SXSW 2024: Technology and national security intersect

At the Capital Factory, the self-proclaimed "center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas," Edwin Sanchez prepared to showcase his drone software company on the first day of South by Southwest 2024.

"It's a really powerful location for all the defense interests coming in," said Angela Aspito, managing director for the Mission Acceleration Center (MAC).

MAC selected founders and entrepreneurs who are developing emerging technologies, offering them the chance to interact with Department of Defense executives and investors.

With Sanchez’s help, FOX 7 got to fly a real drone based in Colombia using the Votix software.

"Imagine this for operations of all sorts. When you actually want to have, you know, forces deployed and supporting them from a command center, this could be several drones flying at the same time from a command center," said Sanchez. "So this is high-quality video which allows for a lot of functions to operate in the inspections area, surveillance, in operations, when you are actually supporting forces."

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Other technologies showcased on Friday included map-building software that works without internet access and AI-related technology.

"It is absolutely critical that everything we have available in the private sector is also available to our warfighters, and that is the mission for MAC," said Aspito. "That is exactly what we are here to do, is to help translate between the different communities, to find dual-use technologies that can be integrated into our defense systems and enable us to have better national security posture in all areas."