After winning Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contracts under the 2021 Space Force Pitch Day topic area, 38 early-stage startups showcased their space technologies to potential partners in the U.S. Space Force (USSF) and other defense organizations at the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)’s Starts collider event on June 3. The purpose of the event was to connect these startups with potential military customers and end-users and to identify partnership opportunities. Startups who find a customer match have the opportunity to compete for a follow-on SBIR Phase II contract through the pitch day process.
Collider highlights included:
- Startups engaged 153 attendees representing leaders from: U.S. Space Force, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Command, and other defense organizations.
- Lt. Col. Walter “Rock” McMillan, director of SpaceWERX, delivered the keynote address focusing on how these collider companies can help shape the future of U.S. space technology.
- Panel discussions, which featured leaders in the space-venture community, shared insights on the rapid growth of space-tech investment and the integral partnerships needed between the public and private sectors.
“NSIN Starts helped these startups interact with potential partners and supporters,” said Joey Clark, Starts program manager. “They are on the cutting edge of space technology and have real opportunities to take our U.S. space ecosystem to the next level.”
NSIN Starts hosted the collider with the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), a unit of USSF, which delivers new technology into military space capabilities. SMC is the center of technical excellence at USSF for developing, acquiring, fielding, and sustaining military space systems.
Learn more about the participating startups below and view their work on UNUM, NSIN’s collaboration and networking platform. Anyone can join UNUM and explore NSIN programs.
The NSIN mission is to “build networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems.” NSIN is headquartered in Arlington, VA, and has regional offices in 11 commercial innovation hubs throughout the United States. Through its headquarters, regional hubs, and embedded university partnerships, NSIN builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming that solves real-world, DoD problems through collaborative partnerships with non-traditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.