First of all, who are business angels?
They are wealthy individuals with capital who want to invest in startups in exchange for ownership equity in the company. Working with a business angel usually means that the investee additionally receives advice, expertise and connections. For some startups, working with a business angel is a better alternative than trying to pursue bank lending, which is usually difficult due to the risk involved in the beginning stages of company growth. Additionally, Venture Capitalists steer away from seed capital investments and focus on companies in later stages instead.
How do angel investors find companies to invest in?
Often companies are referred by a contact in the network of the investor, they meet at entrepreneurial events or by joining a business angel network. This introduction is key to capture the interest of the investor and to continue the decision process of whether the company should be invested in or not. Usually, the investor will want to see a pitch deck and a business plan to decide if they are interested or not and conducting their own due diligence on the company.
It is important for startups to network in order to meet or be introduced to business angels. A good option for networking are pitch events and getting involved with angel investor networks.
The European Business Angel Network organises 2 large events annually which bring together investors and startups looking for funding. You can find out more on their website.
Our next Space Academy Europe on 16-18th June will be held back-to-back with the EBAN Annual Congress 2021, and 10 selected startups will have a chance to present their pitches to investors at the event. If you want it to be you, apply before 11th April!
As part of the personalised services which the 10 selected companies will receive, SpaceUp experts will provide studies of the companies on their products/services and business model design, intellectual property rights, access to finance and human resources. On 16th June, the companies will have 6 one-to-one meetings with international experts to discuss the findings and ask them questions.
Neutron Star Systems (NSS) has signed its first contract with the European Space Agency to deliver superconducting components for spacecraft. Under the agreement, the company will deliver a High-Temperature Superconductor Harness which will support the operation of advanced instrumentation for astrophysics missions. The project will be delivered in partnership with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in Germany, and the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Grenoble, France.
Implementing superconductors into the cabling systems reduces the need for cooling of spacecraft, improving the efficiency of their systems. The 18-month project, under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency, was kicked-off on the 1st February and is scheduled to run until mid-August 2022.
Competitors from abroad, such as New Zealand, Russia and China have all recognised the potential of superconductors in space applications, and have begun efforts to apply the technology to their space sectors.
Congratulations to the team of Neutron Star Systems for this remarkable achievement!
The DLR Space Administration is looking for innovative ideas and concepts leading to improved technologies, processes and applications by transferring expertise between space and other sectors. This year’s DLR Challenge focusses on:
Verifiable applications involving individual or joint proposals are eligible for funding of up to 400,000 EUR from Germany’s national space and innovation programme and on the first day of the Paris Space Week (9th March), the 10 selected start-ups will pitch in front of an ESA Space Solutions jury.
Sign up by sending a PPT/PDF with maximum 8 slides (approximately a 4 minutes pitch) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More info: https://innospace-masters.de/challenges/
The EU's enthusiasm for space is evident: just before Christmas the European Commission and Parliament approved a 14.8 billion euro budget for EU space activity. The funding for the period 2021 to 2027 includes 9 billion euros for Galileo and 5.4 billion euros for Copernicus.
These grand initiatives and intensive work at the European Space Agency are further encouraged by increased competition from the UK, USA and China.
The UK is an active member of the European Space Academy but due to it leaving the EU its relationship with the European space sector will change. While it will be able to participate in some programmes for as long as until 2028 (like the Copernicus Earth observation program) it will be no longer participate, or participate on less favourable terms, in others. Some EU members of the space sector fear that if one big players decides to leave, others will soon follow.
Even though European projects of Galileo and Copernicus have encouraged the creation of new space companies in Europe, they haven't been successful to the same extent as the US, which managed to foster globally leading companies such as SpaceX and PlanetLabs.
China was ahead of Europe in sending a robotic mission to Mars to collect samples and its space sector, something that only the Soviet Union and the US have done before.
There are areas where ESA leads the way, particularly in Earth observation thanks to the Sentinel fleet. Catching space debris and working out how to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth are another two of the growth areas for public and private initiatives in Europe. ESA is also pushing ahead with its Space Rider vehicle, an un-crewed flying machine which resembles a mini-Shuttle, and could offer commercial and institutional clients a relatively low-cost means of reaching orbit, and returning home afterwards.
