DHS S&T SBIR Workshop
June 28th 2019


Dawnbreaker, under contract to the DHS S&T SBIR program is pleased to invite you to a unique Workshop designed exclusively for DHS SBIR awardees. The Workshop will be held on June 28th, 2019 at the Residence Inn Washington, DC Downtown. This facility is located at 1199 Vermont Avenue, NW. The Workshop is focused on capitalization challenges that confront small businesses positioning for growth. In addition to guidance provided on the DHS acquisition process, equity investment, licensing and strategic partnering a unique opportunity will be embedded within the Workshop.

There is no cost associated with attending the workshop, however, you will be required to pay your own travel and expenses. Questions regarding the ability to charge any costs to the government SBIR contract for this event should be directed to the contracting officer on your contract.

Details will be added regarding the speakers on the associated website. Registration is required.



Download Agenda (pdf)

  • 8:00 am to 9:00 am:
  • 9:00 am to 9:10 am:

    John Pucci, SBIR Program Director, DHS Science and Technology

  • 9:10 am to 9:30 am:
    Looking Ahead

    Department of Homeland Security
    Robert Burns, Executive Director of the Office of Innovation and Collaboration, DHS Science and Technology Directorate

  • 9:30 am to 10:15 am:
    Cross-Agency Awards and Sequential Phase II Awards

    To conduct sufficient R&D to achieve a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6 or 7, one often needs additional funding. Both cross-agency awards, cross-program awards and sequential Phase II awards were allowed with the reauthorization of the SBIR/STTR programs in 2011. In this panel discussion, each of the agency representatives will discuss how they implement cross-agency, cross-program, and sequential Phase IIs.
    John Pucci, SBIR Program Director, DHS Science and Technology
    Manny Oliver, Director, SBIR/STTR Programs Office, Department of Energy
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    Donna Attick, SBIR Program Manager, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)

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  • 10:15-10:30
  • 10:30 am - 11:15 am
    Equity Investment and the SBIR Program

    Growing your firm and bringing a product to market require sources of funding for scale up, marketing and sales – all activities which the SBIR program does not fund. When faced with this dilemma sometimes small businesses turn to equity investment for growth. This panel will contrast two types of equity investment: business angel and venture capital. In addition, the impact of equity investment on eligibility for the SBIR program will be discussed.
    Edsel Brown, Assistant Director, Office of Innovation and Technology, US Small Business Administration
    Kevin Robbins, Blue Delta Capital Partners
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    Amy Millman, President, Springboard Enterprises

  • 11:15 am - 12:00 am
    Perspectives on Licensing

    Another way to bring technology to market is through a licensing strategy. The purpose of this session is to contrast the perspectives of a large and small business when they come to the table to discuss licensing.
    Martin Oehlbeck, CLP, PMP Intellectual Portfolio, LLC
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    John Servo, Business Strategist Dawnbreaker
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  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
    LUNCH (on your own)
  • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)

    To decrease the likelihood that technology is inserted into a platform before it is sufficiently mature, NASA developed TRLs which have been adapted and adopted by most agencies. The purpose of this session will be to review the criteria used to determine TRL.
    Pete Hunt, EE, MBA, Business Strategist, Dawnbreaker, Inc.
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  • 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
    Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF)

    The Rapid Innovation Fund is another potential source of Phase III funding for those companies that can satisfy an operational or national security need that will accelerate or enhance military capability and support Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs). The purpose of this presentation is to introduce you to the RIF and how eligible companies can engage with this initiative.
    Joseph C. Piff, Director, Defense National Capital Region MCR Federal, LLC
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  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Profiles in Success

    Jeffrey Booth, Director, Sensors and Platforms Technology Center, Science & Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security
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    Christopher Miles, Deputy Director for Standards Integration and Application, Office of Standards

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  • 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
    Opportunities for Test and Evaluation within DHS

    Various initiatives such as Operational Experimentation (OpEx) and Joint Interagency Field Experimentations (JIFX) provide opportunities for T&E. The process of becoming involved with these and other opportunities will be discussed
    Paul Bertovich, OpEx Lead, DHS Science and Technology Directorate
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John Pucci
SBIR Program Director, DHS Science and Technology

