How Enterprise CIOs are Hyper-Accelerating Innovation



Seven enterprise CIOs presented their unique problems in search of partner startups to address their global pain points at the recent CIO Reverse Pitch and Hackathon. The event was hosted by vLAB.

Too many startups spend lots of time, energy, and money developing an idea only to learn the hard way that no one wants to buy their product. Reverse Pitch takes the risk off the table by putting startups in contact with committed customers willing to buy their product. Startups had the opportunity to virtually hack solutions in collaboration with the CIOs following the event. Challenge winners will receive complementary membership in vLAB and prequalify for potential funding.

vLAB is powered by real-time market research firm Enterprise Technology Research (ETR), with hyper-acceleration support from Enterprise Technology Research & Development (ETR&D) and early stage investment.

ETR is a survey based market research firm that has conducted 22 technology spending intentions surveys in the past 7 years with 1,907 participants. ETR’s CIO community represents over $500 billion in annual technology spend. ETR has collected and analyzed over 2.5 million spending intention data points on over 300 private and public technology vendors. These analytics were used to develop and shape the reverse pitch series.

Thomas Delvecchio, founder and director of ETR and Patrick Lewis, co-founder of vLAB and chief strategist at ETR&D reviewed the top five CIO challenges over the next two years.

  • Fast response to business demands
  • Upgrades to be current on technological advances
  • Automation
  • Data analytics
  • Information Security

The session was moderated by Michael Parrish DuDell, entrepreneur and author of Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business.

The participating CIOs and their potential solution partners are summarized below.


PresenterPain Point Potential solution partner
Niel Nickolaisen, CTO, OC TannerLegacy application modernization; breaking legacy apps into Lego blocks in order to improve business speed and agilityJeremy Johnson, CEO, Andela proposed reimagining technical hiring by tapping into global talent from the African continent for $5K/engineer/month. Andela resources can help accelerate the roadmap by seamlessly integrating into the enterprise team.
Raffaele Piemonte, VP of Applications and Infrastructure, CenterLight Health SystemKeeping the legacy data but not the legacy costMichael Goodwin, President and COO, SoftNAS suggested a powerful, hassle-free enterprise data management solution. Their cloud NAS storage is easy to configure, requires no hardware lock-in and protects mission-critical data for customers using any combination of public, private, and hybrid clouds. A version is also available for service providers. Their CloudFabric and UltraFast product lines will accelerate data movement and integration of data types across environments and devices.
Marvin Stein, Senior Security Consultant, TD Ameritrade


Robert Stevenson, Chief Strategist, Hitachi Data Systems


Dr. Kaijun Zhan, Director of Global Infrastructure and Engineering Computing, Atmel Corporation

Integrated and automated cloud migration monitoring



Need for an open stack light for IOT use cases




Backup – Cloud is not always the easy answer

Clinton France, Founder and CEO, Krystallize Technologies suggested the use of CloudQoS index to define success in the cloud. The Index provides the true value of the cloud service based on quality of service. This index enables enterprises to find the right service for each application and assure continuous service.

Krystallize was recognized by Gartner as a 2015 cool vendor in cloud management.

Christopher Wilson, Principal Cloud Architect, Verizon Enterprise Solutions




Sounil Yu, Director of Research & Development, Major Financial Institution

Provide a service, collection of services, third party software or plugin which can classify events occurring across the IT infrastructure into incident management levels.


Extract security value from instrumentation of existing IT data

Stephanie Plavnik, Director, Business Development, Uplevel Security reviewed how security teams can elevate operations with graph intelligence. Uplevel’s proprietary graph intelligence preserves the context associated with the incidents and provides a security graph. The platform easily integrates with the existing security environment to enable teams to focus on uncovering the full extent of each attack with speed and accuracy. Uplevel also provides workflow automation features.



Image credit: CC by Doug Shaw

About the author: Rohinee Mohindroo

Rohinee Mohindroo is a Transformational Technology Leader, helping organizations elevate customer and employee experiences by delivering scale, speed, and stability. Rohinee is available in a consultancy role to startups who are scaling up and to enterprises who are strategically focused on digital transformations.

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