About the Cohort Program
Cohorts are playing an increasing role in startup communities around the world. So we decided to put a twist on that concept for the Army.
Our Cohort Program is similar to an accelerator, similar to a hack-a-thon, similar to traditional acquisitions, but none of those things by itself. It brings together a group of companies that don't usually work with the DoD and focuses them on solving a specific Army problem. In exchange, participating companies receive non-dilutive funding and a chance to present their solution concepts directly to Army stakeholders and mission partners.
How It Works
Every cohort through AAL is different, because every problem is unique. We work with Army clients to gain deeper insight into their problems and co-develop a tailored program with their goals in mind. But each cohort shares two things — a focus on working with the best solvers and a commitment to solutions that can transition and scale.
Our cohorts aren't focused on making one widget or bound by rigid requirements. We work on dissecting and solving complex operational problems for the Army.
No one thrives in a vacuum. So we bring Army clients and cohort members together throughout the program to share insight and solve the problem as a team.
By including Army program managers throughout the design process, we deliver realistic solutions while reducing risks to cost, schedule, and performance.
Rather than spending millions on one solution that may not work, we validate new ideas that can solve multiple problems and scale into other dual-use solutions.
Our Newest Cohort
Robotic Combat Vehicle Sustainment Cohort
Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCVs) reduce the risk to Soldiers and deliver advantages during conflict. But the Army can only retain these advantages if RCVs can stay in the fight. The Army wants to implement smart-sensor capabilities to help sustain these platforms. From remote troubleshooting, to predictive maintenance, to the ability to anticipate resupply, these capabilities will be critical to the future ground force.
To address this modernization need, AAL has partnered with the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team and PM Maneuver Combat Systems to choose 10 pioneering companies for the cohort. Over the course of 12 weeks, these companies will receive hands-on experience with RCVs — including the RCV-Light and RCV-Medium — as well as the Project Origin technology demonstrator, to help them create targeted tech for Soldiers. Learn more about the RCV Sustainment Cohort here.
Power Transfer Cohort
Without tactical charging capabilities, the Army can't operate electric vehicles in the field. During the 8-week Power Transfer Cohort, six companies answered the question, "Is an electric vehicle infrastructure possible for the Army?" Now, they are now addressing, "How do we do it?"
Those answers will come to light as selected companies move forward — some to deliver a low-power proof of concept this year and others to take on new Army projects for continued development.
Fire Faster Cohort
Reloading Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPH) is a highly manual process. And the Army needs a way to do this better — to reduce physical strain on Soldiers and to keep up with next-generation operations. So the first cohort to use our new SPARTN model worked to find solutions.
The proposed solutions — from subsystems to complete autoloading systems — can automate the entire firing process from fuzing to loading. Following our 18-week program, five companies were selected for follow-on direct-to-Phase II SBIR contracts. 80% of these companies had no or limited DoD experience, demonstrating what we know to be true — the best solutions don't always come from familiar sources. Some of the proposed technologies are also now being examined for retrofit on another platform.
The Cohort Program is just one of the ways that we're supporting Army modernization by challenging why and delivering what if.
Whether you're a small business interested in joining our next cohort or an Army leader interested in funding a new cohort, we're ready to talk. Together, we can unite the best commercial thinking and technology to transform the Army.Contact Us