‘Unicorns’ to inspire the next space entrepreneurs

Posted by pt91 at Mar 16, 2018 04:22 PM |
Exciting possibilities for start-ups in space industries explored in business event on 19 March

Issued by University of Leicester on 16 March 2018

Some of the most ambitious and high value start-ups are likely to develop in space-related industries and the University of Leicester is showing student and graduate entrepreneurs how they could create their own ‘unicorn from space’.

It is organising an event to highlight how entrepreneurs can take advantage of the growing opportunities in space, in the week that it prepares to send a team of space scientists and business experts to the GREAT Festival in Hong Kong on 24 March, organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade.

‘Unicorns’ are privately-owned start-ups with a market valuation over $1 billion. In entrepreneurship, ambitions and risks are high, but it’s an exciting world of new possibility - and nowhere is that more true than the field of space entrepreneurship.

Tech moguls like Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen are gravitating towards private space exploration. At the University of Leicester’s business event ‘Calling all Space Entrepreneurs!’ they will be asking budding ‘astropreneurs’ whether the next unicorn could come from space.

The free event on Monday 19 March is being run by the Leicester Innovation Hub at the University of Leicester and organised by the University’s Space Industries Accelerator – an incubation initiative funded by the UK Space Agency.

It will explore what sort of business opportunities there are in space and support students and graduates to grow a business venture and become a space entrepreneur. Attendees at the University’s cutting-edge George Davies Centre will hear from an inspiring guest speaker working at the heart of the space industry.

Attendees must register at https://callingspaceentrepreneurs19march18.eventbrite.com

10,000 private space companies are predicted to start up in the next decade. The global space economy market is valued at between £155 billion and £190 billion, and it is estimated to grow to £400 billion by 2030 (UK Space Growth Plan). Space entrepreneurship isn’t just about putting on an astronaut suit and leaving the atmosphere – there are opportunities in tourism, orbital 3D printing, scientific research and even zero gravity baking. It takes specialist on-ground teams to make it all happen and decades of research and technological developments to get space innovations off the ground.

Rajinder Bhuhi, Business Manager, University of Leicester – Innovation Hub, said: “Our mission is to find the region’s next student and graduate entrepreneurs and support the creation and development of innovative new businesses, including those that want to work in the exciting field of space entrepreneurship.

“If you’re looking to learn more about the opportunities in and around space entrepreneurship and you want to meet like-minded people, then this event is for you!”

The University of Leicester’s leading role in space research and technologies will be represented at the GREAT Festival of Innovation from 21 - 24 March in Hong Kong organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade. Space science researcher and aspiring astronaut Dr Suzie Imber will join representatives of the University in talking about some of the latest exciting developments to come from space science and space-enabled technologies.

It will also be an opportunity for attendees to discover more about the University’s brand new Master’s degrees from its School of Business: the MSc Entrepreneurship and MSc Innovation Management in Organisations.

The GREAT Festival of Innovation will explore how innovation impacts the way we LIVE, WORK, PLAY and LEARN with an impressive line-up of thought leaders and entrepreneurs from business, education, culture, media and technology.

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “There is a whole universe of opportunity to be found in space and we’re eager to help businesses explore it. Whether you are observing a distant supernova or the traffic jams on Earth, processing data from a space probe or from a weather satellite on your mobile phone, space-enabled technology is affecting your everyday life and we are still at the tip of the iceberg of what it can achieve.”

The Space Industries Accelerator is one of the newest members of the UK Space incubators network that the UK Space Agency has established across the UK. Colin Baldwin, Head of Local Growth Strategy at the UK Space Agency said: “We are delighted to add the University of Leicester’s Space Industries Accelerator to our network. This Accelerator will equip student & graduate entrepreneurs, with the skills and support they need to turn their exciting space ideas into successful businesses.”

‘Calling all Space Entrepreneurs!’ takes place on Monday 19 March from 5pm to 8pm at the George Davis Centre, 15 Lancaster Rd, LE1 7HA. Places can be booked at: https://callingspaceentrepreneurs19march18.eventbrite.com

It will be followed by a Launchpad Weekend from 23 – 25 March where entrepreneurs can bring their ideas to life and turn them into a ready-to-launch business. Places can be booked at: https://sialaunchpadmarch18.eventbrite.co.uk


Notes to editors

UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency leads the UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. It works to ensure that our investments in science and technology bring about real benefit to the UK and to our everyday lives. The Agency is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme. As part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the UK Space Agency helps realise the government’s ambition to grow our industry’s share of the global space market to 10% by 2030.

The UK Space Agency:

  • supports the work of the UK space sector, raising the profile of space activities at home and abroad.
  • helps increase understanding of our place in the universe, through science and exploration and its practical benefits.
  • inspires the next generation of UK scientists and engineers.
  • regulates and licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft, launch operators and spaceports.
  • promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space Agency and with our international partners.

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