ESA Takes Next Steps in Startup Competition

PARIS (ESA PR) — In spite of the COVID-19 crisis, ESA’s Startup competition is under way. By the closing date for submissions, 101 valid proposals had been submitted to ESA and the evaluations have now begun.

ESA is looking for ways to provide support to startups in their valuable role in the space industrial ecosystem. ESA’s Startup competition offers the winning entrepreneurs a mentoring prize and an invitation from ESA to present and promote their projects during a prestigious event.

Following the announcement of the postponement of the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai, ESA in close cooperation with the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, instead offers the three winners the opportunity to attend an award ceremony at the occasion of the Global Space Congress, scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi from 25–27 May 2021.

The Global Space Congress is a biennial event attended by senior executives from space agencies, space industries and governmental organisations and research centres. 

The pitches, ceremony and subsequent panel discussion will take place during one of the plenary meetings and the ESA winner will be awarded alongside winners of similar competitions organised by other space agencies.

The competition

ESA’s competition for startups in ESA Member States opened on 2 March calling for proposals for future services and/or products using space technology. Interested innovators applied through ESA’s competition website.

On 20 May, a team of ESA experts will select the best ten ideas based on an assessment of the startup team, the competitiveness and economic viability of the business model and its impact on society.

These ten startups will then pitch their ideas by each sending a video to the delegates of ESA’s Industrial Policy Committee before a final selection of three winners. 

The three winning startups will be personally informed and then announced on the ESA website. 

These winning proposals will receive expert advice through a mentoring grant and the chance to promote their ideas during the Global Space Congress event.