Niels Eldering

Space for entrepreneurs: EBAN and ESA working together

02/07/2015 762 views 1 likes
ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Technology Transfer

Representatives from governments and space agencies met industry and entrepreneurs at this year’s Global Space Innovation Conference in Germany to exchange experiences in innovation management and technology transfer.

The European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players, or EBAN, announced a new partnership agreement with ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office to support start-up entrepreneurs in space-related activities.

The goal is to inspire private and public investors to view such businesses as an attractive nvestment opportunity.

Candace Johnson
Candace Johnson

“ESA has played a pioneering role not only in leading European governments and corporations into space but also in inspiring, facilitating, encouraging and funding entrepreneurs and start-ups to develop new businesses with their groundbreaking ESA Business Incubation Centres,” noted EBAN President Candace Johnson.

The partnership will link ESA’s incubator startup companies to EBAN members throughout Europe, and will involve pitching and mentoring activities leading up to investments.

The entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to participate in EBAN regular events such as their Annual Congress and Winter University, as well as specific events aimed at making ESA incubator start-ups more investor-ready and EBAN’s early-stage investment community more aware of space spin-off businesses.


ESA’s business incubators are created to inspire and support entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies targeting non-space sectors.

The goal is to boost local economies by creating successful European companies and new jobs.

So far, more than 300 new European start-ups have been fostered and each year 100+ more are supported at the 10 centres. 

GLIC 2015 round tables

One session focused on entrepreneurship and spin-off to create businesses from space programmes. Moderated by ESA’s Frank Salzgeber, the roundtable discussion presented views and experiences from space industry entrepreneurs from Canada to Japan. 

GLIC session
GLIC session

Max Beaumont from Dutch start-up company Giaura shared his views on how to make money selling carbon dioxide as a commodity and how he managed to turn his idea into an operational company. Giaura was hosted and supported during its start-up phase by ESA’s incubator in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

Another session addressed non-financial assistance for venture creation with representatives from ESA, the Japanese and French space agencies, and the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency.

ESA moderator Niels Eldering illustrated the different levels of technical and business support entrepreneurs receive at the Agency’s incubators to help them turn their ideas into viable companies.

ESA business incubation at GLIC 2015
ESA business incubation at GLIC 2015

Amnon Ginati presented the 20 Integrated Applications Promotion opportunities under ESA’s ARTES programme and how ESA supports good ideas. On the innovation opportunities, he said, “Europe is fantastic for its multicultural strength.”

“In fact, the ingredients for creating successful ventures are people, talents, capital and community, added Niels Eldering.

"From the sessions it clearly appeared that in addition to economic support, investments in business incubation and non-financial assistance are equally important to support entrepreneurs to help them turn their ideas into businesses.”

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