The DoD is making significant investments in 5G, deploying infrastructure and looking to support 5G enabled startups.

About this Event

“5G will bring about wireless, ubiquitous connectivity across humans, machines, and the Internet of Things. DOD will adapt 5G and next-generation technologies to “operate through” congested and contested spectrum and compromised networks to ensure maximum readiness, lethality, and partnering among allies. 5G prototyping and experimentation will be conducted in collaboration with the defense industry and commercial suppliers to accelerate US prominence in the 5G global ecosystem.” - DOD CTO Modernization Priorities

This two-part event will feature a live pitch competition with 10 promising 5G-enabled startups competing for $200,000 in prizes and a series of keynote presentations outlining DOD’s strategy around 5G and current partnerships.

In support of the new U.S. Department of Defense 5G strategy, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar is the first military base test and rollout Verizon 5G through its partnership with Verizon and Qualcomm. Listen to the Part One episode of the MCAS Miramar 5G Podcast Series to learn more about how the implementation came to life. In part two of conversation listen as the group discusses the future 5G applications and how it will transform mission success across government.

Podcast Part One

Podcast Part Two


The DOD has identified 5G, and the many applications it enables, as one of it’s top technological priority areas. As a result, the military is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire and develop capabilities. This event will feature Navy and DOD leadership to provide insights into the military’s strategy for 5G deployment and illuminate how Commercial/Defense collaborations will unlock future capabilities in areas such as Smart Cities, IoT, Connected Vehicles, among many other areas.

At 10:00am, the morning session will kick off and feature distinguished speakers, including:

  • Representative Scott Peters (52nd District, California)
  • James “Hondo” Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy
  • Andrés Irlando, President, Verizon Public Sector
  • Junaid Islam, Director - Verizon Public Sector

Lt.Col Brandon Newell, Director, SoCal Tech Bridge, Naval X will interview Joe Snively, Department of Navy CIO and 5G Lead to highlight efforts by the Navy & OUSD 5G.

This morning session will feature a 5G Living Lab Panel moderated by Lt. Col Newell and conclude at 12:10pm. This portion will allow for Q&A and feature:

  • Declan Lynch, Strategy, Growth & Operations, Anduril
  • Eddie Mottern, Executive Vice President, Robotic Research
  • Rich Julien, AWS Public Sector Venture Capital and Startups


The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), in partnership with NavalX SoCal Tech Bridge, is hosted a national search to identify 5G enabled technologies to participate in a pitch competition, known as Starts.

From a pool of applicants, the top ten submissions have been selected to participate in a virtual pitch event with $50,000 awarded to the top four companies. The afternoon pitch session will begin at 12:40pm and open with a keynote by Morgan Plummer, Managing Director, National Security Innovation Network (NSIN).

The 10 selected companies will pitch to a distinguished panel of strategic advisors who will use their expertise to broaden the audience’s understanding of the potential impact of these companies on the DoD, Navy, and US Marine Corps.

  • GenXComm
  • Aarna Networks
  • Athena-Tek
  • IoT/AI
  • Kumu Networks
  • Omnispace
  • Pison
  • Taubyte
  • VRotors
  • COMSovereign

Benefits of Participating

  • $50,000 prize awarded to the top four companies;
  • Exposure to leaders across multiple branches of the DoD responsible for the development and deployment of 5G technologies;
  • Exposure to VCs focused on 5G technologies;
  • Opportunity to pitch to a panel of senior DoD and VC leaders;
  • Invitation to pilot your technology in a real-world 5G environment on a military base; and,
  • Exposure to DoD 5G initiatives to include 5G consortiums supporting OUSD

For more information, please view the Problem Statement.


  • 11 SEPT 2020 - Application Period Begins
  • 06 OCT 2020 - Application Period Ends
  • 09 Oct 2020 - Finalists Notified
  • 27 OCT 2020 - Pitch Day
  • JAN – MAR 2021 - On-base demonstration & evaluation

Questions About the Event

For more information, email Joey Clark, NSIN Starts Program Manager.