Steve Horn, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at MasterPeace Solutions talks about empowering engineers to build their own companies, through an approach that “incubates” an idea, nurturing it to become a success.
MasterPeace Solutions consists of two business elements that interweave together into one business ecosystem. One is focused on the services and solutions we provide to the government– the cybersecurity and national security community. We hire sharp engineers who do good work and we know the cybersecurity domain very well. But it is not entirely unique since other companies offer similar services.
What make us different is that we have interwoven that business element with a complementary business element called the MasterPeace LaunchPad. MasterPeace LaunchPad is a technology incubator and technology business accelerator. It is designed to help our engineers develop new ideas, turn those ideas into products, and turn those products into investible, commercial businesses, like Silicon Valley. The combination of these two elements creates a unique entity.
What Makes an Idea a Good Fit for MasterPeace LaunchPad?
The main thing we look for is people who are plain smart and passionate about what they do. We look for people with software-oriented skills. We are not terribly worried about the state of those skills, because if they are creative and passionate, then we can train them, and virtually bolster their skill set. Creating a successful technology business is not as easy as it sounds. For complex technologies, you usually need multiple types of skill sets. For instance, we have more than seven people with different software-related skill sets working on one project.
We have embedded engineers, applications developers, cloud engineers, data analytics software engineers, and graphical user interface engineers. If any one of those engineers tried to build the product on their own, they would not be able to so, even if they came up with the idea. There are people who might be able to build technologies or pieces of technologies, but it’s hard to build a successful, investible technology business, or there would be more of those in the DC Metro Area.
The ecosystem consists of business people who know how to build business plans and get customers, and financing – either internal or external, such as angels and venture capitalists. All of that has to come together rapidly because the product development environment moves fast.
We have an environment where we sort of tease out innovation from team members, and inspire creativity by bringing speakers who have deep knowledge of certain technologies, which can be applied to solving certain problems. That sparks imagination because we get together and brainstorm.
MasterPeace LaunchPad is Focused on Software and Hardware Products
We have created another sister division to LaunchPad called MasterPeace Products. This division is hardware-based, and also focuses on embedded devices. We built a physical lab packed with various product development equipment. Those products are either standalone products we will sell to customers, or they are hardware products with software associated with them to support some of our other spinoff companies.
Every technology company in the world recruits from other companies because there is more demand than there is supply. We predominantly recruit from the local area, though we have an internship program where we are beginning to employ computer science interns from the local universities when they graduate. For the most part, our engineers are experienced, and we typically hire them from the conservative government contracting community. You have a large number of engineers in government contracts who want more out of their careers than they will get working on government contracts.
We offer them the opportunity to maintain the stability, job security and high-income earning elements they enjoy being government contractors, but with a shot at unleashing their imagination to possibly create a product that could be turned into a company, and in turn, make them wealthy.
Most accelerators are simply brokers. They broker relationships between investors, executives and inventors who have a mature technology, which is typically already a product. We are different because we are a technology incubator, and business accelerator. Our business starts with an idea or concept, which we help incubate or nurture, and articulate. We progress to the development of the concept, then the proof of concept, and a demo version. You eventually build a product, which takes a team of people. The technology incubator aspect feeds the accelerator part where we build the business model and business plan, get customers, investors, executives and help launch the company.
We are different because we build a whole life cycle from the original concept, all the way through to being a full-fledged successful business. Our company acts as its own seed investor because we fund our projects. We have elected not to accept external funding, unlike other companies that depend on seed investment.
Speaker: Steve Horn, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, MasterPeace Solutions
Steve is on the Board of Directors of MasterPeace Solutions, Ltd. providing strategic planning and consulting, Business Development, and Capital Raise outreach. Additionally, Steve is currently the Managing Partner of National Security Capital Advisors, LLC. (an investment bank supporting the National Security Community), President and Owner of SJ Horn Associates (an Executive Search and Business Incubator Firm), Founder of Project Delivery, Ltd. (An Information Technology and Analytics services company supporting the Federal Sector), and the Founding Partner of Hire Performance, a firm focused on Outsourced Search Services and Contract Recruiting services to companies in support of the DoD/Intelligence Community.
MasterPeace is an advanced technology company designed to unlock the imagination and creativity of our engineers and technologists while helping them reach their highest potential. Our workforce is comprised of a collection of technologists, developers and engineers working on wicked hard problems for the United States Government. MasterPeace believes in fostering innovation and to that end established MP LaunchPad to help our engineers turn their ideas into viable new commercial cyber and technology companies.