Earlier this month we announced a stellar new partnership with Startmate to facilitate space startups in Australia as a part of the Startmate Melbourne cohort this July.

Together we’ve put together a specially tailored program specifically to support space startups, providing value in ways that other accelerators around the world cannot. This is why before Moonshot had a name we said that an accelerator specifically for space startups is essential for the global space economy!

Our goal in this alliance is to find high-caliber space startups and prepare them for a seed or Series A level investment — and if you need to raise to scale and capture an international market, we help you secure it.

Hence, graduates of our Gemini Ideator might find that the bar for entry is a couple of steps up above where they graduated as very early startup founders. Many startups of Startmate have already raised funding and have participated in other accelerators before they apply for a Startmate accelerator.

A little background on Startmate

Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList, ranks Startmate alongside Y Combinator and Techstars as one of the top five accelerators in the world. The Economist listed Startmate as one of the top accelerators in the world based on follow-on funding for alumni.

If you are a space founder and think you might be too far along the startup journey, we urge you to have a look at the Startmate blog to see the kind of caliber of teams who generally participate in Startmate.

Startmate is unusual in that it’s valuable for startups that have raised money before — although it’s not a requirement. In 2017, 85% of the Startmate teams had already raised funding, and there have also been teams who were making $25k+ MRR when they joined.

This all makes sense when you check out the background of the amazing Startmate mentors — who are also the investors who contribute to the seed funding.

Startmate is considered by many as one of the top accelerators in the world largely because of the dedication and passion of these mentors and the success and mateship of those in the alumni network.

Analogous to an MBA alumni network of a prestigious institution on steroids, joining these highly experienced and successful entrepreneurs and investors from across Australia and Silicon Valley is a priceless opportunity.

What will Moonshot add for space companies?

Moonshot exists to make space easy.

It is our business to know what it takes to develop space hardware when you’re not a traditional space agency, and instead you’re a minimally funded group of founders working from a garage.

We know what challenges you need to overcome that are different to other startups, such as when you’re trying to secure insurance for your small satellite, to enable you to apply for government launch approval, so you can pay a few hundred grand to put your satellite onto a rocket into space, ultimately just to see whether your prototype will actually function in space. We know even with access to money that this can take a lot of time.

We’re constantly working to reduce the friction on aspects like this for our founders and startups, so that it will be quicker and cheaper for you to progress and grow, and with less chance of you running out of runway while trying to navigate the regulation and politics of the space industry.

In essence: we make space easy.

Our goal is to give you a platform where we’ll work with you so your space startup is no more difficult to build than a terra firma startup. This includes the space expert mentors who we are bringing along to engage with the program. Here’s a sneak peak at the incomplete list of our accelerator mentor team for this accelerator:

This list is just the tip of the ice-burg. We will also at times be drawing from our international space network of mentors, friends and organisations spanning the space ecosystems of Europe, Asia, Oceania, and North America. Currently, that’s over 120 people!

I have a space startup. What are the terms?

You’ll get a $75k investment, made up by two SAFE notes issued each from Startmate (the mentors), and Blackbird VC.

The SAFE notes are identical, and you can find a template here.

If you have already raised more than $250k, then the terms of the investment will be the same as that of your last round.

Some teams will be interested to note that Blackbird VC led the investments in Australia’s first two commercial space investments, Fleet Space Technologies and Gilmour Space Technologies. They have also just launched a $225m fund for startups with massively ambitious visions, and are very eager to see more space startups join their portfolio.

I’m international. Why Australia?

Australia is a pretty cool place. We have kangaroos, beaches, and a blank slate for a 21st century industry led space ecosystem for which the federal government is pumping money into and building an agency specifically to grow and coordinate commercial growth and international partnerships.

Check out this Q&A we hosted with the leaders behind the new agency just last week.

Melbourne from the Yarra River

Melbourne has a population larger than Los Angeles but with an area many times smaller. Despite population density on par with NYC, it’s not chance that it has been voted the most livable city for the last 7 years in a row.

It has a thriving startup community, is world-renowned for its strength in GIS, spatial information systems, and is the only overseas location for a Lockheed Martin research laboratory; selected because Melbourne has one of the most advanced university research centers.

How do we apply?

Easy. It will take you no more than an hour to complete the application here. It’s due on Thursday AEST.

We recommend you include a short video, but it’s fine to keep it lo-fi and simple. A single take with a smart phone is more than enough.

Next, if you make the shortlist, we’ll invite you to an interview on June 13. If you successfully impress the mentors and you make the final cut, you should expect to be in Australia by July 9 for the start of the program.

Good luck!

Apply for Startmate meets Moonshot before May 31