Meet the Aerospace, Security, & Cyber Technologies Category Finalists

Oct 23, 2015

Most Innovative New Product Awards Finalists: Aerospace, Security, & Cyber Technologies

Beginning with our deep military roots, San Diego has grown a highly unique industry cluster around aerospace, security, and cyber technology that not only serves to create the best products in the world for military use, but leverages those technologies for use in civilian life as well, for things like scientific research, transportation and internet data security.

This work, quite literally, IS (often) rocket science and most, if not all, of the people behind the products in this category are seriously brilliant, so we’re incredibly lucky to call them neighbors in our community and friends of CONNECT.

We had the incredible opportunity to chat with the people behind these companies, so here’s a quick at the Finalists in the Aerospace, Security, & Cyber Technologies category:

Cubic Global Defense – Javelin Simulator:

The Javelin Simulator, developed by Cubic Global Defense is the Finalist. The Javelin Simulator is a missile simulator that is the first of its type to use geo-pairing (as opposed to lasers) in force-on-force ground combat training and leads the way for geo-pairing technology across multiple platforms.

We chatted with Cubic Corporation President & CEO, Brad Feldmann, about innovation, achievement, and what’s great about the working in San Diego, here’s a breakdown of our conversation:

CONNECT: In your opinion, what’s been the best innovation in the last 25 years?

Feldmann:  The iPhone, for creating mobile computing and connectivity, and the Tesla, for creating a sustainable, fast, computer updateable car.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite business blog or book?

Feldmann: Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan and The Game Changer, by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan.

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Feldmann: San Diego is our home. Cubic started out as a small storefront electronics company in Point Loma. Since then, Cubic has grown to approximately 8,000 employees in nearly 60 nations with our headquarters in Kearny Mesa. San Diego is a vital, thriving community and represents some of the very issues that Cubic is trying to solve for on a global scale.

For example, we provide the readiness training that helps our armed forces be successful and come home safely. At local military bases like Miramar and Pendleton, they are using our technologies and services to help them do this.

On the transportation side, we provide intelligent systems to address the serious problems of demand and congestion. These technologies are used in San Diego to help the burden of growing urbanization and limited infrastructure. 

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?                         

Feldmann: We are very proud to have been a MIP winner the past three years and we work hard to continue this trend. This year we have two of our new technologies from Cubic Global Defense and Cubic Transportation Systems nominated for the MIP award. We have a culture of pervasive innovation at Cubic, and we strive to develop ground-breaking products and solutions that help our customers in the defense and transportation industries solve their biggest challenges. Being selected represents a celebration of innovation and we are very proud to be among the finalists. 

Ocean Aero – Submaran:

Ocean Aero’s Finalist product, Submaran, is an autonomous, hybrid surface and subsurface vessel that is changing how we observe our oceans. This unmanned vessel has the ability to perform long term data-gathering missions, survivable and undetected, without the need to refuel or recharge.

Eric Patten, President & CEO of Ocean Aero Company, took some time to talk with us about building a company in San Diego, overcoming obstacles, and innovation:

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Eric Patten: As a maritime company there are a couple of things that stand out for us.  The maritime community is very robust in San Diego, so being able to have support for all things maritime has been outstanding, it has helped us immeasurably.  The other is the location – both weather and access to the both the bays and the oceans; when you build ocean going robots you need water to work them in. 

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Eric Patten: From a technical standpoint we have had some very big challenges – the first being the concept of a sailboat becoming a submarine. Despite these challenges, I have not been terribly worried about what we are doing technically – we have put together a great team of very smart people that can and have solved some very complex problems. For me the biggest obstacle was raising funds in the early years – we are a little non-traditional in a very greenfield market, so convincing investors to come along for this ride has taken some time but we are there now. We have a great group of investors who have the vision to see what we are doing and what it will mean to the maritime community. Our next big challenge is to scale it. 

CONNECT: In your opinion, what’s been the best innovation in the last 25 years?

Eric Patten: The smart phone – which came about in 1992/1994, beginning with IBM Simon, but they really didn’t come into their own until about 2007 with the advent of the iPhone (my preference).  I retired from the Navy and I flew and advanced helicopter – the iPhone that I have in my pocket has more computing and communication power than entire squadron of helicopters I flew.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite business blog or book?

Eric Patten:  Good to Great by James Collins

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

It is humbling -from day one we have believed in what we are doing. We know that what we are doing will give the world the freedom to explore and accelerate discovery in our oceans, but having a very well respected organization such as CONNECT, with its impressive esteemed panel judges, recognize us as one of the most innovative products is truly an honor.  

Tortuga Logic – Prospect:

Tortuga Logic is a hardware security company that offers expertise, design tools, and technologies for the new hardware world. While software security continues to make countless advances toward more effective languages, software engineering practices, and program analysis, the hardware underlying all of these advances has continued a march in the opposite direction — toward increased complexity, reduced software control of hidden state, and higher level of dynamism in search of the highest performance possible.

Prospect, a software suite developed by Tortuga Logic and based on over a decade of research at UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara, identifies security vulnerabilities in the earliest stages of a chip design.

We chatted with Jonathan Valamehr (Jonny), Ph.D., Co-founder and CFO/COO of Tortuga Logic to get some insights into their company, some great reads, and overcoming challenges.

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Jonny Valamehr, Ph.D.: The biggest achievement that I am proud of is creating new jobs in San Diego. We have hired three software developers this year and plan to hire three more key individuals to help grow our company by the end of the year.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Valamehr: The biggest challenge I’ve overcome in the past couple of years is the process of wearing so many different hats as a startup founder. I have to be a fundraiser, a manager, a marketer, a salesman, a developer, a tester, and many more. This of course is an ongoing challenge but I hope I’m doing a good job!

CONNECT: What’s your favorite go-to app right now?

Valamehr: My favorite go to app at the moment is Trello, both for work and personal purposes. It really helps organize a lot of different projects in an easy to use way.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Valamehr: Being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards for our security software, Prospect, means that we are being recognized for developing a unique product that ultimately makes the world a safer and more secure place. That is a huge point of recognition that we are very grateful for.

And that’s a wrap! Meet Brad, Eric, and Jonny on December 1 at the Most Innovative New Product Awards. Until next time, keep on innovating San Diego!