November 7, 2019
MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen Speaks at TEDCO's 2019 Entrepreneur Expo
Over 900 of the region’s entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, legislators and business owners, including MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen gathered at TEDCO’s 2019 Entrepreneurial Expo last week.
Cohen, serving in his dual-role capacity as CEO of MasterPeace LaunchPad startup Zuul IoT, took part in a TEDCO Expo panel discussion centered around selling cybersecurity solutions to the enterprise, and spoke about the importance of forming lasting, interpersonal networking connections when creating new businesses.
October 28, 2019
AHA Radio Interviews MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen
MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen was featured on AHA Radio's CEO Spotlight Show with Greg Otto and Jen O’Daniel, where he spoke in depth about MasterPeace’s unique model and the company’s groundbreaking approach to providing unique career opportunities for government services engineering talent.
Don’t pass up this unique chance to learn about what makes MasterPeace different, and how its LaunchPad incubator encourages engineers to transform creative ideas into commercial-grade technology startups. Our model provides a unique benefit to all employees, equity participation in every startup. It also provides engineers that want to launch their own company a platform, resources, mentoring, and funding. Drew’s interview is featured from 15:45 to 29:00.
October 21, 2019
MasterPeace LaunchPad Director Bill Olsen Helps Judge Minority Innovation Weekend Startup Pitches
MasterPeace LaunchPad CEO Bill Olsen helped cap off Baltimore Innovation Week’s third annual Minority Innovation weekend by taking part in a panel that helped judge the effectiveness of several minority-affiliated startups’ business model pitch presentations. Olsen’s participation was part of his ongoing outreach to local entrepreneurial technology groups, done in part to increase MasterPeace LaunchPad’s visibility in the Central Maryland community.
An anti-cyberbullying mobile application, online legal services platform, and a company focused on facilitating the sale and purchase of vehicle parking assets were judged to be the winners of the event, and as a result received a six-month membership to the Incubate Baltimore program, which offers resources including mentorship and potential seed capital.
September 10, 2019
MasterPeace LaunchPad, a technology accelerator that functions inside MasterPeace Solutions Ltd.’s government services business, today announced the initiation of their newest cohort class. MasterPeace’s program is modeled after the Lean LaunchPad start-up Business and Engineering school class taught at Stanford University, based on a methodology created by entrepreneur Steve Blank to support the launch of commercially focused technology companies.
Led by Director of LaunchPad Operations, William Olsen, this program covers all the technical and business aspects required to transform a startup concept into a viable commercial business, rather than just coaching cohort members on giving fundraising pitches or product demos. Last year’s 2018 graduates of the MasterPeace LaunchPad program created new companies including Yikes, which has contributed network security, engineering, and operations defense expertise to the NIST-led consortium for Mitigating IoT-Based DDoS, and Zuul, currently deploying national transportation market solutions for securing connected devices and payment systems. Another cohort from last year’s class, FactChain, will officially launch and begin selling product in the fall of 2019.
“MasterPeace LaunchPad is diversifying Maryland’s economic base by leveraging its Cyber and Technology talent pool to create new product companies and career opportunities for engineers who have previously focused on the Government Contracting sector,” said Drew Cohen, MasterPeace President and CEO. “We are glad to have the opportunity to support this new group of talented individuals and are eager to continue providing a platform for our engineers to create and launch new product companies.”
The five new SpinCo teams that comprise MasterPeace LaunchPad’s 2019 cohort class, some of which may turn into commercial companies that ultimately “spin out”, are working to build businesses that deliver unique technology to the marketplace. Two examples of the new startup’s offerings are described below:
ElectraZoom, an IoT enablement platform and device toolkit that provides one click onboarding of IoT devices into a mixed vendor/device environment. The ElectraZoom platform controls, manages, and monitors devices in a consistent manner, and is able to perform functions and interoperate in a network of heterogenous IoT devices. Users pick the IoT device they want and are not locked into what is available from a single manufacturer. The platform supports industrial enterprises in implementing machine learning, surveillance, factory automation, and more.
