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Space Startup Accelerator

The Astropreneurs Space Startup Accelerator is turning space-related ideas into viable businesses and is promoting opportunities for entrepreneurs coming from the space and non-space sectors.

Call for Startups

The purpose of this call is to select entrepreneurs, spin-outs, start-ups, SME or others to receive mentoring, as part of the EU-Horizon2020 funded project “Astropreneurs”. Up to 50 hours of mentoring is available for each successful applicant, over a 3-month period. This will be an open call, running until January 2020 and all mentoring will be completed until June 2020.

Eligibility Criteria

The Astropreneurs Space Startup Accelerator is targeted at start-ups, i.e., either entrepreneurs in idea phase or a registered SME.
The idea should be space-related, meaning either:

  • Based on a transfer of space technology to the non-space sectors,
  • Based on space data used in a non-space sector,
  • Aimed to address the space sector.

Applications not meeting the criteria below will be ineligible and will not go forward to full project evaluation. To be eligible, applicants have to comply with the following criteria:

  • Applicants have to be located in a European Union member state or a country participating in H2020 programme.
  • Non-EU entrepreneur, if selected, will have to establish a company in an EU country to be eligible before being accepted on the programme.
  • Applicants shall be above legal age.
  • Applicants must be able to communicate in English.
  • Only one application per individual (or company) will be accepted.
  • Applicants have to declare on honour that the submitted information is true and the project is original. (WP2, WP3).

Evaluation Criteria

This is an open call with an evaluation of applications every after the following closing dates. Applicants can submit at any time, but applications will not access until after the closing dates. Results and any feedback will be communicated with 4 weeks of the closing date:
  1. Cut-off date: 27/09/2018 | Results: 25/10/2018
  2. Cut-off date: 24/01/2019 | Results: 21/02/2019
  3. Cut-off date: 11/04/2019 | Results: 09/05/2019
  4. Cut-off date: 05/09/2019 | Results: 03/10/2019
  5. Cut-off date: 31/10/2019 | Results: 28/11/2019
  6. Cut-off date: 06/02/2020 | Results: 27/02/2020

Once an application has been reviewed against the eligibility criteria, each application will be assessed based on the answers to the questions below and information supplied in the application.

  • 30 points · What is your business idea?
  • 30 points · What is the space connection of your business idea?
  • 20 points · Why do you want to be an Astropreneur?
  • 20 points · How will you use the Astropreneurs support help you to achieve your objectives?

Applicants will have to score a total of 60 points [out of 100] to be eligible to join the Astropreneurs Space Accelerator.
Astropreneurs project will reserve the right to select fewer projects if there are not enough quality proposals.

Call for Mentors

The Astropreneurs programme covers ideas and concepts for exploitation in the space sector, from an entrepreneur outside the space sector, from people in the space sector who has an idea for use of space data or technology [processes, products and services] in another sector and people from any sector that would require data, expertise and/or technology from the space sector to exploit their idea. Astropreneurs joining the programme will be assigned a manager from the programme, who will assign a single or group of selected mentors to meet the Astropreneurs’ requirements.

Applicants Information

We are seeking mentors for the Astropreneurs programme; all mentoring will be remotely and be delivered over a duration no longer than three months for each individual mentor.

There will be a per day payment up to €500 for paid mentors; costs will be calculated on an hourly basis. We will accept mentors who want to undertake the mentoring as part of their existing role, ‘Pro Bono’.

Mentors will support the following startups:

  • Those outside the Space sector with an innovative idea for the Space sector;
  • Those inside the Space sector with an innovative idea that has an application outside the Space sector;
  • Those outside the Space sector with an innovative idea for any sector, but the innovation clearly benefits from technology and/or data from the Space sector.

