The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is launching an expansion of its Embedded Entrepreneurship Initiative (EEI) to accelerate 150 DARPA-backed technologies from lab to production.

As part of the expansion, DARPA will be teaming with IQT Emerge, within In-Q-Tel (IQT), to provide entrepreneurial expertise and connect to early-stage U.S. investors.

DARPA’s EEI program provides funding, mentorship, and investor and corporate connections for DARPA researchers through resources that include:

  • “An average $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to hire a seasoned entrepreneurship or business executive for one to two years with the goal of developing a robust go-to-market strategy for both defense and commercial markets;”
  • Commercialization mentors with extensive private sector experience; and
  • Engagement with DARPA’s private sector Transition Working Group of over 100 top-tier U.S. investors and corporations key to scaling and supply chain development.

In a news release, DARPA wrote that over the past two years, DARPA’s EEI pilot program has helped 30 pre-seed research teams raise over $100 million in U.S. investment. Additionally, the pilot program has helped “spin out a dozen new companies, establish numerous joint development agreements with corporate partners, and commission multiple manufacturing facilities.”

“DARPA-funded scientists produce technologies that have the potential to upend existing markets, establish military advantage, and create lasting societal change. Too often these innovations struggle to gain traction because research teams lack a full understanding of complex market dynamics,” said Kacy Gerst, DARPA’s chief of commercial strategy in the news release. “DARPA’s Embedded Entrepreneurship Initiative fills these knowledge gaps by augmenting scientific research teams with critical business expertise.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.