Aerospace, defense symposium comes to Mesa, ASU Wednesday

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 1:04 pm | Updated: 10:20 am, Wed Oct 17, 2012.

By Stacie Spring, Tribune

In a changing sector, a business accelerator symposium will be held Wednesday to help aerospace and defense small companies find a new direction to grow.

“There will be topic specialists who will discuss multiple topics, which will include sales, marketing and business acceleration strategies,” said Dan Nienhauser, a principle at Impact Business Accelerators, which will host the event.

And while the event is specifically targeted at small defense companies, Nienhauser said these skills can easily be applied to other companies as well.

“It’ll touch on many areas,” he said. “It will touch on how small companies can attract new business and how to attack the challenges they will be facing.”

The event will also host a panel of innovation experts, as well as an open question and answer section. It will cover organizational, operational and strategic challenges that impede growth, expansion and success.

“With the cuts to defense spending, many are small companies that will face significant program cuts in 2013,” Nienhauser said.

But those cuts don’t have to be the end for these companies, Nienhauser said. Instead, they can find new ways to adapt and expand in a changing business environment.

The experts include a representative from Continuum Advanced Systems, a Boston industrial design firm, Dr. Chell Roberts, College of Innovation and Technology executive dean, and a design manager from ECCO, a New York product innovation firm.

“It’s about finding different ways to use technologies in other opportunities,” Neinhauser said.

Continuum has experience in translating technologies across different sectors, Neinhauser said. By taking a medical bladder and putting it in a shoe, the company created what’s now known as the Reebok Pump.

The symoposium is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday sponsored by the Arizona Commerce Authority, ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation and East Valley Aviation & Aerospace Alliance.

“This is a huge opportunity for this state,” Neinhauser said about the growing technology sector. “People get caught up in big companies or sexy startups, but they forget about the guys who have five to 20 people. They’re our biggest opportunity going forward for the state.”

Brian Burt, of Snell and Wilmer, will present strategies on crowdfunding. Dave Cooke will speak about strategic sales initiatives. Anthony Bajoras, discuss his Seven Habits of Highly Effective Digital Marketing.

To RSVP to the symposium, email Neinhauser at The free event will be held 2 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at ASU Polytechnic campus in the Agribusiness Center Building, room 134. The Polytechnic campus is located at 7001 E. Williams Field Road, Mesa.

Contact writer: (480) 898-5645 or

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