Why the defense industry could be the most transformative market for startups
There are bureaucratic hurdles, but with some forethought and preparation, startups have a chance to adapt and thrive while working with the Pentagon
May 10, 2021 — At a time when young companies struggle to find technology sectors not dominated by Silicon Valley’s giants, most startups remain oblivious to one of the largest markets in the world, the U.S. Defense Department. The military awarded $445 billion in contracts in 2020. By comparison, last year’s global market for software-as-a-service, one of the hottest sectors for startup creation and investment, was estimated at $104 billion.
There’s a willing market here, too. The Pentagon is eager for help from the nation’s innovators. The military is clamoring for cutting-edge technologies in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomy. To attract interest the Defense Department is handing out unprecedented numbers of small contracts and in 2020 seeded 1,635 firms with more than $1.5 billion in early funding. Dozens of outreach programs across the military now offer quick revenue to early-stage companies. A startup could land a contract worth up to $3 million within months of entering the defense market.
Continue reading the article here.