High-tech agriculture, collision indicators for skydivers or even drones fixing high voltage cables – these are among the projects undertaken of by the teams which managed to get into the final phase of space sector’s startup accelerator – SPACE3AC. Two of O4’s members are involved – Black Pearls and Blue Dot Solutions.
What is Space3ac?
The mission of the accelerator is to develop the Polish space industry by combining the needs of industry and state-owned companies with the potential of startups, experienced experts and funding. This means that Space sector’s startup accelerator Space3Ac supports the development of projects from the lower segment of the space sector (the so called “downstream”) that use the data from Earth observation, telecommunications and satellite navigation. The inauguration of the Program and the beginning of the recruiting process took place on the 5th of May in the Ministry of Development in Warsaw with the participation of the Deputy Minister of the Development – Jadwiga Emilewicz.
How many submissions were received and what did the following stages of recruitment look like?
50 applications were submitted, of which the jury selected the best 14. Their authors were invited to the preparatory phase – Preparation Camp. There, under the guidance of mentors, they imparted their ideas the on characteristics of a real project and learned how to present them.
The potential of the submitted ideas was so impressive that we just couldn’t stick to the earlier rules and choose to accelerate only 5 of them – says Wojciech Drewczyński of Black Pearls VC, one of the organizers of Space3ac and a member of the jury. As a result, we invited 8 to the acceleration phase.
What were the selection criteria used by the jury?
The jury assessed the project, awarding points for the business idea, for their commitment and teamwork, as well as for the stage of development of the project, the market opportunities and competitiveness.
The authors of the best idea from the accelerated projects will receive 50 000 zł for their research. The presentation will take place in front of the potential investors on the 8th of September during Demo Day. The funding pool for accelerated projects is 2 000 000 zł. Whether the investment is realised depends on the stage of development of the project.
On Wednesday the 27th of July, a meeting was held in O4, for which the main goal was to show how the projects from the space sector can be applied in industries and companies operating in completely different areas. The presentation entitled “Rockets and Astronauts – a new trillion Euro industry” was conducted by experts Izan Peris and Magni Johansson from the Disrupt Space – leading in Europe initiative, which aims to stimulate the potential of the space sector’s startups. They’ve talked about how the space industry affects our lives and in which industries it applies already. Considerable attention was paid to the prognosis for how the space sector will be developing in the future. Examples included existing plans to build a lunar village, the start of the activities associated with space mining (extraction of minerals from asteroids), an expedition to Mars and space tourism.
The take-home message was that not everyone has to be an aerospace technology engineer to work with space technology – “Space is for all!” After the presentation, the teams had a chance to present projects to an audience and answer some of the questions.