HomeNewsArticle Display

Inaugural Air Force Pitch Day: New contracts, new partners

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson speaks to a crowd of small businesses, venture capitalists and Airmen during the inaugural Air Force Pitch Day inNew York, March 7, 2019. Air Force Pitch Day is designed as a fast-track program to put companies on one-page contracts and same-day awards with the swipe of a government credit card. The Air Force is partnering with small businesses to help further national security in air, space and cyberspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson speaks to a crowd of small businesses, venture capitalists and Airmen during the inaugural Air Force Pitch Day in New York, March 7, 2019. Air Force Pitch Day is designed as a fast-track program to put companies on one-page contracts and same-day awards with the swipe of a government credit card. The Air Force is partnering with small businesses to help further national security in air, space and cyberspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Halimah Najieb-Locke, House Armed Services Committee professional staff member, listens to small businesses pitch solutions to the Air Force during the inaugural Air Force Pitch Day in New York, March 7, 2019. The Air Force is partnering with small businesses to help further national security in air, space and cyberspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Halimah Najieb-Locke, House Armed Services Committee professional staff member, listens to small businesses pitch solutions to the Air Force during the inaugural Air Force Pitch Day in New York, March 7, 2019. The Air Force is partnering with small businesses to help further national security in air, space and cyberspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, speaks to a crowd of small businesses, venture capitalists and Airmen during the inaugural Air Force Pitch Day in New York, March 7, 2019. Air Force Pitch Day is designed as a fast-track program to put companies on one-page contracts and same-day awards with the swipe of a government credit card. The Air Force is partnering with small businesses to help further national security in air, space and cyberspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, speaks to a crowd of small businesses, venture capitalists and Airmen during the inaugural Air Force Pitch Day in New York, March 7, 2019. Air Force Pitch Day is designed as a fast-track program to put companies on one-page contracts and same-day awards with the swipe of a government credit card. The Air Force is partnering with small businesses to help further national security in air, space and cyberspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Elyse Blazevich, Securisyn Medical chief operating officer, pitches her product to a crowd of small businesses, venture capitalists and Airmen during the inaugural Air Force Pitch Day in New York, March 7, 2019. Blazevich was awarded a same-day contract with the Air Force. Air Force Pitch Day is designed as a fast-track program to put companies on one-page contracts and same-day awards with the swipe of a government credit card. The Air Force is partnering with small businesses to help further national security in air, space and cyberspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Elyse Blazevich, Securisyn Medical chief operating officer, pitches her product to a crowd of small businesses, venture capitalists and Airmen during the inaugural Air Force Pitch Day in New York, March 7, 2019. Blazevich was awarded a same-day contract with the Air Force. Air Force Pitch Day is designed as a fast-track program to put companies on one-page contracts and same-day awards with the swipe of a government credit card. The Air Force is partnering with small businesses to help further national security in air, space and cyberspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

NEW YORK (AFNS) --

The Air Force awarded 51 companies contracts with a total initial value of $8.75 million in a matter of minutes at the Inaugural Air Force Pitch Day event held March 6-7, in New York City.

Air Force Pitch Day is modeled after commercial investment pitch competitions to deliver a faster, smarter approach to compete for ideas in the accelerating technology ecosystem. The process is a major departure from the lengthy contractual processes typically expected of the military. It focuses on rapidly awarding Phase I Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, contracts to companies based on a simpler streamlined evaluation of white papers and in-person presentations.

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson emphasized that lowering barriers to access and empowering people – whether small businesses, industry, research labs or academia – allows the Air Force to deliver speed of capability to the battlefield.

“Events such as Pitch Day allow us to connect small businesses to the operator, then to a real problem and bring those two together to build a partnership,” Wilson said.

Air Force contracting officials reviewed 417 submissions received during the 30-day application period and then invited 59 businesses to pitch their proposals in person March 6.

Of those 59 businesses, 51 received an initial award of up to $158,000 with initial payment within minutes of their presentations.

The average amount of time to award contracts and pay companies via government credit card following a successful pitch at Air Force Pitch Day was 15 minutes. The fastest award occurred in only three minutes. Previously, the fastest award of a contract of this type was approximately 90 days – a period of time many small businesses and startups cannot survive through without funding.

Developing a same-day payment method via government credit card is key to helping businesses see the Air Force as a preferred partner to growth according to Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics.

“The fact that these small businesses don’t have to go get loans, or bridges, waiting for that 120 days to get on contract is a big deal. It means they can focus immediately on working with us, understanding our users, delivering for the warfighter,” Roper said. “For those who think using a credit card is a gimmick, they need to come down and work with companies for whom money matters. And for the size companies we saw this week, that paycheck today means they are now focused on our mission and not making payroll.”

More than 500 attendees from government, industry, academia, venture capital and investment communities also participated in Air Force Pitch Day March 7, which served as an open event that delivered a broader platform for invited companies to pitch to a larger community than just the Air Force.

“We are at the beginning of a big culture shift in the government. We woke up and said we are not the only funder or inventor of new technology anymore … we are a partner with those who do,” Roper said.

Roper explained that the Air Force community prepared for Pitch Day the week prior through a series of rapid contracting sprints, awarding 122 Phase I SBIR contracts totaling $6 million. They also awarded 69 Phase II SBIR contracts totaling $60 million, 11 of which featured government matching contributions and five contracts with private matching.

During the entire week, including Pitch Day, the Air Force awarded 242 SBIR contracts valued at $75 million.

Roper said the next challenge for the Air Force is to organize to do this type of activity at scale.

“We have to do this across the country, across all places that do Air Force acquisition,” Roper said. “Now that we’ve wrung all the lessons out of the process, we’re ready to box it up as a tool that can be executed by the work force out in the field.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @thejointstaff: Watch today's change of responsibility ceremony, hosted by #GenMilley, live @ 10 a.m. EST on Twitter. @SEAC_Troxell wil…
RT @HQ_AFMC: 📽️We're back to the @Afresearchlab for Day 10 of #24DaysAFMC. This year they tested a state-of-the-art rocket #engine preburne…
RT @16AF_AFCYBER: The holiday season is a prime time for online thieves to take advantage of weaknesses in shoppers' devices to extract per…
RT @USAFCENT: ALWAYS READY | Members of the 823d Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron test their combat life-saving skills during a medical…
Nearly 10,000 participants from around the world took part in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China. And… https://t.co/CRYacyFtEJ
Ever heard of the rule of 0-0-1-3? No. Well it means to have zero alcohol if you're underage, zero drinks if you're… https://t.co/7bNRnhYuWS
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen…
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri