Creating a robust, diversified and resilient defense industrial base.

On Thursday May 23, five defense companies who participated in the inaugural class of the Defense Innovation Voucher (DIV) program had the chance to win $25,000 DIV Grand Prize by pitching their companies to an audience of  100 + attendees. 

DIV is presented by Booz Allen Hamilton and is part of a larger regional effort, funded by the Department of Defense, known as Propel San Diego. The DIV program is a comprehensive business initiative, designed to build resiliency in small to medium sized San Diego-based defense companies. Fifteen diverse companies were chosen to participate in the 2018-19 program, each receiving an initial $15,000 grant. Five of the 15 defense companies in the program competed for the grand prize of $25 K. 

The winner of the 2019 Grand Pitch Event was Planck Aerosystems. Congradulations to Dave Twining on this amazing opportunity. 

2019 Grand Prize winner - Placnck Aerosystems 

Defense Innovation Voucher Finalists 2018- 2019 Cohort


DIV 2018- 2019 Full Cohort

  1. Accel-RF Instruments Corporation is the world leader in supplying equipment for performing high temperature, long-duration reliability testing on compound semiconductors. Accel-RF’s test equipment has been an enabler for the successful technology development, product launch, and industry adoption into the space, military, and commercial wireless markets.
  2. Amaratek delivers research and development services for Defense and Homeland Security. Initially providing contract services to the U.S. Department of Defense, Amaratek developed a biological system for the neutralization of chemical weapons and delivered a working system to the U.S. Army.
  3. American Lithium Energy Corporation was founded in 2006 to develop and commercialize high performance, next generation lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technologies for demanding military and commercial applications.
  4. Coast Precision Enterprises, Inc. has specialized in the manufacturing of precision-machined components for more than 38 years. Coast Precision manufactures its products for use in aerospace, medical, power, defense, and commercial industries.
  5. EpiSci (EpiSys Science, Inc.) founded in 2012, envisioned that future disruptive innovations would be derived from the paradigm of systems science. Through its deep technical expertise in multiple emerging areas, they develop the most innovative systems solutions for defense, intelligence, and commercial applications.
  6. Fuse Integration, Inc. was founded with a noble cause of bringing the benefits of commercial human-centered design processes to first responder and military systems engineering. Fuse is working hard to lead the charge with an agile approach to development and a rapid prototyping ethos for the way they build systems.
  7. GET Engineering Corporation is a leading edge, high technology engineering firm providing tactical data solutions to government and industrial clients. GET is a small business dedicated to providing the U.S. Department of Defense and its coalition forces the most cost effective tactical communication products and solutions available.
  8. intelliSolutions, inc. has provided outstanding SME, engineering, and program management support to the Department of Defense. The company has extensive past performance experience and its personnel have specialized military backgrounds and advanced subject matter expertise in satellite communications, tactical data links, and maritime surveillance.
  9. Marine Group Boat Works, LLC provides highly specialized services including new construction, custom metal fabrications, and emergent work repairs for vessels ranging from range training support crafts, workboats, tugboats, and barges.
  10. Ocean Aero provides customers a new level of surface and subsurface versatility with wind and solar-powered autonomy and self-sufficient maritime robotics.
  11. Planck Aerosystems combines artificial intelligence, advanced controls, computer vision, and rigorous testing to enable drones to be able to operate from moving platforms and execute fully autonomous missions. Their customers include government agencies and commercial maritime operators.
  12. Sidus Solutions innovative design and advanced technology has positioned them to be a global leader in pan & tilt and rotator manufacturing. Sidus Solutions’ subsea cameras, lights, and lasers are designed put eyes wherever you need them. They are also a complete service provider of robust security and surveillance systems.
  13. Trabus Technologies is a high-tech IT and engineering corporation that continues to expand its impressive portfolio of capabilities, programs, and services. Trabus Technologies thrives on practical solutions to the toughest challenges in cyber, wireless, and unmanned systems.
  14. VetPowered, LLC seeks to increase their customers’ competitive advantage with a veteran and wounded warrior workforce highly trained in digital manufacturing thread, welding/fabrication, machinery repair, and customized training.
  15. Vortex Engineering has over 13 years of experience in the construction and fabrication of a broad size and range of components for aerospace, surface ship, and submarine categories.

