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:

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

  • One on one mentoring and group sessions

  • 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

  • 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

Tuesday 26 June  Applications open
Friday 10 August
Applications close (11:39pm)
13 August - 17August Shortlisting
Monday 20 August Notification of application outcomes
September Program commences

Applications open now

For more details including the application process and eligibility criteria, please download the Application Pack here.

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

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