ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Force is calling for submissions from start-ups and small businesses as it seeks to rapidly invest up to $40 million at Air Force Pitch Day as part of a larger rapid contracting effort.

Air Force Pitch Day is designed as a fast-track program to put companies on one-page contracts and same-day awards with the swipe of a government credit card. The opportunity affords small businesses access to the military market as well as non-dilutive capital, which is funding that does not require a company to share its ownership.

The event is modeled after commercial investment pitch competitions to deliver a faster, smarter approach to compete for ideas in the accelerating technology ecosystem. The process is a major departure from the lengthy contractual processes typically expected of the military.

“Mind-blowing ideas are being birthed in U.S. start-up companies, but the Pentagon largely misses out on them,” said Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. “We have to do business at the speed of ideas so we can both inspire and accelerate start-up creativity towards national security challenges. The only way we’re going to do that is by making sure partnering with the Air Force is easy and energizing.”

Submissions are open to ideas furthering national security in air, space and cyberspace with a special emphasis on three areas:

– Command, control, communications, intelligence and network technologies

– Battlefield air operations family of systems technologies

– Digital technologies

Companies are encouraged to apply soon – proposals and pitch decks will be accepted from January 8 – February 6.

The most promising candidates will be invited to pitch their ideas live to a team of Air Force experts, commercial investors and defense partners in New York City March 6, for an opportunity to compete for an Air Force contract award up to $158,000.

For more information visit https://www.afsbirsttr.af.mil/Program/Air-Force-Pitch-Day/.

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