John Pucci is the DHS SBIR Program Director. He has been in that role since May 2016 after joining DHS in October 2015. Prior to that he was the Operations Manager for the Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program from June 2008 until October 2015. He also served as the Acting Program Manager from December 2009 until June 2010. Mr. Pucci has an extensive history of supporting research for the Department of Defense (DoD), working at the Army Materiel Command (AMC DCSRDA) and the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command RDECOM for 18 years and at the Naval Electronic Systems Command (NAVELEX) and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) for 14 years before that

Manny Oliver
Director of the SBIR/STTR Programs Office, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Manny Oliver has served as the Director of the SBIR/STTR Programs Office within the Department of Energy since 2010. During his tenure he has focused on streamlining the operation of the programs, working collaboratively with DOE National Labs to foster technology transfer, and improving commercialization outcomes.

Prior to joining DOE, Manny spent 16 years leading applied R&D and technology commercialization efforts at Motorola. He performed R&D in Li ion polymer batteries, biochips, haptics, wearable user interfaces and mobile surveillance and has received 18 U.S. patents. He previously held positions as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and as a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories. He received both his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science from MIT.

Martin Oehlbeck, CLP, PMP
Managing Director, Intellectual Portfolio LLC

Mr. Oehlbeck is a registered patent agent and has held responsibility for all aspects of intellectual property management at two Fortune 500 global manufacturing companies. At both Praxair and the Eastman Kodak Company, Mr. Oehlbeck was responsible for strategy, creation, protection and licensing of assets to provide the best Return on Investment. Mr. Oehlbeck was responsible for negotiating acceptable terms and conditions related to NDA, JDA, licenses and teaming agreements. Commercial successes included both software and hardware centric products. Mr. Oehlbeck also leveraged brands trademarks and know-how in line with business development activities

Edsel Brown
Assistant Director for the Office of Technology, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Mr. Brown has served with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) since 1990. He is currently the Assistant Director for the Office of Technology. In this position he provides oversight over the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.He has served in several other positions during his tenure at SBA including: Assistant Administrator for Management & Technical Assistance, Office of Business Development; Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business; and Financial Analyst, Office of Small Business Investment Companies.

Mr. Brown’s experience includes owning and operating a Liberty Tax Service franchise, serving as a Financial Advisor to a handful of broker dealers, and operating a solo law firm focusing on sport and entertainment law. He has been very active in community affairs and has belonged to a number of organizations including Rotary International, YMCA, NAACP, Calvert County (MD) Economic Development Commission, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and a Board Member to several Chambers of Commerce.

A native of Plainfield, NJ, Mr. Brown holds B.A. (Government) and M.A. (Public Administration) degrees from Ohio University. He also holds a J.D. (Law) degree from the University of Toledo College of Law.

Kevin Robbins
Co-founder, Blue Delta Capital Partners

Kevin is the co-founder of Blue Delta Capital Partners, a growth capital firm focused on the U.S. Federal Government Technology (GovTech) marketplace. Mr. Robbins serves on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board for numerous privately-held growth companies and non-profit organizations. Mr. Robbins was actively involved in BDCP’s successful investment in KTSi (acq. by Scitor), 42Six (acq. by CSC), Acentia (acq. by MAXIMUS), and PAE (acq. by Platinum Equity).

Mr. Robbins previously worked in Corporate Development at SRA International, where he was a senior member of the team responsible for strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, corporate spinoffs, and key industry relationships. During his tenure at SRA, he played a lead role in four different strategic planning cycles, the acquisitions of Spectrum Solutions Group, Mercomms, RABA Technologies, Constella Group, Interface & Control Systems and Era Corporation, as well as the divestitures of Mantas, Inc. (acq. by Oracle), and The Futures Group. Mr. Robbins also served as SRA’s Small Business Liaison Officer, helping to identify critical small business teaming partners and approving subcontracting plans.

Before joining SRA, Mr. Robbins was a key member of the team at ABS Capital Partners that invested in successful growth companies such as Liquidity Services, Inc. (Nasdaq “LQDT”) and American Public Education, Inc. (Nasdaq “APEI”). Mr. Robbins was also a senior member of the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) and Energy Technology investment teams at General Electric’s GE Equity division, where he also became certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt. Mr. Robbins began his career at Alex. Brown, working in the Consumer & Business Services group.Mr. Robbins holds an A.B. in Economics from Dartmouth College.

