Startup Companies Push Aerospace Innovation – Signal Magazine

Innovative pioneers looking to bring their ideas and concepts to reality are pushing the edge of aerospace capabilities. In some cases, the technologies are the result of university research, while others come from markets outside of defense. The entrepreneurs purport that their technologies will be, if not groundbreaking, useful and more efficient. The entrepreneurs presented their nascent products and discoveries at a pitch meeting hosted by The MITRE Corporation in McLean, Virginia on October 11 as part of Starburst Aerospace Accelerator’s annual East Coast Selection Committee event.

Headquartered in Paris, Starburst’s U.S. team brought in 10 hopeful companies all vying for partnership agreements, venture capitalist funding and a chance to join Starburt’s Accelerator Program. The event pairs the startups with potentially interested corporations, investors and government agencies. The companies’ prospective products, which range in level of technical readiness, cut across all aspects of aerospace, from power generation to rocket engines, satellite-enabled encryption and unmanned aerial vehicles.

MITRE’s Barry Costa, director, Partnerships and Technology Transfer, emphasized the importance of partnerships in harnessing innovation across the industry and government to bring the best skills and technologies tin support of the nation and a safer world. “MITRE believes we are stronger together,” Costa said. A not-for-profit organization, MITRE operates seven federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) across the government. In its active role of “innovation bridging,” MITRE is working to find “the best that the commercial market has to offer,” so that it can bring those technologies to bear on U.S. government challenges. In addition, MITRE licenses select intellectual property (IP) to private industry to help spur the economy and bring federally funded IP to market as supported products, Costa said. 

In its third year helping to guide aerospace startups, Starburst has expedited 234 startups, with 42 percent of those companies receiving their first significant round of venture capital investment,

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