Aussie space start-ups to participate in SA Venture Catalyst Space program

Aussie space start-ups to participate in SA Venture Catalyst Space program

Max Blenkin

Five start-up space companies have been chosen to participate in the University of South Australia’s second Venture Catalyst Space program, backed by the SA government’s Space Innovation Fund.

That’s done through the SA Innovation and Collaboration Centre (ICC) and its tailored six-month incubator program, which aims to develop innovative ideas of selected space companies.

The five space start-ups will each receive funding, access to training and workshops, one-on-one mentorship, a modern co-working space and cutting-edge technical resources and tools.

Participating companies are FireFlight, Nano Spaces and Lookinglass from Adelaide, India’s Astrogate Labs and Lux Aerobot from Canada.

The companies will work with global industry expert advisers, including ICC entrepreneurs in residence Kirk Drage, chief executive of LeapSheep; Terry Gold; and former NASA astronaut Pam Melroy, director of space technology and policy for Nova Systems.

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SA Premier Steven Marshall said the program provided an excellent platform to grow the local space ecosystem by building a culture of entrepreneurship and supporting start-ups to scale-up successfully.

“It’s exciting to see the next cohort of early-stage start-ups chosen for this program, which has proven success in supporting entrepreneurs to transform their cutting-edge ideas into sustainable businesses in our state,” he said.

 

“We are committed to building a culture of entrepreneurship in South Australia, and this program supports our state’s objectives to capture the opportunities of space to grow our economy and create high-value jobs.”

UniSA ICC associate director Jasmine Vreugdenburg said the program aimed to help grow and develop future leaders in the space industry.

“The program will deliver high calibre support to the five selected companies, focusing on enhancing their global competitiveness and rapidly accelerating exceptional ideas or projects on the world stage,” she said.

“We’re thrilled with the response from all applicants and very pleased that they have chosen to call Adelaide home during their stint with the program.”

FireFlight produces a system for real-time mapping of bushfires and post fire hotspots, which has been used operated in the US, Australia and Indonesia during the past two years.

Nano Spaces aims to investigate nanofluidic devices that can be integrated on nanosatellites for precision positioning using safe, clean and cost-effective fuels.

Lookinglass is an AI smart mirror and satellite-enabled platform that detects the symptoms and progression of degenerative health conditions like Parkinson’s and dementia.

Astrogate Labs, based in Bengaluru, India, does high-speed communications for smallsats, using proprietary technology on the satellite and ground optical terminals that provides simplified lower cost communications.

Lux Aerobot, based in Montreal, produces atmospheric satellites, essentially satellites in high altitude balloons, providing the first real-time imaging of Latin America and Oceania.

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