Seize your chance to commercialize world-class, patented tech from the Navy!

PROPELS Accelerator 

The PROPELS Accelerator is an incredible opportunity to commercialize cutting-edge technology developed at NSWC Crane, the third-largest naval installation in the world.

Imagine: a world-class scientist hands you a tested, patented, valuable piece of intellectual property. You spend an intense week with other participants working to develop a commercialization plan, with support from experts in defense and entrepreneurship. First you’ll focus on customer discovery, competition, problem definition, and unique value proposition. Then you’ll turn to financial models, early business planning, marketing and sales, building a team, and crafting a pitch deck for investors.

After the bootcamp week ends, you’ll receive one-on-one follow up and support for another month until Workshop Night, when you reveal your solution to a panel of experts. Later, you’ll pitch at the Radius Indiana Crane IP Defense Innovation Competition for a chance at a prize package.

Questions? Check out the FAQ.

Registration is closed for 2023. Subscribe to be the first to know when the next session opens!


April 1

pre-registration opens for the PROPELS Accelerator


April 26, 5:30-8:00 PM


May 10

deadline to register for the PROPELS Accelerator


May 15-19

accelerator program 


June 20


June 27

Radius Indiana Crane IP Defense Innovation Competition

The Big Break You’ve Been Looking For

Any way you look at it, you win. You get access to amazing tech. In addition, you connect to the defense and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Finally, you build an incredible new product, launch a new business, reach new markets. However you seize the opportunity, you win—and it all happens in 90 days.

No experience contracting with the Navy or the Department of Defense? No problem! PROPELS will help you navigate the process and connect to the ecosystem.

  • APRIL 1: Pre-register to stay in the loop of updates.
  • APRIL 26: Attend the Tech Expo at The Mill to preview the IP.
  • BY MAY 10: Officially register for the PROPELS Accelerator and select IP to commercialize.
  • MAY 15-19: Participate in the PROPELS Accelerator, working with The Mill and NSWC Crane to develop a commercial product or platform.
  • MAY 20-JUNE 19: Get one-on-one follow-up and support to continue fleshing out your plan.
  • JUNE 20: Present your solution at Workshop Night.
  • JUNE 27: Later, pitch at the Radius Indiana Crane IP Defense Innovation Competition for a shot at the prize package!

Thank you to the Applied Research Institute for sponsoring the food and beverage for the PROPELS Tech Expo!

propels accelerator FAQ

Q: What does PROPELS stand for?
A: PRomising OPportunities for Engaging the Local ecoSystem. The Navy loves acronyms! Don’t worry, we’ll help you learn the lingo.

Q: Why is the Navy willing to share their tech?
A: Because they feel sure there are fantastic opportunities to fully utilize their valuable IP for other government and commercial applications. The Navy encourages entrepreneurs and small businesses to leverage the resources of its laboratories.

Q: I just want to watch the Tech Expo presentations. Can I attend even if I don’t think I’ll participate in the accelerator?
A: Sure! Spectators are welcome. (And if you change your mind after you see the awesome innovations at the Tech Expo, you can register for the PROPELS Accelerator program afterwards.)

Q: Can I participate alone or bring my own team?
A: Either one! You’re welcome to participate alone, we can pair you with other interested entrepreneurs, or bring your team of likeminded friends!

Q: Will the PROPELS accelerator sessions be online, in person, or both?
A: We encourage you to participate in PROPELS in person, to get the most out of interacting with our experts, the guests who will talk about their services for entrepreneurs and start-ups, and the activities designed to help you get started. If you live too far to join us in person, you are definitely invited to check out the IP portfolio and participate in the Radius Indiana Pitch Competition. More details on the dates and sign up for that competition will be released soon!

Q: What kind of time commitment will be required during the accelerator?
A: From May 15–19, we’ll meet each evening for a couple of hours. Between the accelerator and the Demo Day on June 20, we’ll do one-on-one follow-up on varying schedules. We encourage participants to put in as much time as possible to push their idea forward.

Q: I’m a student. Can I participate?
A: Absolutely. We love students!

Q: My company already contracts with the DoD. Can we participate?
A: Yes!

Q: I’ve never done anything with the Navy. Can I participate?
A: Yes!

Q: What kinds of tech will be available?
A: While specific technologies are still being selected for the Tech Expo, NSWC Crane has a wide variety of technologies available in its intellectual property portfolio. Some examples of technology that will be showcased include: drone tracking technology, a junctional tourniquet, natural language processing software, and 3D printing for additive manufacturing. Check out a complete list of the available patents and patent applications here: Naval Surface Warfare Center – Crane Division | TechLink (

Q: What kind of licensing or legal arrangements will be required to fully develop a commercial solution?
A: In order to make commercial sales of products containing US Navy–owned intellectual property, you will need to have a Patent License Agreement. These are negotiated directly with the NSWC Crane Technology Transfer Office. Several license options are available, and the Crane team will be standing by to assist in finding the type of license that will best suit your needs.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the commercialization opportunities?
A: The PROPELS Accelerator will help you discover the commercialization opportunities for Navy technologies!  Entrepreneurs are encouraged to complete the Accelerator and explore what you can do with these inventions. The NSWC Crane team will be there to work with you through any questions you might have.

Q: Is this a competition? Are there prizes for the best idea?
A: All participants will be eligible to move on to the Radius Indiana Crane IP Defense Innovation Competition, which offers prizes. We’ll have great food, drinks, and a fun event!