UniSA’s global space accelerator program invites applications for 2023

2022 Venture Catalyst Space participant, Jill Dewey from ESpy Ocean
2022 Venture Catalyst Space participant, Jill Dewey from ESpy Ocean

The University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) is now accepting applications for its 2023 Venture Catalyst Space program.

Going into its fifth year, the equity-free program supports space startups to scale, enter the commercial space market and validate their technology, funded by the State Government’s Space Innovation Fund.

Successful space startups get access to UniSA resources, a global network of industry experts, capability workshops, one-on-one mentoring, a $10,000 stipend, and a supportive community throughout the program. Each startup works side-by-side with Australia’s growing space industry.

Since 2018, the program has supported 29 space startups with 90 per cent still operating to-date. The program alumni have collectively raised more than $13 million in additional investment and have also gone on to create 130 new space jobs.

ICC’s Director of Incubation Services, Jasmine Vreugdenburg, says the program is unique to other accelerators and would be a huge boost for startups in Australia and overseas.

“Venture Catalyst Space is one of the few programs worldwide that specialises in developing commercial space ventures,” Vreugdenburg says.

“This program is unique in that each company follows a tailored education pathway that is relevant to their stage of business development and team expertise.

“For the 2023 program, we are looking to attract home-grown startups from across Australia, but also draw in international space talent, particularly focused on the UK, Europe, India and New Zealand.”

The program is located Adelaide, home to the Australian Space Agency headquarters and several successful space startups including Fleet Space Technologies, Southern Launch, Neumann Space and Myriota.

This industry network regularly engages with the program and provides support and advice to Venture Catalyst Space participants. It is these connections that gives new companies the advantage in the global space market.

Managing Director of ESpy Ocean and 2022 participant, Jill Dewey, says the program and the connections she has made have been instrumental in the development of her space startup.

“For ESpy Ocean, we have achieved more in the last six months that we ever imagined we would,” Dewey says.

“Venture Catalyst Space has catapulted us on our way to a successful future in the space industry.

“Why would you travel alone when you could be connected to such a wide range of resources to support you on the way?”

South Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence and Space Industries Susan Close says the Venture Catalyst Space program is critical to building capability and growing investment and know-how in South Australia’s space industry.

“The level of talent and innovation emerging from the Venture Catalyst Space program is exceptional and adds further capability to South Australia’s space ecosystem,” Close says.

“This program supports the South Australian Government’s vision to create a thriving and sustainable space sector in South Australia by providing a springboard for high-calibre space startups to develop innovative ideas, collaborate and scale-up.”

Applications are open until Monday 16 November via the website icc.unisa.edu.au.

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