Awards will be distributed as grants for the purpose of assisting the recipient in pursuing acquisition and/or contracting opportunities with Air Force or other defense entities. Companies selected to participate will be set up as a vendor with New Mexico Tech and will submit an invoice for the award received.
There are numerous contracting and acquisition opportunities that might exist through the program. Hyperspace Challenge is one of many initiatives emerging as Space Technology Accelerators within the Air Force, and participating in our challenge brings you into a network that also includes Colorado Springs and Los Angeles, as well as other programs focused on increasing the speed of innovation within the defense community. We cannot guarantee that participants will win contracts or undergo rapid acquisition with defense agencies. However, we’re here to help facilitate the contracting process as new contracts are a primary goal of Hyperspace Challenge. We do know that startups who have participated in similar programs have gone on to contract with the defense community or have their technology purchased by defense users they met during their respective programs.
We encourage companies to use appropriate discretion as they interact with defense users and peer participants. We want your capabilities to be understood, but your IP and/or trade secrets will remain protected. Rest assured that anything shared with the Hyperspace Challenge team will be used only for purposes of screening, vetting, and selecting applicants for full participation.
After the Hyper Accelerator Week in November, your company may be assigned a Defense Liaison who will continue to assist in your company’s pursuit of rapid acquisition or contracting opportunities. This person will help broker follow-on meetings, navigate submission processes, and generally vouch for you within the defense community. Because there are many ways a company’s technology might reach end users within the defense community, we can’t prescribe exactly what will happen and a precise timeline, but our commitment is to help you move as quickly as possible to a real business relationship over three to six months post-accelerator.
All companies should plan to give 3 hours of their time during the month of September for a series of webinars with defense users. These webinars will help you further understand defense agencies’ needs and how your capabilities may help solve defense problems. After the webinar series, plan to give 5 hours of your time to develop your submission, due on September 21, 2018. Submissions are your explanation of how your company’s capabilities respond to specific problem statement(s). If your submission is selected as a finalist to participate in Hyper Accelerator Week, prepare to attend 3-4 on-boarding and educational webinars during the month of October. You should also allow time to plan travel and logistics, and conduct further research into problem statements. You may also want to allow some hours to research potential data sets that might help you demonstrate your capability during the Hyper Accelerator Week. Then, on November 13-16, you’ll participate in a 3-day Hyper Accelerator Week, in which you’ll interact with defense users and illustrate how your capabilities fit defense user needs. This will be a 3-day event, inclusive of travel.
We recommend three roles from your company be present to realize the full benefit of the interactions:
- Business Development Lead (CEO for many startups)
- Technical Lead (CTO for many startups, understands overall capabilities of the company’s technology[ies])
- Product Lead / Developer (i.e. team member working under Technical Lead who is hands-on with the code)
Yes, by October 1 we will send a packet to participating companies to assist in travel planning and logistics for you and the team members coming with you. We’ll even let you know where the best spots are for green chile.
Full question: Under #3, Product/Service, Practicality for Stakeholders – could you please define what is meant by “stakeholders”? Do you consider that any entity that benefits, or is it just for financial stakeholders or something else? Answer: Stakeholders in this sense could be synonymous with “actors.” This question is getting you to think through who else besides the end user may be needed in order for your solution/innovation to be integrated for the problem(s) you’re addressing. Quick example: If I’m selling a point of sell app to a restaurant that greatly improves the cashier experience and customer loyalty, and I have validated that cashiers (the end users) love it, I must also consider cashiers’ managers and even restaurant owners who will buy it (two other stakeholders) to actually get the sale and integrate it into a restaurant’s workflow. Now, you may not have a complete picture based on our webinar interviews alone who the other stakeholders could be, so simply provide your best thinking based on what you do know.