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AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate

Catalyst Accelerator PNT

Special Thanks to Our Kick-Off Sponsor, Ball Aerospace

Catalyst Accelerator PNT Kick Off Video from C-TRAC Official on Vimeo.

Additional Information on the PNT Cohort

Note: The Catalyst Accelerator PNT Cohort is AF Special Topic AF-182-002.

The Air Force SBIR/STTR Program office is piloting a new process via “AF Special Topics” AF182-001, AF182-002, AF182-003, AF182-004, AF182-005 and AF182-006 in order to allow for accelerating technologies to the warfighter. The AF Special Topics are different in several ways from the standard AF SBIR/STTR application, award and execution. For these AF Special Topics, the proposed Phase I application shall include a Technical Volume that shall not exceed 5 pages with an addendum to the Technical Volume of a pitch/slide deck not to exceed 15 slides. The pitch/slide deck should be included in the proposal within Supporting Documents, Volume 5, under the category of “Other”. AF Special Topics shall follow the Phase I Work Plan Outline as noted in the “Phase I Work Plan Outline” section except that there is only one requirement for a Progress report and no requirement for a Technical review due to the short technical durations. Final reporting for Phase I awardees will take the form of a presentation (with a SF298) in accordance with the Contract.

Awardees for topics AF182-002 will be asked to participate in an Air Force sponsored technology accelerator process which will address the feasibility study to take place in Colorado Springs, CO.

The AF Special Topics will have a Phase I 2-month technical duration and a 1-month final reporting period. The Phase I awards for the AF Special Topics shall not exceed $50,000. The AF Special Topics call for Phase II proposals shall occur shortly after Phase I award. Unless otherwise noted in this section, all other requirements as noted in the below sections apply to the AF Special Topics. If there are any questions regarding the AF Special Topics, please contact afsbirsttr-info@us.af.mil. The differences between the AF Special Topics and the standard topics are noted below:

The DoD SBIR/STTR Help Desk is prepared to address general questions about this BAA, the proposal preparation and electronic submission process and other program-related areas. The Help Desk may be contacted from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday at:

Phone: 1-800-348-0787

E-mail: sbirhelp@bytecubed.com

Additional help can be provided by your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center or your local Small Business Development Center

About the Catalyst Accelerator Program

  • Headquartered on the Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • 12-week, semi-residential program – participating companies attend in person workshops and events every other week from Tuesday – Friday at Catalyst Campus
  • Based on Lean Startup Methodology developed by Steve Blank
  • Uses the Economic Gardening-based curriculum provided by SBDC-Boulder
  • Vectored towards second-stage businesses.
  • Mentorship-based. Participating companies are designated an Air Force mentor, a SBDC-Boulder entrepreneurial mentor and a Colorado PTAC government contracting mentor who will take the time to ensure the cohort’s success throughout the program milestones.
  • The Catalyst Accelerator provides:
    o Office space (a collaborative workspace that includes huddle rooms, Skype booths, conference rooms, whiteboard walls, and an open kitchen)
    o A collaborative ecosystem and resources necessary to nurture the next level of innovation
  • In close proximity to the Air Force customer – reduces customer discovery process from an average of two years in the typical government market to less than three months.
  • Direct access to operational experts and stakeholders from the Air Force and other government agencies, as well as the Catalyst Campus, SBDC, PTAC and SCORE national network of mentors, partners and investors.
  • Access to rapid funding mechanisms such as Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) and SBIR grants.
  • Access to rapid acquisition program managers.
  • Supports Founders with strategic planning and customized market research to overcome market and growth barriers. Over 20 hours of strategic growth consulting with each business.
  • Combination of commercial and DoD exposure and opportunities.
  • Goals of the accelerator:
    o To guide each business in identifying and developing government and commercial market opportunities.
    o To help each business to build strategies and systems to overcome hurdles to business growth.
    o To help each business to develop a Business Model Canvas or Mission Model Canvas which will become their strategic plan for advancement.
  • Intensive pitch practice culminates in Demo Day in front of 100+ investors and government stakeholders.