When you submit to a DIU solicitation, we'll ask you to include a solution brief. Here's some guidance about what that entails.

What is a Solution Brief?

Solution Brief Requirements

There is no one-size-fits-all way to submit a solution brief. We want to keep the barriers to entry low, and companies should feel comfortable reworking existing materials. That said, we strongly recommend that Solution Briefs not exceed 5 written pages using 12-point font or 15 briefing slides. These limits are not requirements but are strongly recommended. Please save your document or brief as a PDF before you include it in your online response to a DIU solicitation.

Responding to a DIU Solicitation: Best Practices

In this video, the Defense Innovation Unit's Travis DeMeester (contractor) shares some best practices and guidance for commercial companies looking to submit a solution brief to a DIU solicitation.

  • Be specific: Make sure our response clearly addresses the problem described in the solution. We are not interested in open-ended offers to build  “whatever we want.”

  • Share relevant company details: This includes the full (and specific) company name, a brief overview of the company history, the number of employees you have, a CAGE code or UEI, and financing stage progress. You can also provide the names of the team members who would be working on the proposed project, if available.

  • Show us your technology: We want to see what technology you have in production now, and how it can be applied to the problem at hand. Describe the unique aspects of your technology, with an eye on commercial viability. 

  • Provide real-world examples: Show us real-life product deployment or past successes that prove market viability. Prior government experience is NOT required. 

  • Demonstrate market viability: Provide a summary of gross sales/revenue or current fundraising to date including investors/funding rounds (if applicable). Provide a summary of product commercialization history, roadmap, and go-to-market strategy.

  • Check and double check the deadline: DIU rarely grants extensions, so please submit on time and avoid waiting until the last minute

Additional tips:

  • Please include a title page referencing the DIU solicitation name, your company name, the date of submission and a point of contact with email, phone number and address. (This does not count against the page limit)

  • Companies may submit multiple solution briefs in response to any single solicitation if each submission represents a separate and distinct concept. Individual solution briefs may only address one concept based on the open DIU solicitation. 

  • Identify whether the effort includes the pilot or demonstration of existing commercial technology (identified as commercially ready and viable technology), or the development of technology for potential defense applications. If development or adaptation is proposed, identify a suggested path to mature your technology. 

  • Submissions must be submitted electronically via the DIU website. Submissions sent through other channels or after the solicitation period has ended will not be reviewed or evaluated.

  • Solution briefs that are not chosen for the in-person pitch phase will be notified in writing as soon as practicable.

  • Solution briefs selected for the next phase (pitches) will be notified via email with further details and instructions.

Always consult the Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) guidance and solicitation specific requirements before you submit to a DIU solicitation. See here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Additional Resources:

How We Work With Commercial Companies

In this video, learn how DIU helps minimize up-front costs for commercial tech companies interested in working with DoD.

Preparing for a DIU Live Pitch

Are you preparing to present a live pitch to DIU, or just curious about the process? This short video, narrated by DIU Program Manager Travis DeMeester (contractor), goes over some of the main points to keep in mind as you build your presentation.

Understanding the DIU Competitive Down-Select Process

In this short video, Program Manager Sarah Pearson (contractor) explains the process of how DIU uses real-world problem statements from within the Department of Defense to solicit and select our commercial technology partners. See here for additional details on the CSO process.

Working With DIU: Benefits to Commercial Companies

Are you curious about the ins and outs of partnering with DIU, and how it can benefit your company? In this short video, Program Manager Sarah Pearson (contractor) explains some of what you can expect if you’re awarded a DIU prototype contract.

Working With DIU: Frequently Asked Questions

We get asked a lot of questions about how to work with DIU, especially when it comes to understanding our solicitation process and how to make technology stand out from the crowd. Check out this FAQ video, narrated by DIU Program Managers Sarah Pearson (contractor) and Travis DeMeester (contractor) for answers to those questions and more. Check out this FAQ video for answers to those questions and more, and see these details on how commercial companies can partner with DIU.

See here for more information on working with DIU.