Air Force ‘innovation hub’ looks to help tech startups

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It could take years for an innovative tech idea to get final approval from the U.S. Air Force.

But the military branch created a conduit that will push ideas to the top faster – eliminating layers of red tape and a protracted approval process that basically green lights ideas once they are almost obsolete.

AFWERX, which opened last month in Las Vegas, is a publicly funded space, or “innovation hub,” for anyone who wants to pitch an idea and begin working on it with the backing of the U.S. Air Force. It serves two purposes – to help the Air Force find long and short-term solutions to problems it faces and to help entrepreneurs pitch their inventions to the right people.

“We don’t have to go through the same hoops the government does,” said AFWERX Vegas director Mark Rowland.

Anyone can make a pitch at the innovation hub as long as the entrepreneur is offering a project that can be used in the Air Force. If chosen, the hub offers mentors that will guide them through a fast-track program that will help them get their startup off the ground.

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