401TB Blue Tech Accelerators

Blue Tech Accelerators

2023 Blue Tech Sprint

About the Program

BlueTech leverages technology to enhance capabilities and address security challenges in marine environments, ensuring a more robust and effective defense strategy.  

This program will focus on the application of advanced technologies and innovations related to the marine and maritime domain for defense purposes. It will encompass the integration of cutting-edge solutions into naval and coastal operations, offering strategic advantages in areas such as national security, maritime surveillance, underwater warfare, autonomous systems, ocean exploration, and environmental monitoring. 

This is a high-intensity, 6-week program designed to support strategic industry exposure with defense procurement offices, government agencies, and investors. 

Interested innovators need to pre-register at MassChallenge.

Applications for the Blue Tech Cohort will open August 14th.  

Deadline to apply has been extended until September 11th!

Who Should Apply?

The BlueTech technology areas that will be prioritized for consideration in 2023 include but are not limited to: 

  • Autonomous systems 
  • Data science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital twins
  • Composite and advanced materials
  • Underwater sensor technology
  • Underwater communications (long and short range)
  • Ocean and bio-inspired science
  • Sensing and Surveillance
  • Renewable power generation, power storage, hardware and software for adaptive power conditioning 

Eligibility Requirements

It is our goal to bring together maritime and defense leaders with startups that have the ideas and tools needed to deepen our use of the ocean to support early-stage startups. To be eligible for the program, we recommend a: 

  • Well-established product-market fit with clear evidence of customer demand   
  • Interest in scaling through both through commercial & federal markets   
  • Use case that addresses one or more of the challenges identified  
  • Must be able to attend an in-person or virtual demo day in mid-November 2023 

Sprint Goals

  • Accelerate engagement, impact, innovation, and speed to tech transfer
  • Drive understanding and connection for BlueTech entrepreneurs to the needs of commercial markets (like the offshore wind industry)
  • Deepen startup awareness of industry needs and challenges
  • Provide startup teams with the education, connections, and resources to effectively work with government and defense-focused partners
  • Drive increased SBIR/STTR awards to MassChallenge supported startups
“The 401 Tech Bridge team is excited to partner with MassChallenge to execute this program and ultimately contribute to Rhode Island’s burgeoning blue technology ecosystem. This programming will showcase the state as a leader in ocean-based innovation, accelerate economic growth and focus on environmental issues facing our state, the country and global leaders.”
– Christian Cowan, Executive Director, 401 Tech Bridge

401 Tech Bridge and the NavalX Northeast Tech Bridge are providing strategic expertise and support for a Blue Tech focus area within the MassChallenge Early Stage Accelerator.

We are looking for high tech and high potential young companies who are developing products and technology for undersea, offshore wind and maritime markets and interested in joining an accelerator where they’ll gain insight on the needs of the U.S. Navy. A select group of startups will be chosen to participate in the proven MassChallenge Early Stage accelerator program. There they will receive focused support from the NavalX Northeast Tech Bridge and 401 Tech Bridge, gaining:

  • Unrivaled access to global corporate and national security partners
  • World-class mentoring from professionals with real-world expertise in the defense innovation sector
  • Knowledge of the steps they need to take to be ready to do business with the U.S. Department of the Navy.

The Blue Tech concentration is funded by the Office of Naval Research through the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport.

“MassChallenge’s mission is to equip bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and create meaningful change. We believe our partnership with 401 TechBridge will enable us to leverage the expertise, industry networks and resources in the state’s ocean economy to help the blue technology sector grow….A cornerstone to our success in any geography is identifying partners such as 401 Tech Bridge who have proficiency as a super-connector and mentor in the state’s advanced materials, technology, defense and commercial arenas.”
– Hope Hopkins, Head of Accelerator Programs, MassChallenge

Nautilus Defense

Jim Owens and his team at Nautilus Defense design and build advanced material-integrated systems with a focus on mechanical performance, survivability, and development speed to continually deploy solutions for their Army, Navy, and Air Force customers.

Learn how 401 Tech Bridge helped Nautilus get their innovations in front of the people who need them in an efficient and effective manner.

“401 Tech Bridge is helping to build a community focused on solving problems and creating new solutions in the advanced materials industry, and we will all grow together from that. That has the potential to create exponential returns for the DoD, small businesses, research partners, and the state of Rhode Island as a whole.”
Jim Owens
Principal, Nautilus Defense