In recent years the cost of simply sending a satellite into the final frontier has fallen from more than $100m to just less $1m. With such low-cost access, it is no wonder nano-satellite startups like Open Cosmos and Myriota have already been able to reach for the stars. And now exploring space have become even easier with the launch of the UK’s first accelerator for startups in the spacetech industry.
Planning to beam up six lucky spacetech startups via its Space Camp Accelerator programme, Seraphim Capital, the investment firm, will provide entrepreneurs with the advice from leading industry advisers, mentors and partners. Moreover, the £70m Seraphim Space Fund is backed by UK and European space agencies as well as corporate partners Rolls Royce, Airbus, Surrey Satellite Technology, SES and Telespazio.
Blasting off on Tuesday May 8 with a second round in September the nine-week Space Camp Accelerator will seek out data and satellite-led startups tackling the challenges facing corporates in the space industry. However, it isn’t neglecting our home planet: the programme is also scanning for startups looking to improve Earth’s transportation, agriculture and urban planning through the initiative.
Commenting on the new fund, Mark Boggett, CEO at Seraphim Capital, said: “Space is a $350bn industry that underpins many elements of our everyday lives. $2.5bn was invested in spacetech startups by VCs globally in 2017 but those startups still need greater access to industry-specific advice and support. We’re turning the accelerator concept on its head: investability is a prerequisite for the startups we invite to be part of Space Camp Accelerator, not the endgame of their involvement as it might be for other programmes.”
It certainly seems as if cosmic titans such as NASA and SpaceX won’t be alone in boldly going where no man has gone before for too long. Startups will make it so.