Thursday, June 23, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM CDT
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St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center 
1091 Sutherland Avenue
River Falls, WI 54022

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Pat Lawton 
Defense Alliance

About the Defense Alliance

MISSION:  Defense Alliance is a private entity that accelerates commercialization for technology products and services, and contributes to regional economic development by supporting small businesses in the Midwest.  Membership is free, and limited business development services are provided free of charge.  The Alliance also contributes to the vibrancy of the defense industry and the national technology base in various market areas such as:  power and energy, strategic natural resources, cybersecurity, and others. The national technology base is driven largely by defense requirements and spending (both off-the-shelf and R&D), and firms are encouraged to consider funding their innovations through DoD programs where available.

Federal Contracting as a Way to
Jump Start Your Business

Join Defense Alliance for a 75-minute lunchtime presentation (box lunch included):  Federal Contracting as a Way to Jump Start Your Business.  The U.S. Federal government is arguably the largest Venture Capitalist in the world, and can be an excellent source of funds to advance commercialization of new technology, and to enhance business development – especially for small businesses.  This event will cover:

  • Definition of the Federal Government as an investor
  • Overview of Federal Government market opportunities
  • Types of funding available
  • Best practices for working with and marketing to the Federal government
  • Intellectual Property and commercialization issues

This event will include a Q&A session to answer specific questions, and to ensure that you have the ability to effectively follow up with Defense Alliance and its many partners; and the opportunity to sign up for one-on-one sessions with the presenters during the balance of the afternoon.


  • 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Gather, Registration, Networking
  • 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM: Presentations + Q&A
  • 1:15 PM – 4:30 PM: One-On-One Sessions available (duration depends on number of RSVPs)


Chip Laingen:  Chip is Executive Director of Defense Alliance, an SBA-funded technology cluster, with members in 36 states.  Chip was an Executive Fellow for the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrative Leadership, and is currently on the graduate faculty at the Technological Leadership Institute.  He has a masters degree in Public Affairs, and was a U.S. Navy Moreau Scholar in the National Security Ph.D. Studies program of the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.  Commander Laingen is a 21-year Veteran of the U.S. Navy, holding several positions as an aviator, and as Speechwriter to the Secretary of the Navy.  He finished his career in 2004 as a squadron commanding officer.

Norb Biderman:  Prior to formation of Growth Enterprises, LLC, Norb started his career at 3M in 1979 after completing a BS in Organization Management at Quincy University.  During his 36-plus years of service at 3M, Norb held numerous business management leadership positions, domestically and internationally.  Highlights included P&L management of 3M’s pressure sensitive packaging systems business unit, the development and execution of 3M’s Defense Market business, and, 3M’s efforts in strategic accounts.