Exquadrum Improves Rocket & Space Technologies with Help of SBIR Program

Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Exquadrum, Inc., poses in a black lab coat with his company's technology equipment.

Exquadrum, Inc. is a research and development engineering company that develops and demonstrates new rocket propulsion and munitions technologies for the Department of Defense, NASA, and commercial space. As a small business, the company is organized and equipped to accomplish all stages of product development including product invention, design, analysis, fabrication and testing — which has made it ready to operate as a prime government contractor. 

In 2012, Schmidt and Mahaffy were awarded an SBIR contract to develop advanced rocket propulsion technology under a NASA contract. The contract evolved and was refined through further funding combined with SBIR support culminating in a $15.1 million prime contract to develop a hypersonic boost glide delivery propulsion system. With the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program, Exquadrum, Inc. has been able to progressively and incrementally improve the rocket and space technologies, capturing the attention of the DoD, NASA, and the commercial space industry. 

The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research/research and development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.  

As lifelong residents of the High Desert, Schmidt and Mahaffy are dedicated to giving back to their community. Exquadrum, Inc. is involved in community education programs and recently initiated a local high school intern program allowing students to experience life as engineers. Schmidt is actively engaged with Cal Poly Pomona’s Aerospace Engineering Action Council and the School of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Board and has served as the president of the Victor Valley College Foundation for three years.

Exquadrum, Inc. has been running for more than 16 years and supports nearly 50 employees. The company’s key employees have more than 130 years of combined experience and a collective total of 15 patents. They recently secured a 40,000 square-foot lease for a building at the Southern California Logistics Airport where they already have a rocket test facility but will now be able to house all its engineering staff, business operations, fabricating/manufacturing, and laboratories.

Schmidt and Mahaffy were recognized in 2013 as a runner-up to the Orange County/Inland Empire District Small Business Person(s) of the Year and awarded the prestigious SBIR Tibbets award in 2014. Additionally, in 2019, Exquadrum was awarded the Orange County/Inland Empire 2019 SBIR/STTR Grant Recipient of the Year.

Schmidt and Mahaffy are proud to have created a thriving engineering company that provides advanced technology solutions to protect the country.  

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.