Fireside Hacks: A Conversation with Distributed Spectrum

Read on to learn from Distributed Spectrum — a student-led team of innovators who won NSIN’s Mad Hacks Fury Code — as they share more about the technology behind their solution to detect cyber attacks, and their experience collaborating to help solve this mission-critical problem.

Capital Factory
3 min readMay 17, 2022


What you’ll find out

  • What is Mad Hacks Fury (00:38)
  • An introduction to the Distributed Spectrum team (01:20)
  • How they got started (02:30)
  • What the technology itself does (03:54)
  • What else they learned, and who they met, from the hackathon experience (06:09)
  • Potential joint implications for their technology & their future working with the DoD (08:57)
  • What they’ve been up to since the hackathon (10:52)
  • Advice they would give their past selves (18:28)
  • Their experience working with the DoD (21:45)
  • How they’re balancing school & startup life (24:20)

Key Quotes

“The hackathon helped us crystallize our ideas into real operational problems…Through the hackathon we got the opportunity to interact with stakeholders in the Army that were on the ground.” — Alex Wulff

“It’s very hard to establish early points of contact, or really talk to people who are gonna be able to tell you what the real problems were. So that was a lot of our struggle early on was to figure out like, ‘Yeah we have this technology but, how do we actually apply it? And who is actually going to be interested?’ So one of the big takeaways we had from Mad Hacks was, ‘Hey, we have now a group of people, a group of experts who NSIN brought in to talk to us, who we know we can rely on, who we know we can have good, accurate, and up to date information about what the big pain points, what the problems that they’re facing are.” — Ben Harpe

“One of the things that we’ve learned as a startup is that, everytime we talk to somebody that we should ask them who we should talk to next.” — Alex Wulff

“As you build this tree of networking and talking to people within the DOD, you find that our situational awarness isnt a problem for just army ground vehicles. It makes it a lot more useful to us because we can see that we can take this modular system we are developing and apply it to an Air Force thing.” — Isaac Struhl

Who you’ll hear from

Kedar Pavgi, NSIN, Program Manager

Alex Wulff, Distributed Spectrum, Co-Founder

Isaac Struhl, Distributed Spectrum, Co-Founder

Ben Harpe, Distributed Spectrum, Co-Founder

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