However, the new Ariane 6 rocket continues to face delays. Much vaunted as a flexible new vehicle to compete in this highly-competitive market, the replacement for the heavy-lift Ariane 5 is now only due to launch in the second quarter of 2022. Arianespace has called on European governments to step up their commitment to launchers to better compete with SpaceX, which has grown rapidly on the basis of lucrative American government launch contracts.
You can read the full article here: https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/11/europe-s-space-leaders-seek-to-boost-sector-in-light-of-brexit-covid-and-international-com
There are two new opportunities available to European technology start-ups. Please apply through the links below and good luck!
NovExport: Space/digital SMEs from France, Spain and Portugal can access this acceleration programme and services including mentoring, market studies, webinars and business acceleration. More info
Deadline: 30th October
Space2Waves: European SMEs in 'blue growth' markets can access the internationalisation programme, which is targeted at expansion to Australia, Canada, South Africa and United Arab Emirates. The programme includes training, a business mission in the destination country and financial support. More info
Deadline: 5th November 2020
Spotify Technology SA co-founder Daniel Ek will invest 1 billion euros of his personal assets to fund early-stage European start-ups.
Mr Ek is hoping that improving funding opportunities to European technology start-ups will challenge the dominance of the Silicon Valley and improve prospects for the companies located in Europe. “Some of the most promising tech talent in the world automatically leaves Europe because they don’t feel valued here. We need more super-companies that raise the bar and can act as an inspiration,” he said. Read the full article here: https://www.ft.com/content/aad03856-986b-472d-b7f3-0409da6add55
When sending spacecraft to observe the sun, there is an inevitable trade-off between the quality of pictures taken from shorter distances and the damage that is inflicted on the spacecraft by light and heat. A bulk of the new Orbiter’s mass is a heat shield which protects it by directing heat to the sides and away from the spacecraft. The orbiter can not only sample the physical conditions of space around the Sun but also take direct pictures of its surface. Find out more here: https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Solar_Orbiter/The_closest_camera_to_the_Sun
Following our webinar with Alexandre Mencik, organised in conjunction with EBAN Space, the report ‘Space funding Gateway - Practical guide to public funding of space-related businesses in Europe’ has been published.
The guide provides an overview of the public funding and financial opportunities available to space-related business in Europe, with a particular focus on startups and small companies.
The report is available to read here.
In the Start-up Ecosystem EU you can find both national and European associations of tech start-ups, covering the majority of EU countries. Connect with investors, innovators and other companies and learn more about the European technology landscape. Click here to view all associations within the network: https://resources.dohertyassoc.com/european-startup-networks/
How has space technology revolutionized our everyday life and can we apply it to our business models?
People nowadays do not pay much attention to how things have changed in the last few decades and the impact that technological evolution has had in our daily lives. What is interesting about these revolutionary inventions which we take for granted, is that the groundwork for their creation derives from space related activities. Things explicitly made to improve space exploration can now be seen in our homes as well as workplaces aiding us in various activities.
One example of these innovations are phone cameras, the idea behind them was that in the year 1990 a small portable camera with scientific quality of picture taking was necessary, the technology used then is now contained in 1/3 of all cameras. Another example are Wireless Headphone sets. Created because astronauts needed to be able to move without worrying about wires while receiving important information which might be crucial in the event of crisis.
There is a collection of different space innate inventions that find use in our daily lives, but perhaps one of the most influencing discoveries which led to a significant development in distinctive sectors and industries is the internet and its effects on communication. Most of the means people use for communicating with each other and the world today, are dependent on satellites orbiting the Earth, constantly receiving and sending signals to different devices.
The idea of Internet of Thing (IoT) was developed through an embedded web technology to monitor space experiments remotely over the Internet. This connectivity of IoT means potentially taking all the things in the world and connecting them to the internet, thus leading to the constant transfer of information making things ‘smart’ and creating variety of benefits feeding off each other.
This is why we should encourage innovations in the space industry as it plays a huge role in the technological aspect of our lives. New inventions find useful and sometimes unexpected purposes in different areas, leading to creative and efficient solutions. Internet of Things serves as a good example, being applied in a business model it could lead to a higher performance and better productivity including less operating and direct cost, therefore giving the opportunity of taking a business to the next level and positively impacting the growth of the economy.