In the first week of February, AFWERX brought out 19 government liaisons from 13 organizations across the Air Force, Marine Corps, Army and SOCOM to interface with start-ups participating in the Tech Accelerator program. These representatives hailed from diverse backgrounds and career fields: program managers, acquisition officers, pilots, scientists, engineers, airfield operations, and more.
These government liaisons assisted the accelerator participants in the customer discovery phase of the program, in which each startup conducts over 100 interviews with potential customers. This initial customer discover phase lasts a month and allows participating companies to pick a vector toward which they would like to grow their companies. The second month, Feb 23rd to Mar 23rd, is about accelerating, full speed ahead in that direction. The goal of having a month full of customer discovery first is to ensure that companies do not spin their wheels going in the wrong direction.
Government liaison engagement will occur at an irregular rate, dependent on the particular needs of each startup and each government liaison. Some liaisons will be chosen as “lead government liaisons” by a startup, in which case they will spend 1 to 2 hours per week answer questions and making connections for their startup.