Advancing Defense Solutions: Hacking for Defense® Teams To Receive Post-Course Support

8 university teams chosen for accelerator program to further develop cutting-edge solutions for national security needs

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hacking for Defense® (H4D) students’ efforts to solve national security problems related to challenges such as unmanned aircraft systems, autonomous space operations and efficient use of satellites will continue this summer with the help of H4XLabs, BMNT Inc.‘s enterprise accelerator. 

Eight H4D teams from five universities were chosen to receive post-course support, Ellen Chang, H4XLabs director, announced.

Starting this week, the teams will work to further validate their solutions, find product-market fit, land funding and turn their H4D team into an investable company that can be a part of the national security ecosystem. The teams will participate in a demo day Aug. 15 to show their progress and learning. 

“This is a chance for these teams to take the work they did in class to the next level, helping the country maintain its competitive edge as they address critical challenges the Pentagon faces,” Chang said. “We hope the teams leave the program a step closer to getting their solutions deployed and into the hands of the warfighters who need them.”

H4D is a global academic course, co-created by BMNT CEO Pete Newell and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. It is offered at more than 62 universities and teaches teams of students how to use modern entrepreneurial tools and processes to solve critical national security problems at startup speed.

Of the more than 850 H4D student teams that have taken the course since its inception in 2016, 7.3% or 62 formed companies. Between them they have raised over $360 million in private funding. These include Capella Space, leading provider of Earth observation data using synthetic aperture radar; and enterprise training software company Learn to Win, which recently secured $30 million in Series A funding. 

Teams were chosen based on several criteria including their understanding of the problem and its importance, the feasibility of their minimum viable product, possibilities for commercialization of their solution and recommendations from their teaching teams, Chang explained.

Teams selected are: 

From Stanford University:

  • House of Laws: Using Large Language Models to simplify decision-making by contracting officers, program managers, Congressional staffers and other government professionals
  • L-Infinity: Improving satellite capacity by creating a second price auction marketplace for satellite-to-consumer and satellite-to-satellite tasking
  • Juno Astrodynamics: Enabling autonomous dynamic space operations including inspection, maintenance and refueling
  • Spectra Labs: Electromagnetic mapping for unmanned autonomous systems

From Columbia University:

  • VALIS: Improving force readiness by creating a data collection system and streamlined processes for visits to Human Resources Command

From University of Chicago:

  • Pharos Aerospace: Helping government satellite operators improve awareness of threats in low-earth orbit, whether they be from adversaries or from lethal non-trackable space debris

From University of Southern Mississippi:

  • RAT Group: Standardizing training completion data to ensure Airmen do not miss deployment-related training

From Rochester Institute of Technology:

  • CAMA: Countering software attacks in contested environments to ensure reliable data transmission

About BMNT Inc.: BMNT is an innovation company for governments and their partners that uses startup methods to create new capabilities.

Contact: Terri S. Vanech, 203-918-1270 or