Tech Startups + Defense Innovators = Accelerated Innovation

The 2018 challenge is complete! Stay tuned for information on the 2019 program

Hyperspace Challenge, powered by the Air Force Research Lab New Mexico and ABQid, brings together tech startups with defense innovators to accelerate innovation for the defense community. Our unique program facilitates interactions between promising technologies and timely problems to increase rapid acquisition and contracting opportunities. Our goal isn’t innovation at the speed of light; it’s faster.

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Sponsors & Partners

Want to help support the work of Hyperspace Challenge? If your company would like to sponsor our Data Analytics 2018 challenge, please contact [email protected].


Now through November 16, we’re bringing together tech startups and defense innovators around the following challenge:

How might we leverage geospatial data analytics to build amazing new capabilities for our defense community?

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

Remote Estimation of Forest Density to aid in Warfighter Mobility Support

Forest characterization using traditional forestry methods requires intricate and thorough field measurements across numerous plots. The level of detail and resolution acquired simply has not been reproduced using remote techniques.

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AF Civil Engineering

Automatically identify changes to electric power lines, transformers, etc. to better prioritize and allocate resources for in-depth inspections.

Identify changes in infrastructure (power-lines, etc) using automated aerial, space, and other data analyses to better prioritize and allocate resources for in-depth inspections.

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On-demand geospatial data for target audience analysis

Our PSYOP soldiers need a tool or suite to enable on-demand query and delivery of open source satellite/other geo sensing data to support Target Audience Analysis (TAA).

Read More

The Program

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Now through August 31

Sign up for our September webinar series by filling out our quick and easy form, and to start the conversation about your company's technology.

Be on hand to answer questions from our advisory committee.


September 4 - 21

Attend a series of three webinars to learn about specific capabilities and iterate how you believe your geospatial data analytics technology could best be leveraged to build new capabilities for the defense community.

Be on hand to answer questions from our advisory committee.

Hyper Accelerator

November 13 - 16

Invited startups and defense innovators will come together to iterate on top concepts and explore opportunities for contracting and rapid acquisition. The best capabilities during the week will be awarded prizes between $5K to 25K to spur further efforts required to get the best company innovations into the hands of defense users.


Tech Startups

Our goal is to provide startups with an amazing customer discovery experience that results in contracting and acquisitions. You’re excited about the technology you’ve developed–you even have commercial traction.

We’re putting the best data analytics startups in front of top defense innovators with the ability to influence purchasing decisions. If you believe your technology can help solve defense problems in the space domain, but you’re not sure who to approach, what opportunity to apply for, or what jargon to use – this program is for you.

Here’s how the program works:
Sign up by telling us about your company and uploading a white paper or deck about what you’re working on in data analytics. Signing up puts you on the list of potential invitees for the September webinar series.
We'll invite vetted companies (based on team, technology, and traction) to participate in a series of webinars in the first two weeks of September to unpack specific problem statements. Companies will then submit their best ideas for applying their technology to the defense community by September 21.
The top companies (based on impact potential, business viability, technical viability, and team) will be invited to join a highly curated group of defense innovators in Albuquerque the week of November 12 to rapidly iterate a plan to get the innovation in our warfighter’s hands as quickly as possible, and present those plans at the end of the week! You’ll work with an Air Force liaison beforehand to ready you for collaboration.
Awards totaling $80,000 ($25k for first; all participating teams will receive an award) will be distributed to help the best plans take their next steps in acquisition or contracting as quickly as possible. Your liaison will stick with you throughout to push the process!
Have questions?
Read Frequently Asked Questions

Defense Users

Join a highly curated group of defense innovators who have the will to innovate rapidly and the ability to influence purchasing decisions to facilitate rapid acquisition or contracting. Limited space is available to get involved.

Contact Gabe Mounce to learn more.

Sign Up

    Sign up now for the 2019 SmallSats Hyperspace Challenge. Simply fill out this form to apply to attend our upcoming webinars in September.

    Link to company profile on, LinkedIn, Gust, F6S, or other directory


    Hyperspace Challenge is an initiative fueled by the Air Force Research Lab in partnership with ABQid in support of the Space Vehicles directorate and our U.S. defense personnel everywhere.

    Contact [email protected] for more information.