St. Louis Launches Space Startups: NewSpace Business Plan Competition Regional Finalists Converge

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NewSpace Business Plan CompetitionThe Center for Space Commerce and Finance (CSCF) has announced finalists for the 2017 St. Louis Regional NewSpace Business Plan Competition. Held as a part of the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC), the event will take place from 10am to 12pm in the St. Louis Union Station Hotel on Friday, May 26.

Finalists were selected from a pool of company applicants which possessed a “strong potential for ROI” as well as an ability to “significantly advance the commercial space industry.”

During this regional event, each finalist team will have seven minutes to pitch in front a panel of judges, followed by questions from the panel. The winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize, sponsored by the Heinlein Prize Trust.

When asked to describe the finalists, CSCF Executive Director, Joel Vinas stated, “These finalists represent the wide spectrum of companies which comprise the near-term future of space commerce. On-demand launch services, small satellite solutions, improved interfaces: these are companies fighting to create market value, solve existing problems, and enable a space-faring future for humanity.”

The 2017 St. Louis NewSpace BPC finalists are:

Froberg Aerospace (Rolla, MO)
Froberg Aerospace is a developer and provider of small satellite propulsion technologies that offer small satellite developers game-changing capabilities in terms of mission flexibility, rapid concept-to-orbit, and the ability to change satellite mission objectives on the fly.

Hummingbird Space Exploration
Hummingbird Space Exploration (HSX) was founded with the vision of enriching the small satellite ecosystem through reducing concept-to-launch cost, expanding small-satellite capabilities, and minimizing satellite launch and operational risks. The company is evolving existing technology into a reliable and cost-effective solution capable of performing biological experimentation in space and tackling the growing problem of orbital debris.

 

SpaceVR (San Francisco, CA)
SpaceVR is building Human™ – a Virtual Reality (VR) controllable humanoid robot designed to perform labor on Earth and in space. Designed after the skeletal and muscle structure of the human body, the product replicates the best user interface – the human body. Through VR control, the product will empower Human Intelligence (HI) to create petabytes of data, priming Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate all human activities. Through Human, SpaceVR is launching a new industrial revolution, enabling large scale development on Earth and in space.
 Stofiel Aerospace (St. Louis, MO/Cleveland, OH)

Stofiel Aerospace is a technology company producing a balloon based on-demand orbital rocket launch system to fill the bottleneck in launch capability for small satellites. The product is scalable to the payload and poised to disrupt the existing launch market, enabling launches within weeks instead of years.

 WEINTRAUS (Daytona Beach, FL)
Weintraus is focusing on uplifting the commercial space industry with their Hercules Space Tug. Hercules is a reusable space tug providing precision orbital placement services for up to 4500kg of small spacecraft a year. This includes changing multiple orbits and raising altitudes to deliver small satellite operators to various orbital destinations. Weintraus’ vision is focused on scaling their technology into Hercules II, capable of; autonomous satellite servicing, asteroid mining, deep space support, debris mitigation, and in-orbit refueling services.

 

This event serves as the second in a series of regional business plan competitions, leading to the National NewSpace Business Plan Competition, held on November 10, 2017 in Austin, Texas.

In addition to the grand prize, the winning team will also advance to this national event, which has awarded as much as $100,000 in past years.

Tickets to the conference are available online and via a Groupon discount.