22 teams of entrepreneurs, mentors, and innovators began their mission to leverage advanced technologies developed by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) labs and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs).

The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA)’s 2021 cohort launched May 22 with a virtual day-long summit. The summit brought together 22 teams of 66 entrepreneurs to work with DoD lab scientists and technologists. They deployed on a four-month mission to assess the market viability and the potential to commercialize DoD lab technologies.

The event included nearly 120 innovators, entrepreneurs, and mentors who participated in team-building exercises and received guidance from serial entrepreneurs and instructors. Together, they collaborated on topics such as team dynamics, lean startup principles, customer discovery, and salesmanship.

“The goal of DIA is to find a way to leverage breakthrough DoD lab technology to solve real-world problems for the DoD and the private sector,” explained Mark Antholt, DIA program manager. “We are very excited about what this group of entrepreneurs and inventors will accomplish.”

NSIN Regional Directors

The DIA kickoff included a panel discussion featuring three of NSIN’s Regional Directors: Tony Arnedt, Great Lakes Regional Director; Jim Rabuck, Southwest Regional Director; and Jesse Gipe, Pacific-South Regional Director. Michael Bynum of FedTech moderated the panel discussion. Photo courtesy of FedTech.

The technology sourced from DoD labs includes: Aerospace Corp.; AFRL RX Materials & Manufacturing Directorate; Army Research Laboratory; Naval Research Laboratory; NIWC Pacific; NSWC Carderock; NSWC Crane,; NUWC Keyport; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility; and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Their mission is to evaluate DoD lab technologies, and ascertain which technologies may be commercially marketable.

NSIN and FedTech partner in the DIA program by sourcing talented and passionate innovators to create high-tech companies around DoD technologies. Teams are matched with DoD inventions that are ripe for technology transfer and transition.

Visit the NSIN DIA page to view important workshop and pitch dates.


About DIA

The Defense Innovation Accelerator is a program of the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) powered by FedTech. Through the partnership, breakthrough technology is leveraged from top Defense Department research and development labs to solve real-world problems with defense and commercial customers. Entrepreneurs and Mentors are sourced from across the U.S. and matched into teams with inventors of innovative technologies from Defense Department labs. Over an intensive months long program teams go through two phases; customer discovery and early company formation. Successful teams have gone on to form companies, license the technology from the labs and pursue various funding opportunities.

About NSIN

NSIN changes the way the Department of Defense solves problems. NSIN is headquartered in Arlington, VA, and has regional offices in 11 commercial innovation hubs throughout the United States. Through its headquarters, regional hubs, and embedded university partnerships, NSIN builds networks of innovators that generate new solutions to national security problems through collaborative partnerships with non-traditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.


For more information contact media@nsin.us.