Fall Fed Supernova Schedule Fall Fed Supernova Schedule

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

- CDT
SBIR Accelerator Showcase
Helena Krusec
Helena Krusec
Capital Factory, Senior Venture Partnerships Manager
Sean McIntosh
Sean McIntosh
Foothold Labs, CEO
James Hancock
James Hancock
Parasanti, CEO
Arun Nair
Arun Nair
Opslab.com, CEO and Founder

Curious what kind of companies use the SBIR Program to snag non-dilutive capital and work with the DoD? Find out during an hour of rapid, back-to-back pitches from companies that recently completed the Capital Factory SBIR Accelerator. 

You'll get a peek at some interesting technology, be introduced to impressive founders, and walk away with a better idea of the resources available to help you break into this huge market. This session will be moderated to keep us moving and maximize value for attendees.

- CDT
Why Fed Supernova? A Message from Texas University Leaders
Chancellor John Sharp
Chancellor John Sharp
The Texas A&M University System, Chancellor
Dr. Richard Benson
Dr. Richard Benson
The University of Texas at Dallas, President
Joshua Baer
Joshua Baer
Capital Factory, Founder & CEO of Capital Factory
Dr. Taylor Eighmy
Dr. Taylor Eighmy
University of Texas San Antonio, President

Don’t miss Capital Factory Founder & CEO Joshua Baer as he shares his reasons for creating this event, what it means for the innovation ecosystem in Texas and beyond, and what you can expect to experience during the next two days.

To help us kick off Fed Supernova, we’ve invited leaders from Texas’ premier universities to speak about their vision for Texas as the best state for defense innovation. As centers for national security research and development, Texas’ universities pave the way for innovators to drive critical defense solutions. How do academic institutions bridge the gap between industry and defense? More importantly -- which bridges can we begin to build now?

Joining Joshua Baer onstage are TAMU Chancellor, John Sharp, UT Dallas President, Dr. Richard Benson, and UTSA President, Dr. Taylor Eighmy, who will spotlight the power of Texas universities to align efforts and advance research toward the national interest.

- CDT
AFWERX Welcome Message
Gen David W. Allvin
Gen David W. Allvin
USAF, Vice Chief of Staff
Lt Col Rock McMillan
Lt Col Rock McMillan
SpaceWERX, Director

Welcome to AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force's team of innovators who encourage and facilitate connections across industry, academia, and military to create transformative opportunities and foster a culture of innovation. 

Learn how you can engage with AFWERX's mission, vision, and scope for increasing partnerships during Fed Supernova 2021, and hear a special message from Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David W. Allvin.

- CDT
Fireside Chat on Innovation and Acquisitions: What Partnering Means for the Air Force
Maj Gen Cameron Holt
Maj Gen Cameron Holt
USAF, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting
Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
8VC, General Partner
Michael Piller
Michael Piller
USAF, Contracting Officer

The novel ideas that drove the high-tech revolution — and that helped the United States build strength as a nation — were grounded in a close, mutually-beneficial relationship between the military and the commercial world. Today, those same partnerships are critical to protecting the intellectual property of American businesses and helping the country protect itself from foreign threats.

As the U.S. Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting, Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt is helping the service reinvigorate those partnerships at the strategic level by pushing the envelope of government acquisitions and building a culture of critical thinking among the Air Force contracting community. Find out what he’s doing and why he is optimistic about the path ahead.

- CDT
Get to Know the Air Force Research Laboratory
Maj Gen Heather Pringle
Maj Gen Heather Pringle
AFRL, Commander

With a $3B science and technology program — and an additional $3B in externally funded research and development — the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is a pretty big deal. This scientific research organization is dedicated to leading the discovery, development, and integration of new technologies across the entire United States Air Force as well as for U.S. space and cyberspace forces.

Since 1997, AFRL has been partnering with NASA, DARPA, universities, commercial organizations, and others to perform experiments that push the boundaries of what’s possible. Hear from AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle as she shares what AFRL is up to these days and how you can be part of their mission.

- CDT
AFWERX and SpaceWERX Overview
Lt Col Rock McMillan
Lt Col Rock McMillan
SpaceWERX, Director
Philip Hahn
Philip Hahn
AFWERX, AFWERX Deputy

Established in 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force, AFWERX connects innovators across government, industry, and academia to accelerate commercial technologies that can solve military problems. By harnessing the ingenuity of internal talent and creating novel programs to help small businesses, AFWERX is spearheading a new normal for military-civilian partnerships.

Join Col. Nathan Diller and Lt. Col. Rock McMillan to learn more about AFWERX and SpaceWERX, its Space Force affiliated arm, as well what these new approaches mean for the nation’s economy, for its defense, and for you.

- CDT
Empowering Innovation at the Operational Edge
Maj Steven Lauver
Maj Steven Lauver
AFWERX, Spark Division Chief

End-user feedback is an essential part of product and software development for most companies. After all, no one knows how a tool actually performs (or should perform) better than the people who use it every day. That’s why DODx organizations are finding creative ways to bring service members directly into the military R&D process — partnering men and women in uniform with commercial innovators to solve tactical-level problems as a team.

Learn how AFWERX is driving these collaborations through its grassroots innovation program, Spark, by connecting Air Force and Space Force intrapreneurs with top problem-solvers from industry, academia, and government. With a decentralized global network, Spark is growing the Air Force’s culture of innovation while turning locally generated ideas and projects into real-world applications.

