The 412th TW Spark Tank is a competition featuring the wing’s top innovators, like the popular show “Shark Tank.” Innovators will present to a panel of six subject matter experts, celebrity judges and stakeholders throughout the base to compete for funding, leadership buy-in, policy changes, or other applicable resources. Additionally, all finalists will have the opportunity to move onto the Air Force Material Command and Department of the Air Force-level Spark Tank on behalf of the 412th TW.
Sticky McStickface’s 412th TW Spark Tank is the finale to the “I Stand with Sticky” base-wide innovation campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to give Airmen, at any level, an opportunity to tell senior leaders from the base what problems they are trying to solve in their workplace, on behalf of their community, or on behalf of the Air Force and compete for resources or leadership buy-in. The 412th TW Spark Tank is sponsored by SparkED, the Test Wing’s innovation team and AFWERX officially-recognized Spark Cell who is charged with spreading a culture of innovation and assisting Airmen with resourcing rapid project start-ups.
“Events like the Innovation Campaign are vital for taking ideas from concept to reality,” Aaron Krause, 775th Test Squadron, Test Engineer explained. “As a top 15 finalist, I have had the opportunity to get eyes on a concept that has been floating in my head for months, but I haven’t known how to bring it up to a full capability. The support I’ve been given has been instrumental to giving that idea a path to reality.”
The top 15 finalists were selected using a combination of: most likes/comments in G.A.I.N a voting platform, pairwise voting (critical thinking), and rubric analysis from SME team. The 412th TW/XPOI closed out submissions for our base-wide “I Stand with Sticky” Innovation campaign with 78 submissions, 51 comments, and 319 GAIN platform users.
New this year, the competition is partnering with celebrity coaches, Ethan Eagle from Project Mercury and Tai Sunnanon from the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN). Also, the celebrity judges were chosen to help idea owners from pitch to execution and local innovation points of contact throughout the Wing. The Spark Tank judges panel will be made up of SMEs/stakeholders (pending acceptance) based on selected finalists. Twenty-five of 78 projects were selected to partner with DoD’s National Security Innovation Network (NSIN).
Brittney Reed, 412th TW Chief Innovation Officer explained why this competition is important for innovation on Edwards AFB.
“We are the Airmen’s team,” Reed said. “We believe that Airmen are the best people to solve the problems they are experiencing. We are just here to listen, empathize and design the culture where everyone believes that too. We are also here to help them navigate the bureaucracy and find the resources they need to do so.”
You can see the full list of the top 15 finalists and view campaign data here. You’re invited to Sticky’s 412th TW Spark Tank on Aug. 3 from noon-3 p.m. in the Club Muroc Ballroom.