Federal Innovators: Part VI
Photo: Second from left, on a Napa Valley trip with friends.
Company: Cybersecurity firm launched by Anup in 2009 that stops advanced threats against corporate networks.
Innovative project: Through Invincea Labs, developed innovations for USG, primarily funded by DARPA. One recent innovation was developing a distributed network of sensors for nuclear radiation detection that can be worn by first responders.
Innovation inspiration: Government has had a long history of inspiring tech innovations that produce multibillion-dollar commercial markets. Threats to national security and the commercial sector inspire Invincea to develop a new generation of advanced security technologies for the computing infrastructure.
Why this career: Was trained as an engineer—PhD in electrical engineering from UVA.
Grew up: Born in Raleigh, NC, but moved around. Ended up in Worcester, MA.
Why DC: Fell in love with the area after moving to Virginia for UVA grad school.
First job: Paper route and mowing lawns.
Free time: Avid reader of health-related books, go to the gym, bicycle and golf.
Family: Married 20 years; one son (15); brother in NJ and dad in NC.
Favorite vacation spot: Outer Banks, NC
Bucket list: Play golf on the old courses of Scotland, Ireland.
Daily habit: Gym workout; bike to work 7 miles some days.
Startling fact: Follows a strict Paleo diet.
Andrew Chang and Geoff Orazem
Co-founders, Eastern Foundry
Company: Accelerator, co-working space (21k SF) and marketplace for tech companies interested in federal government work. Organization has evolved from its launch in December when it was a co-working space for government contractors. It’s now at capacity with 52 companies and has a waiting list.
Innovative project: Launching Foundry Cup, a business challenge competition, in June, to find innovative solutions for PTSD for veterans.
Innovation inspiration: Andrew: While at Endgame, he saw the challenge of bringing Silicon Valley-type innovation to the government; Geoff: Frustration from the effect of long and inefficient procurement cycles on the battlefield and the realization that there’s tremendous opportunity for increased efficiency and reduced costs of services to make the country more economically healthy.
Why this career: Andrew: While an Army intel officer, realized that the military wasn't getting the best cutting edge technology on the front lines and wanted better technology for national security; Geoff: Each experience, from military to academia to McKinsey consultant, helped his ability to see problems and solve them.
Photo: Geoff and his girlfriend.
Grew up: Geoff: Born in California, grew up in the Deep South. Andrew: LaGrange, GA.
Why DC: Andrew: To work for Endgame’s federal division; Geoff: parents moved to Annapolis while finishing high school.
First job: Andrew: Dad paid a nickel for every pine cone retrieved on five-acre property; Geoff: waited tables in a dive bar.
Free time: Andrew: travel; Geoff: hang out with girlfriend, cook, work out and starting a master’s program in international studies at Johns Hopkins.
Family: Andrew: Goldendoodle puppy named Teddy; Geoff: surrogate father to Teddy.
Favorite vacation spot: Andrew: Greece; Geoff: Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Hanoi.
Bucket list: Andrew: run a marathon; Geoff: start a second company, get involved in politics and learn to fly airplanes
Daily habit: Andrew: walk Teddy three times per day; Geoff: watch one mindless TV show
Startling fact: Andrew: I love country music; Geoff: was a cowboy in Idaho, helping great uncle with cattle and managing crops.
Director of Applied Data Science, Novetta
Company: Data analytics company helping national security, intel and private-sector customers protect their networks. Role is to make sure Novetta products are sensible, scale well and that the data they collect and analytics they perform are accurate.
Innovative project: Novetta’s Cyber Analytics product, which allows customers to capture huge quantities of network information at extremely high volumes, store it and perform analytics.
Innovation inspiration: Known for a long time that career would focus on cybersecurity. Wanted to work on products that empower people in their jobs and cutting the time they spend fixing datasets or weeding through huge sets of logs.
Why this career: Grew up with computers and knew early on that people who worked well with computers had an advantage. Been lucky to have mentors who have taken career path seriously.
Grew up: Moved around, lived in Atlanta before DC.
Why DC: Job with Endgame; East Coast is biggest hotbed of talent and domain expertise.
First job: Sold uniforms for private schools while in high school.
Free time: Rock climbing and cooking
Favorite vacation spot: Seattle
Bucket list: Parachuting and hang gliding
Daily habits: Exercise for an hour or two.