Venture Catalyst Space

Supporting founders to start and lead hypergrowth space ventures

Venture Catalyst Space is a six-month incubator program to develop and grow innovative or disruptive ideas from entrepreneurs and early stage startups in the space sector, to generate accelerator-ready businesses.

Delivered by the University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre and supported by the State Government's Space Innovation Fund and the International Space University (ISU), the program will give founders the support and tools they need to plan and successfully execute the building of a scalable and investment ready business.

With South Australia already home to over 60 space-related organisations, the State is committed to further growing the local industry to create a thriving space ecosystem. We want to help establish and support a leadership consortium that is experienced and capable, to grow this industry and improve its local and international competitiveness.

The program includes:

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A series of capability workshops designed for founders (two per month).

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One-on-one mentoring and group sessions.

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Workspace in a modern co-working environment including access to meeting spaces, kitchen and wifi at the ICC in UniSA’s new $247m Cancer Research Institute.

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A stipend of $6,000 per company and the opportunity to pitch for a fully-funded overseas tour to the United States or Europe to network with relevant space industry primes, investors and other space startups.

The program is designed as a precursor to accelerator programs such as Techstars, Startmate and Bluechilli where more established companies are led through an intensive short acceleration process.

What is a space startup?

With more people and organisations participating in the industry, the term 'space' no longer means the same as it did five years ago.

In the past, space exploration was all about going out and exploring, whereas now, companies are contributing to the space economy by utilising exisiting space technology to solve real-world problems.

These new companies may not appear to be connected to the traditional space industry as they may only use space signals and data in their own products, typically concerning satellite communications, satellite television, geospatial products and location-based services, but this information can benefit many different industries.

For example using information provided by satellites to monitor drones or, using beacons to help grape growers improve the quality of their fruit by providing information on weather conditions.

There are also other areas becoming more accessible to smaller companies such as sending items into space for testing, space manufacturing, asteriod mining and even innovative ideas on how to supply fuel to space missions while in space to lengthen their trip.

Space companies can therefore be those who utilise space data, or those who utilise existing space technology to solve a problem on earth - both contribute to the overall space value chain.

Key Dates

 

Applications for 2018 are now closed.

2019 key dates coming soon.

Frequently asked questions

Program dates for the 2019 intake will be released in 2019.

If shortlisted, you are likely to be asked to attend a short (45 min) informal interview to expand on your idea and allow the Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) to meet the key members of your team.

Program dates for the 2019 intake will be released in 2019.

A meet and greet will be planned prior to the program starting. All successful applications, program leaders and expert advisors will be invited. If successful applications wish to visit the ICC before the meet and greet, we will arrange this at your request.

The founder of the business must be based in South Australia and committed to establishing the business here.

The stipend of $6,000 can be used for any purpose and you choose including towards relocation. No other support is available for relocation.

If you application for Venture Catalyst Space is successful, you will be awarded a $6,000 stipend. We will pay 50% to you when you begin the program and the final 50% once we have assessed whether you have met the terms of your contract.

We expect you to commit at least 50% of your time to working on the business concept, work from the ICC in Adelaide, and attend all of the workshops and mentoring sessions that are arranged for you. The ICC will support you at all stages of this process.

There are no restrictions; you may use the stipend however you see fit.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer any support with visas. You should consult the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs for information about possible visa options.

For further questions, please email VentureCatalyst@unisa.edu.au