Jeffrey Booth
Director, Sensors and Platforms Technology Center, Science & Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security

Jeffrey Booth is a senior manager with 35+ years of professional experience in Federal government and private industry programs. Jeff leads the DHS Science & Technology Directorate’s Sensor, Platform & Control Systems Technology Center. The Tech Center provides; ‘applied engineering sciences to new, existing and evolving sensors, platforms and system architecture for surveillance, detection, alerts and notifications’. The intent of the Tech Center is to deliver operational results based upon DHS Components and First Responder community requirements using a commercial-first approach for solution adoption.

Christopher Miles
Deputy Director for Standards Integration and Application, Office of Standards

Christopher (Chris) Miles is Deputy Director for Standards Integration and Application in the Systems Engineering and Standards Division/Office of Standards of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). He currently manages the development of rapid and low‐cost DNA analysis for family relationship verification and in the past has managed the biometrics basic research portfolio efforts in multi‐biometric research, standoff biometrics, and decision fusion research. Mr. Miles is a federal liaison to the Sponsor's Committee for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), a 15-year Industry/University Cooperative Research Center with 20 federal and industry sponsors and 13 Universities that have conducted over 300 research projects to date (https://citer.clarkson.edu).

Mr. Miles received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering from George Mason University and previously worked for the Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice where he managed the biometric, sensor and surveillance, and firearm technology portfolios. Prior to NIJ, he provided technical support to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s display technology program which developed many of the HDTV components, and worked for the U.S. Army Night Vision Laboratory on thermal targeting systems.

Pete Hunt, P.E. MBA
Dawnbreaker, Inc.

Pete Hunt joined Dawnbreaker in September of 2007 as a Portfolio Manager. He has a strong background in project management, strategic planning, research and development, and customer service with over 10 years experience in the pharmaceutical and chemical capital equipment industry. Mr. Hunt brings with him a solid end-user's perspective of technology development and first hand knowledge of working for a large manufacturer. He held several positions at Pfaudler, starting as a Reconditioning Engineer and progressing to designing multi-million dollar reactor systems as a Product Engineer and most recently working as a Senior Product Engineer concentrating on new product design and development. Once development was complete, Mr. Hunt worked with both the sales and marketing groups to commercialize the product.

At Dawnbreaker, Mr. Hunt is a Business Acceleration Manager (BAM) providing guidance to small businesses that have won SBIR/STTR awards through the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation (DOT), and Department of Homeland Security. In addition, Mr. Hunt is the Program Manager for Dawnbreaker’s contract with the DOT, executing their Commercialization Assistance Program for small businesses.

Mr. Hunt has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and received his MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. He is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma, business honor society and he holds a Professional Engineering license in the State of New York.

Joseph C. Piff
Director, Defense National Capital Region, MCR Federal, LLC

Mr. Piff is a Program Management executive with over four decades of experience supporting and leading Naval research and development and acquisition projects. For the past six years, Mr. Piff has supported the Department of the Navy’s Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) Program. He is currently assigned as the Technology Transition Coordinator for the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) and the Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA). Mr. Piff has considerable experience with hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) systems for surface ships and submarines including all aspects of warship operations at sea. He has worked in both small and large industry organizations.

Mr. Piff also is a published author of technical management articles and is a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He has served as a committee officer on the development teams of several IEEE standards.

Mr. Piff holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and a Master of Engineering in Engineering Administration from The George Washington University

Paul Bertovich
Operational Experimentation Program Manager, DHS Science and Technology

Paul Bertovich leads the Operational Experimentation (OpEx) program within DHS Science & Technology (S&T) Public Private Partnerships (P3) office. Activities within the program are designed to assess the operational utility of new technologies through planned activities with operational end users. Technology focus areas for OpEx activities come from both DHS Operational Components and state/local first responders. OpEx activities help operator’s better understand if developing technology can be supportive of mission needs, and can also provide feedback to developers allowing for faster and more efficient development cycle.

