Raleigh Startup Secmation Wins $1.8M Contract With U.S. Air Force

Secmation was the recipient of a $1.8 million Phase II SBIR contract award with the U.S. Air Force Armament Directorate. Secmation Founder Hal Aldridge is at right.

Raleigh-headquartered startup Secmation has secured a contract award with the U.S. Air Force worth $1.8 million, the company announced this week. 

They were one out of 70 proposals submitted for the chance to pitch their technology idea at the Armament Directorate’s Weapons Pitch Day July 20 in Niceville, Fla. Out of the 18 small businesses that were selected to pitch, Secmation came out the winner. (Editor’s Note: we first profiled Secmation in March, 2021.)

Secmation Founder Hal Aldridge said Secmation will be key in helping the Air Force deploy programs out of simulation more efficiently.

“There was a long process to basically determine if it worked, and then maybe it even had to be reengineered a few times by several different contractors before it could get into the natural systems,” Aldridge said. “And we’re trying to cut through that, especially for some of the new AI advanced technologies that they want to field.”

Aldridge has a long history with robotics. As a PhD in the subject as well as a former senior project engineer for NASA, he switched over to cybersecurity to lead companies that were building encryption and cyber solutions for the Defense Department. As a defense tech company that specializes in the security of IoT, industrial automation, robotics and aerospace, Secmation is the natural combination of Aldridge’s two passions.

Since its founding in 2017, Secmation has gained around six key clients that are different government agencies. The Air Force’s new contract reflects the quality of Secmation’s technology in addition to its acceleration as a company, Aldridge said.

“It’s representative of the growth in the types of application areas that we have,” Aldridge said. He added that Secmation’s primary focus is in automated systems, from self-driving cars to army drone flying systems.

As the company makes plans for the rest of 2022 and beyond, Aldridge said that customers should be prepared for new products that will bring automated cybersecurity to an even greater level.

“We’re looking to transition to some new products that we’ll be launching over the next six months or so,” Aldridge said. “It really has to do with automating cybersecurity in different applications and building stronger cybersecurity solutions.”

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Suzanne profiles startups and innovation for GrepBeat. Before working at GrepBeat, Suzanne attended UNC Chapel Hill, obtaining a degree in journalism and political science. Previously, she wrote for CNBC, QSR Magazine, FSR Magazine and The Daily Tar Heel.