HUSTLE Defense Accelerator


Apply now. Deadline is 2/14 at 2:14 PM

HUSTLE is...

The HUSTLE Defense Accelerator is an elite and immersive accelerator for seed stage tech startups pushing AI/ML, cyber, quantum and UAS solutions with dual-use potential and the drive to elevate the United States’ national security and economic competitiveness.

This program is 100% in person and on site May 23 – August 12 at Innovare Advancement Center in Rome, NY.

Ten startups will be selected for participation in this elite program for defense innovation and summer residency in our world-class facility.

HUSTLE graduates will…

  • Know the defense enterprise as a customer.
  • Know how, when, and where to make the perfect pitch.
  • Know the people and players who will be your partners in delivering national security solutions.
  • Know how to engage early-stage sources of capital to de-risk technologies and develop your team.
  • Launch your venture in an inclusive community of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who areinspired and committed to elevate national security and economic competitiveness.
  • Learn the rich legacy of innovation in New York's picturesque Mohawk Valley.
  • Learn the ropes of startup success from world-class trainers, coaches and mentors.
  • Compete for $300,000 in seed funding to grow your company in the Mohawk Valley through IDEA NY.

HUSTLE Defense Accelerator cohort teams will be provided a unique opportunity to learn knowledge and skills to develop, market and grow their businesses and a special track focused on how to successfully work with the Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies.

Business Development Track focuses on all aspects of establishing and growing your company through a combination of lectures and guest speakers. Topics include:

  • Motivation
  • Ideation
  • Customer Discovery
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Competition
  • Go to Market, Customer Acquisition
  • Key Activities, Resources & Partners
  • Business model, Revenues & Costs

Government Business Track focuses on requirements for the DoD/Air Force SBIR/STTR programs, How to Write a Winning SBIR/STTR Proposal, How to Handle Control Unclassified Information (CUI), International Traffic in Arms Regulations, Data Rights, Technology Transfer Agreements, Developing and Submitting a DoD License Request to DoD Labs, What is a Project Intermediary and How They Can Help, Government Procurement: Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and DoD Contracting 101.

The HUSTLE Defense Accelerator culminates in IDEA NY Pitch Day where qualifying HUSTLE teams will have the opportunity to pitch for up to $300K investments to scale their ventures in the Mohawk Valley. Thank you, New York State and Empire State Development, for your steadfast support of IDEA NY!

HUSTLE Application




Important Dates

  • Jan. 14, 2022 @ 1:14 PM: Application Opens
  • Feb. 14, 2022 @ 2:14 PM: Application Deadline
  • May 2022: Application Opens for 2nd Cohort

Got Questions?

Email [email protected]

Meet the HUSTLE Team!

Meet a few of the instructors, trainers, coaches, guest speakers, and mentors who will be part of the HUSTLE 2022 program.

Patricia Baskinger
John Blaho
Robert Bojanek
Corrine Bush
Justin Call
Mary Carol Chruscicki
Stephen Colenzo
Evan DeGennaro
Alicia Dicks
Kelsey Dzeravenets
Dan Fayette
Noel Goddard
Michael Graniero
Charles Green
Heather Hage
Robert Harrod
Dr. Michael Hayduk
Chad Heitzenrater
DeliaRae Jesaitis
Dan Kalil
Dr. Timothy Kroecker
Chad Lawrence
Denise Lee
John Liddy
Dan Madden
Jennifer Martin
Jennifer McCullough
Sarah Metott
Anthony Newton
Courtney Olsen
Matthew Nicholl
Dori Placito
Kelly Poynter
Evaguel Rhysing
Mark Romano
Karen Roth
Arber Ruci
Yvonne Scott-Younis
Noa Simons
Melissa Tallman
Ariella Trotsenko
Michael Wessing
Dr. Bryant Wysocki

Meet the HUSTLE Partners & Sponsors!

Air Force Research Laboratory
Business Incubator Association of NYS
Griffiss Institute
Griffiss Institute Business Incubator
Innovare Advancement Center
Innovation Collective
National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps
National Security Innovation Network
NSF Innovation Corps
Syracuse University
UNY I-Corps Node
Upstate Capital