Get answers on your questions!
GENERAL & ADMIN
How long is the SpaceFounders accelerator program?
Our program is a high-end and valuable 3-month program.
Is the program in presence or virtual?
Both. The SpaceFounders program is a hybrid program with a mix of on-site and offline sessions. There are two intensive weeks on-site, one in Toulouse - France, and one in Munich - Germany. In between, we provide you with several virtual sessions, such as Impulse Sessions from space and business experts and keynotes from inspirational speakers.
The SpaceFounders team is in permanent contact with you, ensuring you get the most out of the program and connect with the right mentors.
At the end of the program, we organize exclusive demo days in vibrant finance cities. This allows you to pitch in front of potential investors and anchor customers.
Combining on-site and online sessions allow you to get the most of the program, from high-end sessions from European experts to effective networking through exclusive events.
Do I have to attend the accelerator during the whole three months?
We designed our 3-month program in order to provide the best possible experience and developed a curriculum with various interconnected sessions. It is an intensive and immersive program that requires a complete commitment from our applicants. Therefore it is mandatory to attend all sessions of the program.
Which team member of the startup should attend the program?
The SpaceFounders program is designed for the startups’ founder(s) and possibly C-level executives.
Are you providing accommodation during the program?
We are committed to organize the most valuable experience during our on-site gatherings. We will provide a list of hotels and accommodations with preferred rates for the duration of your stay. But the cost of the housing is not covered by the program.
Are you providing office space during the program?
Yes. For the on-site weeks, we provide the startup's office space, which can also be used for personal or customer meetings. If you want to extend your stay and therefore need an office on-site, send us a message, and we will make the arrangements.
Who is behind SpaceFounders, and why are you running that program?
SpaceFounders is jointly initiated and run by the Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES) and the University of the Bundeswehr Munich and proudly supported by various partners such as DLR and ESA. We are space enthusiasts, love to explore new spaces and support startups in getting space frontiers.
Find more on our website About us.
Where are our offices located?
Our offices are located in Toulouse - France, and Munich - Germany. Check our website for our exact address. You're always welcome to drop by - text us, and we will arrange a tour!
Can you help us with a visa if required?
Sure - we are happy to assist as much as we can.
Can I apply if my startup's founders are not European citizens?
Yes, the nationality of your founders has no impact as long as the startup is incorporated in a European state and fulfill our other eligibility criteria.
Can I participate if my startup is not incorporated in a European Union member state?
Definitely, yes! Our mission is to accelerate the most promising European space tech startups - therefore, our program is open for all startups incorporated in Europe, and not only limited to startups e.g. based in EU member state countries. All European startups are welcome to participate!
I'm not sure if my startup and/or technology suits the accelerator program - what should I do?
No worries! We'll help you out on that - get in touch with our team, and we'll figure out if you match our program, as well as if we fit your roadmap.
I've already raised funding. Can I still apply?
Sure. We select space tech startups in the funding stage from Seed to Series A+. Each promotion has many companies who have already raised over €1M.
How can I apply?
Startups can apply directly through our application form on our website (apply here). To get started it's necessary to first setup your account in our application tool. Once you've done this, you are ready to complete our application questionnaire - this will only take 5 minutes! Please also have your complete (investor) pitch deck in pdf format ready to upload. Our team is available for any assistance during the application process should you have any questions.
How does the application process look like?
We have a 3-step application process in order to find the best-fitting startups for our program.
Online Application: Complete our application form and upload your pitch deck
Virtual Live Pitch: Our evaluators will screen and review all applications. The best fitting startups will then have the opportunity to pitch in front of our selection jury followed by a brief Q&A session.
Selection: Based on your pitch and application we will decide which companies are accepted into our program. Successful applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program, and details on next steps will be provided.
To be accepted for the SpaceFounders accelerator program, your startup will be evaluated on the following criteria:
Founders & team: key expertise and track record of the founding team, vision and capacity to execute, adequacy of know-how and resources vs ambitions
Product offer: value proposition, maturity of the product/solution, key technologies, level of innovation, economic model & scalability
Market fit: market size & dynamics, sustainability of the market share, market positioning, competitive landscape, solidity of the go-to-market & commercial strategy
Financials: attractive business plan, valid financial needs, growth perspectives
Is my intellectual property protected?
A Non-Disclosure Agreement will cover any information provided during the application process.
I previously did already apply for the program and got rejected. Can I apply again?
Of course! We receive many applications and have a very selective process with a limited number of accepted startups. If you've applied before and not gotten in, we strongly encourage you to apply again. So give it another (moon) shot (especially if you made progress since your last application).
COST & FUNDING
Is there a program fee for the startups participating in the program?
There is no program fee for the startups participating in our SpaceFounders program. All costs associated with our program are covered by the sponsors of the program, CNES & UniBw.
The only cost not covered is related to the travel and accommodation fees for the on-site sessions in Toulouse and Munich as well as for the demo day(s).
We are happy to assist with the flights and hotels bookings.
Do I get funding within the program?
At the end of our SpaceFounders program, you will get the opportunity to present your startup and project in front of top European investors. This is a unique opportunity for you to access funding.
Additionally, as we strongly believe in our program and the startups we select, investing in your startup will be considered with the highest interest and discussed with you, depending on your needs.
What should I consider when my startup participates in the accelerator?
The program stands and falls with you and your commitment. We have done our best to give you the best program possible, and in return, we expect you to give back the same promise. The program is designed to be manageable in addition to your operational responsibilities in your company. Therefore, we require you to attend all workshops, impulse sessions and gatherings and be open and willing to share and take tips from our experts.
What workshop and impulse session topics are covered by the program?
We designed our program to give you the best experience and developed a curriculum with various sessions that build upon each other. Generally, our program can be classified into three general focuses: Scan, Boost and Fund. Within these focus areas, we have several inputs on topics such as market fit, go-to-market strategy, technical road mapping, how to win public contracts, space program management, manufacturing and AIT or pitch training.
What can I expect from the mentoring sessions?
We have engaged experts and space enthusiasts as our mentors, and they will do their best to support and advise you on all your upcoming questions. Use them to challenge your startup and yourself and get views from different angles and perspectives to improve your business.
What language is used in the program?
The primary language we use in verbal and written communications during our accelerator program is English. However, many of our mentors and experts speak other languages, such as French or German.
How can I become a mentor in your program?
Pretty easy: send us a message and tell us how you can contribute and what expertise you can bring to the table. We'll be happy to count a new member in our SpaceFounders community.
What are the tasks of a mentor with you?
You offer your expertise and knowledge to our participants. During our program, startups will get the opportunity to book one-to-one sessions with you based on their needs and your fields of expertise. Startups usually have specific questions for you or about certain topics in their startup. Just be open and try to assist them in driving their business forward in the best possible way.
What qualifications do I need to be a mentor with you?
Actually nothing special. We are always looking for outstanding personalities, industry experts and space enthusiasts to extend our community.
How often would my involvement as a mentor be necessary?
That’s up to you! Our program lasts a total of 10 weeks. During this time, startups can book mentoring hours with you. You self determine your availability and the level of your involvement. A minimum of 10 hours of mentoring is recommended.