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The Space Academy Rome was held 9th – 10th December 2020, the third such event following successful Space Academies in Helsinki and Bremen in 2019. It was organised by project partners Cosorzio di Ricerca Hypatia and IASP – The International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation.
The initial call for start-ups closed on the 23rd of January 2020 and 10 exemplary start-ups were selected. In the light of the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns all over Europe, the Space Academy scheduled for Seville was merged with the Space Academy Rome which allowed 10 additional spaces to be created for start-ups to be selected and to access personalised services provided by the SpaceUp experts, with the final call closing on the 30th of September.
The Space Academy Rome took place on a digital platform which allowed companies to meet and interact with other delegates and experts alike, as well as attending workshops and webinars. The two-day event welcomed a total of 208 participants (including startups, experts, and investors) from 41 countries.
During the Space Academy, the 20 selected companies were divided into two groups and each of them attended a full day of one-to-one meetings with experts on key topics such as business development, IPR, funding and more. Each of the selected companies had also previously received 4 personalised reports (business model design, intellectual property rights, access to finance and human resources). On the other day of the Space Academy companies were invited to join other space tech entrepreneurs in intensive workshops on topics such as business plan development, crowdfunding, funding schemes with ESA, Artificial Intelligence, becoming investment ready and technology transfer.
The Space Academy was held back-to-back with the New Space Economy Forum on 11th-12th December, which welcomed hundreds of participants and where technical sessions focused on the potential of New Space in various sectors such as health, industry, agriculture and economy, others discussed the challenges companies face in getting funding and how to best address these, the vision for the next generation of ‘New Space’ from 6 UN regions, and the Italian space sector and the opportunities it offers. SpaceUp hosted a successful webinar embedded in the NSE forum, focusing on Finance for Space-tech Scaleups.
The selected SpaceUp companies were given the chance to enter a pitch competition sponsored by E. Amaldi Foundation and the Italian Space Agency. Neutron Start Systems UG won best ScaleUp and Picosats won the prize for best StartUp.
We look forward to the next Space Academy in Paris, 8th – 9th March. The call for applications for start-ups and entrepreneurs is currently open until the 7th of January.