Space Commerce

Orbital Reef’s Reef Starter Announces Innovation Challenge to Increase Access to Space for Startups

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
Orbital Reef
September 22, 2022
Filed under , , ,
Orbital Reef’s Reef Starter Announces Innovation Challenge to Increase Access to Space for Startups
Orbital Reef
Orbital Reef

Reef Starter today announced applications have opened for the first annual Reef Starter Innovation Challenge. The global challenge, in partnership with TechConnect, will select several early-stage companies to receive awards of up to $100,000 and customized workshops with the Orbital Reef team to accelerate their access to space.

Startup applicants from various sectors are invited to demonstrate how they will leverage a low Earth orbit (LEO) destination, including its unique resources such as the microgravity environment and hard vacuum, to introduce new innovations in space for the benefit of Earth. The unique properties of Earth’s orbit provide a wide range of potential benefits in multiple markets, including biopharma, materials science, agriculture, in-space manufacturing, and quantum.

“This Reef Starter Innovation Challenge supports our goal of creating a vibrant community of innovators on Orbital Reef, truly commercializing LEO,” said Shahir Gerges, Director of Business Strategy for Orbital Reef. “The winners of this challenge will create new products and services only possible in space.”

Reef Starter was established to reduce barriers of entry for startups to become users of Orbital Reef, the commercially developed, owned, and operated space station to be built in LEO. The Orbital Reef team is increasing awareness of the benefits of in-space operations for commercial business, providing expertise to advance the next generation of solutions and sparking investment in innovative ideas.

“We created the Reef Starter Innovation Challenge to make a broader impact on the startup community,” said Hyder Alabed, Head of Reef Starter for Orbital Reef. “There’s a wide range of startup sectors that can benefit from working in microgravity, and we’re excited for the opportunity to support founders building in these diverse industries.”

Innovative companies and aspiring founders with solutions that can leverage an in-space environment are encouraged to apply. Winners will be announced on December 6, 2022.

Visit here for more details on the challenge, application process, and opportunities in microgravity.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.