Seraphim Capital, which manages a specialised £70m investment fund, has launched the UK’s ‘first’ SpaceTech accelerator programme.
Backed by the UK and European space agencies, alongside corporate firms including Rolls Royce, Airbus, Surrey Satellite Technology, SES and Telespazio, Space Camp will set out to help startups in the sector raise funding, scale and obtain close working relationships with industry.
Things are seemingly changing in the SpaceTech sector, with the cost of building and launching a satellite decreasing from more than $100m to less than $1m in recent years, meaning the sector is now much more accessible to young startups.
Mark Boggett, CEO at Seraphim Capital, commented on the launch, highlighting the sector’s market cap and long-term potential: “Space is a $350bn industry that underpins many elements of our everyday lives. $2.5bn was invested in SpaceTech startups by VCs globally in 2017, but those startups still need greater access to industry-specific advice and support.
“We’re turning the accelerator concept on its head: investability is a prerequisite for the startups we invite to be part of Space Camp Accelerator, not the endgame of their involvement as it might be for other programmes.
“We will connect startups to Seraphim Capital’s network of leading corporate investors and decision-makers, providing them with access to mentors, advisers, and partners to help them achieve tangible outcomes beyond funding – whether that’s working on a proof-of-concept or some other technology integration, or halving the time it takes them to get their technology into orbit,” he added.
Only six startups will be selected to join the programme, which will focus on unearthing promising data and satellite-led businesses that are seeking to solve some of the biggest challenges facing corporates in the space industry or leveraging the right technologies to create value for industries such as transportation, agriculture and urban planning.
The new nine week programme will run two annual cohorts, with the first intake beginning on 8 May 2018 and the second following in September.
Caroline Gorski, director of global ecosystem and partnerships at Rolls Royce, went on to highlight the significance of co-innovation in the sector: “Collaboration with innovators across the ecosystem is crucial to unlocking the full value of the data we are creating and gathering every day, and to revealing new data.
“We are therefore committed to providing startups with the strategic engagement and support they need to make a genuine impact. Spacetech is an industry we have always watched with interest, as we apply insights from the sector to our work in other remote and challenging environments, and we are delighted to be involved with Space Camp Accelerator as it pushes startups in the sector to achieve their full potential,” she concluded.