By Tom Fagan, IEEE Life Fellow
As a Volunteer Program Manager, working to fund entrepreneurs in the technology space, I saw great value in IEEE N3XT in Toronto, 2015. I attended in hopes of meeting aspiring entrepreneurs, successful company founders, and venture capitalists involved in the technology space. Along with gaining insights into the funding principles of this space, these conversations gave me an opportunity to discover best practices of successful start-up ventures.
N3XT Attendees and Aspiring Entrepreneurs
The primarily young attendees at IEEE N3XT had an exuberant energy, brimming with enthusiasm over ideas for new products and services, and the new companies proposed to embody and promote those new ideas. Every presentation was informative, yet succinct, wasting no time in telling the audience what they needed to know in order to find success. Each presentation demonstrated important factors of entrepreneurship, such as the fact that budding entrepreneurs need to know how to run their company and understand its structure regardless of how good their product or idea may be. A good idea needs a good company to bring it to fruition, and events like N3XT can help entrepreneurs understand this before diving in and promoting their business.
The venture capitalists at the event were forthright in articulating what they are looking for in start-up enterprises before making an investment, and it was great fun listening to the “Founder Bootcamp” start-up pitches by aspiring young entrepreneurs and seeing how they were received.
One of the very best reasons for anyone contemplating attending IEEE N3XT this year is that it provides a great networking opportunity. IEEE N3XT gives people a chance to meet and connect with many promising young entrepreneurs in the technology space. When engaging in these conversations, you can really feel their energy and passion for what they do, and it is inspiring to even the most seasoned of entrepreneurs and engineers.
The IEEE Staff has put together an excellent program. I am certainly looking forward to attending the next IEEE N3XT event in Austin, Texas on September 17, 2016.
IEEE Life Fellow
Mr. Fagan has many years of experience in the Defense & Aerospace Field. He is currently CEO of TLF Associates, a Defense and Aerospace Consulting Firm. He served for three years as Manager Congressional Relations for the General Electric Co Aerospace Group, for three and one half years as VP Government Affairs for Gould Defense, and seven and one half years as VP Government Affairs for ITT Defense (now Harris Corp.). He has also served as an Associate Research Professor and Program General Manager for Drexel University’s Applied Communications and Information Networking Project, a Center of Excellence for Network Centric Warfare. Mr. Fagan has also served as a Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow where he was a Special Assistant for Defense for Senator Strom Thurman (R-SC), and as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee. His career has spanned classified military space, hardware, software, information systems, C4ISR, and Network Centric Warfare. He has also worked on NASA’s weather satellites, earth resources satellites, ground stations, Space Shuttle payloads and science experiments.