The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), a Department of Defense program, today announced finalist teams and the judges’ panel for the final round of its online hackathon challenge “Mad Hacks: Fury Code.” The virtual event concludes on Friday, February 26. “Mad Hacks” challenges participants to develop technologies or system solutions to support vehicles through cyber-attacks or other instances or electronic warfare and return to a known good state with or without human intervention.
Interested individuals are welcome to attend the virtual pitch round on Friday, February 26, 2021. Registration for this final round is required and is available online here.
The Army’s utilization of human-controlled and autonomous vehicle platforms is steadily increasing. These systems play critical roles in the mobility and survivability of Army forces. While they offer significant advances in capability, they are also vulnerable to cyber-attacks that could disable the system and leave troops unable to communicate and coordinate. Given the diversity of the vehicles used, along with the adversary force capabilities, successful cyber-attacks are all but inevitable. Therefore, these systems must be resilient enough to support missions that rely on them.
Strategic partners for NSIN’s Mad Hack hackathon challenge are the 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army, U.S. Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center, Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team, and Dell Technologies.
Nine teams were selected from more than 500 hackathon registrants, representing a mix of academic, defense, and early-stage ventures for the finalist round of pitches. The finalist teams are:
- Team RoadRunner
- PHC Defense
- Base8 – Secure Autonomous Network
- Team Distributed Spectrum
- TM Pack
- SYN6 – Team Synergy
- Distributed Main Processor Design
- Feolayden Ventures’
A panel of esteemed industry and military partners will evaluate these nine finalists based on the viability of proposed solutions and focus on at least one of three key focus areas, including:
- Resilience – identify new methods for attaining resilient systems to operate beyond current constraints.
- Situational Awareness/Understanding – confirm accessibility and systems for vehicles to understand the mission and operating environment.
- Sustainment and Recovery – establish an ability to return networks to a known good and stable state following a cyber-attack.
Judges for the “Mad Hacks” hackathon final round include:
- Mr. Michael Cadieux: Mr. Cadieux was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in March 2020 as the Executive Director, Systems Integration & Engineering (SIE) at the Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) within the U. S. Army Futures Command. The GVSC is located at the Detroit Arsenal in Michigan and is recognized as the premier center for advanced military, automotive technology for ground vehicle systems and logistics support equipment within the Department of Defense. As the Executive Director, SIE, Mr. Cadieux is responsible for leading over 900 associates in delivering force projection technologies, system prototypes and experimental prototypes, systems engineering and testing to the Army Science & Technology, Acquisition and Logistics offices for Army ground vehicle systems. Additionally, the organization provides engineering, sustainment, reliability, and maintainability, quality assurance, standardization, and logistics support to Army Program Executive Offices (PEO) and the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).
- BG Brett Sylvia: Brigadier General Brett G. Sylvia most recently served as the Chief of Staff of III Corps and Fort Hood. His previous combat assignments and operational deployments include Chief of Staff of the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) and United States Forces –Afghanistan; and Commander of Task Force STRIKE and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) (OIR) 2016-17. His CONUS joint assignments include serving as the Iraq Political-Military Planner; Executive Assistant to the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff; and Junior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
- Dr. Kevin McEnery: Dr. McEnery has been the Deputy Director, Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team, U.S. Army Futures Command, since June 2019. He previously served 20 years as an active-duty U.S. Army Armor Officer. He boasts more than 18 years in the defense industry with The Wexford Group International, a subsidiary of CACI, Inc. As part of his work with The Wexford Group, he served in multiple program management, senior operational advisor, and business development roles.
- Mr. Dave Anderson: Dave Anderson is an associate at Toyota AI Ventures, responsible for sourcing startups, evaluating opportunities, negotiating, and closing investments. Prior to joining Toyota AI Ventures, Dave was the director of ventures services for NextEnergy, an early-stage technology incubator. He also co-founded Bamboo Detroit, Detroit’s first and largest co-working space for entrepreneurs. Dave is an electrical engineer with experience in advanced battery systems, having previously worked with Fortune 500 companies Bosch Battery Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems.
- Mr. Jay Bartot: Jay Bartot is currently CTO at Madrona Venture Labs, where he helps entrepreneurs formulate their technology strategies and stories, build their MVPs and raise venture capital funding. He is a serial technology entrepreneur and innovator with 20+ years of experience building startups from the ground up. He specializes in developing data and machine-learning applications for businesses and consumers. Jay co-founded, raised capital, and built several technology startups, culminating in acquisitions for Vhoto (sold to Hulu in 2015), Medify (sold to Alliance Health Networks in 2012), Farecast (sold to Microsoft in 2008), and AdRelevance (sold to Nielson/NetRatings in 2002).
- Mr. Brandon Card: Brandon Card is the Executive Director of DATC (Defense Automotive Technologies Consortium). Card is responsible for curating DATC’s strategic business and technical direction and, together with the board of directors, drives long-term goals and objectives. Card established himself as a recognized leader with significant federal and defense business experience throughout his career, heavily focused upon ground vehicle system prototype development leading programs, departments, and related products and service lines.
- Mr. Cameron Chehreh: Cameron Chehreh currently serves as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President Pre-Sales Engineering for Dell Technologies Federal. In this role, Cameron is responsible for strategy execution, leadership, and innovation management for Dell Technologies portfolio for the Civilian Government, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community customers worldwide. Before joining Dell, Cameron was CTO of General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) Intelligence Solutions Division, providing innovative solutions across the Intelligence Community.
- Ms. Ann Cleaveland: Ann Cleaveland is the Executive Director at the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. She is a senior leader and business manager with over fifteen years of experience in philanthropy, nonprofit management, and industry. Prior to joining CLTC, she was the Senior Director of Strategic Planning at the ClimateWorks Foundation. She led multiple initiatives focused on supporting a large, philanthropic collaborative in a more strategic, effective, and science-based response to global climate change. Her research interests include cybersecurity futures, digital risk communications, and board governance of cyber risk.
- Ms. Samantha Huang: Samantha Huang is a Principal at BMW i Ventures, where she focuses on investments across AI and big data, autonomous driving, Industry 4.0, sustainability, and the next generation of human experiences. She also serves as Head of Content for the Emerging Venture Capitalists Association, the most active pre-partner nonprofit organization for empowering the next generation of venture capitalists. Samantha previously worked at Robert Bosch Venture Capital and in corporate development at SK Telecom. She also worked as Lead Researcher at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University on research projects centered on innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Dr. Cara LaPointe: Dr. Cara LaPointe is the Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy which works to ensure that autonomous systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy as they are increasingly integrated into every aspect of our lives. During more than two decades in the United States Navy, Dr. LaPointe held numerous roles in areas including autonomous systems, acquisitions, ship design, naval force architecture, and unmanned vehicle technology integration.
The NSIN mission is to “build networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems.” NSIN is headquartered in Arlington, VA, and has regional offices in 11 commercial innovation hubs throughout the United States. Through its headquarters, regional hubs, and embedded university partnerships, NSIN builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming that solves real-world, DoD problems through collaborative partnerships with non-traditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.