28 June 2023

National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC) Announces Funding Milestone

(Credit: The Spaceport Company)

Funding Provided to Seventeen Early Stage Hardware Companies to Advance Development Milestones 

Mountain View, CA (June 28, 2023)— National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC) announced funding of The Spaceport Company for the design and development of its first full platform for sea-based rocket launches. Spaceport joins the sixteen other portfolio companies funded by NSIC over fiscal years 2021-2023, using a total of $35M provided by Congress.

NSIC, a program within the Department of Defense (DoD), was created to address the shortfall of trusted private venture capital available to early stage, dual-use hardware startups. The lack of trusted capital delays the product development of U.S.-developed technologies, and leaves openings for capital from our adversaries to gain access. NSIC funding enables hardware companies to avoid the risks of losing their technology to foreign competitors and to accelerate the development of products based on cutting-edge technologies critical to national security and economic competitiveness.

NSIC obligated all of its 2023 budget by May with the funding of The Spaceport Company, a firm that is building a sea-based launch platform to address looming congestion at U.S. land-based launch sites. The Spaceport Company’s mobile solution has the potential to enable more launches in more locations without incurring environmental risks to people or shore-based assets. NSIC funding will enable TSC to build a full prototype and its first operational system.

“Providing funding for hardware companies at key points of development reaffirms the commitment by the Department of Defense to nurture some of the most important technologies for our economy and national security,” said Tex Schenkkan, Director of NSIC. “The impact that government funding makes to these hardware companies is important to strengthening our innovation base and developing the companies that will become key creators of economic strength for the nation.”

Since its inception, NSIC has successfully identified and funded hardware ventures across a range of technologies, including batteries, quantum systems, microelectronics, advanced materials, space manufacturing, and cutting-edge sensors. Among those companies are New Frontier Aerospace, Maybell and Lyten:

  • New Frontier Aerospace: $750K initial funding jump-started work on their advanced 3D printed rocket engine architecture and has enabled delivery of a key turbomachinery component sooner than it would be able to achieve with then-available capital. NSIC funding also helped NFA grow customer interest in hypersonic and space applications.

  • Maybell: NSIC’s initial $750K investment into American quantum infrastructure led to securing millions of dollars in commercial orders, raising more than$7.5M in seed funding, pursuing both product and service oriented business models, and hiring its twentieth employee this summer in its Colorado location.

  • Lyten: $3M funding from NSIC targeted capabilities that enabled doubling the capacity of Lyten’s new lithium-sulfur battery pilot production facility in Silicon Valley to be used for current and future transportation, e-aviation, and national security applications. The facility had its ribbon cutting on June 14, 2023.

The NSIC website provides comprehensive information about the initiative's mission, portfolio companies and process.

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