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RVCM’s SBIR Journey: From Phase I to Phase II and Beyond

With the help of: INNOVATE Hawaii


In 1990, two brothers, Elden and Keith Ito founded RevaComm (currently known as RVCM) as a design firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. Their background was in graphic design and the brothers were able to carve out a niche early-on in graphic design for local Hawaii businesses. The longevity and continued success of RVCM lays in the company’s ability to change, adapt, and respond to customer needs. In 2009, the company shifted direction and began to focus on custom process automation software. This shift led them to working with the largest companies in Hawaii and local government. Today, RVCM has a presence in over 27 states with its largest concentrations of employees in Hawaii, Colorado, Texas, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.

The Challenge

In 2019, RVCM was a leading custom software development firm in Hawaii. This same year an Air Force Captain contacted the company inquiring about a SBIR proposal for software development. This was the first time RVCM had heard about the SBIR program. With a deadline approaching for SBIR proposal submission, the company had two days to get acquainted with SBIR and write a proposal to submit for the Air Force’s custom aircrew scheduling software development, which would later be called Puckboard. RVCM was awarded Phase I SBIR funding of $50,000 for their initial Air Force proposal. From this award the team heard about the Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Program (HSBIR), administered by Innovate Hawaii, part of the MEP National Network™.
The pitches required for the Hawaii SBIR matching grant application helped us prepare for future DoD pitches and conversations with SBIR administrators. We gained confidence, knowledge, and an understanding of what the SBIR program is looking for and how to write a successful proposal.
— Brett Kimura, President

MEP's Role

HSBIR was able to provide RVCM with a matching grant, coaching, and connections to further assist in their initial SBIR Research and development. After the successful completion of their SBIR Phase I, RVCM moved on to a Phase II award of $2.4m. Again, they reached out to the Innovate Hawaii team and submitted for a Phase II matching grant. They were awarded an additional $30,000 to help further their research and development efforts.

RVCM’s SBIR journey led to the development and implementation of Puckboard, a scheduling software used widely across the Air Force. The software is a live collaborative scheduling platform available to servicemen around the globe with the Tron Air Force team. Expanding from Puckboard, they’ve also stood up successful DevSecOps and cybersecurity practices winning IDIQ contracts for their work with the Air Forces Platform One, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ batCAVE as well as being awarded a strategic Phase II continuation of $24,000,000 for Puckboard through AFVENTURES STRATFI program.

Created July 29, 2023