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Silknet H4D 2021 Lessons Learned

business model, business model canvas, mission model, mission model canvas, customer development, hacking for defense, H4D, lean launchpad, lean startup, stanford, startup, steve blank, pete newell, bmnt, entrepreneurship, I-Corps, Security, NSIN, SOCOM, sensors, Joe Felter

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Silknet H4D 2021 Lessons Learned

  1. INTERVIEWS 125 sponsor SILKNET mentors KEVIN RAY · LTC ELDRIDGE SINGLETON · COL SEAN DAY business military industry ARMY RESEARCH LAB (ARL) our team is focused on integrating cutting-edge technology to improve autonomous teaming and situational awareness. This technology and systems will enable greater force protection and decision making for tactical level leaders and soldiers. Ground to air asset teaming could improve situational awareness and maneuvering by a factor of 10x. tactical level operators lack a fully-automated and organic method to detect local and ground-based threats. ORIGINAL PROBLEM STATEMENT FINAL PROBLEM Shawn Walsh · Mat Correa · Claudia Quigley · Joe Rexwinkle · Wendy Leonard
  2. THE TEAM “the facilitator” MS MSE ‘21 Fmr Boeing Engineer ANDREW DALLAS “the hustler” MBA ‘22 Army CPT “the talker” MBA ‘22 Army MAJ, 75th RR CALEB STENHOLM TRAVIS ANDERSON “the builder” BS EE ‘23 Hardware Nerd LIANA KEESING “the coder” MS CS ‘21 ML & Data Guru JULIUS STENER
  3. 125 INTERVIEWS ACROSS INDUSTRY, THE DOD, AND MORE. 22 23 intel, ibm, boeing, leidos, boston dynamics, pison, optoknowledge, anduril, goTenna, raytheon, sherpa6, tomahawk, skydio, lockheed martin, palantir, draper SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (SOCOM) 75th Ranger Regiment Special Forces Seal Team 6 AFSOC MARSOC 20 ARMY 18th airborne corps 10th mountain 82nd airborne 25th ID Army Futures Command 16 AIR FORCE + MARINES + NAVY + NATIONAL GUARD AFWERX Air Force Command & Staff College Naval Postgraduate School Mass. NG AS WELL AS... Stanford CS and EE Departments
  4. STARTING MORALE: HIGH drone-to-asset teaming is just a technology problem! this is going to be so easy! week morale NAIVETE: HIGHER!
  5. —ARMY OFFICER W/ 3 DEPLOYMENTS “There is decent integration of lower elements on mounted platforms, but there is a huge disconnect with dismounted platforms.” REALIZATION #1: none of low-level, tactical leaders in the army we interviewed have any network access to drone feeds or sensor data: everything is actively monitored by dedicated personnel and then communicated by radio.
  6. WELL, WE CAN FIX THAT! week 1 mvp: a network to help share data between units
  8. THE ARMY IS TRYING TO CHANGE THIS IN CAPSET 21 —TEAM LEADER AT DEVCOM SOLDIER CENTER “CAPSET 21 includes phone and radio networking to provide capability down to the team leader. ITN [integrated tactical network] is the layered network that will serve as the backbone.” 01
  9. INFORMATION OVERLOAD IS A HUGE PROBLEM —MSG AT 75TH RANGER REGIMENT “There is too much audio to sift through.” “Key leaders are overwhelmed.” “All the unprocessed data is too cumbersome on a small screen.” 02 “Our only automated data feeds are team member locations” —CDR AT SEAL TEAM 6
  10. INTEGRATING 3RD PARTY SYSTEMS IS A CHALLENGE Different contractors own: ● The drone systems ● The EUDs (end user devices) ● The networks Difficult to incentivize use of a new standard 03
  11. AND SO, WE DECIDED TO PIVOT How can we take advantage of the fact that everyone is about to get ATAK-enabled devices? How can we give dismounted tactical users the ability to collect data on their own? How can we ensure that that data will not require extra work to process?
  12. RETHINKING “UNMANNED SYSTEMS” “Squad level drones … provide more of a snapshot” SQUAD DRONES HAVE SHORT DWELL TIME MANY MISSIONS DON’T NEED VIDEO DATA “Often only one person can view the screen” DRONES ARE BIG & HEAVY: OZ = LBS “Current sensors aren’t worth the hassle due to SWaP” RECOVERING EQUIPMENT IS FRUSTRATING “The fact that the systems are cheap and expendable provide the most value added.”
  14. BY THE END OF WEEK 2, WE HAD A NEW IDEA: WHAT IF THE SENSORS DON’T MOVE week morale ● cheap ● disposable ● networked ● SWaP-C conscious ● long-lasting KEY IDEAS:
  15. NEW MVP
  16. IN WEEK 3, WE REALIZED WE COULD REPLACE UGS (UNATTENDED GROUND SENSOR) week morale “We’re thinking about a battlefield where there are less soldiers / they are not actively involved” —MAJ in PEO Soldier
  19. ...WHICH WE WERE TOLD DURING OUR WEEK 4 PRESENTATION week morale “May have deviated too much from the original problem statement”
