Commercializing Federal R&D: Secrets to Startup Success

Thursday, November 16, 11:15 - 12:00 PM

Room #: Parrot

This NASA startup case study presents key information to help other companies and investors effectively pursue the “productization” of government technology. The speakers will discuss:

  • Finding relevant federal innovations

  • Confirming and cultivating the market

  • Negotiating a win-win deal with the U.S. government

  • Transforming the R&D outcome into a market-ready product

The presentation will also provide insights and insider perspectives from NASA and the story of Vigilant Aerospace, a startup launched with venture capital (VC) funding to commercialize cutting-edge technology from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center. The technology is a combination of hardware and software that provides new capabilities to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones)—capabilities that are crucial for UAVs to be allowed to fly in the national airspace. Vigilant Aerospace is currently in discussions with nearly 100 customers (both end users and service providers) and more than 50 partners (hardware and software providers, resellers, and education organizations)

Through this unique case study, VCs, serial entrepreneurs and product developers from established companies will learn:

  • How NASA vetted the technology for its commercial potential

  • How the VC learned of the technology’s availability, evaluated the opportunity and decided to launch Vigilant Aerospace as a startup

  • How Vigilant Aerospace and NASA have collaborated to develop and test the commercial product

  • How Vigilant Aerospace has cultivated the market through industry meetings, publications and marketing collateral

  • How Vigilant Aerospace is working closely with unmanned aircraft early adopters in public safety, energy and asset surveying and protection to create prominent customer case studies and to demonstrate product capabilities

In addition to the lessons learned, the speakers will share information about the opportunities to license NASA technologies for a wide range of markets and applications—giving attendees the tools they need to begin the process for themselves.