Support for start-ups is key to win space race


Albuquerque Journal, By Casey Deraad / Sponsor, New Mexico Angels; Founder & CEO, New Space New Mexico. Published Oct 1, 2022

Editor’s Note: Throughout 2022, New Mexico Angels’ members, investors and startup owners will be writing columns on economic development and startup opportunities in the state. The Angels unite individual investors to pool their resources, providing seed and early-stage capital to startup companies.

The space race is back on.

Winning it will require addressing the barriers companies face in launching their new products into space.

I founded NewSpace New Mexico with this purpose. As a former leader of the Air Force Research Laboratory Technology Engagement Office, I witnessed how challenging it could be for companies to understand and navigate to resources that can help them grow and succeed.

Through our cooperation with the space companies, convening industry forums and co-innovating with hundreds of space leaders across the nation, we try to get at the root causes that result in too many companies becoming stuck in the industry-acknowledged “Valley of Death.” It has come back loud and clear that the biggest challenge preventing more companies from succeeding is having a support system that goes beyond the research and development stage.

We recently launched NewSpace Ignitor, which is funded in partnership with AFRL, to address these concerns by providing a complete support system for companies as they move from concept to product to sales. The incubator-like program will provide unprecedented levels of post-R&D support to early-stage, small and mid-sized companies. This support will give companies what they need to turn their innovations into revenue-generating products.

Supporting companies across the full innovation lifecycle is incredibly complex and will require us to all work together to leverage the vast resources already thriving in our state. Our rich space ecosystem in New Mexico includes a purpose-built spaceport, two leading national laboratories, universities and three Space Force organizations that work in the state — the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, the Air Force Research Laboratory and Space Systems Command. It also includes a growing ecosystem of space-enabling entities, such as Q Station and the Hyperspace Challenge, plus investment capital organizations like our partner New Mexico Angels.

Read full article here.