The Hyperspace Challenge Editorial Staff
With many space technology innovations originating in the private sector in recent years, Gabe Mounce, director of the Space Force accelerator program, recently wrote that the federal government should increasingly utilize programs such as Hyperspace Challenge to strengthen government-startup collaboration.
In the article, written for Space News, Mounce encouraged the federal government, and especially the military, to continue to find ways to make it easier for small businesses and start-ups to successfully secure government contracts and accelerate the public payoff for their technological developments.
“We know….barriers exist for a reason – they increase compliance, reduce risk and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly,” he wrote. “But they can have the adverse effect of slowing the adoption of innovation within the government system.
“This is a significant challenge for the armed forces, as operations across the Department of Defense can benefit from technological advances being made by small and more agile private-sector companies that can innovate faster than their defense contractor counterparts.”
In the article, Mounce examines how several defense agencies have recently adopted a new approach to bringing the government and startups together.
These catalysts for innovation, which have primarily taken the form of incubators, accelerators and pitch days, are changing the speed with which the military sources solutions to its most pressing problems while enabling startups to gain faster, more meaningful access to the system.
Government programs like Hyperspace Challenge, “give startups an opportunity to interface directly with government decision makers to validate a solution and evolve the technology as needed to ensure a greater product-mission fit or discover a new use,” he wrote. “Startups can pitch their solutions directly to this audience for the opportunity to win a government contract on the spot.
“In the process they also help startups build networks across the Department of Defense and military branches, so that undertaking the next government opportunity becomes at least somewhat easier.”