The University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) has partnered with the Australian Centre for Business Growth (AuCBG) to assist space start-ups in further scaling up their businesses.

With the announcement that applications for the ICC’s Venture Catalyst Space accelerator program are now open comes the news that graduates of the program or companies that are ready to grow are also now eligible to apply for the AuCBG’s six-month Growth Ramp scale up program to take their business to the next level.

This new pathway from Venture Catalyst Space to Growth Ramp has been driven by a strong appetite for local space companies to expand, further enticing investment into South Australia’s evolving space ecosystem.

South Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence and Space Industries, Susan Close, said the new offering will amplify commercial viability for local companies.

“Space start-ups are shaping the future space economy and bringing incredible new technologies to life,” said Ms Close.

“Through the Venture Catalyst Space program, South Australia is ensuring that we have a mechanism to harness emerging talent with these innovative companies revolutionising the way we use space, while fostering a culture of collaboration across the space ecosystem.

“Now with the addition of access to UniSA’s Growth Ramp program, we will be able to support businesses to scale up their operations; a key activity as our space ecosystem matures.”

The Venture Catalyst Space program – which is supported by the South Australian Government – has supported 36 space start-ups since inception in 2018, with 90 per cent still operating, and alumni collectively raising over $31 million in declared additional investment while creating more than 220 new jobs in the sector.

The program specialises in developing commercial space ventures through equity-free funding, industry mentorships, business development support, access to resources and a thriving start up community.

ICC Deputy Directory, Craig Jones, explained the addition of the Growth Ramp to the program is a game changer for participating companies to achieve success.

“As Australia’s space industry continues its upward trajectory, the demand for timely and tailored support for emerging businesses becomes increasingly crucial,” said Mr Jones.

“The Venture Catalyst Space program has played a pivotal role in nurturing space innovators, providing them with invaluable opportunities to test their products, refine business models, and secure their first customers.

“The addition of the Growth Ramp program provides a truly unique offering, charting a clear pathway for these ventures to transform into scalable and thriving businesses.”

Director of the AuCBG, Ryan Williams, shared his excitement to be able to work with CEOs through the new program.

“The journey of entrepreneurship is an incredible experience, and one that truly requires an ‘always on’ approach to learning,” Mr Williams said.

“At the very beginning, a founder’s focus is rightfully on product, viability, finding customers and getting the show on the road.

“When you enter the scaleup phase, the skills related to planning, organisational design, financing growth, managing people, sales and marketing, and developing processes and systems to support growth kick up several gears.”

Applications for the 2024 Venture Catalyst Space program are now open and close at 11.59pm ACDT on 18 March.

To learn more about the accelerator program and to apply, click here.

To learn more about the Growth Ramp space pathway, click here.