Skyrora Space Technologies wins the July 2019 NewSpace Business Plan Competition. Pictured from left to right:
Skyrora’ Anfisa Anikushina, CSCF Founder Meagan Crawford
Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary will be very memorable for one space startup with its own “moonshot” goals for affordable launch systems. Skyrora Space Technologies has won the NewSpace Business Plan Competition (NSBPC), a “Shark Tank” style contest for commercial space startups. Skyrora, a Scotland-based firm, is working to provide cost-effective and reliable launch services to low-earth orbit. The company was awarded $2,500 and well-deserved recognition for its vision and accomplishments.
During the challenge, Skyrora’s Anfisa Anikushina presented two rockets in development, including the Skyrora 1 main suborbital rocket and Skyrora XL three-stage rocket. Skyrora is also working to make launches greener with the use of hydrogen peroxide oxidizers, ideal for the volatile weather conditions of Scotland.
“The winners had a sophisticated business plan with a realistic pathway to building revenue in a burgeoning market that is ripe for this kind of service,” said Richard Godwin, Venture Partner at Starbridge Venture Capital.
St. Louis-based Stofiel Aerospace, a balloon-based small satellite launch startup, earned the $1,000 Audience Choice Award. 13-year old Belladonna Stofiel presented the business plan.
“What started out as a project to me and my dad became so much bigger. It’s now a family,” Stofiel said. “Three generations of our family have come together to present an image of the future of spaceflight and technology.”
The four other finalists were Blue Asteroids, Exodus Space Corporation, Green Launch and Phoenix Launch Systems.
Space is one of the most difficult of businesses to enter. NSBPC finalists demonstrated they are on a positive trajectory toward making their vision a reality. Prior to the competition, the finalists were also provided with the opportunity to go through a virtual accelerator and attended a day-long bootcamp on pitching investors.
The competition is organized by the Center for Space Commerce and Finance and generously sponsored by the Heinlein Prize Trust for commercial space, with additional support from SpaceFund, SSL, the Space Entrepreneur Summit, Brand Delta-V and the New World Institute.
The competition was held at the NewSpace Conference in Seattle, an annual event for space startups, established companies and government agencies along with private and tech investors.
About the Center for Space Commerce and Finance
The Center for Space Commerce and Finance (CSCF) is a Texas-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused catalyzing the growth of the NewSpace economy. CSCF develops educational programs, events, and publications focused on connecting and educating entrepreneurs and investors, with the goal of increasing investment deal flow in the commercial space industry. Our founders and team have been spearheading the development of the space economy for the last 30 years, including building, developing, and investing in space businesses. CSCF is built on this wealth of experience, with the goal of providing the industry’s most definitive resource for both entrepreneurs and investors.
About the NewSpace Business Plan Competition
The flagship project of CSCF is the NewSpace Business Plan Competition. Over 200 companies have participated in this educational program to date, gaining real-world fundraising experience and practical advice on how to improve their business models. Since 2006, the competition has awarded over $350,000 in prizes to promising startups. Along the way, more than 60 companies were publicly showcased to investors and customers, catalyzing millions in deal flow.
About the Heinlein Prize Trust
The Heinlein Prize Trust honors the memory of Robert A. Heinlein, a renowned American author. The purpose of the Heinlein Prize is to encourage and reward progress in commercial space activities that advances Robert and his wife Virginia’s dream of humanity’s future in space. Efforts include: The Heinlein Prize for Accomplishments in Commercial Space Activities, The Microgravity Research Competition, The Heinlein Commercial Space Activity Prize, and The “Flight Into the Future” international contests.
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