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AFWERX, Techstars announce 10 companies to participate in tech accelerator

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The 10 companies the Air Force and Techstars selected to participate in an in-residence technology accelerator program during the AFWERX 2019 Techstars Autonomous Technology Accelerator in Boston last month began the program Feb. 18.

The tech accelerator enabled the Air Force to partner with small businesses to solve the service’s most challenging technological obstacles in innovative ways. Ideas pitched during the event were required to be beneficial to both commercial and U.S. military customers.

“Techstars carries the torch for company viability – they do this for a living,” said Capt. Steve Lauver, AFWERX director of technology accelerators. “They have done hundreds of interviews with the applicants over the past month to get us to where we are today. I am extremely grateful to those Department of Defense members who provided feedback along the way.”

Selected participants will receive education on entrepreneurship, business and marketing through the technology accelerator program and are required to engage with more than 100 potential customers throughout the process, including the Department of Defense. The three-month program will culminate in spring 2019 with a public “Demo Day,” where the companies will pitch their solutions to prospective customers and investors.

The 10 finalists and products include:

AirShare: Complete, end-to-end, nondestructive counter-drone system that safely tracks, intercepts and neutralizes malicious drones and drone swarms.

Avocado Systems: Internal cloud threat detection that can identify zero-day vulnerabilities after intrusion.

Bitwoke: Edge-base artificial intelligence for cybersecurity of Internet of Things.

Botanisol: Handheld Raman Spectrometer that can identify molecular composition of substances in real time.

Cleo Robotics: “Hockey Puck” drone that can be thrown and bounces off floors and walls for special operations reconnaissance and inspection of constrained spaces.

Flite Material Sciences: Proprietary surface treatment that makes materials water, ice and rust repellent.

SafeFlight: Drone incident reporting app and cloud Software as a Service to inform public safety and homeland defense of malicious drone and swarm events.

SliceUp: The fastest Time Series Database for autonomous vehicle data analytics, Internet of Things, and financial data processing.

SmileML: emotional recognition artificial intelligence to feedback user experience data to user interface designers and courseware designers for improving customer experience and interface effectiveness.

Vita Inclinata: Stability device for sling loads under helicopters and cranes to counter dangerous chaotic motion due to high winds, sea motion and vehicle dynamics.

The first Tech Accelerator class was held in 2017, and sought solutions in autonomous technologies such as artificial intelligence, power systems and sensors, as well as immersive-training technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, gamification and self-directed learning.

The AFWERX Techstars Autonomous Technology Accelerator is just one of many ways the Air Force is prioritizing innovation and implementing revolutionary speed toward acquiring state-of-the-art technology in order to meet the dynamic warfighter needs of today and tomorrow.