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AWS Ventures into Space: Inaugurates First Space Tech Accelerator Program in India

Explore AWS's recent venture into space with the launch of its inaugural Space Tech Accelerator Program in India. Read here to know more.

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Manisha Sharma
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The accelerator was launched by AWS at an event attended by Shri Sudheer Kumar N, Director, Capacity Building and Public Outreach, ISRO; and representatives from AWS, T-Hub, and Minfy.

The accelerator was launched by AWS at an event attended by Shri Sudheer Kumar N, Director, Capacity Building and Public Outreach, ISRO; and representatives from AWS, T-Hub, and Minfy.

The AWS Space Accelerator: India is an initiative that Amazon Web Services (AWS) India Private Limited unveiled to foster startups specializing in space technology. To help these startups grow faster, this programme provides a full range of business advice, mentorship, and technical support. T-Hub and Minfy are in favor of the initiative. Notably, this is AWS's first accelerator programme in India designed especially for startups in the space industry. It is an extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that AWS signed in September of last year with ISRO and IN-SPACe, intending to promote innovation and offer assistance to startups in the space technology sector.

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About the Accelerator Program:

The 14-week accelerator programme is designed to assist Indian startups by providing vital business resources, specialised knowledge, and strategic direction in technology and business operations. By utilising AWS's power, participants will be able to grow, expand, and maximise their endeavours to further their missions. This programme is open to startups of all sizes that are related to the space industry and are looking for a strong technological foundation to advance their ideas. Don't pass up this opportunity if you're keen to investigate investment opportunities and quicken your startup's growth!

Aim of Accelerator Program

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Space tech startups face a high-risk environment. This environment demands substantial capital investment. Access to a skilled workforce is crucial. Significant technology development and testing are necessary for these startups.

The accelerator program aims to tackle these challenges.

  • It offers space tech startups a chance to build and test their solutions.
  • Simulation technologies on AWS are utilized for this purpose.
  • Startups can experiment rapidly at a low cost.
  • Solutions can be enhanced before launching and scaling.
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Benefits for eligible startups:

  • Up to US$100,000 in AWS credits
  • Guidance from experts at ISRO, IN-SPACe, and AWS
  • Business and technology support from T-Hub and Minfy, an AWS Premier Partner
  • Learning opportunities about space domain technologies and applications
  • Strategies for leveraging space data and building scalable solutions using cloud computing, data analytics, and machine learning, including the potential for applying generative artificial intelligence (AI)

There are various use cases for space technology, including in agriculture, aviation, climate change, disaster management, financial services, maritime, and wildlife and environment conservation, where startups can play a key role in developing impactful solutions. For example, as per an AWS commissioned report titled “Realizing a Cloud-enabled Economy: How Cloud Drives Economic and Societal Impact Through Small Businesses”, cloud-enabled small businesses in India can help unlock ₹1.1 trillion in annual productivity benefits in agriculture, and one in nine farms will use precision agriculture solutions that enhance productivity by 2030, representing a 300% increase compared to the current usage rate.

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“Cloud computing is crucial to power the future of the space industry. It enables space-tech startups to harness high-performance computing resources to perform intensive data analysis, apply machine learning models, and innovate in their missions while achieving lower cost of operations, faster time-to-market, and deployment at scale,” said Clint Crosier, Director of aerospace and Satellite, AWS Inc. “Technologies such as generative AI open transformative opportunities for space-tech, and we are committed to helping startups innovate and develop sustainable solutions for the space sector.”

“The launch of AWS’s first space accelerator for India-based startups directly supports our commitment to the Indian space industry through our MoU with ISRO, and IN-SPACe, announced last year,” said Shalini Kapoor, Director and Chief Technologist, Public Sector, AWS India Private Limited. “India has world-class talent in the space sector, and we look forward to collaborating with ISRO, IN-SPACe, T-Hub, and Minfy through this initiative to nurture space-tech innovation in the country.”

ISRO, as part of its focus to create awareness of space tech and develop India’s space sector, will explore the provisions of the MoU with AWS, and extend the necessary support, in line with the prevailing guidelines of the department, to foster startup innovation in the country, including supporting the accelerator program through educational workshops and seminars for startups. It will facilitate and inspire budding startups, nurturing the next generation of space technologists from India.

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IN-SPACe, based on the Government of India’s vision to boost the country’s space economy and to promote private sector organizations in the space sector, will support the accelerator program as per the framework in place within the Department of Space, to collaborate with the space-tech community in India.

T-Hub will provide startups insights into essential aspects such as business establishment, fundraising strategies, and finetuning pitch presentations. “We are excited to support the AWS Space Accelerator program in India,” said Mahankali Srinivas Rao, CEO, of T-Hub. “This program is set to propel innovation, foster collaboration, and strengthen the startup ecosystem in India. With T-Hub’s dedicated mentorship, hands-on technical support, and a vibrant alumni network, we are committed to helping startups reach new heights in the space sector."

Minfy will run a series of sessions by its technical experts, covering topics including foundational AWS knowledge, advanced cloud architecture, aligning with the AWS Well-Architected Framework, and securing workloads, enabling startups for accelerated development. “Through the AWS India Space Accelerator program, we aim to empower startups to build secure and scalable solutions by leveraging cloud and AI,” said Raj Chilakapati, global pre-sales leader, Minfy. “With our years of knowledge and experience of helping hundreds of customers build successfully on AWS, we are committed to helping startups be well poised for innovation and growth.”

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Deadline for registration:

Applications for the AWS Space Accelerator: India program are being accepted right now. The evaluation of entries will be based on several factors, such as the startup's unique or innovative solution, its suitability for the market, its potential to advance sustainability and innovation in space technology, its creative application of AWS technology to solve problems, and the team's ability to carry out the identified opportunity.

To find out more, register your interest by March 17th, 2024.

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