MISSION:  Defense Alliance accelerates commercialization for technology products and services, and contributes to regional economic development by supporting small businesses in the Upper Midwest.



  • Business Development:  Tailored consulting with qualified companies for strategic business growth in a variety of industries.  Click HERE to learn more.
  • Economic Development:  Consulting with strategic partners to grow regional economies that can compete globally.  Click HERE to learn more.
  • Supplier Diversity Practice:  Consulting to develop corporate supply chain diversity and excellence.  Click HERE to learn more.



  • Regional Cluster Development
  • Small Business Development
  • Support for Entrepreneurship
  • Rural Business Support
  • Diverse Business Support
  • Support for Emerging Markets
  • Foster Cross-Cluster Collaboration
  • Technology and Product Commercialization



Defense Alliance membership is currently free, but requires providing information about your organization through the online registration process, HERE.  (Note: approval of Membership requests are not guaranteed. The Defense Alliance staff will review each request and determine its applicability).


Membership Benefits:

  • Membership listing on the Defense Alliance Website
  • Periodic receipt of the Industry Brief, an email-based informational bulletin with useful content regarding technology commercialization, events, Member news, etc.
  • Free marketing of your organization, products and services through the Industry Brief and other periodic venues (send requests to Defense Alliance).
  • In-person and Webinar events quarterly covering topics related to the mission of Defense Alliance and its Membership.
  • Limited consulting services on a first-come-first serve basis. Qualified and selected businesses receive an initial consultation on their ability to commercialize technology from two perspectives:


  1. Technology readiness: innovation that is currently ripe to meet (or potentially create) market demand for a known customer or customer base; or technology that is significantly ground-breaking or of high potential to be worth further advancement of its TRL (technological readiness level).


  1. Business readiness: a corporate leadership and management team that is invested in and capable of creating and executing a strategic approach to the market that will include human and financial capital resources sufficient to advance the technology either alone, and/or with financial and technology partners.


The Defense Alliance staff and its associated partners have extensive experience in nearly every aspect of commercializing technology, including (but not limited to):


  • Business and market development
  • Economic development, including brokering of public private partnerships to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the cluster
  • Strategic planning
  • Intellectual property planning and protection
  • Business mentoring (internal systems and processes)
  • Technology transfer
  • Commercialization of existing research and development (R&D)
  • Engagement with Departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture or other Federal agencies, including building customer bases with federal agencies’ Contracting, Procurement, and Program Offices
  • R&D funding, including Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR/STTR) and other early, mid and late stage commercialization programs
  • Support in obtaining facility clearance status and holding of security clearances
  • Export readiness counseling/consulting
  • Access to capital
  • Support for startup and emerging businesses
  • Building business networks, partnerships and teaming arrangements
  • Providing opportunities for technology showcasing and demonstration
  • A focus on advanced industries which include, but are not limited to power and energy, strategic natural resources, advanced and additive manufacturing, agricultural technology, electronics, robotics, defense systems, vehicle systems, autonomous systems, cybersecurity
  • Advocacy with elected representation for informational purposes (Note: the Defense Alliance itself is not a certified lobby organization but can provide access to such services with a separate, fee-based agreement).


Where the Defense Alliance staff does not have the capability or capacity to provide sufficient subject matter expertise, or where the requirements exceed the free resources available through SBA funding, fee-based services will be recommended as appropriate.