Cohort Will Present Autonomous Technology Innovations Benefitting U.S. Space Force at Third Annual Hyperspace Summit December 3
October 21, 2020, ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Hyperspace Challenge, a business accelerator run by the Air Force Research Laboratory and CNM Ingenuity for the U.S. Space Force, announced today it has selected 11 startups and two universities to participate in its 2020 cohort. Companies comprising the cohort represent nine states and the District of Columbia, as well as one company from Darmstadt, Germany.
The cohort is tasked with the development of technology that can provide government space agencies with secure, trustworthy autonomous and automated solutions for both manned and unmanned space missions.
“The bar is high for this cohort: they’ll have to demonstrate that autonomous technology can live up to the rigors of operating effectively in one of nature’s harshest environments. If they can do this, they will have succeeded in exponentially helping accelerate the U.S.’s space innovation efforts,” noted Gabe Mounce, director of Space Force Accelerators, which includes Hyperspace Challenge. “Autonomous technology that’s safe and secure will go a long way towards ensuring that we can better protect both our space force, and the equipment it employs.”
The companies and universities selected to undertake this challenge include:
● Helm.ai (West Menlo Park, CA)
● IDEAS Engineering and Technology, LLC (Albuquerque, NM)
● InfraLytiks (Des Moines, IA)
● Kayhan Space (Lafayette, CO)
● Perspective Components Inc. (Albuquerque, NM)
● Pierce Aerospace (Indianapolis, IN)
● Resilient Solutions 21 (RS21) (Albuquerque, NM)
● Space Domain Awareness (Orlando, FL)
● Space Products and Innovation (Darmstadt, Germany)
● Starfish Space Inc. (Kent, WA)
● Willowview Consulting, LLC (Eagle, ID)
● Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
● New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM)
Launched in 2018, Hyperspace Challenge was designed to accelerate collaboration and foster contracts between startups and government space agencies. To this end, the engagement the accelerator facilitates between companies and the government lowers the barriers to government-commercial partnership. It does this in large part by employing a methodology that focuses on building relationships between the startup and government communities that extend well beyond a cohort’s conclusion. Indeed, since its launch, 70% of cohort companies have reported government contracts worth over $7 million linked to their participation in the program.
These relationships are founded at the outset on ensuring a strong product-customer fit. During the initial phase of Hyperspace Challenge, which began in early September, an open invitation was issued to startups to participate in discovery sessions with government customers to learn more about problems for which the government is seeking solutions. The 2020 cohort represents the 13 finalists from that first phase that participating government customers believe offer the greatest promise in fulfilling the government’s need for autonomous technology.
“Hyperspace Challenge’s process places particular emphasis on identifying the companies that have the highest chance of fulfilling the government’s needs,” noted Mounce. “We know startups don’t have time to waste looking for the right government customers, and government customers are beginning to rely on the program’s ability to source the most relevant technology. This ensures a level of program efficacy that pays higher dividends to all participants.”
The program will culminate in a showcase event, Hyperspace Summit, on December 3; registration for the event, which will be held virtually, will open in early November. The startup with the most viable pitch will be awarded a total of $25,000 in incentives and prize money to expedite follow-on activities related to establishing government acquisition or contracting opportunities.
More information about the accelerator can be found at hyperspacechallenge.com.
About Hyperspace Challenge
Hyperspace Challenge was created in 2018 by the Air Force and CNM Ingenuity to accelerate partnerships between the government and startups to shift space innovation into hyperdrive. The accelerator, which is now directed by CNM Ingenuity in conjunction with the new U.S. Space Force, runs annually, and cultivates networks in an innovation ecosystem prioritizing connection and community over bureaucracy. To date, the accelerator has supported 24 small businesses and startup companies from across the U.S. and Canada.