S. to recognize international founders. As a result of accessibility, it is easier now than ever to start a company, but harder to grow one, said Singh. Founders should be building what people want, and companies are successful in spite of their founders – not because of them. According to Singh, "there's a growing collision of tech companies, venture capital and economic development," and now, more than ever, traction is the new intellectual property. Investors want to know where the product can go.

Along with the two keynotes, 16 companies delivered a two minute pitch about their innovative technology, including why it is disruptive and how it solves a real-world problem. They also showcased their technologies to potential partners and customers on the exhibit floor. The companies, divided into Apps & Platforms; Safety & Security; Health, Education & Energy; and Wearables & Robotics, were selected by online votes submitted during a competition on the Capital Business website. The selected companies were as follows:

Apps & Platforms
Avanade Inc.
Fairfax County Public Schools
The George Washington University, Division of Information Technology
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HumanTouch

Safety & Security
Blue Ridge Networks Inc.
INDMEX Aviation
R2M Innovations LLC
Unisys

Health, Education & Energy
Arbiom Inc.
Kajeet Inc.
Noblis
Perigean Technologies LLC

Wearables & Robotics
Asius Technologies
CyberTimez
Qore Performance
Robotic Research LLC

Attendees at the event voted for one company in each category and the top two companies from each category moved on to the final round. The following companies were selected to compete in the final round:

Apps & Platforms
Fairfax County Public Schools
HumanTouch

Safety & Security
Blue Ridge Networks Inc.
Unisys

Health, Education & Energy
Kajeet Inc.
Noblis

Wearables & Robotics
CyberTimez
Qore Performance

The final round consisted of a head-to-head competition between the remaining two companies in each category. A panel of experts, including Sherry Altman, vice president of the Strategic Innovation Group at Booz Allen Hamilton; Nelson Ford, president and CEO of LMI; and Matthew Koll, president and co-founder of 410 Labs, asked the competing companies questions about their innovations, markets and business strategies. The winner in each category was decided by the expert panel. Congratulations to the following winners:

Apps & Platforms
Fairfax County Public Schools

Safety & Security
Unisys

Health, Education & Energy
Kajeet Inc.

Wearables & Robotics
CyberTimez

The winners.
Representatives from the winning companies stand with their trophies.