Defense Alliance accelerates commercialization for technology products and services, and contributes to regional economic development by supporting small businesses in the Upper Midwest. Participation in the Defense Alliance is sought among groups and individuals with an interest in seeing the region's technology innovation advance for defense and commercial markets, including large and small firms, startups, academic and R&D institutions, our elected officials, and professional trade organizations. Thanks to funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) program, membership is free. However, registered Members agree to assist other Members in their business development goals where possible by sharing information and making connections. While the Alliance is anchored in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St Paul and focused on technology businesses in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, it has pioneered an "extra-regional" approach to technology-based economic development, and Member organizations are now in 34 states.