Since 2013, CASIS has partnered with business accelerator programs to explore how research and technology development in low Earth orbit might give startup companies a competitive edge. Through participation in programs such as MassChallenge (a leading international business accelerator) and Rice Business Plan Competition (in partnership with Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship), as well as regular interactions with several others, the ISS National Lab serves as a business incubator—providing a path for entrepreneurs to improve their products or services and shorten time to market.
- The Technology in Space PrizeEach year, CASIS and Boeing partner with MassChallenge to sponsor the Technology in Space Prize, a competition to support entrepreneurial use of the ISS for innovative research and development. Since its inception, the prize has provided $8.8 million in funding to 26 startups for projects across materials science, technology development, and life sciences.
- The business case for space research
Companies awarded through these programs, sponsored by the ISS National Lab early on in their business activities, have grown to secure larger public-sector grants and private-sector investments to continue their efforts. They have also been featured in prominent media outlets such as CNN, Fierce Biotech, and GeekWire.
Credit: Data from Discovery, Crunchbase, sec.gov, sbir.gov; ISS National Lab data and analysis
Award of a flight project is a key indicator of economic value creation for startup companies using the ISS National Lab for R&D. Technology in Space Prize awardees have raised close to $190 million toward their future growth post award.
Below, learn more about the success of these companies and the role of the ISS National Lab in economic value creation for startups.