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Defense Innovation Summit to explore tech in national security

HUNTSVILLE – The Invention to Innovation Center or I2C at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is preparing to host the Defense Innovation Summit.

Participants will explore emerging technologies and federal funding avenues as these relate to national security. The summit is “North Alabama’s innovative, matchmaking initiative tailored to national security,” Rigved P. Joshi said. Joshi is Assistant Vice President for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at UAH. He also serves as I2C Director.

The summit’s venue is the I2C at 850 Ben Graves Drive on the UAH campus. Activities will open on May 23 at 10 a.m. and continue until 7 p.m.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., business representatives will present pitches to investors, Department of Defense or DOD and a governmental panel, including Redcell Partners, Squadra Venture Capitalists or VCs, Parallax, Booz Allen Ventures, United States Special Operations Command or USSOCOM and U.S. Army, among others. Companies’ participation is invitation only so interested parties should submit a request early.

The likely candidates to apply include innovators, startups, awardees for Small Business Innovation Research / Other Transaction or SBIR/OT and small businesses. The governmental panel’s members are actively pursuing cutting-edge technologies spanning various domains, with a particular focus on innovations with dual-use potential for both industry and government applications, Joshi said.

These discussions will run until 5 p.m. when the focus shifts to networking and a reception until 7 p.m.

Start-ups and others will present their business models, technologies, products or services to a select group of attendees. These attendees include VCs and other investors who are interested in financing promising ventures, along with DoD stakeholders and other government agencies.

“The pitch is a critical component, designed to showcase the innovation, potential impact and investment worthiness of the presenting companies,” Joshi said.

For a goal of connectivity, the event’s primary aim is to establish a network that connects three key groups:

* Startup innovators – Includes problem solvers, entrepreneurs and companies developing modern technologies and solutions for defense.

* Investors — With VCs and others looking for investment opportunities.

* DoD stakeholders – Includes DoD officials and other government agencies.

Participating VCs are Red Cell, Squadra and Parallax, to-date.

The target audience for the summit includes startups and innovators, who will have a significant opportunity to secure funding, mentorship and strategic partnerships. Other groups are investors “who are always looking for technologies and startups with the potential to disrupt traditional markets or create new ones,” Joshi said.

Also a target audience, DoD and government stakeholders can “facilitate a direct dialogue with innovators, potentially speeding up the adoption of new technologies in defense operations,” Joshi said.

Application deadline is May 5. For information, visit bit.ly/UAH_I2C_2024DIS. Applicants will not have a submission fee. Finalists will receive notification in mid-May.

For more information, email rpj0001@uah.edu or visit uah.edu/i2c.

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