Guiding radical change, today
At Snowpoint, we back companies at the intersection of data, deep tech, and frontier tech looking to navigate the complexities of government and commercial use. We lean on our deep industry knowledge and experience to help these businesses overcome the nuanced challenges and risks associated with creating innovations that protect our national security and deliver value to everyday consumers.
Across data, deep tech, and frontier tech, we believe that a major global technological shift is transforming all aspects of our daily life and that we must continue to innovate on the global stage while also promoting security and safety worldwide.
With new technologies coming online faster than ever and governments greatly increasing R&D spend into these technologies, the US must follow suit. Consolidation in the defense industrial base has fostered a misalignment on incentives between the government and the commercial sector. This has historically created an extremely inefficient process to develop and deploy innovative technology.
We at Snowpoint want to be at the forefront of driving this technology revolution across both defense and commercial markets and help venture capital rediscover its roots.
Rediscovering an Innovation Mindset
Cell phone, radar, GPS, the internet, and many other everyday use items owe their existence to research by governments pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
The internet’s origins date back to the late 1960s, when a DARPA-fueled research project created what was then called “Arpanet”. In the decades that followed, the world wide web emerged from Arpanet, satellites proliferated in support of global positioning systems, and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags were invented and placed on items for inventory tracking. Taken together, this set the foundation for what we now call the “internet of things”.
Thanks to the precipitous rise of smartphones and exponential increase in internet address space over the past ten years, the internet of things’ potential on both sides of the dual-tech coin is far from being realized. We believe that this decade’s visionary IoT entrepreneurs — those who create IoT products or services which completely transform their customers’ businesses or livelihoods — will leave a tremendous impact on both the commercial and defense sectors.
Post-1980s advances in technology have given rise to GPS, radios, and eventually smartphones, all of which brought human connectivity to previously unforeseen levels. As has happened with each of these technologies, the subsequent increase in capacity and decrease in development costs led to its widespread adoption.
As IoT, the remote work movement, and geostationary orbit satellites deepen their footholds within the commercial sector, and as the battlefield grows increasingly distributed with each successive conflict, edge communications are approaching another breakthrough age.
The speed and distance with which business and militaries operate is continuously increasing, and their communications capabilities must keep pace. The world’s new level of interconnectedness has pushed many to value privacy over convenience — something that the defense sector has been doing for years.
Commercial and government demand over the next ten years will be vastly different than the past ten, and valuable developmental lessons learned in the late 2010s will illuminate the path forward in the 2020s. Today’s robots appear to be reaching an inflection point — past which an exponential growth in intelligence, computational power, and capabilities will likely occur.
We see many compelling opportunities for Autonomy and AI in the future — soon, technology will no longer limit this field’s ability to change the world. Instead, market conditions will be the greatest indicator for transformative potential, and we believe dual-tech business models will be among the most successful of all robotics, AI, and data companies.
The rise in big data is creating a demand for a more efficient means of organization and analysis, setting the table for AI in dozens of verticals including healthcare, military, and industrials.
The tenuous geopolitical landscape is pushing billions of government dollars into developing AI-powered drones and cars — both of which have endless use-cases in the commercial sector as well. Against this backdrop, the major defense primes lack the processes and structure to blaze the trail for next-generation AI and robotics, so, many key innovations will percolate from the startup ecosystem instead.
Space exploration and research has created many opportunities and inventions but historically has been too expensive to be able to afford. This has changed recently with the advent of reusable rockets and its ability to lower launch costs to much more affordable levels.
With launch costs becoming attainable for the commercial sector, we believe we are in the early innings of a tectonic shift in investment in many areas across the space economy. From observation, to hypersonics, to in-orbit manufacturing, and even Space Tugboats, the dual-use applications of the New Space Economy are just beginning.
While space gets all the credit of being labeled as the Final Frontier, it is not the only area of unknown. We have studied more on Mars and the moon than we have of our ocean.
Due to the prevalence of Autonomy and AI combined with improvements in unmanned systems, ocean exploration is becoming much more attainable, which will create countless dual-use opportunities across data/analytics, research, and deterrence.
of earth’s ocean has never been mapped, explored, or seen by humans
The dual-tech overlap is larger than most investors realize and the ones that stand ready to back companies at the center of it will be heavily rewarded.