Hyperspace Challenge Announces 14 Finalists

14 Technology Startups Will Compete and Pitch for Cash Prizes in the 2019 Hyperspace Challenge Hyper-Accelerator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Albuquerque, N.M. — The Air Force and business accelerator ABQid, powered by CNM Ingenuity, have selected 14 small businesses to participate in the second phase of the Hyperspace Challenge program to drive technology innovation in the space industry nationwide.

A one-of-a-kind program, Hyperspace Challenge brings together technology startups and government innovators from around the country to collaborate and solve real-world problems facing the space industry. The first part of the program invited startups to hear from and meet with government innovators by participating in in-depth webinars and customer discovery sessions.

During the second part of the program, the selected startups will participate in a three-day hyper-accelerator in Albuquerque, NM from Nov. 18-20. They will participate in face-to-face customer discovery sessions culminating in a pitch competition for cash prizes on Nov. 20 as part of the Space Startup Summit. 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 acquisition or contracting opportunities with the government.

The 14 companies selected include:
Analytical Space – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Benchmark Space Systems – Burlington, Vermont
Cognitive Space – Houston, Texas
Granular.ai – Somerville, Massachusetts
iMetalX Group – San Francisco, California
More Cowbell Unlimited – Lake Oswego, Oregon
NearSpace Launch Inc. – Upland, Indiana
Novo Space – El Segundo, California
Orbital Sidekick – San Francisco, California
Phase Four – El Segundo, California
SmartCone Technologies – Ontario, Canada and San Diego, California
Space Initiatives Inc. – Palm Bay, Florida
Summation – Melbourne, Florida
Tesseract Space – Livermore, CA

During the hyper-accelerator, these 14 companies, government innovators, and industry experts will explore how the small businesses’ capabilities can be used to address government innovator needs. The three-day intensive will end with the Space Startup Summit on Nov. 20, a half-day of conversations, pitches, and celebration centering around the state of the space industry for startups, the future of collaboration between space industry leaders and the Hyperspace Challenge pitches. The Space Startup Summit is an opportunity to highlight the growing activity in the space industries both nationally and in New Mexico, helping companies identify trends and opportunities in space. This event is open to the public with registration.

“Given our local resources, Albuquerque is an ideal place to hold conversations around emerging technologies in space,” said Gabe Mounce, Director of the Air Force Space Accelerator Program. “Hyperspace Challenge not only offers assistance in building a business relationship with the federal government, it allows the government to learn about some of the most exciting innovation from across the country.”

The space industry is a growing component of the New Mexico and U.S. economy and many entities are looking for ways to foster innovation and investment.

“We are seeing strong interest locally and nationally in the space industry,” said Hyperspace Challenge Program Director Roxanne Aragon. “AFRL and the U.S. government are taking an active role in supporting small businesses as they meet the growing needs for technology in space.”

New to this year’s program, NMA Ventures is a 2019 Hyperspace Challenge partner and will offer equity investment and support to top teams that choose to relocate or establish a location in New Mexico.

The Hyperspace Challenge was created in 2018 by the Air Force Research Laboratory New Mexico in support of the Space Vehicles Directorate to break down barriers and accelerate collaboration between technology startups and government and military agencies.

To learn more visit hyperspacechallenge.com.

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Hyperspace Challenge is an initiative fueled by the Air Force Research Laboratory New Mexico’s Tech Engagement Office (AFRL) in partnership with ABQid of CNM Ingenuity in support of the Space Vehicles Directorate and our U.S. government personnel everywhere. Hyperspace Challenge is one of three Space Accelerator programs run nationwide by AFRL to develop new technology and create opportunities for industry growth.

The AFRL Tech Engagement Office handles tech transfer/commercialization and STEM education outreach programs for Air Force Research Lab New Mexico. AFRL is driving innovation through partnerships across the state of New Mexico and nationwide. These programs are administered through agreements with various partners, including New Mexico Tech University, the University of New Mexico, and New Mexico Trade Alliance.

CNM Ingenuity, created in 2014 through the New Mexico Research Park Act, provides various programs and support for entrepreneurs and pursues cooperative ventures that foster economic development and job creation in central New Mexico. Ingenuity also advances new approaches to education that provide accelerated educational and training opportunities in key workforce areas. ABQid merged with Ingenuity in January, and operates the Hyperspace Challenge.

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