Student Business Plan Competition
2012 Project Managers: Sara Meschberger (SFF), Michael Zwach (SEDS)
The Student NewSpace Business Plan Competition seeks out proposals for space industry or space-scalable businesses from students who would like to pitch their idea to NewSpace investors and business leaders. This competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students from any university or college and more than one team is allowed from each university. It is highly encouraged that engineers and scientists work with business students to fulfill both the product development and proposal writing portions of the competition.
The 2012 student competition will take place at SpaceVision 2012 in Buffalo, NY on Friday, November 10th. First place, Second Place and Third Place will be awarded cash prizes, prize amounts will be announced at a later date. In addition to the first place cash prize, the winner will also be given registration for NewSpace 2013 in Silicon Valley, CA and one gala ticket as well as be presented as the winner.
The 2012 Competition Official Rules can be found here.
If you have any questions please contact:
Sara Meschberger: email@example.com
Michael Zwach: firstname.lastname@example.org
The first step is to fill out the Letter of Intent form by October 6th, 2012.
The 2011 student competition took place at SpaceVision 2011 in Boulder, CO on Friday, October 28th. First place prize was $1,000 and automatic entry to the NewSpace 2012 Business Plan Competition, Second place was $500, and third place was $250.
2011 Competition Official Rules can be found here.
2011 Contest Winners:
1st Place, $1,000: Illinois State University
Leader: Wahab Alshahin
Abstract: This is a business proposal for the development of a launch service for small-scale payloads (< 50kg) into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Although this concept has been proposed several times within the space industry and the government, it has never come to fruition. In 2001 the United States Air Force outlined a Mission Need Statement (MNS) for a Responsive Access, Small Cargo, and Affordable Launch (RASCAL) demonstration to place small satellites into LEO with a launch efficiency of less than $20,000/kg. However, the program was halted in 2005 due to unexpected cost risks associated with the preliminary design phase proposal. Nearly seven years later, there have been various launch systems developed capable of launching payloads on the order of 500-750 kg, but there is yet to be developed a dedicated and cost-effective launch system capable of putting 50-75 kg into LEO. Today more than ever, a system of this type could revolutionize the ability to launch small payloads into space and meet a huge consumer demand for this service. The solution is an air-to-launch service of a small scale rocket mounted under a re-serviced aircraft. This is not only a more cost effective solution but offers great launch flexibility and responsiveness. The system would operate much like the current Pegasus launch vehicle, so there is history of success with this type of system. The notion of offering a scaled down service for smaller payloads is a novel idea that again reiterates the consumer demand and competitive edge that is gained by being the first company to develop this small scale payload launch system.
2nd Place, $500: University of Arizona
Leaders: John Kidd, Nathan Mogk, Joel Mueting, Eric Sahr and Danny Pagano
Abstract: Development and operation of a growing constellation of satellites which will target and remove space debris. Targets will be chosen by national space agencies which will subcontract the task of debris collection to this entity, funded by the entity responsible for the original device which created the debris. Satellites will be designed to minimize operational costs. Infrastructure will be investigated which will allow satellite consumables (fuel) to be restocked and debris to be collected centrally. Debris will either be destroyed or recycled, depending upon further trade studies.
3rd Place, $250: University at Buffalo SEDS
Leaders: Andrew Dianetti, Nikita Butakov, Thaddeus Low, Michael D’Angelo
Abstract: Samples of lunar material are very rare on Earth. Only a very limited supply – less than 400 kg – was returned by Apollo and Russian Luna missions. These samples are considered priceless, and other than the few grams returned by Russian missions and those distributed to museums and heads of state, all are property of the US government. Our company endeavors to bring lunar samples back to earth from different geographic areas of the moon, and to make these available commercially. We strive to lower the cost of lunar material and make it more widely available. For a human settlement on the moon to be successful, mankind will need to learn to use materials available on the moon in as many ways as possible. Numerous concepts and proposals exist for the use of moon materials to sustain a human settlement, but these are only in the conceptual phase. By increasing the availability of lunar samples on earth, groundbreaking research and development can be done in these areas, enabling future human settlement.