If you follow defense news, you have seen recent stories about the need for innovation, the wooing of Silicon Valley by the Department of Defense (DoD), and the danger of losing our technology edge. DoD is leading the charge to change the way government interacts with small business and other non-traditional performers in an effort to tackle significant challenges. In 10 things you need to know about defense contracting, join us to sort through the mystical world of government acquisition, learn to translate pesky acronyms, and see if there are opportunities for you.Kirk Burton, PMP, CSM is a former Special Operations officer with experience in entrepreneurship, business incubation, open innovation, program management, and technology scouting and research. He is… the founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Innovation & Technology Solutions LLC, serves on the board of the Small Business Technology Council, and is active in the Tampa Bay startup and entrepreneur communities. Kirk has experience in numerous technology development efforts supporting the military and first responder communities. He was the first PM for the USSOCOM Technology Infusion Cell, an effort to improve the speed of technology development using simplified contracting and rapid prototyping, and served as the Director of Research and Engineering for StarTec (now Tampa Bay Innovation Center), a small business accelerator in Pinellas County. As Vice President of CTC Tampa Bay Inc., Kirk led a comprehensive review of technology transition efforts within DoD, and developed a tailored due diligence process for DoD’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. In 2013, he partnered with Entrepreneur-focused organizations in the Washington DC area to start the Ballston Innovation Initiative, an effort to help entrepreneurs and government agencies connect. Kirk is still involved in advising local and federal agencies on open innovation models and processes that support new models for the future.