Dear friends of space entrepreneurship:

Hope this finds you well, and all are enjoying the onset of summer.


After several months of negotiating, planning, and organizing, I can officially say we are ON for the first live-stage NewSpace Business Plan Competition since 2019!

And it will be our first true “international” event, as we are going be a part of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), in Paris, September 18-22.  

We at the Center have been working with some great people at the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), and that organization’s Entrepreneurship and Investment Committee (EIC) for a very long time, now, to make this happen.  As a member of this committee since 2008, myself, I have long wanted to promote the BPC as something the EIC should be promoting as an official IAC event.  At long last, the stars are aligned to make this a reality, and I want to thank everyone involved who worked to make this happen, including the past EIC Chair Ken Davidian, to whom I first proposed this initiative, and Nancy Wolfson, the current Chair, and under her leadership, the BPC reached the goal line. She is also acting as a coordinator and contributing with her managerial experience to the development of the various aspects of this BPC.

Officially, the event will be a part of IAC-Paris, 2022, and it is titled
“NewSpace Business Plan Competition and Entrepreneur Bootcamp.”

PRIZES:  Here is the exciting part! I’m happy to announce that will be awarding the first $10,000 of Grand Prize money to the winner of the Paris BPC!  But this is only the beginning. We are reaching out to fellow space advocacy organizations and potential corporate and institutional sponsors to also “add to the pot”, as it were.  With some effort and a bit of luck, by Sept 18, that Grand Prize award could be a lot higher.  So stay tuned for updates!

IAC is the big space event of the year, with 4800 papers submitted, and to date, 6300 estimated attendees. Everyone in reach of this mailing should check it out and consider going.  6300 space geeks, from all over the world, getting together to share ideas for an entire week…well, what can I say?  Sounds like heaven on earth for me! 

Bottom line…if you have a space startup, and are already considering attending IAC, this year, now is the time to apply, and be considered as a Finalist. Applications are open, and the deadline is August 7.

(SPECIAL NOTE:  If you participated in any of our virtual BPCs in 2021 or 2022, and intend to attend IAC, you can apply again, and potentially get exposure to a much larger audience!)



Our first two judges for the NewSpace Business Plan Competition and Entrepreneurs Bootcamp, Paris, 2022 are now confirmed.

Candace Johnson:  

Ms. Johnson is a global infrastructure, network and innovation expert and entrepreneur. She is co-initiator of SES/ASTRA and architect of SES Global, one of the world’s largest satellite systems. She is also founding President of Europe Online Investments S.A., the world’s first internet-based online service and satellite broadband network, and founder of Loral Cyberstar-Teleport Europe, Europe’s first independent private trans-border satellite communications network. Ms. Johnson is also founding President of the VATM, the Association of Private Telecom Operators in Germany and founding President of the Global Telecom Women’s Network (GTWN). Ms. Johnson is also President of Johnson Paradigm Ventures (JPV) which is a principal founding shareholder with AXA, Caisse des Depots, Bayerische Landesbank, and the SPEF of Sophia Euro Lab, Europe’s first trans-border early-stage investment company based in Sophia Antipolis. JPV is also a principal founding shareholder in London-based Ariadne Capital, “Architecting”, one of the earliest supporters and promoters of Skype, the global VoIP phenomenon. Ms. Johnson has served as Founding Member of the Boards of both companies.

Dennis Stone:

Mr. Stone is Volunteer President of the World Space Week Association. Under his leadership, WSW grew into largest space event in the world with over 3,700 events in 80 nations. Mr. Stone has had a profession space career of 40 years in engineering, management, commercialization, and international relations.  At NASA today he is Project Executive of the Commercial Space Capabilities Office which provides NASA expertise to the commercial space industry.  He helped manage NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, which invested in capabilities of SpaceX and Orbital Sciences to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).  


There will be at least 3 more judges to be announced in the next week or two, so stay tuned for further announcements about this, and the NewSpace BPC in Paris.

UPDATE, 7/2/22:   We are happy to announce we have a third judge confirmed for the Paris BPC!

Joerg Kriesel

Joerg has been serving the space industry in multiple roles for 35 years, and has dealt with early-stage finance for more than 30 years.  He currently holds stakes in several space-related startups in different countries. Joerg is Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics AIAA, moreover, he is founding member and Vice-Chair of the Entrepreneurship and Investment Committee EIC and member of the International Program Committee IPC of the IAF as well as Associate Editor of the NewSpace journal.


I do have to conclude, however, on a bit of a sad note, which is to announce the loss of an incredible man, consummate engineer, and tireless space advocate, Brad Blair. I got to work with him, briefly, a few years back, on a special project.  His ideas were great,  and his energy was unsurpassed. He will be sorely missed.

I know you haven’t heard from us for awhile, because of everything that has been going on in the background.  But the announcements are going to be fast and furious, for the next three months or so. Stay tuned. 

All the best,

Thomas Andrew Olson
Co-Founder and Chair
Center for Space Commerce and Finance
DeLand, FL, USA