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Aligning industry behind the warfighter

Fellowship programs that establish a two-way conduit of information between our cutting edge technology economy and the DoD.
Service member looking to sign up? Apply now!
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.

A Pentagon Priority

To compete, the Department must invest broadly in this workforce and develop technically minded and proficient leaders who understand how to identify talent... We will increase collaborative efforts with the private sector, such as the Defense Ventures Fellowship.”
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Excerpt from National Defense Strategy Report

How the program works

Defense Ventures Program

A fellowship for innovative officers, enlisted, and DoD civilians to embed with startups, accelerators, and investors for 8 weeks to bring the latest commercial tech trends and innovation back to the Department of Defense.

Expand Your Network of Influence

By joining the Defense Ventures ecosystem, you will unlock an invaluable network of new connections. Combining diverse backgrounds with the shared goal of bringing the DoD into the 21st Century, Defense Ventures Fellows learn and execute at the speed of relevance.

Accelerate Delivery to the DoD

By leading public-private partnerships, you will create real solutions to the world's toughest problems and speed the delivery of top-tier technologies to the warfighter. You will also help private industry understand "what right looks like" when working with the DoD.

Acquire 21st-Century Private Sector Knowledge

During the program, you'll immerse within a venture capital firm, dual-use startup, or accelerator and learn 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 session of Defense Ventures Fellows, you're probably right. Open to all employees of the Department of Defense with at least 3 years experience, including Active Duty, Guard, Reservists, and DoD Civilians.

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Upcoming sessions
Session 1

Session 2
Download the Fellowship Info Sheetauseause

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.
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Upcoming sessions
More sessions coming soon!
Applications are currently closed
Program Details
Participants spend a year on-site or remote at a leading venture capital or private equity firm.

Partnering with some of America’s most innovative companies

Browse our Defense Ventures alumni directory and sessions

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.
Access Alumni DirectoryReview Prior Defense Ventures Sessions
Collection of Shift Alumni standing together
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

This is by far the best experience in my AF/SF Acquisitions career. It is an amazing opportunity for every professional in the DoD and in my opinion, if we are to stay ahead of the innovation power curve this fellowship should be mandatory for every leader in the acquisitions career fields.“
Dan Wolcott
Infrared System Operations Transition Manager
Within the D-Fellows Program, I got the chance to learn from and fly with a pilot with fifty years of helicopter experience that flew in movies, firefighting operations and logging operations. I would definitely recommend D-Fellows to anybody.”
Christopher Titus
1st Lieutenant
Love DVP! As an alum, I can attest to how this fellowship is a total game changer. It gave me an opportunity to break away and learn from the greatest minds in the tech/VC world...Engagements and immersions with industry and academia plus the opportunity to put it to work is the winning combination in defense innovation.”
Bridget Pantaleon
Intelligence Officer
DVP is one of the best programs available! I love how it's open to such a wide range of ranks and backgrounds. We're just a group of individuals, focused on innovation and dedicated to the proposition that the status quo can be changed."
Bryce Mitchell
Intelligence Professional