Amazon Web Services (AWS) India Private Limited announced the AWS Space Accelerator: India, a technical, business, and mentorship opportunity designed to foster startups focused on space technology and accelerate their development, with support from, T-Hub, and Minfy. This is AWS’s first accelerator program in India focused on startups in the space sector and follows the MoU it signed with ISRO and IN-SPACe in September last year, which envisions nurturing startups in space-tech, and supporting innovation in the sector.
The 14-week accelerator program will provide India-based startups with dedicated business resources, expertise, and guidance around technology and business capabilities, and help them leverage AWS to build, grow, and scale their missions. The program is open to both early-stage and mature startups based in India whose missions support the space sector, who need a technology platform for their ideas, and who are looking to accelerate their growth and investment opportunities.
Space tech startups operate in a high-risk environment that requires significant capital investment and access to a skilled workforce, and need to undertake significant technology development and testing. The accelerator program seeks to address these challenges by providing space tech startups an opportunity to build and test their solutions using simulation technologies on AWS before making capital investments, allowing them to rapidly experiment at a low-cost, and enhance their solutions, before launching and scaling them.
Startups qualifying for the program can receive an array of benefits, including: up to US$100,000 in AWS credits, as well as guidance from experts at ISRO, IN-SPACe, and AWS, and business and technology support from T-Hub and Minfy, an AWS Premier Partner. Startups will learn about space domain technologies and applications, and how to leverage space data and build scalable solutions using cloud computing, data analytics, and machine learning, including the potential to apply 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.
“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, Aerospace and Satellite, AWS Inc. “Technologies such as generative AI open transformative opportunities for space-tech, and we are committed to help 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.
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.”
Applications for the AWS Space Accelerator: India program are now open for submission. Applications will be judged on several factors, including the unique or innovative scope of the startup’s solution, product-market fit, the overall value the solution can bring to space-tech innovation and space sustainability, the creative application of AWS technology to solve problems, and the team’s ability to deliver on the identified opportunity.
The AWS Space Accelerator: India is part of AWS’s commitment to support startup innovation in the space sector globally. AWS has previously conducted three editions of the AWS Space Accelerator program for startups to participate from around the world, which are being leveraged by multiple startups to strengthen and scale their solutions, including startups like Blue Sky Analytics, founded in India and based in the Netherlands, and Kawa, headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in India.
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