How to Improve Policy and Improve Defense Startups with James Cross

How to Improve Policy and Improve Defense Startups with James Cross

James Cross

Show Notes

Today on All Quiet, Tyler cracks a beer with James Cross, the managing director of Franklin Templeton and one of the co-founders of the Silicon Valley Defense Group (SVDG). They advocate for startups by explaining how current policy and the interest of the primes favors small businesses, as well as discussing the importance of visible leadership by organizations like the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and James’ approach to venture capital. The two round out the show by offering up some policy changes that could help startups scale, and with James explaining why he wants to end his career in education, developing thought leadership and curriculum to guide the next generation of defense leaders to success.

What’s Happening on the Second Front:
  • Explaining SVDG’s top national security company rankings
  • Response to the leadership deficit in defense innovation
  • Policy recommendations to help support startups
  • Positive, exciting and scary trends we’re seeing on Capitol Hill 
  • James’ ambitions to teach after his time with the SVDG

Connect with James: LinkedIn | Website

Connect with Tyler: LinkedIn | Website

This show is produced by Soulfire Productions

Top Relevant Quotes:

 “You can only raise so much money on the powerpoint slide and the dream of helping secure democracy with your technology, but if the national security apparatus ain’t buying it, at some point, the drip runs up.”
James - 2:25

“The fact that you set up a Silicon Valley unit, then ignore it, cut their budget and their staff, year after year after year, shows that you’re just undermining the entire thing.” 
James - 9:17

“I think we’re going to see leadership reemerge out of the house, but we’re waiting on DoD to get their ducks in a row and appoint a head of DIU and put their money where their mouth is. So we shall see."
James - 10:04

“As a venture capitalist, I don’t invest in tech and I don’t invest in products. I invest in giant business that will become huge that no one knows about."
James - 13:15

“Normally we win our wars on the courage of our warfighters, our balance sheet and our industrial base, but now it’s up to Congress.” 
James - 19:24

“If you’re a dual use startup that’s really focused on scaling on the defense side, I would be careful how much capital you raise and be careful of your valuation and play for runway.”
James - 25:10  



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