Selection Process

The mentors’ selection process will be the following:

  1. Fulfil and submit the application form – once submitted it will be valid for the programme duration:
  2. Pre-selection on the cut-off dates according with the eligibility criteria – on each cut-off date only new applications will be assessed;
  3. Pre-selected applicants join the pool of Astropreneurs programme as mentors;
  4. Selection of mentors from the pool according to each startup needs;
  5. Contract* between Astropreneurs partner organization and each selected mentor;
  6. Deliver of mentorship, including reporting procedures.

After completion of two successful mentoring service to an individual Astropreneurs, mentors can use the experience and relationship with the Astropreneurs programme as reference for any further non-Astropreneurs contracts and we will be providing Astropreneurs mentors with a certificate and a logo they can use on their electronic and paper documentation as a reference.

*If selected on the Astropreneurs programme as a mentor you will be asked to sign a contract containing a confidentiality agreement.

Astropreneurs Map
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Astropreneurs Accelerator?

Astropreneurs Accelerator is a three-month acceleration program that includes business and technical mentorship, support to fund your business idea and access to our “SPACE Economy “Astropreneurs” network”. Through Astropreneurs Accelerator, you can use this mentorship and the “space economy network” of investors, industry and supporting agencies to scale your business and better capitalize target markets and global opportunities. Start-ups will also have access to Astropreneurs workshops and initiatives aimed at a wider audience.

I have a start-up. Why should I apply?

Astropreneurs Accelerator offers you an unparalleled opportunity to scale your space-related start-up. It is done on a scale that leverages all that space economy has to offer, including support on space data applications (in context of Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus data). You will have access to 50 hours of Business, Technical and Funding Support to address private and public funding opportunities, but also to overcome the financial, administrative and networking barriers to the market.

Who is eligible for Astropreneurs Accelerator?

Astropreneurs Accelerator is specifically targeting start-ups, i.e., either entrepreneurs in idea phase or registered companies that qualify as SMEs. The product or service has to be aimed at space market/use or based on a transfer of space technology or space system use in a non-space environment (“downstream applications”). They have to be located in a European Union member state or a country participating in H2020 program. Any non-EU entrepreneur, if selected, will have to establish an EU firm to be eligible.

How and when do I apply?

Our website will have an application form where you can submit your project idea. The main points to be described will be the team, product, space asset and IP, market & competition, customer acquisition, business & traction, growth strategy, investment & milestones, amongst other information. You can apply to Astropreneurs Accelerator anytime, but start-ups will be accepted according to quarterly evaluation periods.
Applications will open in the second semester of 2018.

What does the selection process look like?

To begin, you must fill in the application. Next, we will evaluate your application and some start-ups may be asked to take part in an ½ hour video conference with an Astropreneurs team member. The evaluation will be made by Astropreneurs team and independent experts. After the quarterly evaluation periods, we except to take 15 days to communicate the decision. All applicants will be notified.

If my start-up is selected, what will happen next?

If accepted, your journey will begin with our team performing an assessment of your start-up and your market and funding needs. After that, you will be entitled to 50 hours of mentoring from Astropreneurs mentors and experts (WP 2 and WP3). Mentorship will be ongoing during 3 months, and there will be a series of events to participate in, for training, contacts and business network (WP 2 and WP3).

What are the start-ups obligations towards Astropreneurs?

There will be a MoU between the start-up and Astropreneurs that reflects both parts rights and obligations.

The Astropreneurs Accelerator and the Astropreneurs H2020 funded project are the same thing?

Yes, Astropreneurs Accelerator is the core activity of the Astropreneurs H2020 project, funded by the European Union under the call H2020 “COMPET 7 -Technology transfer and business generator”, but there are other activities, as workshops and training on space related subjects.


Instituto Pedro Nunes - IPN


Verhaert - VH

Brimatech Services GmbH - BRI

Science and Technology Facilities Council - STFC

Aerospace Valley - AV

Centrum für Satellitennavigation Hessen - CESAH

CzechInvest - CI

Knowledge Innovation Market - KIM

Instituto Pedro Nunes


Brimatech Services GmbH

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Aerospace Valley

Centrum für Satellitennavigation Hessen


Knowledge Innovation Market

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