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Offset Symposium

  • Marines' Memorial Club & Hotel 609 Sutter Street San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)

Launched by Second Front in 2017, the Offset Symposium promotes constructive engagement between the venture-backed innovation ecosystem, traditional defense base, and national security mission users in order to accelerate discovery of and access to emerging commercial technologies.

This year's Offset Symposium theme is China, Silicon Valley, and National Security. Keynote speakers this year include Michele Flournoy (co-founder and managing partner of WestExec Advisors, and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy) and Michael Brown (Director of the Defense Innovation Unit and former CEO of Symantec).

The US federal government has recognized the potential threat Chinese and other foreign investment poses to our national security, passing significant legislative change in 2018 to expand the scope of review for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States - CFIUS. These changes greatly expand the scope of review for foreign investment, adding regulatory burdens to both investors and start-ups alike. While advocates say that these changes will protect the US from dangerous tech transfer to China, opponents say it goes too far stifling innovation and capital flow in Silicon Valley. This balance - between national security and the free market, between innovation and protection - is delicate. The Offset Symposium will bring together experts from both DC and Silicon Valley to discuss all sides and aspects of this important issue - driving cohesive thought leadership from all parties to identify, assess, and debate new ideas to address this complicated problem.

Limited hotel rooms are available at the Marine Memorial Club. To reserve, use code "Offset Symposium 2019" when you call 800-562-7463.


  • - 1030am Kickoff

  • - Keynote speech from Michael Brown (Director, DIU, and former CEO of Symantec)

  • - China fireside chat: Strategic Superpower Competition, featuring Josh Marcuse (Executive Director, Defense Innovation Board) and Dr. Jonathan Ward (Founder, Atlas Organization)

  • - CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the US) Panel: Perspective on Recent Changes, featuring David Stapleton (Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense - Industrial Policy), Samantha Clark (Special Counsel, Covington, and former Deputy Staff Director, SASC), Mark Plotkin (Partner, Covington), and Ted Schlein (Partner, Kleiner Perkins)

  • - 5pm Networking Reception

  • Wednesday March 6 highlights include:

  • - 0845am Welcome

  • - Keynote fireside chat with Michele Flournoy (Co-founder and Managing Partner, Westexec Advisors, and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy)

  • - Agile Government Organizations Panel - opportunities to work with DoD

  • - Venture Capital Response to CFIUS Changes Panel, featuring Ben Levy (Co-Founder and Managing Partner, BootstrapLabs), Scott Frederick (Partner, NEA), and Andy Bair (Partner, Sway Ventures)

  • - National Security-focused Investors Panel, featuring James Cross (Director, Franklin Blackhorse) and Trae Stephens (Partner, Founders Fund)

  • - Cyber Focus Panel, featuring Garrettson Blight, DarkLabs Director, Booz Allen Hamilton

Earlier Event: February 27
SuperReturn International 
Later Event: March 22
ESG and The Future of Real Estate