Universities Program


Hyperspace Challenge is a business accelerator that forges valuable relationships between the government, startup, and university communities to accelerate innovation for the space domain. 


Welcome to the Hyperspace Challenge
for Universities!

The Hyperspace Challenge is a business accelerator created by the Air Force Research Lab to accelerate innovation in the U.S. Space Force.

How might we accelerate adoption of trusted autonomous solutions for space?

The accelerator connects applied science research teams to government innovators to strengthen the exchange of innovation between academic institutions and government agencies.  

If your university research team is developing technology that could have an application in space, Hyperspace Challenge will help you: 

  • Explore your research’s application to government needs
  • Plan future research with government missions in mind
  • Collaborate directly with government innovators
  • Gain insights into the government contracting process
  • Build a government network for your team and institution 
  • Gain insights into the commercial sector

Hear university alumni explain how Hyperspace Challenge helped them

“It would have been exceedingly difficult or entirely happenstance to connect with some of the people [Hyperspace Challenge] put us in touch with.”

Greg Falco, Johns Hopkins University

How Hyperspace Challenge Works

Many technologies beyond the traditional space and aerospace domains will be needed as our journey into space advances. Hyperspace Challenge engages those technologies from a wide spectrum of sectors.

See the government mission needs we are tackling in 2021!

Mission Needs Page

We hold Discovery Sessions, beginning August 16 through September 3, where government innovators from multiple agencies share their mission needs and fulfillment challenges. We require participation in these online sessions prior to cohort application, so your team can determine if your technology can provide a solution (and how it might need to develop) before you commit to applying for the cohort program. 

Ready to learn more?

Sign up now to be invited to the webinar series where we’ll discuss the context behind each problem statement and answer questions from startup and university teams.

September: Accelerator Application 

Upon completion of the Discovery Sessions, you can apply to the accelerator’s annual cohort, running from early October through early December.

The 2021 cohort application deadline is September 8.


October/November: Accelerator Program

Once you’ve been accepted to the accelerator you’ll work with government innovators to iterate your concept and explore real opportunities for contracting and rapid acquisition. You will meet with government customers 1:1, learn how the procurement process works, and what you can do to increase your opportunities for government contracts.


November: Pitch Day Event

The program culminates in the Space Startup Summit, a Pitch Day event, where cohort participants will present their proposed solutions to government innovators, customers and officials.

Key Dates:

July 20: Discovery Sessions Registration Opens 

September 8: 2021 Cohort Application Period Closes (@ Midnight Mountain Time)

October 4 – November 18: Accelerator Program Commences

November 18: 2021 Space Startup Summit/Pitch Day Event

Learn More About the Program

Have Questions?

the 2021 Hyperspace Challenge is live!

Want to learn about upcoming Hyperspace Challenge news and programs? Sign up for our mailing list here.


Hyperspace Challenge, launched in 2018, is a business accelerator fueled by the U.S. Space Force and Air Force Research Lab, in partnership with CNM Ingenuity, to support the Space Vehicles directorate and our U.S. government personnel everywhere.

Contact contact@hyperspacechallenge.com for more information.