The Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program issued a call to start-ups and small businesses to offer pitches on innovative technologies for secure communications, down-range battlefield operations and digital technologies. After an application and selection process, a total 59 companies were invited to pitch 60 solutions. Each of these companies presented their proposal directly to the government in a 15-minute Shark Tank-style presentation at the Marriott in New York City on 6 March. In the end, the Air Force awarded 51 contracts, paying out up to $158,000 to each company on the spot.
Metis took up the challenge by submitting the STIGAssist cybersecurity scripting capability that Chloe Malveaux and Julie Christenson have been working on for the past year. We submitted our proposal, and on February 14 we were informed that we were one of the 59 companies selected as one of 60 out of 380 proposals offered to present at this first-ever event. Our Pitch day presentation was literally our 15 minutes of fame. In the end we were given the contract to start with the formal development of STIGAssist.
Our success with the Phase I contract SBIR has allowed Metis to fast-track the software R&D lab in Albuquerque, and our efforts over the next five months are to develop the STIGAssist architecture for the final product. We are pleased that our discussions with the government are going well and could lead into the much larger Phase II contract. The Pitch Day was a success, but now our work has just begun.