IKONA Selected for 2021 Artificial Intelligence Tech Sprint with VA and National AI Institute

April 11, 2022

(New York, NY - February 11, 2021) IKONA has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the commercial innovation arm of the United States Air Force to bring its immersive patient education platform to airmen and their families.

AFVentures' mission is to leverage commercial technology to deliver better capability to the warfighter, faster, by creating simple pathways for commercial innovators and private capital investment to help the Department of the Air Force solve problems.

Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. This approach flips the traditional SBIR process on its head, by inviting any commercially viable solution to apply, rather than seeking specific solutions and technologies to address specific needs. The program was created because there are thousands of commercially viable companies in the US that have not yet fully explored the Air Force as a potential customer, and whose technology could be useful to the Department. This process makes it easier for companies to engage and work with the Air Force, and, ultimately, to transition this technology to the airmen and end users who would benefit most from having access to these solutions.

"This is an incredible opportunity to connect with the Air Force, and one that I certainly do not take for granted,” said Tim Fitzpatrick, IKONA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Having started this company because of my own experiences in a military aviation community, it’s an honor to have the chance to serve the Air Force and make connections that would impact countless airmen and their families for years to come."

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I contract (up to $50,000), it has three months to assess technical feasibility and determine product/DoD-market fit by finding an Air Force customer and end users. Companies will then be eligible to apply for a Phase II contract (up to $3 million) for a trial period of their solution.


AFVentures’ mission is to leverage commercial technology to deliver better capability to the warfighter, faster. The flag-ship investment program at AFVentures is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program Open Topic. With the Open Topic, AFVentures leverages a portion of the SBIR/STTR budget to enable the Air Force to develop and adopt commercially viable innovations while providing a competitive edge to the U.S. entrepreneur and technology ecosystem. Learn more at


IKONA offers an easier way for health care providers to deliver effective and measurable kidney education experiences to their patients and staff. Their personalized patient learning portal and provider dashboards, powered by learning science and storytelling, dramatically improve patient understanding, increase clinicians’ productivity and coordination, and lead to more confident treatment decisions. IKONA is on a mission to launch 10 million personalized learning journeys by 2030. Learn more at


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