The winners of the 2020 DIA cohort are building upon their achievements and implementing their technology into the DoD

As the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA) 2021 Showcase Day approaches on Sept. 14, the winning teams from last year’s Demo Day, Forcyte and Candelytics, continue to achieve remarkable results.

The DIA program, powered by FedTech, matches breakthrough Department of Defense (DoD) lab technologies with teams of entrepreneurs to solve the real-world problems of DoD and commercial sponsors. In 2020, 24 teams, including Forcyte and Candelytics, conducted market assessments and evaluated the commercialization potential of DoD technologies. Out of the 2020 cohort, 11 companies were formed across seven states in the U.S., and at least nine companies are purusing licensing or cooperative agreements with DoD labs.


Founded in the 2020 DIA cohort, Candelytics uses artificial intelligence (AI) to collect and analyze 3D data for customers. Using AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms, Candeltyics generates actionable insights through analytics such as differential analysis, automated feature extraction, geometric search, and predictive maintenance. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) currently relies on a process called volumetrics by which crews use a tape measure, pen, and paper to collect measurements from the interior of suspected narcotic-trafficking vessels in order to find smuggling compartments; the entire process costs $1.7 billion to fight a more than $66 billion problem. By dramatically reducing collection time, improving data completeness/accuracy, and enabling data sharing through Candelytics software, the USCG projects they will reduce the time it takes to scan ships by over 60% and potentially double seizures.

Since winning the inaugural NSIN DIA cohort, Candelytics has received second place in the Rice University 2021 Veterans Business Battle and has been selected for the 2021 cohort for MassChallenge and the inaugural cohort of Google’s Founder’s Academy. In 2021, Candalytics is in the final stages of pre-seed funding, and it is converting Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracts into Phase Two. In addition, Candalytics has successfully closed out two contracts with the U.S. Air Force and secured a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with AFWERX.


Forcyte, founded during the 2020 NSIN DIA program, is a team of experts commercializing real breakthroughs in government technology to evolve national security energy capabilities such as wireless power solutions to overcome energy challenges. For example, Forcyte is currently competing in the AFWERX Energy Transmission and Distribution Challenge. Forcyte entered its Energy Informed Operations System (EIOS) a software platform that successfully models, simulates, and analyzes transmitting microwave energy through the atmosphere and its conversion into direct current electricity.

In 2021, Forcyte is developing complimentary wireless power hardware solutions for unmanned systems as part of their revolutionary product roadmap.

2021 DIA Cohort

The NSIN DIA program is an intensive four-month iteration executed in two phases. Phase one focuses on customer discovery, exploring the commercial viability of the DoD technology, and identifying business and technology development pathways. Phase two focuses on company formation, technology licensing, and identifying commercial and public funding opportunities.

The top six NSIN DIA teams, a field of 22 for the 2021 cohort, will pitch their projects to investors, government partners, and fellow entrepreneurs for an opportunity to commercialize their technology. Projects include X-ray computed tomography (CT), mercury-free handheld ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, and data pre-processing with natural language.

Join us live for the 2021 DIA pitch competition at noon EDT on Sept. 14. Register now.

About DIA

The Defense Innovation Accelerator is a program of the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) powered by FedTech. Through the partnership, breakthrough technology is leveraged from top Defense Department research and development labs to solve real-world problems with defense and commercial customers. Entrepreneurs and mentors are sourced from across the U.S. and matched into teams with inventors of new and innovative technologies from Defense Department labs. Over an intensive months-long program, teams go through two phases: customer discovery and early company formation. Successful teams have gone on to form companies, license the technology from the labs and pursue various funding opportunities.