Venture Catalyst Space

Register your interest now for 2020

Register your interest

Supporting founders to start and lead space ventures

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

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 gives founders the support and tools they need to plan and successfully execute the building of a scalable and investment ready business.

The one-of-a-kind program delivers tailored support and guidance working with a global pool of expert advisors including ICC Entrepreneur in Residence Kirk Drage and his company LeapSheep. After 12 years at Microsoft in roles such as Head of Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Relations for Asia Pacific (based in Singapore), Drage spent time in Silicon Valley developing Artificial Intelligence produtcts and services before returning home to Adelaide in 2015 passionate about supporting committed entrepreneurs.

With South Australia selected to be home to the Australian Space Agency and 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.

SISA visa

The Innovation & Collaboration Centre is part of the Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) pilot program to attract promising overseas seed-stage entrepreneurs to develop their concepts in South Australia. This means temporary visas will be issued to those that meet all the Department of Home Affairs’ criteria and requirements. If you are building a company using space technologies or creating tech, services or products for the space industry, we want to hear from you.

More information

The program includes:

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.

ping services

Key Dates

2019 applications are now closed. They will reopen in early 2020.

Frequently asked questions

Applications for 2019 are now closed. Applications for next year's program will be open in early 2020.

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.

You will be contacted in May 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 you choose including towards relocation. As mentioned above the SISA visa is also available. For more information, visit the SISA webpage.

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.

This program is 100% equity free. You retain any and all of your equity as a participant of this program.

As mentioned above, the ICC is part of the Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) pilot program that will issue temporary visas to those that meet all the Department of Home Affairs’ criteria and requirements. Please visit the SISA webpage for more information and to apply.

What our startups are saying about the program

Further questions?

If you have any further questions, please email