By Marcus Hill, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 18, 2019
Col. James Smith, 50th Space Wing commander and Col. Laurel Walsh, 50th Operations Group commander receive a check for $750,000 during the Space Pitch Day event at Hilton Union Square Hotel in San Francisco in November. Capt. Jay-Sue Veatch, Chief of the 50th Space Wing combat development division said Schriever received $6 million for their pitches during the two-day event. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo by Capt. Jay-Sue Veatch)
Several Airmen received the opportunity to step into an environment similar to ‘Shark Tank’ and pitch business ideas at Hilton Union Square Hotel Nov. 5-6.
A two-day conference, which immolated the TV show, was held to introduce small businesses to a board panel of nine members from upper Air Force tiers to include the Space and Missile Systems Center.
Adam Edwards, 50th Operations Group technical director, said Matthew Davidson, Gen. Brig. Deputy Combined Force Space Component commander, is intrigued by the happenings.
“The wings in the 14th Air Force is leaning forward to carry out General Davidson’s intent to ensure that our space warfighters are ready for the fight that extends into space,” Edwards said.
Capt. Jay-Sue Veatch, 50th Space Wing combat development division chief, said the event proved to be a success for many of those who made a pitch during the event.
“Many of the small businesses that pitched during the conference were pre-selected,” Veatch said. “Those that were pre-selected were companies that had already been working with the 50th Space Wing combat development division, as well as subject matter experts from the operations squadrons on various software updates.”
Veatch added that with the anticipation of the Space Force, it’s important for systems to be updated to make more well-informed decisions for warfighters.
“All of the software updates that are being worked on will contribute to that,” Veatch said. “Things such as automation of a program that supports our satellite systems free up time for more important functions that need direct human interactions.”
Space Pitch day proved to be fruitful for Schriever Air Force Base. Those who pitched from Schriever Air Force Base received $6 million, which is vital for the betterment of Schriever.
“A few of the projects that were funded through AF Space Pitch Day will be able to work across squadrons,” Veatch said. “Once we have squadron implementation, we will work to develop group wide efforts among operations.”
Another session, dubbed phase two, will take place later next year.
“We are currently in phase two of the program and companies will start onboarding their products anywhere from 6 – 18 months from date of award,” Veatch said. “This process is much quicker than the traditional process, giving warfighters a delivered product in hand that enhances their daily operations and capabilities.”