  20. WE WERE SAD, BUT WE NEEDED TO REGROUP & REDISCOVER ● What specific problem are we solving? ● Who are our beneficiaries? ● Who will pay for this? ● Why has this not been done before?
  21. WHICH WE STARTED TO ASK EXPLICITLY IN OUR INTERVIEWS! week morale Key learnings: ● SOCOM RCA 7 ● Validated UGS requirements could serve as acquisitions pathway
  23. … AND INVESTIGATED CRUCIAL DEPLOYMENT CHALLENGES We talked to program managers, acquisitions specialists, and PEOs, as well as people in the defense industry ecosystem. “TRL 6 is necessary to deploy to AEWE and other army programs.” —SOCOM PEO “SOCOM wants products that are more technologically developed. “ —ARMY ACQUISITIONS OFFICER —VC “Can you name a commercial product that SOCOM bought from a venture-backed startup?”
  24. DURING WEEK 7, WE GOT SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT TECH WE COULD OFFER week morale In order to get real feedback on our product, we needed to start being very clear about what it looked like & what it could realistically do. Liana’s makeshift workshop
  25. Deployed Sensors Threat Detected ● size: 4 cm sphere ● weight: 2 oz ● operational life: 1 month ● personnel detection range: 10 m ● vehicle detection range: 10 m ● transmission range: 0.5 km ● transmission band: WiFi ● environmental operating conditions: ○ temperature: -20 C to 60 C, rain, sleet, snow ○ indoors/outdoors and in direct sunlight ○ pavement, fields, desert ● security: transmit is encrypted. low transmission range = difficult to be sensed from far away. only transmit data intermittently. capable of sensing when being handled and will self wipe all stored data. TECH SPEC SHEET WEEK 7 MVP
  26. WE RECEIVED CONTINUED VALIDATION ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THOSE CAPABILITIES “If we can implement a device isn’t large and expensive, that would be ‘huge.’” —75TH RR COMPANY COMMANDER “That would be super cool!” —SOCOM PEO —MARSOC TEAM LEAD “Useful for nightly security and raid use case”
  27. DURING WEEK 8, WE DOVE INTO A NAGGING QUESTION: week morale WHY HAS NO ONE DONE THIS BEFORE? If this is such a good idea,
  28. WE LEARNED FOUR THINGS RECENT ADVANCES IN HARDWARE ARE BIG Sensor accuracy for dismounts in the past has been inconsistent at best, but HW now is cheaper & much more reliable DISMOUNTED SQUADS ARE JUST GETTING CELL PHONES NOW Without phones, the data could never reach every troop THERE HAVE BEEN EFFORTS, BUT THE TECH HAS BEEN WEAK as explained by a Marine LTGen & a Stanford EE Prof IDF uses similar in limited scenarios 01 03 02 04 OTHER COMPANIES HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS Another defense company considered a similar use case, but had limited engineering resources
  29. RELIEVED, WE USED WEEK 9 TO BUILD A BETTER MVP & REVAMP THE MISSION MODEL CANVAS week morale Quite intimidated by the number of acquisitions pathways
  30. CURRENT MISSION MODEL CANVAS SOCOM (Special Ops Command) SGT Snuffy SFC SMASH (T1) CPT Rogers ATAK and IVAS Army Futures Command (AFC) - DEVCOM - Army Research Lab (ARL) - Soldier Lethality CFT - Maneuver - CDID - Centers of Excellence (CoEs) SOCOM AT&L - PEO SOF Warrior - PEO Special Recon - PEO S&T Army PEOs (PMs, PdMs) - Soldier - Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors - Command Control Communications Tactical (C3T) Nextflex Low power embedded systems and tiny-ML ATAK Integrated Phone Device Autonomous threat detection capability w/ Low SWAP-C Long term detection of location visitors, chemicals, EM, etc Boost UX to drive adoption of new comms platforms -Design of low SWAP-C embedded systems -TinyML model development and deployment -UI Integration with ATAK Tactical connect to Project Convergence / JADC2, Modernize the force Focused Threat Detection (90% accuracy with no false negatives), Force Protection, Asset Queuing SBIR Grant CRADA SOCOM Training and Evaluation Event AFC can implement Army- wide solutions SOCOM can deploy small versions rapidly at the tactical level $10 per sensor, 10 sensors/squad
  32. PARTICIPATE IN H4X LABS Develop business model and technology for demonstrations, production, and acquisition APPLY FOR SIBRS Currently working applications for DoD and NSF grants GOING FORWARD, WE PLAN TO PERFORM CUSTOMER DISCOVERY FOR DUAL USE APPLICATIONS Applications in security, fire, gaming, agriculture RAISE SEED FUNDING!
  33. Shawn Walsh Mat Correa Claudia Quigley Joe Rexwinkle Wendy Leonard Kevin Ray LTC (P) Eldridge “Raj” Singleton COL (P) Sean Day The H4X Teaching Staff And all of our interviewees! A HUGE THANKS TO CONTACT INFO