A Big Business Starts Small

“A big business starts small.” – Richard Branson

The first week of the Digital Engineering for Space Applications: Modeling and Simulation (#CADES) cohort was a wonderful success! The week kicked off on Sunday, August 22nd with a Luau for the space community at Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation (CCTI). This was an amazing event which brought the space community together to network and meet the incredible Catalyst Accelerator alumni and our current cohort members within the Modeling and Simulation cohort. Programming began the following day with a briefing about why small businesses are so important to the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV) by Col Eric Felt, Director of AFRL/RV.

Twelve subject matter experts donated their time to speak with the cohort during week one. Some of these experts included Deanna Ryles, Mike Kleppe, Maj Gen (Ret) Kim Crider, and Lt Gen David J. Buck. As Mike Kleppe presented about navigating the DoD, he explained to the cohort that “An integrated Digital Engineering ecosystem is vital for the USSF to move effectively and efficiently to put critical space assets on orbit that can withstand an enduring hostile environment. The work you are doing can drive not only solutions within that environment but can also push to drive the integrated ecosystem as well. As you develop capabilities, think about how your capabilities integrate with others, the ecosystem, and the greater force structure as a whole. Best of luck!”. Lt Gen Buck gave a DoD 101 overview to the cohort. Afterwards, he explained, “I always enjoy talking with the accelerator companies because they deliver such unique capabilities and agility for the DoD. The Catalyst Campus offers a great place for the incubators to interface directly with government and industry professionals.”

The cohort companies had the unbelievable opportunity to meet Maj Gen Heather Pringle on Tuesday. They each introduced their companies to her. She graciously commented on each of their companies and explained why they were of use. Shortly after, Abraham Mahshie of the Air Force Magazine visited the Catalyst Campus. Companies that have their roots in Catalyst Campus and those who currently office at the Campus were included in the discussion, as well as Catalyst Accelerator companies, ISSAC Corp and Awayr AI. The discussion revolved around government innovation and the hurdles small businesses face.

The Catalyst Accelerator is lucky to have Mo Kanwischer, President of Momentum Business Consulting, act as Chief Consultant for our program. Mo met with each of the cohort companies during week one to discuss ABC statements and customer discovery. Mo mentioned, “This cohort is comprised of eight incredibly intelligent companies all keen to learn and apply their tech to address a variety of needs including training, predictive analysis and risk mitigation. At the same time, they’ll be honing their product readiness for commercialization to both government and industry customers. I love meeting each of them exactly where they are and providing the support they need to strengthen each of their value propositions.” To wrap up the week, the Modeling and Simulation cohort members each gave overviews of their companies and answered questions from their fellow cohort members. This was a marvelous opportunity for each company to understand their fellow cohort companies on a deeper level.

Thank you to each of the subject matter experts who donated their time to speak with the Modeling and Simulation cohort and answer their questions. The Catalyst Accelerator team is looking forward to what week three has to offer!