Speaker News

SOCOM Acquisition Official: Government Needs to Understand Startup Culture

Melissa Johnson,

Acquisition Executive,

Special Operations Command

SOCOM Acquisition Official: Government Needs to Understand Startup Culture

Melissa A. Johnson, acquisition executive at the U.S. Special Operations Command, is planning to invite venture capitalists to educate government officials on startup culture. 

In a recent Potomac Officers Club Defense R&D summit, Johnson, a past POC speaker, said her plan stems from the growing number of venture capital firms and startups working with the government. VC-backed companies accounted for less than 1 percent of the $411 billion contracts awarded by the Department of Defense in fiscal 2023. 

Johnson also discussed how government leaders possessing knowledge of startups help in the rapid adoption of new technologies, the Federal News Network reported.

The Department of Defense has been collaborating with startups to support its mission needs. In January 2022, it tapped intelligence-based defense technologies company Anduril Industries to deliver counter-drone capabilities using its Lattice AI platform to identify and classify threats automatically.

It also signed up cybersecurity startup Corsha to help in its efforts to roll out zero trust architecture to point-of-need manufacturing facilities at the agency’s forward-operating bases.

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Category: Speaker News

Tags: contracts Federal News Network Melissa Johnson Speaker News US Special Operations Command venture capitalists