Air Force creates new pitch day to give away $40M to startups

Startups and small businesses could land up to $40 million at the U.S. Air Force’s first Pitch Day.

The Air Force is calling for submissions from start-ups and small businesses at Air Force Pitch Day in March as part of a larger rapid contracting effort, according to a news release from the Air Force.

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 release stated.

“Mind-blowing ideas are being birthed in U.S. start-up companies, but the Pentagon largely misses out on them,” said Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, in a statement. “We have to do business at the speed of ideas so we can both inspire and accelerate start-up creativity towards national security challenges.”

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

Proposals and pitch decks will be accepted from Jan. 8 to Feb. 6.

The best candidates will be invited to pitch their ideas 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, the Air Force said in a statement.


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