NSIN and the Joint AI Center (JAIC) will host an event called MD5 Starts NYC, in New York City on Wednesday, 24 April 2019. We will showcase a group of early-stage dual-use ventures working in the areas of AI and Cyber.

Selected participants will present short pitches demonstrating the potential of ventures working at the intersection of national security and scalable commercial opportunities. Startup finalists selected to present at the event will have the opportunity to address high impact investors, defense and security industry representatives, and government leaders and become eligible for future NSIN-sponsored opportunities.

More Information

The Joint AI Center was announced in June 2018 with the overarching goal of “accelerating the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scaling the Department-wide impact of AI, and synchronizing DoD AI activities to expand Joint Force advantages.” NSIN is a program office reporting through the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense, Research, & Engineering whose mission is to build new communities of innovators to solve national security problems.

This year’s competition will take place on Wednesday, April 24th in New York, NY. We are taking submissions from early-stage ventures working in the areas of Artificial Intelligence & Cybersecurity.

We are looking for entrepreneurs who are developing technologies or solutions that have a dual-use. Your company is eligible if you are building something capable of serving both the commercial and defense/security market, regardless of whether you are actively pursuing such a strategy at present.

Our goal is to get the most innovative projects in front of senior leaders who can support them. Some innovators need money. Some need an advocate to cut through the entrenched bureaucracy. Some want to recruit others to join their team.

Selection Criteria to Include

  1. Potential to address scalable commercial markets
  2. Potential impact on urgent and important national security problem
  3. Level of technical innovation
  4. Strength and experience of team
  5. Readiness to test or demonstrate product/market fit


Lt Gen Jack Shanahan

Lt Gen Jack Shanahan

Lt Gen John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan is the Director, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Office of the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. General Shanahan is responsible for accelerating the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities, scaling the department-wide impact of AI and synchronizing AI activities to expand joint force advantages.

General Shanahan received his commission in 1984 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at the University of Michigan. He has served in a variety of flying, staff and command assignments, most recently as the Director for Defense Intelligence Warfighter Support, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. He was also the Director of the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (Project Maven), where he led the artificial intelligence pathfinder program charged with accelerating integration of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

General Shanahan also served as the Commander, 25th Air Force, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, where he led 30,000 personnel in worldwide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations and also served as the Commander of the Service Cryptologic Component. In this capacity he was responsible to the Director, National Security Agency, and Chief, Central Security Service, as the Air Force’s sole authority for matters involving the conduct of cryptologic activities, including the spectrum of missions directly related to both tactical warfighting and national-level operations.

Startup Selection Timeline

12 MAR: Call for participation opens

29 MAR: Call for participation closes

02 APR: Best candidates invited to submit virtual pitches

12 APR: Five finalists chosen and announced

24 APR: MD5 Starts NYC event


Questions About the Event

Contact Michael Dila for further details.