DoD-funded program to support growth, diversification of 15 local defense companies
San Diego County CA—
Propel San Diego partners – San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) and San Diego Regional EDC – unveiled 15 companies selected to participate in the Defense Innovation Voucher program (DIVx). DIVx is a comprehensive business initiative designed to build resiliency in small, local defense companies and help them find pathways to diversify their revenue.
San Diego is home to the largest concentration of military assets in the world and the largest federal military workforce in the country. When considering the overall ripple effects of the defense cluster in San Diego, about 22 percent of San Diego’s gross regional product (GRP) is the result of defense-related spending. But the breadth and depth of defense activity stretches far beyond military bases and naval ships; from telecomm to robotics, aerospace to cybersecurity, San Diego’s defense cluster is the driving force behind the region’s innovation economy.
“Defense spending in San Diego County impacts the employment of nearly one in five San Diegans,” said Randy Bogle, executive director, SDMAC. “San Diego receives tremendous benefits from the investment of resources the military brings to our region. Companies, like those in the DIVx cohort, support the military in various ways, and are a vital asset to this region.”
According to EDC’s recently released report, Mapping San Diego’s Defense Ecosystem, 40 percent of the companies registered in San Diego County as defense contractors employ five people or less. Propel San Diego’s DIVx program serves to help those small defense companies build resiliency and sustainability through times of fluctuation in defense spending.
“Like many local industries, San Diego’s defense supply chain is mostly made up of small businesses, with 89 percent of firms employing less than 50 people. As federal funds continue to fluctuate in defense spending, small business that often rely on one to two large contracts, are at risk,” said Nikia Clarke, VP of economic development, San Diego Regional EDC. “The newly launched DIVx program is designed to help these companies diversify their revenue and become more resilient, thus increasing their ability to withstand fluctuations in DoD spending and downturns in our economy.”
The City of San Diego has selected San Diego Regional EDC to launch the DIVx program to enhance the competitiveness of those 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.
The DIVx program will provide services in these three specific areas:
- Direct Assistance: EDC has identified qualified consultants who will provide $15,000 in complimentary consulting services in one of the following categories: marketing, accounting compliance, certifications (SDVOSB, AS9100, AS5553, ISO 9001, etc.), lean supply chain and additive manufacturing tools, and strategic planning.
- Boot Camp: Enrollment in a six-month long course designed to provide best practices to company leadership on strategies to improve company competitiveness.
- DIVx 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.
Partnering with the San Diego Regional EDC, Booz Allen Hamilton is the presenting sponsor of the DIVx program. Booz Allen Hamilton is a leader in the defense consulting industry and embraces the opportunity to help create a more robust defense supply chain through programs like DIVx.
“Booz Allen Hamilton is pleased to support the small defense contractors in San Diego as part of our ongoing efforts to bring the most innovative technology and solutions to our Navy clients,” said Jennie Brooks, vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton. “From telecommunications to artificial intelligence, and ship building to machine shops, this first cohort of 15 small defense companies showcases the wide range of technologies and sectors available San Diego’s defense industrial base. Through the DIVx program, these companies and their more than 400 local employees will be able to become even more competitive and resilient pursuing business in both defense and commercial markets.”
Propel San Diego is a partnership of six key organizations: East County Economic Development Council, South County Economic Development Council, San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego Military Advisory Council, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, and the City of San Diego. Each of these organizations are also working on specific business support programs to create a more robust defense ecosystem here in San Diego.
For more information about the DIVx program please visit SDMAC.org/propelsandiego.
The 2018 DIVx companies are as follows:
- Accel-RF Instruments Corporation
- American Lithium Energy Corporation
- Coast Precision Enterprises, Inc.
- EpiSci (EpiSys Science, Inc.)
- Fuse Integration, Inc.
- GET Engineering Corporation
- Marine Group Boat Works, LLC
- Ocean Aero
- Planck Aerosystems
- Sidus Solutions
- Trabus Technologies
- VetPowered, LLC
- Vortex Engineering
- intelliSolutions, inc.
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.