Techstars Announces Autonomous Technology Accelerator With U.S. Air Force
Techstars, the global accelerator network founded in 2006 by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown and current Congressman Jared Polis, announced a new program on Wednesday. Techstars has programs across the country with a wide range of enterprise partners including Cox, Sprint, Ford Barclays and others. For their newest program, the Autonomous Technology Accelerator, Techstars is partnering with the U.S. Air Force.
Warren Katz, the newly named Managing Director for the Boston based autonomous technology program, took to the Techstars blog on Wednesday to make the announcement.
“For decades, the U.S. military has been a key driver of technology and innovation, with the Pentagon serving as the primary funder for early growth of Silicon Valley. Super Glue, Post-It Notes, GPS, cellular technology, lithium ion batteries, even the internet, all originated with the military. In fact, the U.S. military is responsible for almost all of the technology in the iPhone. We wouldn’t have Siri without the Department of Defense. In addition, the Department of Defense budget is $600 billion annually – almost 10 times larger than all U.S. venture capital combined ($69 billion).” Katz said.
That’s why it makes sense for the Air Force to partner on autonomous technology. This announcement is a clear signal that the US government is willing to do business, and support innovation, with companies of any size. Some of the more forward thinking technologies that can not only improve our military but also our way of living, are coming from startups and entrepreneurs and not billion dollar defense contractors.
In addition to the normal features of a Techstars accelerator program, startups selected for the Autonomous Technology Accelerator will also receive training in how to pitch their businesses, ideas and innovation to the government.
“The Techstars Autonomous Technology Accelerator with the U. S. Air Force supports commercially viable startups with dual-purpose technologies- a private sector application & a government application, including companies with autonomous technology that might enable or enhance the ability to detect, track, identify, characterize, attribute & mitigate unmanned aerial systems, and any related enabling technologies.” Techstars says.
Applications for this accelerator are open through November 5th and the session begins January 22nd in Boston. The session runs through April 19th. Interested startups can apply here.