Fifty Small Businesses Participate in Catalyst Accelerator’s Tech Collision Event

Providing Collaboration to the Aerospace Industry

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo, Aug. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fifty small businesses from around the country, took part in The Catalyst Accelerator’s (CA) first Tech Collision July 28-30, with more than 385 people in attendance.

The event was a collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV), Small Business Administration-SBIR/STTR program, Small Business Development Center-Kansas, and Tech Warriors Ops. 

Sponsored in part by Lockheed Martin, AFRL and U.S. Space Force, the virtual event brought together small businesses and startups, government and industry tech scouts, and workshop educators.

Guest speakers including the former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition the Honorable Sue C. Payton, Col. Joseph Roth, Space and Missile Systems Center, and Col. Eric Felt, AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate.  The speaking engagements focused on space threats and the technology the Air Force is seeking to enhance their space capabilities.

The organizing team received exceptional support from the City of Colorado Springs, the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, and the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Council.  37 companies pitched their technology to government and industry tech scouts and participated in a posterboarding session while thirteen companies exclusively posterboarded.  

We are thrilled with the turn out of the Tech Collision event,” said KiMar Gartman, Program Director for the Catalyst Accelerator. “We’d like to thank the aerospace community for coming together to learn more about small businesses and startups that offer exceptional, innovative technology.  This event was intended to be the catalyst for community cohesion and focus, and I believe that was accomplished.”

“Programs like Catalyst Accelerator's Technology Collision, continue to build roads and make the government more accessible to startups, even as COVID-19 prevents these events from occurring in person,” said Capt. Roger Anderson, Deputy Program Manager, Air Force Space Accelerator.

“Participating companies had the opportunity to make relevant connections with industry and the DoD,” Anderson said. “These connections would have been nearly impossible to make in three days without an event like the Tech Collision.”

Blair DeWitt from Lunar Station Corporation One company commented, “This was great. We want to be at next year’s event, and hopefully the next one will be in-person, but even with a pure virtual event, it was amazing and significantly accelerated our path forward as a start-up.”

The Catalyst Accelerator hosted the Tech Collision in part, with funds granted through participation in the Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.  The organizing team focused on recruiting small businesses and startups owned by minorities, women and those located in hub/opportunity zones.

About Catalyst Accelerator

The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate’s Catalyst Accelerator is a NewSpace-focused defense and national security industry accelerator, headquartered on the Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation (CCTI) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. CCTI is a collaborative ecosystem where industry, small business, entrepreneurs, startups, government, academia, and investors intersect with Colorado’s aerospace and defense industry to create community, spark innovation and stimulate business growth. The Catalyst Accelerator is a collaborative program hosted by Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation (CCTI, a Colorado 501(c)3) in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory to provide a robust, mentor-driven curriculum for accelerator teams. 



Guest speakers (from left top) KiMar Gartman, Col Eric J. Felt, Capt Roger Anderson, and Brett Scharinghausen visited with attendees during the virtual Tech Collision.

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