Updated: Sep 14
The Department of Defense is desperate to shed a poor of image of being slow to fund and hard to work with innovative start-ups. Federal funding for some is seen as an amazing opportunity. For others, it is seen as an intimidating mire of requirements and specifications.
Though the image is outdated, it has lingering negative effects, and despite a more efficient system, the DoD is eager to do better. Technology in the private sector holds many keys to unlocking technological challenges that the Air Force cannot solve on its own. It is critical for the DoD’s survival that it repairs its relationship and reputation with the private sector.
This is the reason the United States Air Force created AFWERX. AFWERX is a rapid funding program which can provide funding within 60 days and has potential to lead to sole-source contracts with the Air Force. This gives companies a new opportunity to advance their commercial product while also gaining a tier-1 customer, the US Air Force.
AFWERX is transparent and open minded with a focus on finding the best tech and funding innovative solutions to challenges the Air Force faces. Through AFWERX, the USAF is taking a Silicon Valley approach to investment: What you can do for us? Which problems can you solve, whether we are aware of them or are not?
If the Air Force decides to move forward with your idea, they will make an equity-free investment (yes, free money). More importantly, if you are successful in development the Air Force will also be your client.
How does it work:
Phase 1: Feasibility study (or Client Discovery). Win up to $50,000 award in non-dilutive capital in order to pay for customer discovery process and obtaining a Memorandum of Understanding from an Air Force stakeholder.
Phase 2: Mature development. Win up to $1,500,000 award in non-dilutive capital this stage requires a working prototype. Purpose of this funding for this stage is for further research and development, on the way to a functional prototype.
* A company can start at this stage if they have an MoU prior to applying.
Phase 3: Commercialization/Sole-Source Contract with the USAF. Phase III is the purpose of AFWERX.
AFWERX is not the only program that is making funding fast and easy for small businesses. Feel free to reach out to us at Eagle Point Funding with any questions you may have about the process and how to properly navigate it: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-authored by Asher & Jacob