CIT launches EMERGE! Accelerator initiative

cit logoIn partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced today the creation of EMERGE! Accelerating Wearable Tech for First Responders to speed the delivery of the latest innovative wearable technologies for responders.

EMERGE! is part of a larger DHS S&T initiative to engage entrepreneurs in finding innovative ideas that address the unique needs of the Homeland Security community.  CIT is piloting the use of business accelerators to discover and foster innovative individuals and companies whose commercial wearable technology could be adapted for first responder operations.

After conducting an extensive review and solicitation of America’s top accelerators, CIT chose two for the EMERGE! pilot: Tech Wildcatters, of Dallas, Tx., and TechNexus, of Chicago, Il. Tech Wildcatters is a B2B seed accelerator with a mentor-driven program focusing on high-growth, technology startups; they are partnered with Wearable World of San Francisco, an organization dedicated to creating the social fabric for business around wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.  TechNexus is a venture collaborative that sits at the intersection of large, incumbent corporations and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, looking to market validate ventures.  They serve as a force multiplier to source innovations from across a global innovation ecosystem, and build ventures around demand-driven innovation.  Both accelerators offer emerging entrepreneurs competitive programs that match them with seed funds, mentors and experts to launch new startups.

Pete Jobse, CIT President and CEO, said, “CIT is honored to partner with DHS S&T to use new methods and ideas that deliver innovative solutions to help them meet their security mission. This program will bring the best innovations into government, while helping emerging startups find new markets to sell products.”

Last year, S&T announced a new focus to significantly change and reinvent the face of federal government research and development. DHS S&T is using prize competitions, open dialogues and accelerator programs to attract innovators to help government keep pace with the speed of innovation.

Representatives from DHS S&T, CIT, Tech Wildcatters and TechNexus will be talking about EMERGE! first responders’ needs and the addressable market of wearables, accelerator programmatic details, including application dates, and other ways that innovators can work with government at SXSW on March 13, 2015.

Terry Howerton, CEO, TechNexus, said, “We are especially excited about this opportunity because DHS, like many of our corporate partners, recognizes the need to innovate and change at scale.  The most effective way for corporations and governments to harness innovation and redefine R&D is through engagement with the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re looking forward to applying this collaborative venture development model to a partnership with CIT and DHS.”

Gabriella Draney, Tech Wildcatters Co-founder and Executive Director, said, “We’re excited to be able to give first responders resources to do their jobs more effectively through the use of new technology. We’re tech geeks. We love to see the things that we build changing lives. Most impressive is the unprecedented collaboration between our private and public sector partners to positively impact economic development through investment in innovation.”

EMERGE! is open to startups from any U.S. geography whose founders are ready to engage in a rigorous mentorship program designed to produce the next generation of innovation in the wearable technology space.  The team is looking for candidates that are creating commercial wearable technology that could be adapted for responders.

For more information on EMERGE! go to www.cit.org/emerge.


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