2023 Hyperspace Challenge FAQ

Last updated August 29, 2023

The Space Rapid Capabilities Office is one of three U.S. Space Force acquisition organizations. Specializing in delivering first-of systems to fill quick-turn needs of the USSF, Space RCO executes programs to protect and defend national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats. SpRCO is looking for companies with existing, mature technologies that could streamline the design, development, and deployment of those solutions within the next few years. As a result, TRL levels should be at least 6 and above.

Hyperspace Challenge follows a unique model of in-person and virtual meetings. Teams are asked to commit two hours to meet virtually before the start of the program in a series of webinars with government innovators. These meetings help teams further understand Space Rapid Capabilities’ (or the agency’s) needs and determine how their technology can address these needs. After the webinar series, teams should plan for approximately five hours to develop their accelerator application. Applications should explain how a team’s technology can respond to specific mission needs.

If a team’s application is selected to participate in Hyperspace Challenge Live Collider, prepare to virtually attend 4 – 5 onboarding and educational webinars. Teams should also allow time to plan travel and logistics, and conduct further research into their responses to mission needs. Teams may also want to allow some time to research potential data sets that might help demonstrate technological capabilities during the Hyperspace Challenge Live Collider. The in-person event will be two full days, with a third optional day for tours and/or an opportunity to engage independently in local business development.

Updated 8/17/23

Submitting an interest form will add you to the mailing list for all communications pertaining to the cohort.  After the cohort is announced, further information will be released only to our mailing list and will not be available to the general public.  If you have any interest in participating, submitting an interest form will ensure you remain informed and have all the links necessary to learn about requirements during the Ask Me Anything webinars and ultimately have access to apply for the program.

Yes, companies and organizations can partner with another company or organization. Teams will be asked to select a ‘lead’ company.

This cohort is not a competition for a contract, instead, it’s a chance for collaboration and a powerful opportunity to make connections to possible future customers.  We cannot guarantee that participants will secure contracts or undergo rapid acquisition with government agencies. However, we’re here to help facilitate relationships with government agencies that may lead to future contracting opportunities. We do know that many startups that have participated in our program have gone on to contract or have their technology purchased by government users they met during their respective program.

Companies that participate will have a unique opportunity to connect directly with government innovators and gain insight into the types of products and services government space agencies are looking for in the future. Moreover, Space RCO is looking to strengthen relationships with each participating company in order to understand how the Space Force can support their success in commercial markets and bring their innovations into government space missions.

There will be no contracts or money awarded of any kind at this event. 

We recommend three roles from a company be present, dependent on the activity, to realize the full benefit of the interactions:

  1. Business Development Lead
  2. Technical Lead (CTO, understands overall capabilities of the company’s technology[ies])
  3. Product Lead / Developer (i.e. team member working under Technical Lead who is hands-on with the proposed solution)

We will release a detailed agenda as we get closer to the event but in the meantime, you can expect that there will be multiple one-on-one meetings with potential customers as well as access to space industry experts and investors.

We will not be providing a travel stipend for this event. Please be prepared to cover the cost of hotel accommodations, airfare and any incidental expenses incurred.

There will not be a virtual option for the in-person event. Due to the interactive nature of our programming it is important that participants block their calendar for two full days and expect to be engaged the entire event. The third day of programming will be a day of optional events/tours and attendance is not mandatory.

Unlike the prior Hyperspace Challenge cohorts, this year there is no specific size requirement. Space Rapid Capabilities Office wishes to see interesting technologies regardless of company size, however there is an expectation that the company will have a certain level of product maturity and history of business stability.

Dress will be casual, uniform of the day.

Yes, we encourage non-US organizations with relevant innovations to apply to Hyperspace. We realize there can be significant challenges faced when the US D.O.D. works with non-US companies, but our goal will be to overcome those challenges.

Updated 8/21/23

Hyperspace Challenge alumni are eligible to participate in the 2023 cohort as applicants.

Updated 7/31/23

A security clearance is not required to participate.  All information provided at the webinars and live collider event will be at a public level.  While a security clearance may be required to perform future work with SpRCO, SpRCO can help companies with desired technology explore this option.  

No! Organizations should limit their application responses to non-proprietary information. In addition, if selected to the 2023 Hyperspace Cohort, companies need to be aware that they will be interacting with other business and government entities. As a result, companies should protect their proprietary information accordingly.

We encourage only one application per organization. Review the application prompts and criteria rubric to submit your strongest solution for consideration.

Application Portal Opens – Aug. 24, 2023 – you will receive a link by email from [email protected]
Application Portal Closes – Sept. 8, 2023 at 8:00 AM MT
Hyperspace Fall Cohort Announcement – no later than Oct 5, 2023

Space RCO is interested in space-based and/or ground-based software that informs intelligent space vehicle responses, reduces operator workload, and reduces overall response times. These solutions will be evaluated under the “Advance Space Analysis and Vehicle Autonomy” topic area.

Yes, we would expect processing speed, secure communications, and trust to be part of this category as well as data aggregation and data science.

If your specific NAICS code is not listed, please choose the one(s) that best suit your company’s technology focus areas. This question is part of the application only to aid in the review process and there is no “correct” answer.

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