DataLocker, developed by LaunchPad’s Uplift Portfolio Service team as their first AWS service, offers PII-Data-Management-as-a-service to manage and store encrypted PII and HIPAA data to ensure that if a company is breached, critical information is not taken in the process. Advanced analytics monitor and block queries that are potentially malicious, alerting the SOC/CIRT and identifying the potential threat before the data loss. This reduces risk and cost, and will be an AWS marketplace service that can be easily added to existing AWS solutions. With a few simple configuration settings, this capability can be engaged and a company’s critical PII data is secured.
Following the completion of the LaunchPad Program, each company will showcase their technology at Demo Day in early February 2020. MasterPeace’s 2018 Demo Day included attendees such as Maryland Lieutenant Governor, Boyd Rutherford, and Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball.
“From our Innovation Center to the locally-based MasterPeace LaunchPad, Howard County is on the cutting edge of economic growth. By creating a culture that welcomes new businesses, leverages our strategic location, and utilizes our talented workforce, our community continues to be a land of opportunity,” said Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball. “I congratulate the new cohort class at MasterPeace and look forward to the innovative business ideas they are sure to create.”
March 20, 2019
CyberScoop’s Securiosity Podcast Interviews MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen
MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen was featured on CyberScoop's Securiosity podcast with Greg Otto and Jen O’Daniel, where he spoke in depth about MasterPeace’s unique model and the company’s groundbreaking approach to providing unique career opportunities for government services engineering talent.
Don’t pass up this unique chance to learn about what makes MasterPeace different, and how its LaunchPad incubator encourages engineers to transform creative ideas into commercial-grade technology startups. Our model provides a unique benefit to all employees, equity participation in every startup. It also provides engineers that want to launch their own company a platform, resources, mentoring, and funding. Drew’s interview is featured from 29:05 to 47:53:
March 13, 2019 - Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) announced that it has taken steps to formalize internet standards in regards to Manufactured User Descriptions (MUDs). MUD allows manufacturers to specify the intended network behaviors of the devices they build. MasterPeace engineers actively participated in this standard, and also developed an open source MUD Manager, osMUD.org, that implements the MUD standard. The MUD Manager communicates with network services, detecting when devices enter and leave the network and automatically implements network security rules based on a device’s MUD specification. In addition, Yikes!, a commercial startup incubated within the MasterPeace LaunchPad accelerator, will deliver a commercial product, available later this spring. The Yikes! product will bring automated, state-of-the-art network security and management, including MUD, to small business and consumer networks.
January 27, 2019 - The Washington Post
MasterPeace Solutions CEO Drew Cohen spoke to The Washington Post's Aaron Gregg about the future of transportation infrastructure and the increasing need for effective cybersecurity systems in his capacity as CEO of Zuul, the Industrial IoT Security startup being spun out of MasterPeace's Launchpad incubator. Following the announcement that an early prototype of Boeing’s self-driving air taxi completed its first test flight at an airfield in Manassas, VA on Tuesday, January 22nd, Cohen told the Post that when people are being flown through the air, “the price of not getting [security] right is higher.” Zuul provides a full security industrial IoT lifecycle for transportation networks that discovers, enrolls, and manages devices, hardens devices against compromise, manages updates remotely, provides network defense and situation awareness, and supports rapid and effective response.
December 14, 2018 - Baltimore Business Journal
A newly launched MasterPeace LaunchPad cyber startup, Yikes!, is looking to market technology that could prevent internet-connected devices from infecting the networks in people's homes and small businesses. When a new smart device comes on a network, it has a URL web address. Using that URL, Yikes! technology could check with the manufacturer to get specific information about what the device is supposed to do. Devices can then be classified, segmented and monitored on a home or small business network, to ensure no device is behaving in ways it shouldn't, or allowing potentially harmful external forces to gain access.
The company is currently working to validate its technology through an ongoing project with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Yikes! plans to begin selling to consumers by the end of the first quarter next year. Yikes! plans to pilot test internally at MasterPeace, and is in the process of identifying managed services providers, or IT services providers, as potential distribution partners.
December 13, 2018 - Technical.ly Baltimore
A recent Demo Day that provided a look at the companies working out of MasterPeace's LaunchPad accelerator put some of the development work being done on display, complete with pitches and a video message from Lean Startup originator Steve Blank. Yikes! seeks to protect networks within homes and small businesses from potential threats that originate outside the network, while FactChain uses Blockchain technology to secure business transactions and a team that formed called Uplift seeks to design a platform to convert existing legacy web-based applications to serverless.
