The first step is to always look at recent and current solicitations. AFWERX releases two types of solicitations, depending on the time of the year.
(A) Open topics (open front door) are meant for startups to propose technologies that could potentially benefit any aspect of the Air Force ecosystem, people, equipment, infrastructure, etc. The AFWERX Phase 1 open topics workflow on TurboSBIR has several examples of the types of technologies that can fit a variety of Air Force needs.
(B) Special topics (specific requirements) are where a relevant Air Force need has been pre-identified and the agency is seeking solutions from startups to fulfill the need.