In partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced the creation of EMERGE! Accelerating Wearable Tech for First Responders to speed the delivery of the latest innovative wearable technologies for responders. EMERGE! is part of a larger DHS S&T initiative to engage entrepreneurs in finding innovative ideas that address the unique needs of the Homeland Security community. CIT is piloting the use of business accelerators to discover and foster innovative individuals and companies whose commercial wearable technology could be adapted for first responder operations.

After conducting an extensive review and solicitation of America’s top accelerators, CIT chose two for the EMERGE! pilot: Tech Wildcatters, of Dallas, Tx., and TechNexus, of Chicago, Il.

  • Tech Wildcatters is a B2B seed accelerator with a mentor-driven program focusing on high-growth, technology startups; they are partnered with Wearable World of San Francisco, an organization dedicated to creating the social fabric for business around wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.
  • TechNexus is a venture collaborative that sits at the intersection of large, incumbent corporations and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, looking to market validate ventures. They serve as a force multiplier to source innovations from across a global innovation ecosystem, and build ventures around demand-driven innovation.


Both accelerators offer emerging entrepreneurs competitive programs that match them with seed funds, mentors and experts to launch new startups.

Pete Jobse, CIT President and CEO, said, “CIT is honored to partner with DHS S&T to use new methods and ideas that deliver innovative solutions to help them meet their security mission. This program will bring the best innovations into government, while helping emerging startups find new markets to sell products.”

Last year, S&T announced a new focus to significantly change and reinvent the face of federal government research and development. DHS S&T is using prize competitions, open dialogues and accelerator programs to attract innovators to help government keep pace with the speed of innovation.

Representatives from DHS S&T, CIT, Tech Wildcatters and TechNexus will be talking about EMERGE! first responders’ needs and the addressable market of wearables, accelerator programmatic details, including application dates, and other ways that innovators can work with government at SXSW on March 13, 2015.

Terry Howerton, CEO, TechNexus, said, “We are especially excited about this opportunity because DHS, like many of our corporate partners, recognizes the need to innovate and change at scale. The most effective way for corporations and governments to harness innovation and redefine R&D is through engagement with the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re looking forward to applying this collaborative venture development model to a partnership with CIT and DHS.”

Gabriella Draney, Tech Wildcatters Co-founder and Executive Director, said, “We’re excited to be able to give first responders resources to do their jobs more effectively through the use of new technology. We’re tech geeks. We love to see the things that we build changing lives. Most impressive is the unprecedented collaboration between our private and public sector partners to positively impact economic development through investment in innovation.”

EMERGE! is open to startups from any U.S. geography whose founders are ready to engage in a rigorous mentorship program designed to produce the next generation of innovation in the wearable technology space. The team is looking for candidates that are creating commercial wearable technology that could be adapted for responders.

For more information on EMERGE! go to

About the Center for Innovative Technology

Since 1985, CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia’s primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. CIT accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71.

About Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate conducts basic and applied research, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation activities, and serves as the scientific and analytical core of DHS. S&T supports the Homeland Security Enterprise in six core areas borders and maritime security, cybersecurity, chemical and biological defense, countering explosives, enhancing resilience, and first responder safety and security. S&T is changing the way that the federal government conducts Research and Development through novel approaches. To learn more, please visit

About Tech Wildcatters

Located in Dallas, Tx., Tech Wildcatters is the world’s only B2B seed accelerator on the Forbes Top 10 and ranked #8 in the U.S., according to Inc. and TechCrunch. This mentor-driven program focuses on high-growth, technology startups. Tech Wildcatters is committed to growing the innovation community by connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need. What makes Tech Wildcatters unique is the focus on customer and market development, and not just funding. We turn people into entrepreneurs and startups into companies. In 2015, Tech Wildcatters will have funded 68 companies, helped create over 250 jobs and has 4 exits.

About TechNexus Venture Collaborative

TechNexus, of Chicago, Il., is redefining venture development and investing, because we believe incumbent companies and industry leaders are facing challenges like never before. We host, mentor and invest in growth-stage startups that are willing to work with larger businesses to reach customers and markets faster, better and more profitably. We engage with corporations to identify, source and manage ventures as first customers, partners, licensees, and or investors.

This material is based on research sponsored by the US Air Force Academy under agreement number FA7000-14-2-0002. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.