December 6, 2018
MasterPeace LaunchPad Showcases Four Cutting-Edge Technology Startups at 3rd Annual Demo Day
MasterPeace LaunchPad hosted its 3rd annual Demo Day, which took place on Wednesday, December 5th. Attendees were joined by a notable group of state and local influencers and industry speakers, including Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, and former Tenable CEO/Chairman Ron Gula, to discuss the growing Maryland Cyber startup eco-system. The Zuul IoT, FactChain, Uplift and newly unveilved Yikes! startup teams treated attendees to demonstrations of four products taking shape in the MasterPeace LaunchPad accelerator. MasterPeace leadership also provided some insights into how it is helping these startups put Lean LaunchPad methodologies into practice, including a virtual shout out from Lean LaunchPad creator and author Steve Blank.
The discussion highlighted the significant progress MasterPeace has made as it leverages the region's engineering talent to contribute to Central Maryland's development as a hub of commercial technology innovation. The four startup products on display also showcased the breadth of MasterPeace LaunchPad's development approach, which utilizes a broad range of cutting-edge technologies including IoT PKI, Blockchain, AWS Lambdas, and Software Defined Networking and Micro-nets.
As MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen put it, “The key to MasterPeace LaunchPad’s success is our talent. The Columbia area is a world class resource for cyber and engineering talent, but the vast majority of that talent is deployed in Federal Government or Commercial services companies. MasterPeace LaunchPad provides a platform for those individuals to create and launch new product companies, scale the impact of their skills to a global market and become an engine for the region’s continued economic growth. This is the reason key state and county officials like Lt. Gov. Rutherford and County Executive Ball, along with proven Cyber entrepreneurs like Ron Gula, are willing to take time from their business schedules to support our startups.”
November 7, 2018
MasterPeace Solutions has announced osMUD, an open source project to reduce the vulnerability of IoT devices within consumer and small business environments based on the new IETF MUD standard. The project was shared with NIST's National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) and will be further developed as one of the first open source Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD) managers.
The project will rely upon the combined expertise of device manufacturers, security vendors and administrators to proactively and automatically secure IoT endpoint. Implementing MUD in routers and network devices will assure that IoT connected devices do not communicate with or access places that are not approved ahead of time. Together, the consortium will produce a NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide, a freely available description of the solution and practical steps needed to help consumers and small businesses mitigate IoT-based threats.
October 12, 2018 - Baltimore Business Journal
MasterPeace Solutions Drew Cohen returned as a featured panel speaker at the CyberMaryland Conference this year, and took the chance to focus on both the opportunities and potential pitfalls presented by the ongoing growth of smart cities that will soon affect areas like Baltimore and Washington, DC.
With the number of connected devices is constantly growing, major cities across the country are working to become "smart cities,” with the sudden appearance of solar paneled WiFi-enabled trash cans, app-powered electric scooters and more heralding that exciting transition in Baltimore. Yet with more smart technologies, comes more cyber vulnerabilities. Cohen, at the CyberMaryland panel, pointed to an event in which a teenager hacked into a train network in Poland and "basically used it as his personal train set,” by virtually manipulating machines in real time, highlighting the growing need for increased, reliable security.
June 6, 2018
Masterpeace Solutions Welcomes Bill Olsen As Director of LaunchPad Operations
Please join us in welcoming our new Director of Launchpad Operations, Bill Olsen.
Bill brings his significant experience with nationally recognized programs: Hacking for Defense and I-Corps, enabling him to scale and accelerate the companies in our LaunchPad portfolio. A proven leader, most recently as a Director at Booz Allen, Bill has over 30 years of extensive background in developing and mentoring technical teams, developing systems and solutions that meet critical mission needs, and applying best practices in rapid start-up processes to technology innovation teams. Bill also brings a large network of executive-level relationships with labs, entrepreneurs, and academic institutions. We look forward to integrating Bill into our leadership team and scaling our innovation program at Masterpeace.
