A graphic representation of high-speed technological developments.

National Security Academic Accelerator


NSA2 launched in 2021 as an exciting new partnership with the National Security Innovation Network. Its purpose is to leverage ASU’s active presence in the defense innovation ecosystem to advance development of dual-use ventures capable of serving both commercial and defense markets. 

NSA2 provides training, coaching and financial support in order to accelerate ASU-led technology and solutions into startups that have commercial application and address national security needs. 

Throughout the fall and spring, participating teams engage with the Department of Defense, as well as with business development professionals and industry contacts and will engage with targeted training and mentorship experiences to move their ventures forward.

Our DOD partners are interested in solutions within the following technology verticals:

  • 5G communications, loT and microelectronics.
  • Access, mobility and logistics.
  • Autonomy and robotic systems.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Digital engineering, cyber, modeling and synthetic environments.
  • Energy resilience and power generation.
  • Human performance.
  • Quantum information systems.


Program benefits

NSA2 offers entrepreneurs and business development experts with interest in national defense an unmatched opportunity to work directly with technology experts in their field to develop a viable venture. Benefits include:

  • Venture development training and mentoring.
  • Assistance in customer discovery (both the defense and industry side).
  • Access to student support (for business development).
  • Showcase events that bring together industry and defense.
  • Coaching and training with the goal of securing government funding.
  • Program funding to support your participation in the NSA2, such as materials, student work and travel.
  • Production support, such as marketing, branding and web design.

Program calendar

Below is a sketch of the program’s activities. Please note: timing and activities may change as the program continues.


  • 19th, Noon – 1 p.m.
    Information session Join us to learn more about NSA2 and other resources that can help advance your technology/solution. Lunch provided. RSVP
  • 26th – I-Corps information session 


  • 9th – I-Corps (if applicable)
  • 9th, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    DOD 101 Join us to learn more about working with the Department of Defense. Drew Trojanowski, VP for Strategic Initiatives, will discuss DoD organization and culture, explain acquisition and procurement processes and explore funding pathways. Lunch provided. RSVP
  • 16th, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Fundamental vs Applied ResearchJonathan Dilger from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, will discuss the challenges and opportunities that comes with balancing fundamental research with applied work. His role as Command Chief Scientist, Crane Division has given him insight in to how faculty manage to maintain an active research lab while extending the reach of their work by partnering with DoD research labs. RSVP
  • 23rd, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Creating an effective Quad Chart – A quad chart is a form of technical documentation used to briefly describe an innovation or venture. They are described as “quad” charts because they are divided into four quadrants laid out on one page using  landscape perspective. The DoD makes heavy use of quad charts so if you are pursuing funding from or partnership with the DoD, it is worth your time to develop a strong one.  RSVP


  • 3rd – Program admission
  • 3rd-13th – Individual consultations
  • 21st – DOD customer discovery


  • 4th – DOD contracting overview
  • 18th – Other Transaction Authority


TBD – Group gathering

January and February:

  • Venture funding 
  • Ongoing customer discovery

Eligibility requirements and application

NSA2 is open to ASU faculty, post-docs, researchers or students. We welcome individuals or teams with technology or proposed solutions at any stage of development, with commercial potential or national security applications. 

Applicants must have an active interest in commercializing developed technology, creating a startup and continuing on with their venture upon completion of the program.

Principal investigators

Our impact

Since NSA2 launched, innovative ASU faculty, researchers and students have gained unprecedented levels of access to defense industry customers and end users, as well as training and funding support.

Argos Vision, a tech startup founded by two ASU entrepreneurs, develops smart traffic cameras that can passively capture, analyze and deliver droves of data to help cities improve road safety and efficiency. Argos Vision enrolled in NSA2 to navigate the complexities of assembling a proposal for a Small Business Innovation Research award with the Department of Transportation. In partnership with the city of Phoenix Street Transportation Department, Argos Vision cameras will be installed at two intersections in the city of Phoenix for a one-year pilot program. Read the full story on ASU News.

For a deeper look at how ASU’s innovative solutions address critical national security challenges, read about the first year of the program in this ASU news article.

Explore all programs

Our programs for entrepreneurs at ASU and in the community provide guidance and support to help you move your venture to the next level.