23 June 2022 --
Sydney, Australia -- Saber Astronautics and TCG Group have officially launched the Wolfpack Space Hub’s new facility in Waterloo, Sydney. The new site will incubate local space tech companies and support Australia’s rapidly growing space industry.
The new facility has a manufacturing laboratory for space startups to rapidly prototype and experiment with flight hardware products, allowing them to quickly and safely iterate new designs for spacecraft, robotics, and satellite components. Startups are also supported by Saber’s professional space engineering expertise and TCG’s decades of business relationships.
Since 2016 Australia has been a breeding ground for new startups, generating nearly 30 new ventures every year, often outpacing nations overseas. Many of these startups gained investments and are offering the nation new opportunities, generating high tech jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars. The market has outsized potential for the Australian economy if the right infrastructure and processes are in place.
Saber Astronautics’ founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jason Held, explained the importance of space startups in shaping Australia’s ecosystem, “Australia used to import $4Bn each year on overseas space tech. Now with such strong local growth the nation saw a tremendous opportunity to build locally. This was a major contributing factor in the birth of the nation’s Space Agency.” The Australian demand for space now in 2022 is up to $10Bn, and there are strong calls for local manufacturing, and for Australia that means new ventures.
These new startups need support in order to convert good ideas into tangible space businesses. Many Silicon Valley style traditional startup incubators established in Sydney by tech-saavy mentors struggled to support such a hardware heavy industry. Space is unfamiliar territory to many local investors.
“We wanted an incubator that was by space companies for space companies, and that means a higher risk profile and familiarity with how people buy and sell in space,” explains Dr Held. “Being a space startup in a sea of fintech and web can be a lonely experience, and having mentors that value the space industry is vital. The good news is, if we can show success, traditional investors will take notice, and there is plenty of validation to help them along the way.”
It also meant breaking the traditional paradigms behind startups, such as frequent pitch events which don’t always match the pace of space ventures. Wolfpack cohorts focus on customers first instead, as the fundamental for their business. However, instead of competing, the startups aggressively collaborate with each other to win business together as a group.
“This is by far the most open and progressive thing we’ve ever done,” said Dr Held. The collaborative “hunt-as-a-pack” model for business is paying off– Collectively the startups generated $3.2m in funding from civil and defence customer programs.
Startup companies in the first Wolfpack Space Hub cohort include: Spiral Blue, Sperospace, and Dandelion. Spacesuit startup Metakosmos is the first company accepted to the new cohort starting in Q2 2022.
The Wolfpack Space Hub is a joint venture between Saber Astronautics and the TCG Group. The Wolfpack received $500k in funding from an Entrepreneurs Australia incubators grant and from commercial investors in 2021.
For further information on the Wolfpack Space Hub, please visit https://wolfpackspacehub.com/.
BY WAY OF BACKGROUND
The Wolfpack Space Hub has 3 simple rules:
- All companies “hunt as a pack” and actively chase customers together. Companies join each other for contracts, grants, and fund each other through supply relationships.
- Space and tech- and manufacturing-heavy companies only. No UAVs, no software-only, no downstream data plays—those services are welcomed on a collaborative (customer channel) basis via other accelerator programs in Australia. The Wolfpack Space Hub is focused on upstream space companies, both civil and defence, and has high aspirations for the industry’s future.
- The focus is customers. While investors are certainly welcome (and invited) to invest in our companies; the main focus is finding the quickest path to customers, contracts, and therefore market viability.