- CDT
Incentivizing Private Capital Investment in National Security Interests
Maj Jason Rathje
Maj Jason Rathje
AFVentures, Director

Private capital firms have been leery of investing in companies that focus on federal government work, due in part to conventional funding timelines and concerns about translating military technology to the commercial market. But that trend is shifting. In the past 5 years, companies tagged “gov tech” on Crunchbase raised nearly $2B in investment, indicating major growth — and major opportunities — in the government market.

Join AFVentures, the commercial investment arm of the Air Force, to learn how they are helping drive this shift by transforming the Air Force and Space Force into a premier early-stage “investor." By speeding timelines and offering non-dilutive funding to match private capital, AFWERX is attracting more companies as partners and accelerating commercialization of technologies that support national security.

- CDT
SBIR/STTR Success Stories
Helena Krusec
Helena Krusec
Capital Factory, Senior Venture Partnerships Manager
David Zakariaie
David Zakariaie
Senseye, CEO and Founder
John Chapman
John Chapman
Link to Learn, President
Jeff Brooks
Jeff Brooks
Robotic Services Inc, Chief Operating Officer

Startups and entrepreneurs play an ever-increasing role in innovation and job creation — and in keeping the U.S. competitive amid globalization. That’s why the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was created in 1982 and why the government awards billions in non-dilutive funding through SBIR each year.

The funding is out there, but only if you know how to access it. In 2020, Capital Factory introduced a no-cost SBIR Accelerator to help companies crack the code and maximize their success when applying for SBIR topics. Come meet a few of the companies that found success in this program last year to learn more about their projects and their experiences with Capital Factory's SBIR Accelerator.

- CDT
Return on Investments & Upcoming Opportunities
Maj Jason Rathje
Maj Jason Rathje
AFVentures, Director

This is a MUST ATTEND. Get an update and briefing on the returns on investment on current STRATFIs of the Air Forces big collaborative opportunities. Learn more about the upcoming opportunities and how you can take advantage of these as well! You won't want to miss out on this one!

- CDT
Emerging Commercial Markets
Darshan Divakaran
Darshan Divakaran
AFWERX, Senior Operations Research Analyst
Tom Meagher
Tom Meagher
AFWERX, Prime Division Chief
Lt Col Rock McMillan
Lt Col Rock McMillan
SpaceWERX, Director
Dyan Gibbens
Dyan Gibbens
AFWERX, Strategic Advisor

Agility Prime, the Air Force Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) program, is a giant leap forward in military thinking on new competitive markets. Through unprecedented commercial partnerships, we are leveling the playing field to support this emerging market in the U.S. But it will not be the last program of its type. Space debris remediation, quieter supersonic travel, and other frontier industries are just a few that are poised to be next. 

Come hear more about the AFWERX Prime Division's mission and vision for identifying and accelerating dual-use technologies for commercial success and defense utility. We’ll share successes of the past year, detail the road to fielding an eVTOL capability by 2023, and explain how AFWERX is "franchising" the Agility Prime framework to accelerate and transition dual-use technology related to the space domain.  

- CDT
Corridors to Advance Air Mobility
Darshan Divakaran
Darshan Divakaran
AFWERX, Senior Operations Research Analyst
Ted Lehr
Ted Lehr
City of Austin, Data Architect
Adrian Doko
Adrian Doko
AUVSI, Lone Star, President
Glenn Hamer
Glenn Hamer
TX Association of Business, President and CEO
Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe
FAA, Regional Administrator

The global air taxi passenger mobility market is forecasted to grow from ~$1.5B in 2025 to more than $150B by 2035. And electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) lies at the core of this burgeoning market. With promises of quieter operation, fewer maintenance requirements, and lower operational costs, VCs aren’t the only ones with enhanced interest in the eVTOL industry. The military is equally focused on the electric future of vertical lift. 

Join this diverse panel of speakers to learn more about the U.S. Air Force’s efforts to accelerate the eVTOL transition through dual-use development campaigns in central Texas. With a presentation followed by Q&A, you will discover the potential of this new technology to positively disrupt military operations and the urban mobility landscape alike.

- CDT
Innovare Advancement Center: Collaboration and Innovation in Action
Karen Roth
Karen Roth
AFRL, Chief Engineer
Dan Madden
Dan Madden
Squadra Ventures, Principal, National Security
Steve Colenzo
Steve Colenzo
Air Force Research Lab/Information Directorate, Technology Transfer Lead
Heather Hage
Heather Hage
Griffiss Institute, President & CEO

By natural extension of its collaborative culture and inspired by the call to action underlying the 2030 S&T Strategy, the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) has intensified its pursuit of new academic and industry partners with complementary capabilities to enable rapid performance cycles to meet the urgent demand for artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), cyber, quantum, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) solutions that enhance the United States’ national security and economic competitiveness. With support from all levels of local, regional, state, and federal government, AFRL/RI has, in parallel to advancing new partnerships, led the development of a state-of-the-art open innovation environment just “over the fence” to expand the Lab’s reach into academic, industry, and startup partners who have vastly extended the Lab’s own capabilities, leveraging diverse computing systems, chip fabrication facilities, novel university technologies, and other federal programs and venture capital investments.

This panel will explore the new Innovare Advancement Center in Rome, NY, it’s aggressive five year strategy to establish 100 new technical partners, 100 new entrepreneurial ventures, and elevate the community’s intellectual leadership in its core technical areas. The panelists represent various members of the Innovare community, to include AFRL and the Griffiss Institute and will discuss opportunities to engage in these critical National Defense areas.

- CDT
AFWERX Closing Remarks
Lt Col Rock McMillan
Lt Col Rock McMillan
SpaceWERX, Director

Catch your breath from taking notes on all the opportunities for the future with Lt Col McMillan as he provides final comments after an exciting day of panels, networking, and discussions.