Prior to joining S&T, Paul worked at DHS NPPD/Infrastructure Protection as the first IP LNO embedded with a FEMA National Incident Management Assistance Team (N-IMAT). This role was designed to advise FEMA at disaster locations on key Critical Infrastructure needs during the initial stages of disaster response.

Paul began his federal career at FEMA within the National Exercise Division (NED) where he led several program including the Regional Exercise Program and the National Exercise Program. Paul also worked in FEMA’s response division for several years assigned to a National Incident Management Assistance Team (N-IMAT) supporting disaster response and recovery efforts.

Paul is a life member of the Fair Oaks VFD in Fairfax County, VA. Paul was a member of the Fairfax County Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) team, VA-TF1, for 19 years responding to incidents beginning with the Oklahoma City bombing and his final deployment was to Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake in 2011

John G. Servo
Vice President and Business Acceleration Manager, Dawnbreaker, Inc

John Servo is the Vice President of Dawnbreaker, a professional services firm specializing in commercialization assistance to advanced technology firms. Since 1990 Dawnbreaker has conducted the highly successful Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Approximately 50% of the participants in the last four programs received private sector investment within 18 months of program completion. The company has also worked with over 100 small R&D firms funded by the Department of Defense's (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), assisting them to create sound commercialization plans.

Mr. Servo is an active member of Dawnbreaker's commercialization team and works with small and large firms participating in programs that the company conducts for DOE, DoD, and DoC. Most of Dawnbreaker's programs culminate in an investment event referred to as the Commercialization Opportunity Forum, attended by Directors and Vice Presidents of large corporations and venture capital firms. Mr. Servo has primary responsibility for the company's interface with the investment community and for participation by investors at these Forums.

John has a strong background in sales, acquired over a 20 year career as a master salesman, sales trainer, sales manager, and general manager. He assists private clients with gathering market research, strategic planning, and contract negotiations.

Dr. Jenny Servo
Founder and President, Dawnbreaker, Inc

Dr. Servo is the founder and president of Dawnbreaker. She has written extensively on the topic of innovation with articles appearing in The Futurist, Intrepreneurial Excellence, and Innovation in the Work Place. Dr. Servo is also the senior author on the books that are used with our clients including Business Planning for Scientists and Engineers; Knock Their Socks Off: Making Winning Presentations to Investors; and Indicators of Commercial Potential.

Within Dawnbreaker, Dr. Servo specializes in the design of programs for Federal and State Agencies and in assisting small, advanced technology firms with business planning, market research, strategic planning, and organizational development. She is a frequent speaker at many national and state-related SBIR Conferences.

From 1985-1988, Jenny worked as a consultant to Kodak's Office of Innovation where she was responsible for developing training programs for innovation facilitators and monitoring customer satisfaction with the Office of Innovation. Dr. Servo was also responsible for monitoring various aspects of Kodak's internal venturing process and providing recommendations on the training needs of new venture management teams. Dr. Servo is bilingual in Spanish and in the mid-80's consulted with the Organization of American States on issues regarding technology transfer.

Jenny received her MS from the University of Kansas and her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.



Please take a moment to register for the Workshop on June 28th.
When you are finished please select the submit button.

If you have any further questions please contact John Pucci of DHS at john.pucci@hq.dhs.gov or 202.254.6837 or Jenny Servo of Dawnbreaker at jcservo@dawnbreaker.com or 585.594.8641.



Courtyard Marriott

Residence Inn by Marriott Washington, DC Downtown

Address:: 1199 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.898.1100

You will find the information for your online reservation link below. If you have questions or need help with the link, please do not hesitate to ask. We appreciate your business and look forward

Start Date: Thursday, June 27, 2019
End Date: Friday, June 28, 2019
Last Day to Book: Thursday, May 30, 2019
Hotel(s) offering your special group rate: Residence Inn Washington, DC Downtown for 251 USD per night

Book your group rate for Dawnbreaker Meeting



Frank Barros

If you wish to discuss this in greater detail please contact John Pucci of DHS at john.pucci@hq.dhs.gov or 202.254.6837

Frank Barros

You can also feel free to contact Jenny Servo at Dawnbreaker jcservo@dawnbreaker.com or 202.254.8764