The UK Space Agency Accelerator, in collaboration with Entrepreneurial Spark and Exotopic, is excited to announce the commencement of applications for its prestigious LEO and GEO programmes. These accelerator initiatives, building on the achievements of previous cohorts, aim to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship by providing extensive support and resources to the emerging generation of pioneering space startups.
The upcoming LEO and GEO accelerator programmes are highly anticipated and are set to be the most dynamic and diverse yet. The LEO programme targets entrepreneurs who already have a foothold in the space sector or are using space technology in their businesses. It offers participants an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the space industry and navigate their businesses through transformative changes. Meanwhile, the GEO programme is designed to support ambitious entrepreneurs on their journey to becoming resilient leaders, encouraging them to focus on high-impact areas within their businesses. This programme is tailored for entrepreneurs whose space sector businesses have achieved significant commercial traction, with either £500,000+ in funding or £500,000 in annualised revenue.
Craig Brown, Director of Investment at the UK Space Agency, stated, “The UK’s space sector is flourishing, and the LEO and GEO programmes offer an exceptional opportunity for our most innovative space businesses and entrepreneurs, from all walks of life, a chance to fulfil their potential. It is vital that we continue to support the most ambitious talent creating space-based solutions to global problems, who also catalyse investment into the sector, and work to keep the UK at the forefront of this thriving industry. We look forward to following the progress of these programmes come to life.”
The UK Space Agency Accelerator is offering 20 fully funded places for selected participants in the LEO programme and 5 in the GEO programme. The accelerator meticulously selects individuals who are poised to disrupt the industry and leave a lasting impact. Previous LEO and GEO programme alumni include D-Orbit, Quantum-Dice, and Lumi Space. The programme is now welcoming applications from the next cohort of visionary space entrepreneurs, with the aim of driving innovation, fostering economic growth, and increasing diversity in the UK space sector.
In pursuit of greater diversity, the UK Space Agency Accelerator is actively encouraging more female entrepreneurs to apply to the programme. While the 2020 Space Census by Space Skills Alliance indicated that women accounted for 29% of the space workforce, the number of female entrepreneurs in the space sector remains low. The accelerator aims to address this gender gap and welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds, including those transitioning into the space industry from adjacent sectors such as marketing, finance, design, IT, or architecture. With a growing space sector where 80% of income is derived from commercial activities, there are abundant opportunities for individuals to make the transition and contribute to bridging the diversity gap in the industry.
Portia Bircher, Local Growth Manager at the UK Space Agency Accelerator, emphasised the importance of inclusivity: “The UK Space Agency Accelerator is all about supporting great people to build great businesses and, as part of our mission to grow the UK space sector, we are keen to engage with start-ups from diverse backgrounds, including those developed by female entrepreneurs. There has been a lot of good work done in recent years to attract more women into the space sector, but we still receive fewer applications from female founders. We are committed to taking an inclusive approach by reaching out to entrepreneurs with space-applicable technologies across all sorts of business areas, to explore the space sector as a potential market.”
Participants in the UK Space Agency Accelerator programmes will benefit from a robust support infrastructure designed to accelerate their entrepreneurial journeys. They will receive guidance from seasoned industry experts through the accelerator’s extensive network of partners, including Frazer-Nash Consultancy, Alden Legal, Know.Space, and Satellite Finance Network. What sets these programmes apart is their unique focus on nurturing entrepreneurial mindsets and fostering growth-oriented attitudes, both of which are pivotal for achieving business success. The programmes also encompass personal development, equipping entrepreneurs with versatile skills to shape them into resilient business leaders and empowering them with confidence and unwavering focus on their objectives for success in the space sector.
Applications for the accelerator programmes are currently open, and the UK Space Agency Accelerator encourages entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to apply. To learn more about the LEO and GEO programmes and to submit an application, please visit https://www.ukspaceaccelerator.co.uk/our-programmes. The application window will remain open until December 1st, and the programmes are scheduled to commence on January 24th.
To find out more about the UK Space Agency Accelerator and to apply, please visit www.ukspaceaccelerator.co.uk.