3rd Annual Entrepreneur's Showcase & Leadership Forum

July 20-21, 2017
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The 3rd annual Forum will focus on strategic development of the marine robotics market space with presentations and panel discussions targeting concerns of the “C” suite (CEO, CTO, CFO, etc.).  Key questions include: What are the dynamics of emerging markets? How is the funding climate changing? What can be learned from recent acquisitions? Should you consider being acquired or go public? Autonomous underwater robots have emerged from research laboratories and are now produced by a growing cadre of marine robotics companies. However, even in an environment rife with technical innovation, creating successful marine technology ventures is demanding. The primary difficulty facing companies producing marine robots is the problem of market creation.  In many cases, AUVs and ROVs are used to accomplish tasks that previously would never have been done.  Identifying those unmet needs can be difficult, and once identified, potential customers may be slow to take advantage of new technology.  This meeting will bring marine robotics entrepreneurs together with representatives from emerging markets, government, and sponsors. The Forum will be kicked off by our 3rd showcase of marine robotics technologies on July 20th. Companies and entrepreneurs interested in showcasing your ideas and innovations in our high bay setting are welcome but space is limited.

Early-Bird Registration Closes June 15.  Forum is filling up fast. Don’t wait!

Register (Members) Register (Non-Members)


Entrepreneur Forum Initial Confirmed Speakers

  • BRIG GEN Mr. Frank Kelly, Jr (Ret.), Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Navy for Unmanned Systems (UxS) 
  • Mr. Frank Van Mierlo, CEO and President 1366 Technologies Inc., Co-Founder Bluefin Robotics
  • VADM Mike Connor (Ret.), President and CEO, ThayerMahan Inc.
  • Dr. Bernadette Johnson, Chief Science Officer, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx)
  • Mr. Rich Levandov, Partner, Avalon Venturesl
  • Ms. Christine Fox, Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, Former Acting Secretary of Defense
  • Mr. Steve An, Serial Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Forum First Look Agenda


10:00am – 12:00pm
Formal Opening of DunkWorks - DunkWorks, Smith Building, Village Campus
(WHOI’s new rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing facility)

1:00pm – 3:00pm
Showcase Exhibitor Set-Up - LOSOS High Bay, Quisset Campus

4:00pm – 7:00pm
Entrepreneurs Showcase and Networking Social - LOSOS High Bay, Quisset Campus


Leadership Forum
Clark 507, Quisset Campus

8:00am – 8:30am
Breakfast (Provided)

8:30am – 9:15am
State of Marine Robotics Economy Developments

9:15am – 10:30am
Start-Up: Connecting Innovation to Financing

10:30am – 11:00am
Networking Break

11:00am – 12:00pm
How to Work in the Emerging Defense Market

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Lunch (Provided)

Emerging Industry Markets

2:30pm – 3:00pm
Networking Break

3:00pm – 4:30pm
Innovation Ecosystem: Recipe for Success


Last updated: June 14, 2017