Meet the Navy Systems Commands

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) | Strategic Systems Programs (SSP)

Through a partnership with the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, NIWC Pac, SBIR@Connect hopes to promote economic growth in our region by fostering connections between government, industry, and academia.

SBIR@Connect in Partnership with NAVWAR and NIWC Pacific

Join us to meet representatives from NAVSEA and SSP, and learn more about their commands, their areas of interest, and about their SBIR/STTR programs! 

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023
1pm – 2pm PST

SBIR@Connect is excited to highlight the different Navy commands through a series of workshops. During these workshops, small businesses can learn about the commands and their respective areas of responsibility, with an emphasis on their SBIR/STTR programs. This workshop will highlight the following:

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP). 

NAVSEA, Naval Sea Systems Commandis the largest of the Navy’s six system commands. It is comprised of more than 86,000 civilian and military personnel in 42 activities located across the United States and around the world. NAVSEA engineers, builds, buys and maintains the Navy’s ships and submarines and their combat systems. NAVSEA strives to be an efficient provider of defense resources for the nation, and it plays an important role in the Navy Enterprise. 

SSP, Strategic Systems Programs, although not a system command, holds SBIR/STTR funding and is an overall part of the DoN. Navy SSP has over 50-years of history providing credible sea-based deterrent missile systems. SSP’s mission is to provide credible and affordable strategic solutions to the warfighter.  SSP develops, produces, secures, and provides lifecycle support for the Navy’s submarine-launched fleet ballistic missiles and strategic weapon system; as well as develop conventional hypersonic weapons.

Workshop Agenda:

1300-1305:  Intro, Gretel von Son
1305-1310:  SBIR & SYSCOMS, Shadi Azoum
1310-1330:  NAVSEA Overview, Jason Schroepfer
1330-1345:  SSP Overview, Michael Pyryt
1345-1400:  Q&A

Meet the Speakers

Connect San Diego 2021 SBIR STTR Small Business Innovation Research Technology Transfer Americas Seed Fund OrgPartnership Event Speaker Shadi Azoum 01

Shadi Azoum

NAVWAR SBIR/STTR Program Manager
Mr. Shadi Azoum is the current Program Manager for the NAVWAR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), and Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) Program Management Offices. He has served in this position since June 2016. Prior to this position, Mr. Azoum led the Science and Technology (S&T) portfolio for PEO C4I, PMW 130 (Information Assurance and Cyber Security Program Office) as the Assistant Program Manager (APM) for Science and Technology (S&T) since May 2011. Mr. Azoum has Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Science and Master of Science (MS) in Information Security from Florida State University.

Jason Schroepfer

Jason Schroepfer

Program Manager, Small Business Innovation Research/ Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Programs Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)

Mr. Jason Schroepfer is the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Manager. He is responsible for managing the annual SBIR/STTR program budget of ~$125 million to ensure the actualization of Congressional, DOD, Navy, and NAVSEA goals through small business technology innovation, development, and transition. He establishes program goals and investment strategies, implements objectives, and provides policy guidance for the NAVSEA SBIR/STTR Technology Managers across five PEOs and the HQ Directorates to create and transition a wide variety of projects to enhance warfighting capabilities and expand the Navy’s technological edge over its adversaries. In 2020 alone, The NAVSEA SBIR/STTR Program generated over $450M in Phase III transitions supporting both the Navy mission and the commercial marketplace. 

Upon separation from active duty Navy service, Mr. Schroepfer embarked on a new career as a Program Management/Financial Analyst, working on a variety of different projects to support the Navy’s mission. In 2011, he joined the NAVSEA SBIR/STTR Program Team, serving in various capacities prior to his selection as the Program Manager in 2021. Mr. Schroepfer holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Science Degree in Management.

Michael Pyryt

Michael Pyryt

Program Manager, Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) Programs, Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP)

Michael Pyryt is the program manager of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) programs for Navy Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) since 2019. He has been dedicated to growing the success of the SSP SBIR program and in building a hardworking and trustworthy team. Mike has over 20 years of experience working for the Navy in RDT&E and S&T. He earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Engineering Management from Drexel University. Throughout his notable career and education, Mike has developed and strengthened his impressive leadership skills while always striving for improvement.

Gretel re sized

Gretel von Son

Connect SBIR/STTR Director
Gretel von Son is the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Director at Connect, a position created to support the SBIR/STTR Program by helping make connections between government, industry and academia, more accessible. Gretel previously supported the NAVWAR SBIR/STTR Program Office, and has experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. She has published work in Advanced Materials, ACS Nano and Nature Communications. Gretel has earned a Bachelor’s in Chemistry, and a Master’s in Business Administration.


SBIR@Connect is Connect’s new program to drive innovation through collaboration with government agencies. 

In partnership with the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pac), SBIR@Connect hopes to promote economic growth in our region by fostering connections between government, industry, and academia. 

The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program aims to bring non-dilutive funding to eligible companies to help address government research and development needs, while striving for innovation and the commercialization of products/efforts. Although there are multiple agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR Program, the DoD makes up a large percentage of participation. SBIR@Connect’s partnership focuses on the Navy, specifically, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NAVWAR.

To boost interactions and promote collaboration — SBIR@Connect is developing a set of workshops introducing the various programs and opportunities to work with the Navy. 

For more information, please visit the SBIR@Connect page.