CNES and Bundeswehr University Munich (UniBw) are partnering to launch SpaceFounders, a French-German accelerator programme looking to help the best European space tech start-ups become world leaders in the decade ahead.
SpaceFounders is a highly intensive, high-quality programme that runs for 10 weeks, with on-site sessions and workshops in the European aerospace capitals Toulouse and Munich, and on-line conferences and mentoring sessions. The programme concludes with two Demo Days in Paris and Berlin where start-ups get to meet a broad panel of venture capital funds, European family offices and public lending institutions, and thus obtain the financing they need to develop their business.
Start-ups selected for the programme are backed by CNES’s strong network and infrastructures, as well as those at UniBw. They also get support from exclusive partners like the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre DLR. SpaceFounders is able to tap into a unique community of more than 100 mentors from among the top players in the European space and digital ecosystem, offering start-ups tailored assistance in technical, business and financial areas.
The SpaceFounders programme breaks down into three phases:
• A SCAN phase focused on identifying each start-up’s strengths and weaknesses and establishing an action plan with technical and business experts
• A BOOST phase aimed at accelerating start-ups, notably through access to customers, partners, suppliers and key resources
• A FUND phase to help start-ups find funding, including sessions to perfect their pitch skills in preparation for Demo Days with investors
For its first class, SpaceFounders is selecting 10 start-ups from among the best in Europe. Applications are open until 13 June 2021 and the winning candidates will be announced early in July. Entrepreneurs will then be invited to Munich at the start of September for the launch of the programme, which will end with the SpaceFounders Demo Day in Paris on 18 November.
Commenting on the launch, CNES Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste said: “I am especially glad to announce the launch of SpaceFounders, which meshes perfectly with CNES’s roadmap to further European cooperation, drive innovation, support the space tech ecosystem and nurture future business champions. With our German partners, we will be putting our best talents to work to serve this great project.”
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