Air Force Research Laboratory Executive Director Timothy Sakulich to Keynote

Rome, New York – The Upstate Capital Association of New York and NYSTAR will host Invest NY: Future of Aerospace and Defense at Innovare Advancement Center in Rome, NY from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 8, 2021. The event, which will be conducted in a hybrid in-person and virtual format, and will feature a keynote speech from Timothy Sakulich. He is the Executive Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory, which leads the discovery, development and delivery of warfighting technologies for air, space and cyberspace forces. The event will also include startup pitches, roundtable discussions, and opportunities for networking with investors, CEOs and industry professionals in aerospace and defense. 

Dr. Sakulich, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Executive Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is the Principal Assistant to the Commander and the Senior Civilian Executive responsible for managing the Air Force’s $3B science and technology program along with an additional $3B of externally funded research and development. He serves a government workforce of approximately 6,500 people in the laboratory’s nine component technology directorates, the 711th Human Performance Wing, and AFWERX. 

The event will be hosted at the Griffiss Institute at Innovare Advancement Center, the nation’s premier talent and technology accelerator for AI/ML, Cyber, Quantum and UAS (Unmanned Air Systems). A 150,000 square foot open innovation hub, Innovare’s unique capabilities include highly specialized laboratories for experimentation in quantum information science and neuromorphic computing, 40,000 square feet of high-tech and high-speed communications-enabled collaboration spaces, an auditorium with capacity for over 250 people, a 50-mile drone corridor for advanced unmanned aircraft operations, and coming in spring 2022 – an indoor UAS research and testing facility with 22,500 square foot indoor flight testing area – the largest in the United States.

“We are excited to provide investors, entrepreneurs, and startups in the aerospace and defense industries the opportunity to engage with each other either in-person or online. The Invest NY Series events connect innovators, business leaders and investors with opportunities to work together. This hybrid format enables us to do so in an intimate setting while reaching a broad audience of entrepreneurs and investors outside New York,” said Noa Simons, President and CEO of Upstate Capital. 

“Hosting Invest NY at the Griffiss Institute’s cutting-edge facility at Innovare Advancement Center is a meaningful milestone for us. To bring together top talent in aerospace and defense from here at home, and across the country, fits perfectly with the GI mission as a technology and talent accelerator,” says Heather Hage, President and CEO of Griffiss Institute. “We are grateful to Upstate Capital and NYSTAR for their partnership in bringing this program to Rome, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Innovare for unparalleled networking and insights into the future of defense and aerospace in New York and beyond.”

Anthony J Picente, JR., Oneida County Executive said, “Oneida County continues to flourish as a world-renowned hub for all things high tech. We are proud to host this highly-esteemed event at our facility at Griffiss International Airport that will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst to launch ideas from the great minds gathering from the defense and aerospace industries. The county’s investments are paying great dividends, and along with our partners at the Griffiss Institute, our Innovare Advancement Center has quickly established itself as the go-to place for collaboration and innovation across multiple technological sectors.”

The event will start with an invitation-only CEO Roundtable for founders, followed by 3-minute company introductions from 10-15 startups. All attendees will hear from investors and business leaders. In addition to the keynote address from Timothy Sakulich, panelists include Pat Baskinger and MC Chruscicki discussing founding and running AX Enterprize, Charles Green and Dan Kalil of Assured Information Security sharing how they built AIS, Thomas Hendrix of Decisive Point moderating a VC investor panel with Jonathan Greene of New York Ventures and Daniel Hanks of Lavrock Ventures, and David Kocen of Bluehenge Capital Partners speaking with Greg Wales of Ventoux Industrial Holdings and Mike Faulkner of Weco Manufacturing Group. In-person attendees will enjoy networking at the Innovare Summer Soiree, including facility tours of Innovare Advancement Center and everyone can network online any time after signing up for the event.

Tickets are available online. Information and updates about the event, including the agenda and speakers, can be found on the website. Press passes are available. Please contact for more information about the event or Upstate Capital. 

About Upstate Capital:  The Upstate Capital Association of New York connects investors across the capital stack to opportunities across New York. The member-driven organization increases access to capital for companies and deal flow for investors by maintaining a robust, statewide network of capital providers, professional advisors and supporting organizations. Through regular events and educational content, Upstate Capital facilitates the development of relationships and knowledge to support the PE + M&A community and the VC + Growth ecosystem.

About NYSTAR: Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) programs and centers emphasize the importance of working with industry as a way to leverage New York State’s technology strengths to produce new products. The state also offers other innovation development support resources, including financial incentives, to foster university collaboration, research and innovation.