eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship

Join the Flying Hybrid, Google Lunar X PRIZE Contestant, Inventor of the Year, and SBIR Grant Winners to Usher in Era of Commercial Space Growth

  • Financial grants of up to $20,000 provided in seed funding
  • CEO mentorship, office space, manufacturing facilities, agency and industrial relationships available to eSpace Incubator participants
  • Applications accepted now at

BOULDER, Colorado — February 2, 2011eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship, a non-profit business incubator and workforce development organization for aerospace start-up companies, today announced its third round call for new incubator candidates for the eSpace Incubator program.

Current participants and alumni include creators of the flying hybrid, a Google Lunar X PRIZE contestant, an Inventor of the Year, and other entrepreneurs advancing the commercialization of space technologies and supporting the development of a workforce to fuel their growth. To apply, interested parties can find the eSpace Incubator Application at

The latest call for participants demonstrates the growing interest in commercial space ventures, as well as the success of eSpace Incubator participants and alumni. Interest in commercial space transportation is burgeoning, fueled by companies such as Virgin Galactic, Armadillo Aerospace, Bigelow Aerospace, Blue Origin, and Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems Group, the eSpace partner company run by Mark Sirangelo, chairman of the eSpace board of directors. Meanwhile, federal and state government organizations are working to make public space flight a reality with projects such as New Mexico’s Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

Within this thriving space entrepreneurial environment, the eSpace Incubator is cultivating companies that are making tremendous strides toward commercializing space technologies, with accomplishments such as:

  • The Flying Hybrid – Spun out of the University of Colorado, TIGON EnerTec designs, builds and integrates hybrid propulsion systems for unmanned aircraft. The technology may also be applied to manned aviation, as well as marine and land transportation.
  • Google Lunar X PRIZE contender – Next Giant Leap (NGL) is one of the leading contenders in the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a $30M contest challenging space entrepreneurs to land a small spacecraft on the moon, maneuver it and send back data.
  • Inventor of the Year – Based in part on his work on TIGON’s hybrid engine, Professor Jean Koster was named CU-Boulder New Inventor of the Year.
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants and contracts – Blue Canyon Technologies won two Air Force Research Laboratory SBIR grants. ACTA Technologies earned a National Science Foundation SBIR grant. Zybek Advanced Products won both phase 1 and phase 2 NASA SBIRs. And NGL earned a NASA Innovative Lunar Data Demonstrations contract worth up to $10M.

“eSpace serves as the liaison among industry, government and academia to develop aerospace into a more agile, entrepreneurial industry,” said Diane Dimeff, executive director for eSpace. “The success of the eSpace Incubator and its programs demonstrates the growing interest in space entrepreneurship and an investment in the industry’s workforce. Studies show that in the next 10 years, we’ll lose 50 percent of our workforce to retirements, and we’re committed to revitalizing the workforce that will bring our space entrepreneurs’ visions to life.”

Advancing Aerospace at eSpace

The eSpace Incubator offers space entrepreneurs a unique environment that maximizes the probability of their business success. Incubator participants have access to physical space; financial grants; executive-level entrepreneurs as mentors; and aerospace infrastructure, manufacturing facilities, and established high-level agency and industrial relationships.

To further advance the era of commercial space growth, eSpace offers two additional programs:

  • eSpace Venture Design is a collaborative program between eSpace and the University of Colorado Aerospace Engineering Sciences department that provides financial grants to undergraduate and graduate student design projects. To date, eSpace has spent $200K supporting 102 students in eight different projects, one of which has transitioned into the eSpace Incubator.
  • Straight to Space develops opportunities for individuals interested and capable of contributing to the aerospace industry, but who are not currently working in aerospace. Through this workforce replacement initiative, more than 40 people have joined the ranks of aerospace workers at more than 12 entrepreneurial space companies.

For more information on eSpace, please visit, or contact Diane Dimeff at 303-630-1611 ( or Rick Ward at 303-630-1612

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Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.