What a gathering—40 space pioneering entrepreneurs, 31 mentors, and representatives of the European Commission and the European Space Agency gathered in Madrid on October 24th and 25th for the bootcamp of the first Copernicus Accelerator. This new business coaching program, funded by the European Commission, accelerates the market entry of innovative space applications and products submitted to ESA's Earth observation competition Copernicus Masters with tailored expert support.
The agenda for the first Bootcamp of the Copernicus Accelerator provided presentations with deep insights in the potential of Copernicus applications, intense workshops and coaching sessions on investor pitches and business model canvassing, speed dating with expert mentors, and great networking opportunities to connect with the European EO and GNSS community.
Phillipe Brunet, Director for Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission explained, "We need business to develop tailor-made applications for specific users; reach out to new users, communities and sectors; and sell products to international markets. This is why we have launched this year the first Copernicus Accelerator. It will provide coaching to the top 40 applicants of the Copernicus Masters. It is the first stone of our Copernicus startup program, which will accompany startups from the generation of an idea to its full commercialization."
The Accelerator Bootcamp sets forth the official start of the eight-month-long coaching program provided to the 40 best entrants of this year's Copernicus Masters competition. It was the first time mentees and mentors joined up in person, and had the opportunity to begin developing a coaching plan, including objectives and KPIs of their affiliation. Furthermore, all participants were able to connect with industry leaders, renowned institutions and mingle with ambitious startups to begin developing exciting synergies. The one-and-a-half-day event took place in Madrid in the impressive premises of the Circulo De Bellas Artes.
The data provided by Europe's ambitious Earth observation program Copernicus, which is generated by the Sentinel satellite fleet, the Contributing Missions and the Copernicus Services, is open to users worldwide, and is also provided free of charge. This enables Copernicus to contribute to the development of a wide variety of innovative applications and services tailored to specific public or commercial needs.
Over the last five years, the Copernicus Masters has evolved into the leading international platform for future-oriented ideas, applications, and business concepts that use Earth observation in everyday life. This competition provides the ideal source for beneficiaries of the Copernicus Accelerator: 40 bright entrepreneurs from among the Copernicus Master's participants, who will now receive tailored business coaching support by Earth observation professionals, ICT, mobile industry and more.
Funded by the European Commission, this program aims to support entrepreneurs as they convert their ideas into reality, successfully entering the market and achieving measurable progress towards their established objectives.
Following the Bootcamp in Madrid, the mentors will have regular follow-up sessions with their assigned mentees until July 2017, to evaluate process made and ensure the achievement of the set objectives.