Build the future of defense

Defense
Ventures

On a mission to supercharge the defense-industrial partnership that underpins America’s national security and economic vitality.
Defense Ventures Program at Shift runs a number of industry immersion programs for the US military. The future of defense tech is public-private partnerships. Immerse and learn from leading venture capital firms and tech startups in programs designed for the DoD’s emerging innovators. Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, and DoD Civilians encouraged to apply.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Defense Ventures Hosts

We partner with leading venture capital and private equity firms, incubators, and tech startups across the United States. Participants are paired within the Shift Partner Network using our proprietary matching technology.

Innovation Deployments

THE 8-WEEK EXPERIENCE

Defense Ventures Fellowship

Get your seat at the table in the right room. Shift’s Defense Ventures Immersion is a partnership with AFWERX to deliver an industry immersion program that selects innovative officers, enlisted, and civilians in the midst of their careers to join venture capital and technology companies across the US for eight weeks to bring the latest commercial tech trends and innovation back to the Department of Defense.
Apply Now
Applications are now open
Next session
Part-time: March 20 - 31
Full-time: April 3 - May 12
Application Submission Deadline: Rollin
Download the Fellowship Info Sheet
Session 2
Part-time: Sept. 18 - 29
Full-time: Oct. 2 - Nov. 10
Application Submission Deadline: Rolling
Download the Fellowship Info Sheet

Expand Your Network of Influence

Joining the Defense Ventures community unlocks an invaluable network of new connections. Combining diverse backgrounds with the shared goal of bringing DoD into 21st Century, Defense Ventures Fellows learn and execute at network speed.

Accelerate Delivery to the DoD

Become a driver of public-private partnership, creating real solutions to the world’s toughest problems while learning to accelerate delivery of best-in-class tech to the warfighter.

Acquire 21st-Century Private Sector Knowledge

Dive deep into venture capital and dual-use tech while learning from some of the brightest minds in the private sector. Your current skills are directly translatable—learn how during this 8-week immersion.

Sound like an opportunity for you?

If you think you should join the next cohort of Defense Ventures Fellows, you're probably right. Open to all employees of the Department of Defense with at least 3 years experience.

THE 12-MONTH Experience

Defense Ventures Tour

This Training With Industry program built in partnership with the Department of Defense and leading venture capital and private equity firms.

Participants will gain first-hand knowledge of emerging technology companies developing critical capabilities for defense applications. Placement within these key financial nodes is intended to provide a bridge between the DoD and the venture capital and private equity industries, fostering greater trust and cooperation during early-stage dual-use technology innovation.
Apply Now
Applications are now open.
Program Details
Participants spend a year on-site or remote at a leading venture capital or private equity firm.

Next Session
Jan. 2023 - Dec. 2023

Download the Tour Info Sheet
Local Externships

D-Fellows

A new offering for military members to get a glimpse into a real-life workplace outside of their typical duties by shadowing an employee, observing a jobsite, or doing project-based work. 

By getting off base and into a new work environment, supported by Defense Ventures community and curriculum, participants will be able to better envision what types of high-impact innovation projects are possible at their local installation (and potentially throughout DoD) while also picking up essential snippets of private sector knowledge.
Apply Now
Applications are now open.
Program Details
D-Fellows pilots are commencing at select military installations.

Next Session
Fall 2022 and throughout 2023

Bring D-Fellows to your installation
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Meet the Latest
Defense Ventures Cohorts!

Defense Ventures identifies emerging innovators from the Department of Defense and facilitates industry immersions at venture capital firms, incubators, and startups across the United States. Shift runs this program in partnership with AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Air Force, who created this opportunity for members of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Space Force, Coast Guard, Reserve, National Guard and DoD civilians.
View Cohort SixteenView Cohort Seventeen
VIEW ALL COHORTS
Defense Ventures Program

Hear what alumni have to say

Software & Data

Are you skilled at building software or working with data? Eager to dig into the product life cycle and identify where you can best contribute? Advance your career through interactions with industry experts, hands-on exercises with your peers, and connection to Shift’s hiring partners.

Apply Now
Sales & Customer Ops

Explore how to frame your military experience in a way that resonates with sales and customer success recruiters and why you are a great fit for these careers. Understand the customer lifecycle from prospecting to account management and identify where you best fit.

Apply Now
Navigating Next

In a moment of career change but not quite sure what’s next? Explore your interests, discover your professional goals, and learn the tools you’ll need to take your next career steps.

Apply Now
Project & Program Management

Learn how to transform your previously structured military approach into new project management roles. Gain insight from other veterans who have found success and translate your experiences to stand out as a high-potential candidate.

Apply Now

What to expect from your
8-week fellowship

  • Plan for three hours of virtual group meetings and five hours of self-paced work per week. The more you give, the more you grow.
  • Join a cohort of like-minded peers in your target industry and benefit from a powerful support network as you expand your career.
  • Develop interview-ready skills while gaining exclusive industry knowledge. Our curriculum is designed to help you rapidly succeed.
  • Build your resume, own your story, and learn from inside experts. Stand out with confidence as you begin the job application process.
  • Complete a Career Accelerator to fast-track your job search and guarantee your member profile is highlighted to Shift hiring partners.
  • Commit to professional growth, peer support, and mentoring the next generation of veterans when you find success in your new career.
Air Force Ventures Fellowship

Hear what past
Fellows have
to say

The AFVentures Fellowship program connects the best and brightest from the United States Air Force with Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms and technology startups.

Learn more about the AFVentures Fellowship

Have questions about Defense Ventures? Visit our FAQ page.