2020 Cohort Theme Centers on Building Trusted Autonomous Technology for Space
AUGUST 18, 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 is now accepting applications for its 2020 cohort, which begins in October. The application period is open through September 10th.
This year’s theme, Trusted Autonomy, seeks technology that can provide the government and participating military agencies with secure, trustworthy autonomous and automated solutions for space. Prior accelerator themes have included Small Satellite Technologies (2019) and Geospatial Data Analytics (2018).
Hyperspace Challenge was designed to accelerate collaboration and foster contracts between startups in the space technology sector and government and military agencies. To this end, the engagement the accelerator facilitates between companies and the government lowers the barriers to government-commercial partnership.
“[This accelerator] has a large element of human interaction that does not normally happen when you’re trying to propose something to the government,” said 2018 inaugural cohort alum Amit Mehta of Arlington, VA-based NOVI. “There’s a two-way connection – it’s more of a discussion where you can collaboratively and iteratively come up with the most applicable solution [to the government need].”
The 2020 cohort will address the following items:
- Next-Level Autonomy in Remote Environments
- Automatic Hazard Detection and Avoidance
- Preventing and Adapting to Autonomy Failures
- Adopting State-of-the-Art Machine Learning for Space Vehicles
- Enhancing Spacecraft Autonomy with Resilient Computing Solutions
“We are excited to meet this new cohort and see how their technology can address these needs,” said Gabe Mounce, Program Director for U.S. Space Force Accelerator Programs. “Over the past two years, the connectivity that this accelerator has provided to its cohort participants has significantly benefited their ability to serve not only the commercial market, but address the government’s needs and connect to government customers.”
Since launching in 2018, 16 of the 24 participating companies have gone on to sign government contracts, reporting over $7 million in new revenue for these small businesses.
Companies selected to participate this year will be announced in late September. Cohort participants will spend the following three months gaining insights into doing business with the federal government and meeting with participating government customers to develop relevant proposals. These companies will participate in virtual customer discovery sessions with government scientists and compete for cash prizes via a live pitch event at the Space Startup Summit on December 3rd.
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.