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Solving National Security Issues
with the Lean Launchpad

The Application Cycle for this year has closed. 


Learn Lean Startup techniques for startup success and solve real problems.

Tackle complex problems critical to the government around national security, energy networks, cyber security, AI and invent new technologies with a team of engineers, scientists, MBAs, and policy experts. See a few of our success stories.

Application is by teams of four Stanford students from any school or department. Limited enrollment by application.

​To learn about the projects from last year’s class, take a look at Steve Blank’s post: “Hacking For Defense @ Stanford 2020”. Click for the video recording of the 2020 Final Presentations, with guest speaker James Mattis.

Course Title

MS&E 297 Hacking for Defense: Solving National Security Issues with the Lean Launchpad


Admission is by teams of 4 Stanford students. Limited enrollment by application.

Course Schedule

Spring Quarter, 2022
Tuesdays @ 5:30 - 8:15 PM

Industry Masters

2022 TAs

  • Joel Johnson (
  • Katherine Miller (
  • Andrew Fang (
  • Andrew Radford (
  • Theo Velaise (

Messages from our key leaders in National Defense

See more videos from our key leaders in national defense, including Former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Former Director of the CIA David Petraeus, Former Commander of United States Forces Korea Vincent Brooks, and more!

Success Stories

H4D 2020 Team: Anthro Energy

Anthro Energy was part of the 2020 H4D cohort, aiming to develop better power sources for ground-based warfighters. Throughout the course, the team worked closely with their project sponsor at the Joint Chiefs of Staff to identify a need for flexible, safe batteries that could integrate directly into uniforms and equipment. After the course, Anthro Energy participated in H4X Labs, raised a seed round of funding, and formed partnerships with several military contractors who they met in H4D.

H4D 2019 Team: Learn to Win

Learn to Win initially focused on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of pilot training in conjunction with the team’s sponsors at Air Combat Command. The team won the national H4D pitch competition at Founders Fund, participated in H4X Labs, won a Direct to Phase II SBIR with the Air Force, won a Direct to Phase II SBIR with the Navy, and became the first-ever H4D team to win a Phase III SBIR in the fall of 2020. Powered by those funding streams, Learn to Win has been adopted in a diverse variety of unit-level and classroom training environments across the Navy and the Air Force.

H4D 2017 Team: Librarian

Team Librarian began as a part of the 2017 H4D cohort. During the course, the team identified their first customer which provided $70,000 in funding to develop their solution just three months later. After the class, Librarian formed a company in September 2017 and built their business with help from their Hacking For Defense mentors and instructors. Librarian has been featured as one of the top student startups at SXSW and built an enterprise chatbot.

H4D 2016 Team: Capella Space

Capella Space began as a part of the 2016 H4D cohort and quickly raised funding following the class. The company was founded to enable a richer understanding of our planet by miniaturizing Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites, capable of Earth observation in all-weather 24/7 conditions. Capella Space launched the first U.S. SAR sensor, Capella-2, in August 2020 and has released the highest resolution imagery commercially available at 50 cm x 50 cm. Capella Space has several more satellites in development for its growing constellation capable of 24/7 all-weather monitoring of the planet. The company has raised over $80M to date. See their class video in the 2016 archive.

Past Standout Teams