For more information on MasterPeace LaunchPad, please visit https://www.mplaunchpad.com.
April 25, 2018
MasterPeace Solutions is proud to announce that it has been named one of “The Best Places to Work” by Baltimore Business Journal for 2018. MasterPeace was selected as one of the 10 Best Midsize Companies to Work for, from among 230 total submissions in the Greater Baltimore Region based on its innovative model as a technology company incubator, strong management structure and dedication to work/life balance.
"This award reflects that we’ve built a company that is objectively differentiated from other government services organizations," said MasterPeace CEO Drew Cohen. "MasterPeace was purposely designed to help our employees build their career to realize their maximum potential and achieve their dreams.
April 25, 2018
MasterPeace Solutions SpinCo Makes a Splash at 2018 RSA Conference
MasterPeace Solutions CEO Drew Cohen and Zuul CTO Edward Stanford attended the 2018 RSA Conference, one of the nation's premier InfoSec and Cybersecurity annual events, where Mr. Stanford discussed Zuul's capabilities with ITProTV's Daniel Lowrie. Mr. Stanford, a former Masterpeace services engineer now leading the company's most successful startup to date, spoke about Zuul's unique IoT Security domain features, including PKI-access, and how the company provides significant value for stakeholders ranging from smart transportation networks to commercial building automation.
Please check out the full interview below:
March 27, 2018
Zuul, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) startup that originated within MasterPeace Solutions, has been recognized by Info Security Products Guide as Security Start Up of the Year in the 2018 Global Excellence Awards. Zuul was formed in November 2016 within the MasterPeace LaunchPad technology accelerator, and within just 14 months has raised more than $300,000 in capital and secured its first global customer.
January 9, 2018 - Technical.ly Baltimore
Zuul Raises $300k After Starting Inside MasterPeace Solutions
A cybersecurity startup that began inside Columbia-based MasterPeace Solutions has $300,000 in new funding to move from a product development phase toward gaining new customers. Zuul, which specializes in Internet of Things security, was among the first batch of companies backed by Masterpeace as part of an in-house acclerator program that’s designed to help employees of the firm form their own startups. It’s now the first startup from the MasterPeace Launchpad to raise capital.
January 9, 2018 - Baltimore Business Journal
Zuul is the first company to spin out of Columbia cyber firm, MasterPeace Solutions Ltd.'s, in-house accelerator and raise a seed round. The nine-person company specializes in deployment of large-scale Internet of Things installations, or making sure all of the web-connected devices involved in big projects like smart buildings or public transport systems are secure. Zuul has secured its first customer and raised $300,000 from Maryland Technology Development Corp., MasterPeace and other local angel investors.
January 9, 2018 - Business Wire
Zuul, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) secure device management platform, today announced that they have raised $300,000 in seed funding and secured their first customer. TEDCO, MasterPeace LaunchPad and local angel investors participated in the seed round, which will provide the fuel that Zuul needs to expand its sales effort and increase support for additional IoT platforms. Their first customer is a global public sector transportation and mobility company. Zuul will enter 2018 with a roadmap to begin software deployment in select U.S. municipalities.
December 7, 2017 - The CyberWire Podcast
CEO Drew Cohen joined The CyberWire Podcast on December 7th to discuss the evolving nature of technology startups, and how the government's cybersecurity ecosystem is uniquely positioned to tackle the deep technology problems that today's startups are likely to focus on. "The skills people have learned doing government research and government technology development are more applicable to today's startup word," Cohen noted, "...and that benefits this area." Mr. Cohen's remarks can be found at the 4:40 mark of The CyberWire Daily Podcast.
October 25, 2017 - Technical.ly Baltimore
Following CEO Drew Cohen's panel discussion at the CyberMaryland Conference in Baltimore earlier this month, Technical.ly Baltimore showcased MasterPeace Solutions' role as a primary contributor in the development of Maryland's Cybersecurity Startup ecosystem. Reporter Stephen Babcock highlighted both Cohen's innovative approach to startup scalability, as well as the growing relationship between MasterPeace and former Tenable Network Security CEO Ron Gula, who along with his wife Cyndi, are spearheading investment in the next-generation of Maryland cybersecurity ventures.