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Attend the Inland Empire Innovation Summit!

Learn about the people, programs, and technologies shaping the future of defense and innovation across the US Navy and Inland Empire ecosystem. Hear and meet the startups and entrepreneurs in our Crucible Primer, Startup Studio, and Accelerator programs.

Image by Michael Afonso
 Inland Empire NavalX Tech Bridge's Crucible

Inspired by the 54-hour challenge U.S. Marines must face at the end of boot camp, Inland Empire NavalX Tech Bridge's Crucible program applies the principles of grit, critical thinking, and perseverance towards entrepreneurial development in the Inland Empire and greater Southern California regions. Crucible is the point of innovation to further the mission of NavalX and Tech Bridge by bringing together technology and Inland Empire's diverse entrepreneurs, technologists, and innovators through technology commercialization.


Call To Scientists

Crucible Primer - Internal Innovation is a program for inventors and innovators who want to bring their inventions out of the labs and into the hands of skilled entrepreneurs.

Call To Entrepreneurs

Crucible Startup Studio is a program for aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs who are excited about spinning out federally-created technologies.


Call To Startups

Crucible Accelerator is a program for existing startups who are ready to bring their ventures to new heights through invaluable business mentorship, education, and networking opportunities.

Crucible Challenge Statements

Click through the tabs below to learn about the challenges Crucible is looking to solve in the Inland Empire.

Our warfighters and first responders serve on the front lines daily. They provide services to protect, defend and care for the communities and people they serve. They are the first to respond, react and arrive on the scene and perform in high-stress environments that require the utmost mental and physical health. Given the nature of their work, warfighters and first responders are often plagued with medical and physical injuries as a result of heavy or poorly designed equipment, techniques to provide services, on the job dangers such as airborne biological hazards, lack of information around current health or fitness, and other considerations.

Crucible seeks to develop concepts, technologies, products, or platforms that will safeguard our warfighters and first responders before, during, or after they have responded to a mission or an incident. First responders typically include police officers, deputy sheriffs, firefighters, paramedics, and rescuers.

Potential areas include but are not limited to wearables, detection devices, disposal systems, biosensors, ergonomic equipment through design or materials, fitness platforms/devices, or medtech.


Ideal Applicants: Scientists, engineers, researchers or graduate students located within the Inland Empire and greater Southern California.
Program Period: November 14th, 2023 - February 6th, 2024
Time Commitment: Approx. 1-2 hours per week

Crucible Primer - Internal Innovation is a cohort-based experiential learning program with full support and coaching. The main objective is to support researchers and graduate students and enable them to gain an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset to build local capacity and grow the local solver community.


Ideal Applicants: Previous and first-time founders; technologists, businesspeople, spokespeople, operations specialists, and creative thinkers

Application Deadline: Friday, February 2, 2024
Kickoff/Bootcamp: Saturday, February 24, 2024
Program Duration: Every Tuesday starting February 27, 2024 - June 2024

The Crucible Startup Studio is designed for solvers in the Inland Empire and greater Southern California regions who are innovative thinkers dedicated to launching a venture to address a Crucible Challenge Statement. We are seeking diverse skill sets and backgrounds such as technologists, businesspeople, spokespeople, operations specialists, and creative thinkers. Previous founders and first-time founders are encouraged to apply.  

There is no cost to participate. The program is designed to allow for individuals who are working full-time to participate.


Ideal Applicants: Existing technology startups in the Inland Empire/Southern California or who are committed to expanding into the Inland Empire

Application Deadline: Friday, January 5, 2024
Program Duration: Every Thursday starting February 8, 2024 - April 19, 2024

The Crucible Accelerator is for early-stage ventures in the Inland Empire/Southern California or ventures committed to expanding into the Inland Empire and seeking to solve a Crucible Challenge Statement. The goal of the program is to take ESVs interested in growing in the Inland Empire to the next level with mentorship, educational programming, and strategic exposure. There is no cost to participate.

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