Defense Unicorns Announces $15 Million U.S. Space Force Strategic Funding Increase

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--()--Defense Unicorns, a veteran-owned startup providing open-source software and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities for National Security systems, announced a $15 million U.S. Space Force Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) in partnership with Program Executive Office Assured Access to Space (AATS). Defense Unicorns’ focus is to accelerate and scale secure software solutions to increase the launch capacity of the Space Launch Deltas and meet the increasing demand for federal and commercial launch operations.

"The launch capacity of the nation continues to skyrocket. To hit this demand, the nation needs to rethink how we manage our secure access to space,” said Jeff McCoy, Co-Founder of Defense Unicorns. “Defense Unicorns is honored to help and support the Space Force as they transform the nation's space capabilities."

STRATFI was established to offer qualified small businesses with promising technologies up to $15 million in funding to scale and deliver strategic capabilities to the United States Air and Space Force.

“AATS serves as America's gateway to space, and we are keen on attracting top-tier talent from the defense industrial base to digitally transform our spaceports. This will enable us to keep pace with the rapid expansion of the US launch industry, “ said Major Jason Lowery, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for the Assured Access to Space PEO. “The achievements of Defense Unicorns have caught our attention, and this STRATFI demonstrates our commitment to collaborating with outstanding companies. We are not only ready but eager to engage with innovative firms that can contribute to our mission.”

Defense Unicorns’ open-source technologies provide a comprehensive Unicorn Delivery Service (UDS) solution to accelerate software and AI capability delivery to any environment. Software delivery for national security has unique challenges: diverse infrastructures, limited or no access to the Internet, integration at scale, cyber security compliance, and system operators who are trained in mission effects, not IT. Defense Unicorns’ UDS solves these hurdles to make secure software delivery easy, empowering mission operators wherever their mission lives.

Unicorn Delivery Service (UDS) offers:

Artificial Intelligence for National Security: a suite of generative AI capabilities to accelerate understanding complex mission data and enable decision advantage.

Software Factory: a fully portable and pre-configured software development platform that accelerates delivery into any production environment, including cloud-based, on-prem, disconnected, or otherwise egress-limited.

Your App Your Environment: delivers requested cloud-native application, needed by the mission operators for success, into the specific environment.

These capabilities are supported by a suite of open-source projects Defense Unicorns has created. These include:

  • Zarf: A tool that enables continuous software delivery on disconnected networks.
  • LeapfrogAI: A self-hosted generative AI platform designed for environments that are disconnected or with limited processing and storage.
  • Pepr: A tool that manages and modifies resources in a Kubernetes cluster via easy-to-read and write configuration modules.
  • Lula: A tool that provides real-time insight into deployed software configuration and compliance to help accelerate and maintain accreditations.

AATS is preparing for the future challenges of space launch operations. Anticipating a significant surge in launch demands and the imperative for robust cyber defense mechanisms, modernizing the software and IT infrastructure becomes paramount. Defense Unicorns will amplify the efficiency and adaptability of space launch operations to ensure operational solutions are not only agile, but are also portable to any environment, from cloud to on-premises. With Defense Unicorns, AATS is poised to achieve seamless operational integrations, rapid deployments, and enhanced mission readiness.

About Defense Unicorns

Founded in 2021, Defense Unicorns is a software company with over 100 years of collective experience working on software delivery and AI solutions for government agencies. Our mission is to transform how the U.S. Department of Defense buys, builds, delivers, and sustains software capabilities. We provide secure software and AI solutions deployable across cloud, on-prem, and tactical edge environments. Defense Unicorns is trusted by the most critical systems in the world, including the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Space Force. For more information, visit:


Julia Monford


Julia Monford