Your Portfolio Companies Can Land USAF Business

Find out how startups are accessing additional non-dilutive funding and getting paid to solve problems for the United States Air Force with AFWERX.



Download the AFWERX program application checklist to learn how startups can work with the USAF.

Are you a startup looking to apply for the program?
Please head over to our startup page to download startup specific resources.

Are you a startup or small business?



AFWERX—engaging startups in USAF innovation.

AFWERX is the innovation catalyst of the Air Force—bringing ideas and innovation together to enable the Air Force to build smarter, stronger, and more agile solutions in partnership with startups, like yours.

Established in 2017 with a goal to foster engagement between industry, academia, and non-traditional contributors, AFWERX fosters a culture of innovation within the Air Force.



Powered by America's Seed Fund

AFWERX engages startups through the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, with funding of $2.5 billion to level the business-to-government playing field for over 160,000 startups and small businesses each year. Our goal is to bring your high-potential products and services to real USAF customers so startups can compete and get paid for their commercial products and services.


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Who is eligible?

Your portfolio companies have the chance to put their expertise to work to solve real problems and get paid to do it. This is not a grant but instead a program that provides a viable way to earn contracts and work directly with the Air Force as a new client.

Applicants must be a for-profit business based in the United States with 500 or fewer employees with at least one non-defense commercial customer.

Read more about eligibility here.


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Upcoming Program Dates

In one year, the USAF awarded more than 900 contracts worth $220 million in SBIR funds. Opportunities to apply for the SBIR program and USAF contracts with AFWERX open three times a year, below are the dates for the first solicitation round of 2020.


Open Topics Announced
See what products and services the Air Force needs the most. Ask questions of the topic sponsor.

May 6, 2020

Start Your Application

Application Opens
First day to submit your 15-slide pitch deck and 5-page application.

June 3, 2020

Apply by the Deadline

Application Deadline
Last day to apply. Award Announcement approximately 30-45 days after close.

July 2, 2020


Remember to download the AFWERX program application checklist to help your portfolio companies learn how to work with the Air Force

Are you a startup or small business?


The Air Force has problems to solve—American entrepreneurs have innovations to solve them.

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