Homeland Security Makes Local Debut
Roughly 30 firms attended the first meeting, which was well represented by West Michigan companies, including founders Keith Brophy of NuSoft Solutions and David Hines of SecureMatrix. Also represented were local technology firms iMart and C/D/H.
While the group's membership is today primarily technology firms, it is open to all companies affiliated with the industry, with a primary emphasis on companies with a product directed at that market.
"Our goal is to increase the awareness of this space in
The group defines homeland security loosely, incorporating aspects of law enforcement and, to a certain degree, traditional functions of the Department of Defense, as well as security solutions. Examples of products marketed by member companies include NuSoft's mobility and tracking solutions, used by police departments and the U.S. Army, and a satellite surveillance program produced by a
"But we're going after the middle-range solutions," Brophy said. "Products that could improve response time in the event of a crisis, or prevention measures."
Modeled after health care consortium MichBio, the fledgling trade association has received non-financial support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Michigan Small Business and
The MEDC also has introduced the group to similar organizations in
Brophy believes the group can play a key role in helping emerging firms "bootstrap" toward success, a capacity other development groups might not be able to fill.
"We'll have access to the entrepreneur developing a homeland security solution in his basement that the public sector won't," Brophy said.
Additional meetings are on tap for
Barry Cargill, principal of association management firm B. Cargill Associates and former vice president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, was last week named MHSC executive director.