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Seed Funding: How to Get a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Award (Event)



Each year, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards commits more than $1 billion in non-dilutive capital, backed by the Department of Defense and other agencies such as the Depts of Energy, Education, Commerce, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Aeronatics, the Science Foundation and the EPA.

Successful ventures are exploring multiple markets while retaining their original vision and mission. Selectively adding defense and other civic tech applications to use-cases can create powerful opportunities to “do well by by doing good.”

Learn practical strategies for securing government funding, partnering with DoD for product and customer development support, and exploring national security as a market for your current product and service offerings.

  • Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  • Columbia University Startup Lab
  • WeWork SoHo West Building 69 Charlton Street, NYC


  • Colonel Greg Coleman, MD5 Acceleration Portfolio Director, Department of Defense
  • Warren Katz, Managing Director, Air Force Accelerator powered by Techstars
  • Anita D’Amico, CEO, Code Dx
  • Kirk Burton, Defense Acquisition & Policy Analyst @ Department of Defense SBIR Office, ByteCubed
  • Moderator: Jason Cahill, Founder, McCune Capital, and Associate Professor, Columbia University


  • Doors Open: 6:00
  • Panel: 6:30 – 7:20 pm
  • Q&A: 7:20 – 7:30 pm
  • Social: 7:30 – 9:00 pm


Colonel Greg Coleman is the Acceleration Portfolio Manager at MD5. Greg is responsible for growing and maturing civil-military technology ventures. The Acceleration Portfolio’s programs give entrepreneurs access to critical resources, including non-dilutive capital, design and engineering support, mentorship, and commercial and DoD research and development infrastructure. In addition to his role at MD5, Greg is a startup founder who Is active in the early stage technology ecosystem, has raised multiple financing rounds, and graduated from the TechStars accelerator.

Warren Katz is Managing Director of the Air Force Accelerator powered by Techstars. Prior to Techstars, Warren was President of Neurala, a leading Artificial Intelligence company that develops The Neurala Brain, an edge-based AI framework with continuous learning. He co-founded MÄK Technologies in 1990 (which was acquired by VT Systems of Alexandria, Virginia in December 2006). He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering from MIT. Some of Katz’s investments include Harmonix, GrabCAD, Neurala, Oblong, Bevi, LovePop, and PetNet.

Anita D’Amico is CEO of Code Dx, Inc., a spin-out of Applied Visions, Inc. (AVI). Anita created the Secure Decisions division of Applied Visions, Inc. in 2000, to develop new technologies to enhance cyber situational awareness, and built it into a recognized leader in government-sponsored cybersecurity research. In 2015 Code Dx, Inc. was spun out as a separate company to commercialize the results of two SBIR contracts in application security. A recent Forbes article named Anita D’Amico as one of “five cool women in security” who serve as role models for young women entering the field. She is a human factors psychologist, a specialist in cybersecurity situational awareness, and a security researcher. Anita has been awarded close to $8M is SBIR funding.

Kirk Burton is Program Manager, Technology Vision & Analytics at ByteCubed. With experience in Department of Defense technology development and rapid prototyping, Kirk’s expertise includes DoD acquisition and contracting, organizational analysis and root cause analysis; as well as small business incubation/acceleration. Kirk is a Cofounder of the Thunderdome Project, a non-profit organization devoted to creating a high tech ecosystem to solve national security problems.

Jason McCune is a network design engineer by training, an experienced manager, an Army veteran who served with Special Forces, an empathetic customer advocate, and a product-focused leader that loves to think big. An MBA at Carnegie Mellon sparked his passion for tech, and for data-centric, mission-driven companies solving “real problems.” He’s always enjoyed helping teams and has long been an advisor/mentor/advocate for entrepreneurial ventures in various organizations. His investments have spanned sectors, but always gravitate toward high-performing operators.


DoD MD5 collaborates with partners from the venture community and major research universities to provide solutions to the national security problems and accelerate the pace of innovation for the DoD.

DoD SBIR The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds.

Air Force Accelerator Powered by Techstars is an accelerator focused on commercially viable startups with dual-purpose technologies – including counter-drone, education, training, and recruiting applications (e.g., AI, AR/VR, gamification).

Code Dx integrates numerous open-source solutions for application vulnerability management. Anita has leveraged SBIR to build her business without giving up equity, while developing both private and public sector customers.

McCune Capital seeks audacious builders keen on disrupting older industries with new technologies.

Columbia Entrepreneurship is dedicated to harnessing the entrepreneurial talent of Columbia University’s students, faculty and alumni.