Early-stage ventures pitched their cutting-edge technologies to venture capital firms, commercial startup accelerators, and Department of Defense (DoD) stakeholders last week at National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Propel Hawaii Demo Day.

Twelve startups shared breakthrough defense solutions for improving networks and connectivity, contested logistics, autonomous systems, and disaster response for the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) N6 and other U.S. Indo-Pacific Commands (INDOPACOM) during NSIN Propel Hawaii Demo Day.

Through the NSIN Propel accelerator, the ventures partnered with military and private sector leaders to learn how to enter and scale in the federal market, further strengthening the national security innovation base. The twelve early-stage companies in the Demo Day, selected from over 200 applicants to participate in the accelerator, fostered innovations including a portable cellular network, ocean data collection system, and a logistics optimization software.

Congressman Ed Case of Hawaii’s First District gave the opening remarks, stressing the importance of fostering a collaborative defense ecosystem in the state. Remarking on Hawaii’s strategic position and status as a host to important military commands Case shared, “With the presence of Pacific Fleet, INDOPACOM, and numerous other military commands, Hawaii offers unique opportunities for collaboration and innovation.”

The Demo Day was hosted by NSIN with the help of partners including NavalX, the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, the University of Hawaii System’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Richard Williams, Communications and Information Systems (N6) Technical Director with PACFLT gave the keynote address and emphasized that the government must seek cutting-edge technologies from partners outside the established military-industrial base. “We must look for creative ways to resource these new capabilities. We must take risks. It is our responsibility, those of us here today and others who are like-minded, to take up this challenge. Your contribution, your partnership, and your collaboration is essential to ensure the U.S. military maintains its competitive technical advantage over our adversaries.” All teams will leave the experience with fresh knowledge of government contracting, new insights they gained through customer interviews and sessions with subject matter experts, and new connections with DoD organizations, academia, private accelerators, and venture capital firms.

CAPT Andre Wilson, Director Of Intelligence Innovation, PACFLT N2C, who acted as a mentor for the cohort, reminded the participants that although the program was coming to a close, they can still benefit from the support and guidance of PACFLT. “To the twelve companies that we selected and the founders, we’re here to help you continue to mature, to understand what the warfighter needs are and help you get this technology into the hands of the people that will need it in the future.”

The NSIN Propel Hawaii cohort:

  • Conducted more than 50 engagements with customers, where they received valuable information about customer needs.
  • Worked with more than 20 government agencies.
  • Submitted more than 25 proposals.

Watch the Demo Day recording here: https://vimeo.com/830813009


  • Beamlink
    Beamlink designs portable cellular networks that can be set up by anyone in minutes, offering off-the-grid 4G or 5G cellular broadband and WiFi connectivity to any phone, in any environment. Beamlink’s networks, made from small lunchbox-sized cell towers, can provide internet access to communities in the wake of a disaster, rural areas, and any austere operating environment.

  • Caliola Engineering
    Caliola Engineering builds resilient and secure communications solutions in anti-access area denial (A2/AD) environments. The team has expertise in military satellite communications (MILSATCOM), nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3), mission planning, high frequency (HF) modernization, assured positioning, navigation and timing (PNT), and non-traditional cybersecurity architectures.

  • EpiSci
    EpiSci is a cross-disciplinary AI-driven company that develops trusted, human-level autonomous technologies for defense, aerospace, and commercial applications. Its tactical AI accelerates hardware-enabled, software-defined, human-commanded, and AI-controlled autonomy for the next generation.

  • Fourth State
    Fourth State is building an enhanced thermo-scatter system that provides over-the-horizon voice and data communications in denied, degraded, and limited capability environments. Its atmospheric conditioning techniques enable the creation of virtual satellites that are rapidly deployable worldwide.

  • Hyperkelp
    Hyperkelp delivers ocean data as a service with its growing network of smart buoys for customers in naval intelligence, climate science, and commercial ports.

  • Kapalya
    Kapalya is developing a next-generation AI/ML based counter ransomware tool, in collaboration with the National Security Agency, which is leading industry standards at detecting, inoculating, and stopping propagation of ransomware or malicious code on mobile, endpoints, servers, cloud, sensors and internet of things (IoT).

  • Lynq
    Lynq’s mobile, ad hoc, mesh networking software (MANET) allows for the rapid deployment of a self-forming and self-healing network of completely heterogeneous devices, securely communicating voice and data over miles without infrastructure or connection fees. Lynq’s software stack can integrate into very low cost, small size, and low power devices. The company also offers a penny-sized module containing this software for ease of customer integration.

  • Makai
    Makai is a Native Hawaiian Organization 8(a) firm specializing in Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR), DoD weapons systems integration, business process improvement, and the modernization of wired and wireless networks.

  • MemComputing
    MemComputing offers a revolutionary approach to solving complex transportation logistics problems that are beyond the capabilities of traditional computing technologies. Its cloud-based MEMCPU™ Platform dramatically reduces the time to optimize logistics applications, driving new levels of operational efficiencies and cost savings, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually for several Fortune 500 companies.

  • QuSecure
    QuSecure is the only U.S.-founded end-to-end post-quantum cryptography solution on the market. Its product, QuProtect®, combines Quantum Random Number Generator with post-quantum cryptography asymmetric algorithms to strengthen post-quantum cryptography (PQC).

  • Seatrec
    Seatrec has developed a patent-granted technology to produce clean and renewable energy from temperature differences in the ocean to provide infinite power for autonomous profiling floats and gliders.

  • TurbineOne
    TurbineOne delivers machine learning at the tactical edge, empowering anyone to find dangerous things in no-code and no-cloud environments. The hardware-agnostic software breaks down vendor-lock and automates national security operations.

About National Security Innovation Network

NSIN is a government program office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD(R&E)) that collaborates with major universities and the venture community to develop solutions that drive national security innovation. We operate two portfolios of programs and services: Talent and Venture. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.

For more information or interview requests with Team NSIN, please contact us at media@nsin.mil.