Next Application Period    |   Fall of 2019  

San Diego Regional EDC will select a thrid party to defeine a cohort of companies to will receive
three primary benefits through participation in the program.

1. Direct Assistance

Provided via a pre-approved contractor in one or more of the following service areas worth a total of $15,000.

Defense companies looking to pivot to commercial markets or target other non-defense government contracting need to rebrand existing sales and marketing material to their new audience. This could include graphic design for sales and marketing content, logo update, and website overhaul.
Accounting Compliance
Defense contractors are subject to a morass of complex regulatory and reporting requirements. Support can be provided to purchase new systems or update processes to improve the company’s ability to accurately and efficiently remain compliant with government contracting standards.


(SDVOSB, AS9100, AS5553, ISO 9001, etc)
There are a variety of manufacturing and defense related certifications that will improve a company’s ability to compete for government and non-defense work. Companies will request the type of certificate they would like to receive and then will be assigned a contractor to help them attain that certificate.
Lean Supply Chain &
Additive Manufacturing Tools

Companies could begin the process of adopting lean supply chain principles or exploring new advanced manufacturing tools that will increase their competitiveness.


Strategic Planning
Companies seeking to target a new defense or commercial market can use the support of contractors to develop a strategic plan.

2. Boot Camp

Enrollment in a six month long course designed to provide best practices to company leadership on strategies to improve their competitiveness.

San Diego Regional EDC will design a series of workshops for executives from selected companies. Guest speakers and subject matter experts will each lead a two to four hour workshop.

3. DIV Grand Prize - $25,000

Companies will be incentivized to remain active working with their contractor and engaged in the boot camp with a $25,000 grand prize competition. This competition will award a company based off their level of engagement in these activities and progress towards their goals with an additional $25,000 to work with one of the pre-approved contractors to perform new work with the company.


San Diego Regional EDC is launching the DIV program to provide $15,000 in complimentary consulting service to small defense contractors HQ’d in San Diego County. Companies awarded Defense Innovation Vouchers will not only receive complimentary consulting services but will also participate in a six month program (one day per month) designed to help company leadership understand key strategies to diversify their business and enhance their competitiveness. Companies accepted into the program will also have the opportunity to compete for an additional $25,000 grand prize at the conclusion of the program in a pitchfest style event open to the public.

Key Facts
  • Competitive Application process
    - Eligible businesses must be Small defense contractors (SBA definition)
    - Must be HQ’d in San Diego County
    - Must have five or more employees
    - Must have been in operation for 2 or more years
  • 15 companies will be awarded $15,000 each in consulting services
  • Companies selected will compete for an additional $25,000 grand prize at the conclusion of the program
  • In addition to the complimentary consulting services the companies will also participate in a six month course (one day a month) with industry experts providing briefings on strategies for small businesses to become more competitive.
  • Types of Service Available - Marketing, Strategic Planning, Lean 6 Sigma/Additive Manufacturing, Tax/Compliance – DCAA, DOD Relevant Certifications (ISO 9001, AS9100, AS5553, SDVOSB, etc)


San Diego Regional EDC is a sub-awardee of a grant to the City of San Diego known as Propel San Diego from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). Propel SD seeks to support local efforts to assist defense contractors who have been or may be impacted by adjustments in defense spending.

City of San Diego has selected San Diego Regional EDC to launch the DIV program to enhance the competitiveness of small defense contractors. This pilot program will offer complimentary consulting services and curriculum to improve the competitiveness of small defense companies, selected through a competitive needs-based selection process. The program will help companies compete for government or defense contracts and/or explore pivoting products and services to commercial markets.



This project is funded in whole or in part with Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Reductions in Defense Industry Employment funds
provided by the U.S. Department of Defense - Office of Economic Adjustment to the City of San Diego.