The Emerge Accelerator connects U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) mission partners (e.g., operational units, program offices, etc.) with emerging technology teams and startups at our nation’s top research universities.


The NSIN Emerge Accelerator seeks to establish partnerships with universities to create new dual-use ventures that can serve both government and commercial markets. The ventures will be based on existing university intellectual property corresponding to the DoD’s urgent and critical areas of technology development.

The 12-week program offers participants funding to accelerate venture creation and technology transition.The program also offers access to feedback, advisors, and potential partners from the DoD and private industry. While pursuing federal and commercial markets is highly encouraged, the NSIN Emerge Accelerator excels at providing new ventures with the baseline knowledge necessary to do business with the federal government and the private sector.


Teams should have reached a Technology Readiness Level* (TRL) of 4 (validation in a relevant environment) or greater, plus a technology vertical focus on artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), deep tech, autonomy, cyber security, and other general technology solutions.

*Source: The 9 Technology Readiness Levels of the DoD

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I apply? Please submit your application via the form embedded below. If you experience accessibility issues or the submission form is unavailable on your browser, please email
  • When does Emerge occur? The Emerge Accelerator takes place over four months and the next iteration is expected to begin mid-January 2024.
  • Where does Emerge happen? Emerge is primarily virtual, with an in-person orientation week and an in person final showcase event.
  • What stage venture should apply? Pre-Series A ventures should apply with a TRL 4 or above. Otherwise, NSIN seeks ventures or teams aspiring to become ventures interested in exploring ways of doing business and employing their research within the DoD.
  • Who is qualified to participate? University students, faculty, and others who work on technology within the university system. Applicants should have a .edu email address when applying for Emerge and either be a student or employed in some way by the university.
  • Is funding included? In some cases, the program may (at its discretion) provide non-dilutive funding as part of participating in the Emerge program. Participants will learn more about this during the application and acceptance process.
  • What level of venture participation is expected? The expected minimum workload for teams is about two hours per week for every week throughout the cohort.
  • How many ventures does Emerge accept? Initially, we plan to recruit at least 15 ventures and then filter down resources for the select ventures that show the most commitment and demonstrate the strongest performance. All accepted cohort ventures will continue to receive a base level of support regardless of how far they progress in the accelerator and may be eligible to receive additional resources as they become ready in future Emerge iterations.
  • Derivative IP? The purpose of the Emerge Accelerator is for new ventures based around university IP to explore the benefits of making their business dual-use. NSIN is a DoD organization that exists to promote dual-use innovation. We are not asking to obtain teams’ equity or IP rights. IP considerations will be up to the parties involved for teams that make separate agreements with our DoD partners. NSIN does not speak for other DoD organizations or the DoD at large.
  • How can my university become an Emerge provider? At this time we are not considering universities to be a provider for the Emerge program.

Apply by Nov. 17, 2023

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