Senior executives from startups talked about the Defense Innovation Unit's rapid contracting process and its benefits to companies.
“As a startup, our resources are very very scarce… DIU facilitated us to move at the speed [required by] startups,“ Ganesh Bell, president of Uptake, said in a statement published Wednesday.
Uptake secured a prototype contract from DIU in June to develop an artificial intelligence-based platform for predictive maintenance of the Army's Bradley combat vehicles.
David Brumley, founder and CEO of ForAllSecure, discussed how DIU's contracts provide startups with a non-dilutive funding source.
“It allowed us to get contract funding without angel or seed stage investment. When we finally went to [venture capitalists] we were a much more mature company which meant less dilution,“ Brumley said.
DIU awarded ForAllSecure a contract to work on Project Voltron, which aims to detect and address vulnerabilities using AI.
Brumley and Bell cited how DIU's contracting process facilitates innovation and allows startups to record revenue as product companies.
DIU has awarded prototype contracts worth about $340M combined to over 90 businesses.