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May 2, 2024
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Reviving DoD’s Venture Fellowship Program: House Lawmaker’s Mission


  • Rep. Elise Stefanik plans to create a venture fellowship program within the Pentagon’s Office of Strategic Capital.
  • The program aims to deepen ties between the Pentagon and the private sector.

A program that embeds Defense Department employees at tech startups and venture capital firms may not be wholly dead just yet. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., announced plans to push for the creation of a venture fellowship program inside the Pentagon’s Office of Strategic Capital through this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The proposed office would fill the gap left by the recent dissolution of the Defense Ventures Program run by the Air Force’s AFWERX innovation arm and Shift, a firm that links DoD civilians and military personnel with job opportunities in the private sector. Stefanik criticized the Air Force’s decision to terminate the program as “shortsighted and misguided,” stating that the new fellowship program is necessary to deepen ties between the Pentagon and the private sector. While the proposed fellowship program stands a good chance of being approved, it is by no means certain and could take months to be enshrined in law. Stefanik did not provide details on how the new fellowship program would be structured.

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