Decisive Point and Newlab today announced the 12 companies selected to participate in the NSIN Propel program. In partnership with the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the NSIN Propel program enables the development of next-generation applications of emerging dual-use technology for government, defense, and space. As a center of gravity for the Department of Defense (DoD) innovation community in the Mid-Atlantic region, the program leverages the partners’ deep expertise in federal acquisitions, emerging technology acceleration, and product design and prototyping to help create viable pathways towards adoption of commercial technologies across the U.S. Government enterprise.
Located at Newlab’s 84,000 square-foot flagship location in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the program pairs Decisive Point’s unique defense and government acquisition expertise with Newlab’s proven Innovation Studio model, through which Newlab partners with Fortune 500s, civic leaders, and leading innovators to solve complex challenges. Along with Newlab’s specialized facilities, product development resources, and an existing ecosystem of advisors and investors, Decisive Point will create opportunities for direct engagement with defense stakeholders and give founders skills to scale their technologies in the federal market.
Throughout the program, member companies will engage directly with AFRL and the broader DoD community to understand their needs and adapt commercial solutions to solve national security challenges. NSIN Propel will help members develop practical acquisitions knowledge and capacity, giving member teams demonstrable capabilities in the federal market and momentum to raise capital from private investors; build relationships with defense and commercial customers; and win government contracts. NSIN Propel member companies are currently developing solutions with a focus on sensors, autonomous systems, connectivity and data fusion, and with the end goal of delivering safety, resilience and agility to the DoD.
“The DoD is a large technology customer, yet early-stage companies struggle to navigate the complex government procurement process. The goal of NSIN Propel is to give founders the skills to enter the defense market and ensure that the U.S. military continues to lead at the cutting-edge of next-generation technology,” said Ryan Benitez, Principal at Decisive Point.
“We are proud to partner with NSIN Propel to empower the next-generation applications of dual-use emerging technology that will address critical challenges facing the DoD,” said Shaun Stewart, CEO at Newlab. “By combining Decisive Point’s deep expertise in the government and defense space with Newlab’s experience driving innovation, NSIN Propel will foster an unparalleled innovation ecosystem that will transform the future of government, defense, and space.”
In May 2021, NSIN Propel announced a national open call inviting early-stage ventures to apply to the program. Following a diligent review and selection process, including feedback from DoD agencies seeking solutions to key challenges, NSIN Propel recruited 12 advanced startups from across the country, and will be supporting them as they transform their technology into actionable capabilities and scalable solutions for the DoD. The selected companies bring already validated technologies with commercial applications that NSIN Propel will help to reposition and scale for DoD use cases.
The following companies were selected to participate in the 2021 NSIN Propel cohort:
- Aloft is the market leader in drone airspace systems & Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) technologies. Their solutions make it easy to fly safely and operate compliantly at scale. Their dynamic airspace platform connects the world’s largest drone network, spanning recreational users, enterprise customers, regulators, and UTM partners across the globe.
- Asylon has created an innovative solution, allowing unmanned systems to operate with true autonomy and minimal human intervention for weeks or months at a time, enabling safe operation in hazardous environments.
- Inpher has pioneered cryptographic Secret Computing® technology for secure, privacy-preserving analytics and machine learning. Their platform allows for ML/AI model training across data silos, ensuring that the privacy and security of data is maintained while delivering the benefit of more precise models from that data.
- Project OWL builds connectivity technology that provides secure, reliable, and customizable communications and sensor networking in challenging or expensive locations. Their solution offers a fast, simple, and in some cases, disposable solution that can provide networks for complex, austere, or decimated environments, such as communities devastated by natural disasters.
- Fraym uses AI/ML powered software to generate geospatial data on population dynamics. Governments and organizations around the world rely on Fraym data to make strategic and operational decisions while tackling challenges like inequity and insecurity, climate vulnerability, public health, and more.
- Macro-Eyes is an AI company solving three key problems for supply chain intelligence and optimization: visibility, demand forecasting, and predicting human behavior. Macro-Eyes works with unstructured data and builds AI to operate on the edge, with zero connectivity and behind firewalls to empower computation in highly sensitive environments.
- Edge Impulse is democratizing embedded machine learning on edge devices for sensors, audio, and computer vision, at scale. From getting started in under five minutes to MLOps in production, the platform enables highly optimized signal processing + ML to be trained, tested and deployed to a wide range of hardware from MCUs to CPUs.
- Pilot AI provides a deep learning-based computer vision platform to solve real problems directly on compute-constrained edge devices - without the bandwidth, latency, cost, or privacy implications of streaming imagery to the cloud for processing. From person detection to cross-camera tracking, Pilot AI deploys a broad range of proven solutions for consumer, commercial, and public sector customers.
- Matrixspace, inc. products and technologies bring Autonomous Flight capabilities to any business. Their unique approach to Sensor fusion, RF mesh networks and distributed AI enable people to manage large numbers of intelligent machines from any location — and these intelligent machines all talk to each other and compare notes.
- Aura Intelligent Systems is developing high-resolution 4D imaging radar for autonomous infrastructure to realize safe and autonomous navigation of drones, air taxis and autonomous ground vehicles.
- Xona Space Systems is building a next-generation satellite navigation system using small but powerful satellites in low-Earth orbit. Xona Space Systems provides secure navigation and timing services with the resilience and accuracy that modern intelligent systems, such as critical infrastructure and autonomous vehicles, need to operate safely at scale.
- dMetrics - dMetrics is the builder of Minsky®, a zero-code, end-to-end ML/NLP platform for non-technical subject matter experts. Minsky helps users control their data, learning how to interpret what a user reads, then scaling those interpretations to billions of documents in a matter of hours without requiring any code.
NSIN is changing the way the Department of Defense solves problems. NSIN is building a diverse network from academia, entrepreneurial innovators and the defense community to leverage our nation’s greatest asset- people. NSIN is headquartered in Arlington, Va. and has 11 regional offices in commercial innovation hubs throughout the U.S.
About Decisive Point
Decisive Point is a venture capital firm focused on technology for government, public safety, and defense. Decisive Point’s mission is to support founders with the guts to try; the ones who look at challenges facing the country and their communities and see problems worth solving. Decisive Point supports their clients as they navigate the federal market and invest in those that deliver solutions to both commercial customers and the nation.
Newlab is a community of experts and innovators applying transformative technology to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Newlab membership and studios bring together entrepreneurs, engineers, inventors and industry leaders to create sustainable solutions and enterprises. Newlab employs technologies including robotics, AI and material science to transform what matters most—health, environment, media, cities, and infrastructure.