MD5 Announces DISCOVER

MD5, in collaboration with the University of Southern California, is offering an accelerated defense market commercialization training program. Learn how to rapidly transform technologies into successful startups that address national security problems.

MD5 is partnering with the University of Southern California and Innovation Node—Los Angeles (IN-LA) to offer DISCOVER, a tailored program connecting potential dual-use entrepreneurs to the defense marketplace. Teams will participate in up to 12 weeks of virtual training, then will present to DOD experts at the annual IN-LA Technology Scouting Workshop in Los Angeles.  Participants will have the opportunity to present to high impact investors, military sources of funding, and may apply for additional MD5 resources. Complete DISCOVER and you may also be eligible for NSF customer discovery grants for $25K – $50K.

Program Overview

DISCOVER is a 12-week training program that teaches entrepreneurial scientists and engineers how to introduce their technology to both commercial and defense markets in so-called “dual-use ventures”. Based on the successful National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (“I-Corps”) Lean Startup methods, DISCOVER brings experienced entrepreneurs and investors to support new teams in dual-use problem discovery.  The program’s three phases are:

  • Phase One: March 5, 12, 19, 26:   Introduction to lean startups and business models
    Learn the basics of developing business models by conducting 20 customer discovery interviews under the guidance of experienced I-Corps instructors.
  • Phase Two: April (dates to be announced):  Introduction to dual-use ventures
    Four weekly sessions of virtual instruction translating business models to the defense and national security markets. Learn strategies to develop dual-use technology and conduct DOD market discovery, conducting 20 interviews with the help of experts in defense commercialization.
  • Phase Three: May (dates to be announced):  Problem discovery
    Participants will develop a deep understanding of relevant problems and needs of government customers in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.  Participants will conduct 10 more problem discovery interviews.

Key Dates

0Feb 2018
Application Open
0Feb 2018
Applications Due
0March 2018
Classes Start


Questions about DISCOVER? Contact Dr. Matt Gratias at