Originally published on the Engility blog by Michael Aper and republished through EQ: Entrepreneur Quarterly. Engility is now SAIC.
This is not a cautionary tale of genetic engineering gone bad; it is a tale of how Engility recognized an opportunity to better partner with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) by moving into the T-REX Innovation Center (a St. Louis nonprofit incubator that takes its name from its beginnings as the Technology Entrepreneur Center at the Old Railway Exchange).
The NGA does a lot of very cool things with geospatial data, but traditional intelligence community thinking has kept its engineers more or less at arms’ length from commercial innovators. That changed when NGA set out to “work in the open” and make St. Louis the geospatial tech capital of the world—working with the commercial and academic sectors. I watched with interest as startup companies began flocking to the T-REX offices. NGA started using T-REX spaces heavily in 2017 during the Department of Defense Intelligence Information System (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference and hosted NGA Tech Showcase West from the facility a few months later. NGA was coming out of windowless rooms to collaborate with diverse thinkers in an open-concept environment…and I wanted to make sure Engility was there. I laid out the plan to move our St. Louis offices to T-REX, and Engility’s leadership agreed.
The tyrannosaur was capable of 500-pound bites. Taking the lead from my spirit animal, Engility is looking to take full advantage of our new office space. In the coming months we have plans to host demos for our NGA customers, give sneak peeks to newly-released apps via NGA’s GEOINT App Store, engage with new talent, attend customer and building events, and host a variety of events meant to engage our customer and fellow T-REX denizens.