NSIN and Founders Fund jointly hosted our second Starts H4D program, a pitch event featuring teams from the Hacking for Defense course that is now sponsored at 27 universities across the country.

The six finalist teams we selected from this year’s cohort came from Duke, CU Boulder, Stanford, and USC. The selected teams presented to an audience of investors, DoD leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as a judging panel that included:

  • John Tenet, Partner at 8VC
  • Elizabeth Newton, Director of the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy at The Ohio State University
  • Michael Dila, Acceleration Portfolio Manager, NSIN

Two winning teams were awarded up to $30,000 contracts with NSIN to advance their ventures:

  • Team Atomus (USC) developed a secure way for defense contractors to share and monetize IP for 3D printing
  • Learn 2 Win (Stanford) a venture focused on creating productive tools for persistent training within Operational Squadrons

After the pitch and awards, attendees gathered for lunch featuring a keynote discussion between Joe Lonsdale, Partner, 8VC and co-founder of Palantir, and Trae Stephens, Partner, Founders Fund. Following lunch and engaging discussion, teams rotated through three separate learning sessions focusing on government contracting and funding, private fundraising, and legal services and company formation.

Starts H4D provided a great opportunity for teams and innovators to expand their network, develop their expertise in crucial entrepreneurial skill sets, and gain guidance on meaningful transition opportunities within the Department of Defense.

To learn more about the NSIN Acceleration Portfolio