Event Details


The DEF leadership team, members, and friends head out to the Rocky Mountains for the 2018 annual conference from October 12th-14th. Colorado is our Nation's national security capital of the West - home of the Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, and Schriever AFB, with Buckley AFB nearby. Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs all have active ROTC programs and boast growing startup scenes with innovative companies. The defense innovation community is alive and thriving in Denver, and we will gather our innovative minds at this hub of innovation to continue the great work of the virtuous insurgency!


Our conference continues to respond and adapt to the needs of our members. This year's conference will showcase innovations meant to springboard innovation and produce solutions in the "unconference" portion of the conference. Participants will guide topic choices and be matched into interest groups for streamlined networking.

Saturday, October 13th: Grid Collaborative Workspace (445 Broadway)

8:00 AM Breakfast at Grid Collaborative Workspace

9:00 AM Cultural Change in the Era of Lethality Panel

10:15 AM Firestarter Fellowship Introductions

10:30 AM DEF Story - Firestarter Fellow Christopher Knutson

10:45 AM Tech Development and Acquisition as Strategic Messaging and Deterrence Panel

12:00 PM Lunch and DEF Stories

12:15 PM DEF Story - The Launch of the Gutenberg Writers Collaborative Program

12:30 PM DEF Story - DEFxHonolulu Lessons Learned with Dave Zelaya

12:45 PM DEF Story - Firestarter Fellow - Richard Kuzma

1:00 PM Breakout Panel Sessions Begin

Expeditionary Entrepreneurship

Innovation in Strategy Development

Smart Bases

Models for Innovation in Government

Using Narratives and Persuasion

Demystifying Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning


3:30 PM Breakout Session Presentations

4:30 PM DEF Story - Firestarter Fellow Josh Lospiniso

4:45 PM Firestarter Fellow 2019 Program Overview

5:00 PM Happy Hour sponsored by BMNT

Sunday, October 14th: Grid Collaborative Workspace (445 Broadway)

9:00 AM Breakfast

9:15 AM Breakout Panels

Innovation from the Inside Panel

Human Centered Design in National Security

Talent Management in 20XX

Playing with Giants: Working with DoD as a Start-Up

10:30 AM DEF Story, Morgan Plummer- DEF 3.0 "What to expect from DEF in 2019"

10:50 AM Keynote Speech, August Cole: History of DEF and DEF2018 Summary

11:45 AM Conference Conclusion

Plan Your Visit

We are not endorsing any specific hotel but realize the experience might be enhanced if you are able to stay with other attendees in the nearby area. The following hotels are near to the conference sites:

The TownePlace Suites by Marriott Denver Downtown /685 Speer Blvd, Denver, CO 80204/(303)722-2322


The ART, a hotel/1201 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203/(303) 572-8000


Hyatt Place Denver/Downtown/440 14th Street Place, Denver, CO 80202

  • When: Fri Oct. 12 - 12:30 pm
    Sun Oct. 14 1:00 pm

  • Address: 445 Broadway
    Denver CO,US 80203

  • Web: Visit Website