HomeNewsArticle Display

Rapid acquisition leads to rapid success for Air Force small business partner

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) --

Rapid success in contracting has earned Air Force representatives an invite to the opening of the Nasdaq Stock Market July 3 in New York City.

Air Force representatives received the invitation from an Air Force and AFWERX Small Business partner, Vita Inclinata Technologies LLC.

Founders of that company will ring the opening bell July 3, signaling the start of the Nasdaq trading day. Ringing the opening bell at a stock exchange is a hallmark moment for private businesses, and a milestone indicative of business success.

The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX representatives were invited to attend that bell ringing, because a recent Air Force rapid acquisition practice led the company to this point.

Vita Inclinata first got on the Air Force’s radar at a contracting sprint day back in October 2018, which sought to identify game-changing technologies and award a number of initial contracts in a matter of hours. The contracting sprint was a combined effort of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research program and AFWERX, with participation from a number of other Air Force organizations.

“We looked for a more commercially-focused application, a shorter application time, shorter initial award periods and more awards to bring in more companies to work with us,” said Ryan Helbach, of the Air Force Research Laboratory chief intrapreneur. “It normally takes six months for a company to submit a proposal and then receive a contract award.”

But the new contracting sprint process cut that six-month standard timeline down to a matter of hours and several companies took advantage of that opportunity.

“We had a goal of awarding contracts to 50 companies in 50 hours. We actually doubled that number and in 40 hours, we awarded 102 contracts. One of those contracts was to Vita Inclinata.”

The company received a Phase I contract award, to conduct a feasibility study of its Load Stability System, identify customers and define the operational use of the proposed technology.

The LSS is a chaotic motion control system for helicopters, counteracting the spinning of payloads and personnel suspended by cables below a helicopter in flight. That spinning adds additional strain to the cables, increases risk, makes it harder to place the payload with precision and is undesirable when lifting personnel for rescue and exfiltration missions.

The LSS is attached to the lifting cables. Once free of the helicopter’s cabin, the LSS sensors and control algorithms take over and, using a drone-type configuration, counteract and mitigate all swing. The initial use of this new technology is being tested for use in lifting patients into a hovering helicopter for rapid evacuation and can be applied to both military and civilian helicopters for both cargo transport sorties and lifting patients into a helicopter during rescues.

In the same month that Vita Inclinata received its first Air Force contract award, the company completed its first flight test of LSS under a helicopter.

Their rapid progress and rapid results earned a Phase II contract award in March, for further prototyping and testing with end users. Awards of this nature can be a dollar-for-dollar match for up to $1.5 million and create a joint military and private investment.

Now the LSS is in its beta stage and actively being refined for customers in the Air Force and the oil industry; and the Army has shown interest in the product as well, according to Caleb Carr, Vita Technologies, LLC president and chief executive officer.

“Without the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force, the LSS would not be a reality,” Carr said. “Our first Phase I contract is what convinced angel investors that Vita was worth investing in. Furthermore, the speed at which the Air Force moved to grant our contracts resulted in Vita raising over $1 million in an angel investment round within 20 days. Meanwhile, while at the Air Force accelerator we launched our Series A round to execute on delivering the LSS to crane and helicopter operators all over the world.”

“Through the support of the Air Force accelerator, the relationships and the rapid award of our Phase II contract, Vita was able to raise another $6 million dollars in 40 days. To put it simply, the Air Force empowered Vita and took a risk that investors weren’t willing to initially take, ensuring that the LSS can save lives for decades to come,” he added.

More contracting sprints and even more rapid “Air Force Pitch Days” are planned, with another 12 planned between now and the end of the year. The next two pitch days are in July, with a goal of awarding on the spot contracts from pitches received at the Air Force UAS Pitch Day, July 24 in Burlington, Massachusetts and the Kessel Run Pitch Day, July 26 in Boston. Each of the remaining 2019 pitch days will concentrate on a specific topic including space, simulators, hypersonics, airborne communications and rapid sustainment.

More information on upcoming Pitch days and deadlines to submit proposals can be found at: https://www.afsbirsttr.af.mil/AF-Pitch-Day/How-to-submit/ or https://www.AFWERX.af.mil/sbir.html .

Engage

Twitter
.@USAF_ACC volunteers came together to identify, tackle, and propose solutions to female-, family-centric barriers… https://t.co/GfLe45m1Wy
Twitter
.@LRAFB up'd their mobility and joint skills during the latest iteration of Green Flag Little Rock, @AirMobilityCmdhttps://t.co/qv6pWyofd7
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to fly, let us introduce you to Pathway to Wings. ⬇️ Who: Air Force Aviators and you…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: It’s long been said (& true) that the enlisted corps is the backbone of the military. SecAF Kendall discussed this & oth…
Twitter
Happy 231st birthday, @USCG! Thank you for ensuring maritime safety, security and stewardship. We're proud to sta… https://t.co/FZWLAqIHUb
Twitter
The Wounded Warrior program, est. in 2005, provides care and assistance for wounded, ill or injured Airmen and Guar… https://t.co/6QophwRpMb
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: Every inch, quart, and pound matters to the @grandslamwing EMXS Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory flight! The enti…
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC & @PACAF Airmen are practicing dynamic force employment ops during Exercise Pacific Iron. This training… https://t.co/tVThyHIDh2
Twitter
An F-16 Fighting Falcon received an in-flight software update during an Advanced Battle Management System demo at… https://t.co/PNPrxVTntf
Twitter
.@AFResearchLab is building an advanced high-power microwave weapon system to defend against increasing threats of… https://t.co/EoVbWbTIR4
Twitter
RT @Travis60AMW: Smoke on the water... or flight line... or whatever Deep Purple said 🎸 Yes, it does look this cool every time. 😎 https:/…
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force’s Chief Architect Office integrated commercial technologies to achieve decision sup… https://t.co/ddoCJB8fRF
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Using Agile Combat Employment concepts, the @147thAttackWing transported MQ-9 aircraft/equipment over 450 miles from Hous…
Twitter
Juniper Falcon has ended. This in-person opportunity for U.S. military personnel and Israel Defense Forces to test… https://t.co/Enx1S0rI9X
Twitter
C-130 Hercules crews @374AirliftWing, Japan, helped @USArmy soldiers and @JASDF_PAO members drop from the sky durin… https://t.co/bHIdKk7yJv
Twitter
RT @GeorgiaGuard: #ICYMI: Members of the @165thAW had the opportunity to be a part of taking cadets from the Georgia Wing, Civil Air Patro…
Twitter
#ICYMI - Following guidance issued by the @CDCgov, the @DeptofDefense has directed employees working in areas of hi… https://t.co/3RUlbWvMNS
Twitter
Defenders at @EielsonAirForce Base, AK, are in a new weapons qualification course for defenders, rookies and vetera… https://t.co/jcahFIcT8J
Twitter
Excellence in all we do! https://t.co/Cp9gZucoz3
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Accelerate, Change, or Lose: @GenCQBrownJr's call to action for the service and how Airmen can play a key role in #innovation
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,355,717
Follow Us