UKSA Accelerator Opens Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

17th Jan 2023
UKSA Accelerator Opens Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial Spark and Exotopic have announced the official beginning of the UK Space Agency Accelerator programme for space businesses. 

UK Space Accelerator Details

Within this project, the UK Space Agency will invest around £1.5 million in this support programme for aspiring entrepreneurs over two years. The project expects to boost the ideas of 180 entrepreneurs through coaching, networking, and business support. 

The projects willing to participate in the accelerator will be able to engage in one of the three programmes available, depending on the level of knowledge about space and previous engagement in the space industry. 

The “Explore” programme will be a fit for inventors who want to build a scalable business in the space sector or entrepreneurs from other industries who have some space knowledge or ideas that might be useful for the space industry. The first “Explore” group will begin on February 20, 2023, with the application process open by February 10. 

Two other, more demanding and advanced programmes, are coming soon. The “Leo” will require a Proof of Concept. This level will be a match for those applicants who might already have some space experience and a deeper understanding of space technologies and issues within the industry. And the most advanced, “Geo” level, will be appropriate for businesses that have already gained some traction in the industry and are looking for opportunities to expand their company faster. Applications for these accelerator levels are still closed.

The Orbit series, accessible online and offering access to topics from business leadership to customer acquisition, will be a solid foundation for participants from all project levels. Accelerator participants will also be able to have in-person meetings during the Trajectory networking events in seven locations across the UK.

Based on a successful pilot programme

During the pilot programme in 2020/2021, the accelerator worked with 88 space companies from various sectors, including aerospace, law, agriculture, and healthcare. Over these two years, UK Space Agency awarded £360,000 to the Accelerator. After finishing the programme, the startups have created 80 new jobs and attracted almost £9 million in investment.

Zaria Serfontein, the co-founder of Frontier Space Technologies, participated in it. The team led by Zaria entered the experimental programme to collect business know-how and create a roadmap for developing a business promoting biomedical research in space. According to Zaria, “Being part of the accelerator has improved the credibility of our company and grown our network, which has directly aided in several opportunities, including securing our grant funding.”

Another programme participant, James New from ODIN Space Ltd, shared that their biggest achievement as a result of space accelerator participation was raising their first round of investment. They raised £430,000, which has massively boosted their growth. According to him, the accelerator has helped the team to master their business model and added them confidence when pitching to investors.

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