The Dual-use Ventures non-credit IAP course helps technology startups navigate early-stage challenges in market research, use cases, and federal funding opportunities.


We provide insights into navigating SBIRs, STTRs, and other federal funding opportunities while working within the commercial marketplace so that tech founders – when thoughtful and working rigorously – can take their Minimum Viable Product from $0 in revenue to $1,500,000 in defense contracts over the course of 24 months. This program is intentional about instruction and training – our eminent goal is to help MIT-affiliated lab-based tech startups traverse the trough of disillusionment and commercialize tough tech products for the betterment of humankind.

This course is for students, alumni, and ecosystem members who want to learn useful and actionable steps to create dual-use ventures (DuV). A dual-use venture is one that has both government and commercial (enterprise and/or consumer) customers. We’ll discuss frameworks, funding opportunities, entrepreneur roadmaps, and government resources. Topics in this course are particularly relevant to technology entrepreneurs interested in learning more about working with the Department of Defense.

MIT strives to enable higher levels of diversity and inclusion in the innovation ecosystem. Research shows that diversity is a key factor for innovation, helping unearth inherent biases in technological solutions, enabling teams to make better decisions, and driving stronger performance. We strongly encourage members of traditionally marginalized communities to participate in this course.

This series offers presentations over Zoom from MIT and government speakers, a networking event, and plenty of opportunities to ask questions on topics we have found tech startups are most interested in learning more about.


Course Thesis

Startups can be purposeful about designing their company to be ready to pursue both commercial and defense markets. This requires being informed, prepared, diligent, and ready when either market opportunity becomes available.

Key Outcomes

  • Learn about non-dilutive funding opportunities, nuances of the defense and dual-use markets, and stakeholders in the defense acquisitions system
  • Understand the need to move opportunistically across both commercial and defense markets in the early stages of ventures
  • Learn how government data rights interact with a dual-use venture’s commercially oriented IP strategy
  • Gain insights on how to protect the long-term value of your technology for both commercial and government markets
  • Achieve an actionable understanding of DOD contractual requirements for cybersecurity and information protection



(updated regularly, US Eastern times, and subject to change)

Day 1 | Wednesday, January 19, 2022 | Dual-use, broadly…

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM Fiona Murray (live from Dubai)
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Katy Person – The DoD Landscape for Tech Startups
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Jonathan Miller – Who’s Your Ally?
11:45 – 1:00 PM LUNCH BREAK
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM Jason Rathje – Research-based Trends
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Eric Blatt – SBIR Data Rights & IP Strategy for Dual-use Ventures
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Main Networking Event…in person for local participants if MIT policy permits


Day 2 | Thursday, January 20, 2022 | My tech startup has a call with the military…

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM Warren Katz – Founder Perspective on DoD, SBIRs, AFWERX
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Jared Evans – Working with the Air Force
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Ben Van Buskirk – Working with the Navy
11:45 – 1:00 PM LUNCH BREAK
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM Marc Cervantes – How SOCOM Buys Tech
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Geoff Orazem – When and What to Bid
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM Kelley Kiernan – NIST Requirements for DoD SBIR/STTR Contracts 


 Day 3 | Friday, January 21, 2022 | Startup funding pinball…

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM Dual-Use Startup Panel

Veronika Stelmakh
CEO & Cofounder, Mesodyne

Felipe Gomez del Campo
CEO, FGC Plasma Solutions

George Whitfield
CEO, FindOurView

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Dual-Use VC Panel

Adam Goobic
Venture Investor

Nicole Conner
Partner, Airbus Ventures

Bilal Zuberi
Partner, Lux Capital

Orin Hoffman
Partner and Head of Government Partnerships, The Engine

Ernestine Fu
Venture Partner, Alsop Louie Partners
Adjunct Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University