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  • Alexandra Ames

NIF's Direct Investment Plays | Resilience Conference Newsletter #3

14 June 2024

The NATO Innovation Fund (NIF) made its first direct startup investments last week with ARX Robotics and iCOMAT. Since its founding ten months ago, NIF has primarily functioned as a fund-of-funds.

ARX Robotics, based in Germany, manufactures an adaptable autonomous unmanned ground vehicle for defense and commercial situations. iCOMAT is a scalable, deep-tech solution from the University of Bristol that developed a process that creates lighter and stronger advanced composites that are useable in the structural production of aerospace, automotive, and space vehicles. There is clear compatibility between these two organisations in collaborating, which points to an interesting investment thesis unfolding.

Upcoming Defence Ecosystem Events

We're excited about two upcoming defence events that present unique opportunities. On June 23, Lisbon will host Portugal's inaugural DefenceTech Meetup, a full-day event featuring discussions on NATO's Emerging and Disruptive Technologies in today's rapidly evolving innovation environment. If you're an entrepreneur, defence official, investor, or engineer in the area, this is an event you won't want to miss. It's a chance to gain valuable insights and network with key individuals in the field - register here.


Resilience Conference co-founder, Tobias Stone, will be in Munich from 28 to 30 June for the European Defence Tech Hackathon, which will focus on prototyping and validating ideas around defensive and life-preserving tech. We'll present the winning project with complimentary tickets to Resilience Conference. Register to participate in the hackathon today.


We are partnering with defence and security meetups and hackathons around Europe to help support the ecosystem. If you are running an event, get in touch with us today.

Read more below about how you can get involved with breakout sessions at Resilience Conference.

What We're Reading




Quantum Technologies


Startup Ecosystem & Funding News



From New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth, THIS IS HOW THEY TELL ME THE WORLD ENDS is the untold, bestselling account of the cyber arms trade-the most secretive, invisible, government-backed market on earth-and a terrifying first look at a new kind of global warfare.

Resilience Conference News

Collaborate at Breakout Sessions

Resilience Conference is committed to facilitating meaningful and productive engagement between all national security and defence stakeholders. To achieve this, we are programming a series of breakout sessions alongside the plenary room, which will examine topics such as quantum technologies, cyber resilience, procurement, space, startup commercialisation, and more.

If your organisation is interested in sponsoring one of these breakout discussions or creating your own content at the event, contact us to learn more.

New Speaker Announcements

Ryan Benitez

Partner at Decisive Point

Ryan is a Partner at Decisive Point. She leads business operations and strategy for Decisive Point's early-stage portfolio of startups. Ryan served in the U.S. Navy for nine years as a Surface Warfare Officer deployed aboard warships and later as a Public Affairs Officer in the Pentagon.


Jeannette zu Fürstenberg

Managing Director and Head of Europe at General Catalyst

Dr. Jeannette zu Fürstenberg is Managing Director of the global VC firm General Catalyst (GC) and in charge of its European business. Jeannette is driven by her vision of a resilient, more prosperous Europe, with technology as a key driver of transformation which is reflected in her various investments and areas of expertise which include AI, climate, industrial transformation, defence and traditional software-centric opportunities.


Josh Thomas

Co-Founder & CEO of Deniable

Josh Thomas, co-founder and CEO of Deniable, brings a solid track record of engineering expertise and innovative problem-solving to the field of secure communication. At Deniable, he leads the development of encryption technologies that safeguard the communications of journalists, activists, and NGOs around the world, ensuring that privacy and freedom of expression are maintained even under the most challenging conditions.

Get Involved with Resilience Conference

Apply for a ticket to join national security innovators and be a part of the conversation

Submit your name to be considered to speak in the main session

Sponsor an open or closed-door workshop or private dinner during the event

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