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Australia’s first space dedicated incubator program selects tech start-ups

Image Credits: UniSA, Press Release

The University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) recently announced that nine start-ups were merit selected for a place in the Venture Catalyst Space program, supported by the South Australian Government’s Space Innovation Fund.

A leader in space innovation and business acceleration, the program is the first of its kind in Australia.

Start-ups will receive the individual support they need at the time they need it through a tailored program with all equity and intellectual property remaining with the company.

The Premier of South Australia stated that the incubation program is helping ensure that leading space start-ups are supported in early-stage operations, which is crucial to creating a space ecosystem conducive to sustained growth.

“As a state and as a nation, we must continue to support the pipeline of start-up and scale-up space-related companies to build on and sustain our space economy,” he said.

The support provided through the Venture Catalyst Space program will help position these nine start-ups with the capability and capacity for long-term success in the national – and global – space arena.

He noted that it is the start-ups of today that will become the future’s leading businesses. “With that said, I’m thrilled to see such strong representation from South Australian-based companies,” he added.

South Australia currently has 31 per cent of Australia’s space industry, and the Government is committed to seeing this number grow as it pushes forward as the nation’s centre for space industries.

Each company will receive funding, access to specialist business acceleration workshops, one-on-one mentoring, a modern co-working space, and technical resources and tools.

They will work with global industry experts and key representatives from the space industry including former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander, Pam Melroy.

The UniSA Vice-Chancellor says that, as the home of the Australian Space Agency and a thriving start-up community, South Australia is at the forefront of the Australian space industry.

“At UniSA, we’re giving startups and entrepreneurs with great ideas the tools and support they need to become sustainable businesses,’’ Prof Lloyd says.

“At Australia’s University of Enterprise, our culture of innovation is anchored around global and national links – and we are excited that our Venture Catalyst Space program is growing and supporting the State’s economy.”

The Associate Director of the Innovation & Collaboration Centre said that the program continues to attract space start-ups from around the world who are interested to join the home of space in Australia.

“By bringing new technologies and high-growth start-ups through our program, we are contributing to the growing space industry in Australia and putting Adelaide on the map as the centre of gravity for space activity,” she says.

“The applicants want to come here because they have seen the success of other companies that have been through the program like Lux, Astrogate Labs and Ping, which are a testament to the world-class quality of the program which can only be achieved with the support of our space ecosystem partners.

The companies taking part in the program include biotechnology and space tech companies, as well as two Indian tech start-ups, a US-based tech firm and a satellite company from the Netherlands.

About UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC)

Established in 2015, the Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) is a strategic partnership between the University of South Australia and the South Australian Government and to support technology-based incubation and business growth in South Australia.

Enabled by world-class tech resources and tools, the Centre runs the Venture Catalyst program which supports enterprises from idea generation to growth and expansion stages.

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