LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2013) — Kentucky Space LLC today announced the creation of Space Tango, one of the nation’s first business accelerators specifically for space enterprises and entrepreneurs. Space Tango is an early-stage venture fund, business accelerator and community of entrepreneurs for space-driven startups, with the goal of assisting businesses in developing innovations, novel applications and diverse markets.
The global space marketplace is now poised for significant growth and opportunity. Unprecedented access to space coupled with the rapid advancement of micro technologies and other innovations are combining to create a dynamic space industry. The 2013 report from the Space Foundation noted that “The global space economy grew by nearly 7 percent in 2012 reaching a new record of $304.31 billion. As in previous years, the vast majority of this growth was in the commercial sector, which now constitutes nearly three-quarters of the space economy, with government making up the rest.”
Opportunities (including adjacent applications) lie in developing entrepreneurial ideas, companies and products that enable the further exploitation of space. Possibilities involve small high-value satellites and space platforms, the International Space Station (ISS) and opportunities in biotechnology, exomedicine, novel materials, energy, education, and game design and development, as well as areas and applications not yet imagined.
“The successful development of a commercial and sustainable space marketplace is in large part dependent on disruptive thinking and novel experimentation outside of the traditional boundaries” said Kris Kimel, president of Kentucky Space.
In the initial round, Space Tango will invest in up to six companies from across the U.S. These enterprises will participate in an intensive twelve week on-site program, centered in Lexington, Kentucky, that will provide a complete constellation of services, advisors and networks necessary to successfully start and grow a space-driven business. Companies will be selected primarily on the basis of their idea, science, technology, market fit, customer understanding, management team and readiness level.
Selected companies will have access to a full team of advisors (scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, sales and marketing professionals, investors, etc.) and facilities. These other assets include the Exomedicine Institute, technical and ground operations centers at Morehead State University Space Science Center (21-meter tracking station) and the University of Kentucky Space Systems Lab and offices at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley (Mountain View, Calif.).
“The Office of Commercialization and Innovation is excited about playing a role in the further development of a global space marketplace…as well as a dynamic entrepreneurial space industry cluster in the region” said Gene Fuqua, executive director, Kentucky Office of Commercialization and Innovation.
The marketing and due diligence process to select the initial companies will begin immediately. Further details and contact information be found at www.spacetango.com.
Kentucky Space is an ambitious enterprise focused on R&D, talent development, commercial and entrepreneurial space solutions.