Products 101: First Steps Towards Successful Product Development

Join us for an insightful seminar designed specifically for federal business development professionals, particularly those new to the realm of product development. Hosted by Emily Reed and Jim Kohlhaas, this seminar aims to demystify the process of turning innovative ideas into successful products.

In this 30-minute presentation followed by an interactive Q&A session, attendees will gain a foundational understanding of product development within the federal and commercial sectors. Whether you're looking to validate the potential of a new product idea, navigate the complexities of intellectual property, or explore how to transition from customer-funded projects to a product-oriented business model, this seminar offers valuable insights and practical advice to enhance your product development journey.

Event Details:

  • 4pm Networking Cocktail Hour
  • 5pm-6pm Panel Discussion

Seminar Highlights:

  • Discovering Product Value: Learn how to assess the market viability and potential value of your product ideas.
  • Intellectual Property Basics: Get a primer on protecting your innovations and understanding the significance of intellectual property in product development.
  • Transitioning to Product-Oriented Business Models: Explore strategies for shifting from delivering customer-funded projects to developing and selling your own products, maximizing the economic value of your innovations.

This seminar is tailored for AFCEA members with varying levels of experience in product development, focusing on empowering those with less exposure to confidently begin their product journey.

Thank you to our Host and Sponsor:

7067 Columbia Gateway Drive,

Suite 120,

Columbia, MD 21046

Panel Participants

Jim Kohlhaas
Consultant, Dark Boom Technologies

Jim Kohlhaas is distinguished for his systems thinking approach and extensive experience across diverse engineering and management roles, including offshore drilling, satellite design and operations, and large-scale program management. A former Technical Fellow at Lockheed Martin and Global Deployment Executive at, Jim brings a unique perspective to high-availability AI systems. His expertise in blending commercial and federal insights to devise innovative pricing models and strategies has made him a trusted expert in product development, positioning him as a leader in leveraging technology to drive strategic advantage.

Emily Reed 
Owner, Athena Consulting, Inc.

Emily Reed is a distinguished business development professional with a rich background in product development, project management, and Federal capture and proposals. As the owner of Athena Consulting, Inc., she brings over 15 years of experience crafting winning strategies for product innovation and opportunity management across the federal and commercial sectors. Her career includes roles and Parsons and KBR, where she managed projects collectively worth over $7B. Specific to products, Emily’s experience followed the full product lifecycle, from ideation to marketing and launch. This included establishing Parsons’ Product Review Policy and Procedure, evaluating product concepts as part of the Product Review Board, and leading market research and pricing efforts in support of product teams.