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What makes the American Security Challenge?


Over 100 ASC reviewers use a proprietary scoring methodology we have developed over the years that effectively evaluates and screens through the tech companies in our challenges.


The ASC model is similar to a venture capital screening model that evaluates 100 companies to identify the 25% or so that separates the wheat from the chaff. Higher scoring companies are invited to submit more detailed information for a deeper evaluation by a different review team of qualified experts. After the second round of reviews, the top scoring companies are referred to ASC clients with technologies that match different clients’ requirements. 



Our reviewer teams are a cross section of expertise that provide business, technical, military, civilian, industry, customer, financial, and entrepreneurial perspectives for a comprehensive evaluation on all fronts. 


Scoring examines the technology’s uniqueness, value to the customer, scalability, and competitive insulation as well as company stability and management. 


Reviewer scores and comments are also made available to the companies in our databse, providing meaningful feedback from reviewers representing a diverse set of expert perspectives on the technology and market.



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Many people have asked about the Challengers who go through our process with questions like:


Are they startups?

Do they need clearance?

Do they need to be in the Washington D.C. area?


The following is information about the top 50 Challengers from our latest Challenge, which will shed some light on these questions and more.




The top scoring Challengers were from 21 different states across the country, as well as four different countries.

Grant Funding


Of the top scoring Challengers, 56% received grant research funding ranging from $200,000 to $45,000,000.  The median funding amount was $2,000,000.

Outside Funding


Two-thirds of the top scoring Challengers received outside funding (angel investment, venture capital or other) while one-third bootstrapped their own capitalization.  The amount of outside capital from those accepting it ranged from $150,000 to $62,000,000 with the median investment level being $5,250,000.

Intellectual Property


Of the top scoring Challengers, 97% indicated they have intellectual property.

Technology Maturity


Using industry standard Technology Readiness Level posted guidelines, 56% of the top scoring Challengers had a TRL of 9, 16% had a TRL of 8, 13% had a TRL of 7 with the remaining 12% at TRL 6.


That's 72% of our Challengers at TRL 8 or 9.

Technology Categories


Of the four categories: Cyber, C4ISR, Energy, and Physical security, 36 of the top Challengers identified their technology as Cyber, 27 as C4ISR, 28 as Physical and 15 as energy (some companies addressed multiple categories).

Historical DOD Sales


11% indicated they had direct sales with DoD in the last year.

Security Clearances


21% indicated they have employees with clearances.

Number of Employees


The number of employees ranged from 1 to 130 with a median of 10 employees.

© 2019 by the American Security Challenge

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