Amazon Web Services is raising the curtain on AWS Space Accelerator, a four-week business support program that’s open to space startups seeking to use Amazon’s cloud computing services.
AWS and Seraphim, a London-based investment group focusing on the space industry, will select 10 companies to participate in the accelerator program during the month of June. Applications are being accepted starting today, and proposals are due by April 21.
“Startups provide a catalyst for bold new experimentation in the space industry,” Clint Crosier, director of AWS’ aerospace and satellite solutions, said in a blog posting. “We are proud to announce the AWS Space Accelerator as part of our ongoing commitment to help startups succeed, and to shape the future of aerospace.”
Rob Desborough, a partner at Seraphim, said “we hope to attract, select and accelerate startups who will go on to address some of the world’s biggest challenges.”
The industry sectors covered by the program can include, but are not limited to, Earth observation, electronics and robotics, spacecraft launch and delivery, spacecraft hardware and software, launch manufacturing and launch operations.
Applications will be judged on the basis of the project’s level of innovation, the value that the team’s solution will bring to the industry, the creative use of AWS and the team’s ability to deliver on the opportunities they identify.
In addition to mentoring and expert guidance, the chosen startups may receive up to $100,000 in AWS Activate credits for cloud services, training and technical support. The program will also offer opportunities to collaborate with AWS customers and members of the AWS Partner Network on technology solutions to space challenges, and meet up with space-savvy investors.
The accelerator program is Amazon Web Service’s latest final-frontier initiative, following up on the debut of AWS Ground Station for cloud-based satellite management in 2019 and the launch of AWS’ Aerospace and Satellite Solutions business unit in 2020.
One of the prominent success stories for AWS’ space effort has to do with Capella Space, which is partnering with AWS on its satellite radar imagery operation. This month, Capella Space unveiled the first images from its two most recently launched satellites — and this week, it delivered high-resolution nighttime radar views of the infamous Suez Canal ship blockage.
AWS Space Accelerator isn’t the only startup program to focus on space ventures. Other programs for out-of-this-world ventures include Starburst Accelerator and Techstars’ space-centric accelerator, plus the Catalyst Accelerator, which is sponsored by the U.S. Space Force.
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