The National Security Innovation Network’s pilot program, Vector, successfully scaled NSIN-alumni capabilities into the DoD

National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) program alumni recently competed for prize money and a chance to develop their companies for future projects within the Department of Defense (DoD). Two teams, Distributed Spectrum LLC and DroneHQ, each received $25,000 for winning the NSIN Vector showcases.

This was the first running of Vector, an accelerated-learning-pilot-program based on the business fundamentals of dual-use venture creation. Vector’s mission is to further develop the capabilities of alumni from NSIN’s Hacking for Defense (H4D), Hacks, and X-Force programs.

For the inaugural event, 18 teams participated in an eight-week accelerator that covered business formation, market analysis, sales, fundraising, government contracting 101, and pitch prep.

“I’m amazed at how far these teams have come in just eight-short weeks,” said Andrew Oury, Vector’s program manager. “There are still a lot of things we need to test, but I think we’ve demonstrated that the solutions that come out of NSIN’s other DoD problem solving programs can be scaled into businesses a lot faster than we expected.”

Vector and program partners divided the teams into two cohorts. The first nine teams received their instruction from Dcode; the other nine received their instruction from H4XLabs, an affiliate of BMNT, Inc.

About the Winners

May 19 Showcase Winner: Distributed Spectrum LLC

Distributed Spectrum LLC develops low SWaP-C spectrum monitoring systems for signal detection, classification, and localization in a variety of complex environments. They use commodity-grade hardware and novel signal processing approaches to analyze the radio environment in real time at a low cost.

Distributed Spectrum LLC ’s Solution

Detect and classify radio frequency (RF) threats for army vehicles in the field, or in a SCIF, using a distributed network of sensor nodes for signal detection, classification, and localization.

Distributed Spectrum LLC also won NSIN’s Mad Hacks: Fury Code hackathon in February this year.

“NSIN has been critical to our success as an early-stage startup. Through the Hacks and Vector programs, we landed our first government contract, made valuable connections throughout the DoD, and gained advisors who helped us tremendously to navigate the many challenges of beginning to work with the government.” - Distributed Spectrum LLC

Watch the May 19 Vector showcase.

May 21 Showcase Winner: DroneHQ

DroneHQ provides drone detection and tracking software from a micro-UAV capable of giving soldiers a real-time mapping of threats in their area.

DroneHQ’s Solution

Develop a device that detects and locates threats operating in a three-dimensional space, which offers soldiers a significant advantage because they can detect other flying drones.

“We had the opportunity last summer to work with NSIN through the X-Force Fellowship to develop drone detection software. We had continued working with the amazing people at NSIN and at H4X Labs at BMNT, Inc. in an accelerator batch. The knowledge and information that was provided to us was invaluable and expedited our process to incorporate and formulate more connections in our pursuit of helping service members. We are so grateful that after 10-weeks, we were awarded $25,000 to keep working on our product so we can develop the company and get the product into the hands of service members. Both programs have been life changing, and, as a result, we are continuing our work with NSIN through the X-Force fellowship again this summer.” - DroneHQ

Watch the May 21 Vector showcase.

Learn more about Vector on UNUM, NSIN’s collaboration and networking platform. Anyone can join UNUM and explore future NSIN programs.

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.