The SBIR Accelerator is designed to enable success for Phase-I awardees on the AFWERX Open Topic SBIR. Up to 50 Phase-I companies will complete a focused, 90-day cohort connecting them to potential Phase-II DoD customers, transition and commercialization partners from defense and commercial industry, and investors. SBIR Accelerator also provides instruction to cohort companies and participating partners on topics of interest to Phase-I and Phase-II performance so that all participants extract maximum value from the program.
This program is completely free to invited companies thanks to the generous help of our sponsor, Microsoft.
Applications are now closed.
How the Program Works
Any company that submits a Phase-I application to the AFWERX Open Topic may apply. In order to be accepted, applicants must be selected for a Phase-I award.
The application window opens with Topic Pre-Release for the 20.3 Cycle and closes 5 days after the submission deadline for Phase-I applications.
Applications will be screened for eligibility and program fit. Ideal applicants will be US-based, venture-backed companies who intend to raise investment capital within the next 12 months and present a dual-use technology product with military and commercial applications.
Companies who meet screening criteria will be invited to Assessment Day. Prior to Assessment Day companies must confirm receipt of a Phase-I award. All companies will present a 5-minute product, capabilities, and investor pitch during Assessment Day. Pitches will be recorded and distributed to customer, partner, and investor participants.
Selection and Onboarding
Assessed companies will be invited to participate in the Accelerator on a rolling basis beginning immediately after Assessment Day. Companies will have 10 days to accept their invitation, complete an onboarding form, and submit some basic company and product information to be shared with partners.
The SBIR Accelerator will officially begin with a Kickoff Summit approximately 45 days after the close of applications. The Kickoff Summit will provide cohort companies with an overview of the SBIR Accelerator program and participating partners, focused instruction to help companies make the most of Capital Factory and the Accelerator, and an opportunity to sign up to meet DoD and industry partners and investors.
Epic Office Hours
Capital Factory will host multiple Epic Office Hours events, each pairing cohort companies with up to six 20-minute one-on-one meetings with potential customers and investors. Separate Epic Office Hours events will be scheduled for DoD customers, defense and commercial industry, and investors.
Cohort companies that are raising investment capital will leverage Capital Factory’s Investor Relations team to facilitate individual meetings with investors who fit the company’s technology portfolio, stage, and company profile. Investor Relations support will be available for the duration of the cohort and continues after for companies who join the Capital Factory Accelerator.
Bi-Weekly Cohort Updates
For the duration of the cohort, Capital Factory will host a bi-weekly call to ensure cohort companies are on track. Each bi-weekly call will also feature a 1-hour instructional program on a relevant topic, such as intellectual property, STRATFI, writing Phase-II proposals, and other topics as required by the cohort.
The Value Proposition
Why participate in SBIR Accelerator?
Defense industry companies
Leveraging startups gives you a competitive advantage in R&D. Small businesses are the largest source of innovation as measured by patents and PhD employees.
Augment IRAD with SBIR-funded prototypes or adaptations of commercial products.
You are building solutions to the same problems the DoD faces.
“Dual-use” is the DoD’s word of 2019 and forms the foundation of the DoD’s innovation strategy and most successful programs, including the CSO and SBIR Open Topic.
DoD innovation programs are creating incentives that target you and your portfolios. Investment dollars can be matched in Phase-II, potentially up to $20MM or more through the STRATFI program. Startups can effectively raise a $2M+ Series-A to develop, test, and integrate a software using non-dilutive DoD grants. Successful companies in the SBIR Accelerator will tether a DoD program and large commercial customer to the product.
Department of Defense
AFVentures is creating a marketplace of innovative technologies that you need to exploit. Take these excerpts from the DoD Small Business Strategy, October 2019:
“The Department is working to identify opportunities to improve its day-to-day support of small businesses, maximize the utility of each individual program, and replicate our most successful tactics.”
“The Department’s small business and innovation programs specifically drive the strategic goals of enabling innovation, attracting small businesses and reducing barriers to entry.”
SBIR Accelerator is the model of dual-use innovation
This is built for you!
As an industry or commercial partner, join us to find cutting-edge solutions, enhance the capabilities of your own systems, and multiply internal R&D budgets with DoD R&D funding.
As an investor, Capital Factory’s SBIR accelerator will be a steady pipeline of deals you can invest in today, and leverage that investment more than 2x with program funding.
As a DoD problem or program owner, leverage the marketplace of emerging technologies as more and more companies turn their capabilities towards military domain problem sets. Sign on as a customer or user and leverage SBIR program funds to solve your problems!