From: Center on Rural Innovation (CORI)
Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2020
Today, the CORI Innovation Fund (CIF) announced an investment in Agile Space Industries (Agile), a designer and manufacturer of integrated aerospace propulsion systems and provider of related testing services. CIF is a Qualified Opportunity Fund that invests in high-growth technology companies supporting job creation and revenue generation in small towns across America. The fund is pleased to support Agile, based in Durango, CO, a community that is part of the Center on Rural Innovation’s Rural Innovation Network. CIF is participating in this funding round that will provide Agile with capital to expand its additive manufacturing and propulsion testing capabilities.
“Agile is transforming the space propulsion industry and bringing new jobs and economic growth to the Durango community,” said Jay Bockhaus, Managing Partner of CIF. “We are excited to participate in funding the company’s innovative technology development that significantly reduces time and cost to implementation for specialized space propulsion systems.”
Agile designs, manufactures and tests propulsion systems for satellites as well as lunar and inter-planetary spacecraft. Coming from a career in hypergolic propulsion development at Rocketdyne and Boeing, Agile co-founder Daudi Barnes recognized the need for responsive, highly-diagnostic test capabilities for in-space rocket propulsion systems. Intrigued by the potential of additive manufacturing (3-D printing) to lower the cost and lead times of space propulsion systems, Agile began an initiative in 2018 to manufacture and test its own proprietary propulsion systems. The combination of lower cost additive manufacturing and a dedicated test facility allows the company to create and iterate rocket engine prototypes in a matter of months, a fraction of the timeframe of multi-year legacy processes.
Agile co-founder and CEO, Jeffrey Max said, “Agile was founded on the principle of combining focused ambition with mindfully practical expediency. We are grateful for the opportunity to utilize this capital to enhance our infrastructure and hire additional talent to push the limits of functionality and efficiency within the space propulsion industry.”
Founded by industry veterans with decades of experience, Agile is delivering disruptive innovation to the in-space propulsion market. Combining the country’s only independent propulsion test facility with additive manufacturing (3-D printing using exotic metal alloys), Agile delivers innovative propulsion systems and components at a fraction of the time, cost and weight of traditional legacy manufacturers. The Company was founded around its heritage propulsion test facility, an industry resource for over a decade. In combination with its additive manufacturing capabilities, Agile’s rapid design-build-test cycles allow for incredible innovation, mission optimization, and industry lowest cost – with previously undeliverable timelines.
About the CORI Innovation Fund
The CORI Innovation Fund (CIF) invests in growth businesses located in Qualified Opportunity Zones in the United States to enhance economic growth and job creation in small communities. CIF seeks out attractive technology-enabled operating businesses in rural geographies that are under-served by traditional venture capital institutions and identifies, funds, and supports the best tech entrepreneurs American small towns have to offer. For more information visit http://www.corifund.com.
About the Center on Rural Innovation
The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) is a dynamic social enterprise solving America’s rural economic crisis by empowering small towns to build thriving digital economies. CORI’s three major initiatives form a comprehensive approach to catalyzing the digital jobs that drive sustainable economic success: the Rural Innovation Network, made up of 20 small communities nationwide dedicated to digital economic development; the Rural Opportunity Map, which incorporates hundreds of datasets to highlight promising rural areas; and the CORI Innovation Fund, which provides needed capital to innovative but underserved rural entrepreneurs. For more information visit www.ruralinnovation.us.
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