IN3, NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge Link Small Businesses to Defense Opportunities

Sep 28, 2020

PRESENTATIONS: The NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge Connecting Businesses to Opportunities event presentations can be found HERE.

VIDEO: The event was recorded. You can find that video HERE.

IN3, NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge Link Small Businesses to Defense Opportunities

On Wednesday, September 23, IN3 hosted the NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge Connecting Businesses to Opportunities virtual event. Many small businesses throughout Indiana and the Midwest are developing emerging technologies that will help advance the defense sector.

Assisting those businesses in furthering their mission are a number of organizations providing a wide variety of resources. During the event, attendees heard from speakers representing such organizations as the U.S. Small Business Administration-Indiana District, NAVWAR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). All of these organizations assist small business with resources to better connect with opportunities at the Department of Defense or other military entities including Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane).

Organizations and Speakers:

NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge: Anne Fields, regional director, NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge described her organization’s innovation pipeline to bring new businesses and technology into the world of defense contracting. Beginning with the identification of problems that matter to the Navy and Marine Corps, NavalX Midwest Tech Bridge then works to discover what options may be available to solve these issues. The organization teams with the innovators to incubate and eventually make a solution operational. To learn more, visit

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Indiana District Office: Vernice Mathis, business opportunity specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration, Indiana District Office provided a wealth of information vital to businesses interested in working in the defense sector. Her topics included;

  • Government contracting suitability
  • How the government buys goods and service
  • Marketing your business and identifying federal opportunities
  • How the government can help

To learn more, visit

Northeast Indiana Innovation Center: Mike Fritsch, senior entrepreneur in residence, director of Revenue Development, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) provided information on the NIIC’s Fast-In program. It is part of a cooperative agreement with the SBA that encourages participation in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) seed fund designed to stimulate R&D, innovation and commercialization of new technologies to meet the needs of federal agencies and the public. In addition to the SBA, there are 12 other participating agencies including Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security and NASA. To learn more, visit

NAVWAR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Shadi Azoum, project manager, NAVWAR Small Business Innovation Research, provided further information on the SBIR program that provides seed funding to small businesses to help address government needs and promote commercialization. He covered who is eligible to participate in the program and outlined other criteria businesses must adhere to. He also described how and when the Department of Navy issues announcements describing the needs of the Navy and its system commands. To learn more, visit

Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC): Andy Alexander, South Central PTAC counselor, discussed the support the state offers Indiana businesses by helping them compete for and win local, state and federal government contracts. Among the benefits provided by PTAC are one-on-one counseling, subcontracting assistance, bid-matching services, proposal preparation, certifications and others – at no cost. To learn more, visit

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane): Matt Burkett, director of Small Business, NSWC Crane described his responsibilities to identify and advocate for the use of small business as both a prime contractor and subcontractor. He reviewed NSWC Crane’s needs and described his process of working closely with contracting and requirements personnel to make sure small business has maximum opportunity to participate in those procurements. To learn more, visit

Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC): Lawrence Walter, vice president of Entrepreneurship, Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) presented information on the organizations efforts to develop, fund and promote Indiana entrepreneurship both locally and around the world. The IEDC is active in virtually every economic sector in Indiana and is currently heavily involved in Hoosier 5G efforts, advanced manufacturing, and artificial intelligence, among others. To learn more, visit

IN3: IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute) is creating a hub of national security innovation by bringing together government, academia and industry to help solve critical defense priorities. IN3 connects regional, state, and national partners through a variety of means. This includes convening research and business teams to solve emerging technical challenges for the Department of Defense. If you are interested in being added to IN3’s event invitation list for future events, please visit