CI&E News

Don’t Get Left on the Launch Pad: Scale Your Business for Space

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

Not every company will build satellites and spacecraft that launch into orbit.

But companies in nearly every industry can grow through space-based technology applications, products and services.

Scaling a business for space refers not to growing a space business specifically, but to growing any business through:

  • Space tech transfer: the commercialization of space technologies for use on Earth
  • Space tech insertion: the application and integration of space-based technology products and services into established enterprises

Opportunities abound in multiple sectors, including productive agriculture, agile commerce and supply chains, environmental assessment and monitoring, secure communications and data transfer, enhanced security and safety, advanced manufacturing, improved education and health, consumer goods and more.

Learn More: 10 Industries You Didn’t Know Are Space-Related

Here are four things to consider when scaling your business for space.

1. Explore opportunities to commercialize space technology and data.

Tropical Cyclone-AustraliaWith barriers to entry coming down, there is no lack of companies jockeying to build satellites or launch payloads. Commercial satellite launches hit record numbers in 2022, and we already have numerous assets in space producing data.

What we sorely need are new ways to use that valuable data for the betterment of life here on Earth. We need entrepreneurial-minded and innovative companies to bring space-derived technologies to market.

Ten years ago we couldn’t have imagined GPS in everyone’s pocket. What might your company do to fill market gaps, meet needs and solve challenges using space-based assets? From agriculture apps that help farmers mitigate the effects of drought to new manufacturing techniques, the opportunities are endless.

Even better, you don’t have to start with an all-new idea. NASA maintains thousands of patents with commercial potential and makes them available to companies through its tech transfer program. This program gives businesses a jump start with technologies that are already designed and tested by some of the greatest scientific and engineering minds in the world.

Learn More: What Is Space Tech Transfer?

2. Seek out specialized education and resources.

There are particular challenges and knowledge gaps when scaling your business for space. Space Foundation’s Space Commerce Institute programs are designed to help young and high-growth companies move into space-related industries.

Recommended Resources to Start:

Growing Your Business Webinar

This session with Mark Sirangelo, CEO of Quanstar Advisors, and Tom Zelibor, CEO of Space Foundation, explores ways to expand your business by considering new space-based technology applications.

Space Adjacent Industries Workshop

Taught by space economy strategist and Space Foundation’s Vice President for Space Commerce and Entrepreneurship Kelli Kedis Ogborn, this workshop will explore how your products and services can fit into the dynamic space ecosystem in ways you might not expect.

Future of Space Entrepreneurship Course

How can you understand the evolving landscape and pinpoint the right opportunity for your company? Mark Sirangelo shares insights on technology disruption gathered throughout his space industry career.

Strategies for Growth Workshop

In this workshop for new entrants and startups, Adrian Saez covers the main tools to become part of the global space supply chain. Saez is a space economist at Santander Asset Management, with over a decade of experience in the industrial and bank sector.

3. Get the right people around you.

consultant-headshotsBuilding a strong team internally and externally is critical to success. No one person has all the necessary skills and knowledge. Bringing in trusted advisors can help ensure you’re on the right track not just financially but in terms of vision and goals. As you scale, are you still doing the right things for the right reasons?

If you require specific space industry guidance and expertise, Space Commerce Institute’s consulting services are an excellent resource. Consultants are available on a project or ad-hoc basis, making it possible to focus on targeted business growth. Areas of expertise include business development, customer acquisitions, funding, space tech transfer, supply chain, engineering and manufacturing.

4. Stay laser-focused.

Passion is one of the best things about the space industry, but it has its downsides, too. Like any venture, scaling a business for space has highs and lows.

Decisions made out of fear (or fear of missing out) can cause growing companies to cast too wide a net, or to take on risks and projects that aren’t the right fit.

Stay the course, keep good people around you, and focus on what you do best.

Space Commerce Institute can help you scale your business for space.

Space Foundation’s Space Commerce Institute connects you to the dynamic space industry through education, experience, training, mentorship and consultancy. From online workshops to consulting, Space Commerce Institute provides actionable and tangible programming that facilitates growth into and within the global space ecosystem.

Explore Space Commerce Institute programming here.