Tech entrepreneurs, cybersecurity professionals, innovators… meet Nitro

Who We Are

Nitro is a woman-owned small business, headquartered in Tampa, Florida. We provide advanced AI technology and machine-learning cybersecurity solutions that protect our client’s networks from malicious cyber activity. Our team combines data intelligence experts, machine-learning specialists and cybersecurity professionals with extensive experience in cyber intelligence and AI systems.

Nitro was built on the premise that technology can have transformational effects on businesses – changing how organizations tackle problems and enabling them to maximize the benefit of business practices. Over time, our products have morphed in pace with the technology industry.

Our world evolves so rapidly that we, too, must evolve in order to offer our clients the most effective, innovative solutions possible.Because of the increasing hostility of today’s cyber threats, we created a machine-learning solution to guard against complex cyberattacks. Our cyber defense solution, NitroDefender™, is the first technology to apply unsupervised neural networks to cybersecurity, mimicking the human immune system to self-learn what is normal for a user’s network. It constantly monitors your network to self-learn what is normal for you, then alerts to and defends against anomalies without ever being taught what to look for.

Pete Slade

Pete Slade

President & CTO


Lisa Monnet



Molly Slade



Advisory Board

Carol A. Haave

Mrs. Haave has served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) Counterintelligence and Security, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at Department of Homeland Security and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security and Information Operations.

She maintains significant international contacts, with cabinet-level officials providing defense, security, intelligence, counterintelligence and technology advice. She has served as a management analyst at NASA and has over 15 years experience consulting to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

  • Created and deployed Strategic Counterintelligence Cells to Iraq and Afghanistan that successfully identified non-traditional threats and IED/bomb-makers

  • Over 15 years as a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and advanced government technologies, where she focused on transitioning advanced technology into the military and commercial markets and was a team leader for the House Appropriations Committee Surveys and Investigations Staff conducting bipartisan evaluations of technology programs

  • Served as a Management Analyst at NASA

  • Led a team of risk and security experts in the development of a risk assessment methodology for the U.S. Department of Defense’s critical infrastructure protection to ensure the best application of resources and another that resulted in the unprecedented increase in priority within the Department to counter cyber threats

Vice Admiral Sean Pybus

Vice Admiral (Ret) Pybus is a career Naval Special Warfare (NSW) SEAL officer with multiple Joint Special Operations duty assignments. He has served in SEAL, Underwater Demolition, Special Boat and SEAL Delivery Vehicle tours within NSW and has held positions at Joint Special Operations Command and United States Special Operations Command.

Decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and various other awards.

  • Deputy commander, USSOCOM, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida

  • Commander, NATO Special Operations Forces Headquarters

  • Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command

  • Commander, Special Operations Command Pacific

  • J-3, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)

  • Congressional Liaison Officer to the United States House of Representatives

General Michael Jones

General (Ret.) Jones is a 34-year military career veteran with deep expertise in cyber defense technologies, Army and Joint operations, the defense market, C4ISR, and operational energies. He has served in the Pentagon, U.S. Central Command, Joint and inter-agency programs, and Army Training and Doctrine Command.

He currently works with The Spectrum Group, where he supports clients in IT, energy, C4ISR, ground combat systems, and base realignment and closer (BRAC) areas. He leads the BRAC Team, supporting State and community clients with BRAC-related needs, community engagement, and public-private partnership building.

  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command

  • Director of Operations, U.S. Central Command

  • Commander of the Civilian Police Advisory Assistance Team, Iraq

  • Deputy Director, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff

  • Assistant Division Commander (Maneuver), 1st Cavalry Division, Baghdad, Iraq

Colonel Foster Payne

Colonel (Ret) Payne is a senior defense industry executive with thirty-seven years of experience in the Department of Defense and Private Industry Sectors. He has a broad and in-depth understanding of the Intelligence Community and working in collaborative network environments, and is a decorated combat veteran who served in the U.S. Army for more than twenty-seven years.

He commanded at the Company, Battalion and Brigade levels and served as the Senior Intelligence Officer (SIO) at the Brigade, Division, and Major Army Component Command Levels.

  • Congressional Liaison Officer to the United States House of Representatives

  • Senior Intelligence Officer at the 2nd Infantry Division and Forces Command

  • Commander of Task Force Ready, a brigade size task force providing full spectrum all-source intelligence in support of Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) during Operation Enduring Force II

  • Assistant Director of Intelligence, G-2, United States Army Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia

  • Commander, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas

  • Commander 125th Military Intelligence Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

  • Vice President, Army Intelligence Programs and Division Manager of the Intelligence Solutions Division, SAIC

  • Vice President and Director of Operations, Operations Intelligence and Security (OIS), SAIC

  • Vice President, Director of Intelligence Transformation, Operational Intelligence Solutions, SAIC

  • Chief J2X, United States Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida

  • Assistant Chief of Staff, G2, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, Korea

Mark Sharpe

Mark is a 20-year Navy Intelligence veteran who was elected to the Hillsborough County Commission in 2004, where he served 10 years, before terming out in 2014. He is currently Chief Potential Officer for !p POTENTIAL UNLEASHED, formerly known as the Tampa Innovation Alliance, an organization committed to creating a live, work, play innovation district.

Mark has successfully grown !P's membership beyond the four initial anchors (USF, Florida Hospital, Busch Gardens and Moffitt Cancer Center) to include over 250 business and community members. He has a BS from FSU in Multinational Business and an MA from USF in Strategic Studies.

  • Negotiated $2 million funding from Hillsborough County for development of an innovation district.

  • Received $1.25 million from the State of Florida for transportation, community engagement, and branding.

  • Led a multifaceted collaborative effort resulting in a $3.8 million TechHire Grant, and recognition by the White House as a 2016 TechHire Community.

Ashby Green

Ashby is a distinguished business professional with more than 20 years’ experience in financial management and business practices. In 2016, he founded Gazelle Capital, a financial management and consulting firm.

Prior to Gazelle Capital, Ashby was CFO at Kobie Marketing where he was instrumental in the tripling of team members and a nearly quadrupling of revenue during his tenure. He began his career at Ernst & Young LLP.

  • Received the Florida Governor’s Business Ambassador Award in 2016 for his efforts in creating jobs and opportunities for Florida families

  • Awarded Overall CFO of the Year in 2017 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal

  • Serves as an adjunct professor and member of the Board of Fellows at the University of Tampa