Air Force welcomes small businesses to pitch their space ideas

  • Published
  • Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs

With up to $50 million in contracts on the line, non-traditional and small businesses are gathering in San Francisco to attend the Air Force Space Pitch Day event hosted by the Space and Missile Systems Center Nov. 5-6.

The two-day event will feature esteemed keynotes, expert panels, innovative startup pitches, a dynamic expo floor of more than 60 booths and the potential for the participating small companies to win an on-the-spot contract with the Air Force.

Space Pitch Day emphasizes the Air Force’s initiative on a faster and smarter strategy in technology investments and partnerships awarding approximately $50 million in contract awards.

“The Air Force is leveraging modern commercial business practices to enable the rapid development of small business ecosystems that have dual-use, cutting-edge technologies to enable the fielding of fast, relevant and affordable solutions that support our Air Force,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of SMC and the Air Force's program executive officer for Space.

Companies are pitching their ideas on the topics that are relevant to space such as innovation in early missile detection and warning, space situational awareness, space communications, space visualization, multi-domain command and control, data-mining operations within electronically contested environments, artificial intelligence, responsive launch systems, space logistics and protection of critical space assets. The Air Force Small Business Innovation and Research program partnered with various Air Force units to host 12 other pitch day events all over the United States through the end of 2019.

What makes Space Pitch Day unique compared with other pitch days is the internal partnerships between the end user--the warfighter--and small businesses vying for a chance to work with the Air Force.

“Everything we do is about the warfighter’s mission,” said Dr. William Roper, Air Force Assistant Secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. “Space Pitch Day demonstrates the Air Force’s willingness and ability to work with non-traditional startups and a great example of us going faster and smarter. It’s not just a tagline; it’s a dead-serious business about keeping the Air Force competitive and dominant."

The Air Force Space Command's SMC, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S. Air Force's center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. SMC’s portfolio includes space launch, global positioning, military space vehicle communications, defense meteorological space vehicles, range systems, space vehicle control networks, space-based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.

Additional event details can be found at