Defense contractor Cornerstone Research Group launches venture studio

October 14, 2020

Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (CRG), a privately held aerospace and defense firm that has been “Doing Defense Differently™” since 1997, recently announced the formal launch of its Venture Studio. The CRG Venture Studio will be in charge of identifying and prioritizing commercial opportunities coming out of CRG’s innovations and creating new startup companies.

While CRG’s core business is deep R&D and engineering to solve some of the nation’s most vexing aerospace and defense challenges, CRG has also established a successful track record of commercializing new technologies, spinning out five companies over the past 15 years, including Spintech Holdings and Advantic. However, CRG’s founder and CEO, Patrick Hood, was not satisfied.

“The breadth and depth of technology and inventions that CRG’s employees have created over the years is mind-boggling,” said Hood. “It seemed to me that we needed a methodical way to more rapidly tap that potential, for the benefit of future medical, consumer, and industrial customers as well as to more effectively grow the value of the business.”

Hood’s solution is the Venture Studio, an arm of the CRG organization dedicated to identifying CRG’s most promising commercial opportunities and spinning out new companies to bring those innovations to market. “We investigated a lot of options, looking at the state of the art in business accelerators, incubators, studios, and other concepts for improving the odds of successful technology commercialization,” said Chris Hemmelgarn, CRG’s Chief Revenue Officer. “While we know there will be some learnings and pivots, we are confident we are on the right track to unlock an enormous amount of company value and societal benefit from the Venture Studio. Our internal ‘deal funnel’ is quite full, and we think we have already identified the next five new company opportunities.”

Collaborators within southwest Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including The Entrepreneur’s Center (TEC), are enthusiastic about CRG’s move to create a Venture Studio. “We are excited to work with CRG and its Venture Studio to translate ground-breaking defense technologies into broader commercial use,” said Scott Koorndyk, CEO of TEC. “This is a huge boost for the region’s ecosystem and a great opportunity for new high-tech companies to take root in the region.”