HUSTLE Defense Accelerator


AUGUST 18, 2022  |  4:30PM - 7:00PM
Innovare Advancement Center

Choose Your HUSTLE Adventure!

Attend In Person > Register Here!    Attend Online > Register Here!


Join us at the Innovare Advancement Center, in Rome NY, for Demo Day!

See the region's best seed stage startup companies pitch for $300,000 in prizes. Enjoy local food, drinks and networking opportunities! 

Where else can you see a Shark Tank-like event live, and cover defense-oriented technologies such as:

• Digital Twin design, development and deployment, to provide single views of truth across fragmented data sources
• Social media-based training for cybersecurity
• Cybersecurity audits for counter-UAS (Uncrewed Aerial Systems)
• AI that controls combustion



McGuirk USA LLC McGuirk USA
The Team of McGuirk USA (MUSA), Datalytica, and Quanterion Solutions Incorporated (QSI) provide consultants for engineering, data analysis, cyber, and counterintelligence support to industry, defense and government programs globally.
CyberSpara CyberSpara
CyberSpara helps business owners, educational institutions, and government agencies (DoD, AirForce, etc.) to equip themselves with proper tools and empower individuals to reduce cyberthreats and mitigate such national security challenges.
ThermoAI ThermoAI
ThermoAI offers a combustion optimizing artificial intelligence that can be added to any existing combustion system, integrating with current controls to find the best settings in real-time to achieve near perfect combustion levels. Immediately increasing fuel efficiency by 10-15%, increasing equipment lifespan, and decreasing emissions.
Secwins Secwins
Secwins, LLC helps design, develop and deploy secure digital twins to provide a single view of truth across fragmented data sources.


Demo Day AGENDA:

4:00 PM Registration & Meet the Startups
4:45 PM Welcome & Opening Remarks
5:00 PM Team 1 Pitch
5:20 PM Team 2 Pitch
5:40 PM Team 3 Pitch
6:00 PM Team 4 Pitch
6:20 PM Networking & Judges' Deliberations
7:05 PM Winners Announced
7:15 Networking
*Agenda subject to change

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.
  • 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
    • Intellectual Property Strategy
    • 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 a 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 HUSTLE!

    HUSTLE Application

    The application period for HUSTLE Cohort 1 has now closed. Please check back soon for updates on future cohorts!



    Important Dates

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

    HUSTLE News

    5.31.22 Griffiss Institute Partners with Amazon to Provide Free AWS Services to Startup Companies
    5.11.22 Griffiss Institute Launches First Cohort of HUSTLE Defense Accelerator, Offers $300K Prize for Winning Innovation

    Got Questions?


    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.

    Interested in participating as a HUSTLE coach, sponsor or mentor? Email at


    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
    Michael Morrill
    Seth Mulligan
    Anthony Newton
    Matthew Nicholl
    Courtney Olsen
    Dori Placito
    Kelly Poynter
    Nick Rauscher
    Evaguel Rhysing
    Mark Romano
    Grant Roser
    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

    GI + AWS