Access to AI could help you succeed in the EChallenge

The romantic notion of the lone scientist bringing world-changing inventions to life all by himself has always been an exceedingly rare occurence. Example: Jobs without Wozniak – and many others – would not have created Apple. The difference today is that you might be able to find the missing link to your success online, rather than in the garage or lab next door. And your help might not even come in the form of a person.

The so-called democratization of Artificial Intelligence gives innovators cheap, easy access to resources that will help them crack tough problems, according to this article published in Knowledge@Wharton. Algorithms that assist in software design, for example, are now available in online markets, meaning “that the world of machine learning is no longer restricted to university labs and corporate research centers that have access to massive training data and computing infrastructure.” The article adds that individuals and startups will have better opportunities to “get their ideas off the ground and prove their concepts before raising the funds needed to scale.”

What does it all mean?

For one thing, it’s the perfect time to enter the 8th Sikorsky Entrepreneurial Challenge, which is looking for the next big ideas in three areas:

  1. Distributed, reconfigurable MEMS sensor network
  2. Adaptive communications for assured data exchange
  3. Advanced sensor fusion

No. 3, Advanced sensor fusion, requires “software and algorithms capable of combining previously disparate sensor data into a single data stream for either output to display interfaces or used as an input to advanced navigation systems. Algorithms that can simultaneously correlate and cross-check for data validity would be ideal.”

According to the Knowledge@Wharton article, the democratization of IA offers inventors a toolbox that will help them bring “an amazing array of intelligent software and devices [to power] our world.”


Launching TechAloft Today!

I am excited to announce that today we are launching, a new website focused on telling the stories at the leading edge of technology and aerospace. The site is part of our efforts to promote the $25K Sikorsky Entreprenuerial Challenge. We hope you’ll take a look.

Sikorsky Innovations is the founding sponsor of the Stamford Innovation Center. We’ve helped them for years in recruiting and evaluating the talented companies who have applied to the Entrepreneurial Challenge.  The people who work at Sikorsky have been great to work with.  Their passion for great technology and the value it provides is inspiring.

What’s new about the Entrepreneurial Challenge this year is that rather than focus on aerospace-specific problems, we’ve shifted our strategy to focus on important underlying technologies that will help Sikorsky leverage the best tech and engage with viable vendors whose technology has broad applicability across a wide array of industries.  And we’ve built the TechAloft site as a way to participate in the dialog around these exciting industries.

Right now we are actively recruiting in four exciting tech sectors: IOT (Internet of Things), Augmented Reality3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing and Energy Storage/Energy Management. We’ve met some great companies and awesome experts who are excited to get to know whether their products and solutions can improve current and future aircraft. They recognize that the answers to questions they will get from Sikorsky engineers will allow them to improve their business, their technology, or at a minimum the way they position their capabilities.

The value of this engagement for a young company with early technology cannot be overstated, and goes well beyond the $25K award that goes to the winner. As I’ve said many times recently, the award money is desert. The relationship with Sikorsky is dinner, and we hope to see many many hungry companies around the table.

Please take a look at our new site, and let us know what you think. And if you can think of a colleague, friend or acquaintance with tech in the areas of IOT (Internet of Things), Augmented Reality3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing or Energy Storage/Energy Management, and who you think would benefit from a relationship with Sikorsky, please forward this information to them.

We’ll be expanding the TechAloft site in the future and we hope you’ll come along for the ride!


Peter Propp




Stamford Innovation Center