The Hyperspace Challenge Kicks Off 2021 Discovery Sessions

Startups and university researchers are invited to meet government customers to learn about current space mission needs

August 11, 2021, ALBUQUERQUE, NMThe Hyperspace Challenge, a business accelerator run by the Air Force Research Laboratory and CNM Ingenuity for the U.S. Space Force, announced registration is open for its 2021 Discovery Sessions.

This webinar series allows startups and university research teams to meet with government customers to explore the relevance of their technology to government mission needs before applying to the accelerator.

Applications to the accelerator are accepted on completion of the Discovery Sessions series, which runs from August 18 through September 6. Discovery Sessions registration is accepted through September 1.

During the Discovery Sessions, participants are able to interact with government innovators to begin conceptualizing proposals that can address government needs. Upon completion of the series, participants are invited to apply for the 2021 accelerator cohort, where they will further develop these proposals.

“The Hyperspace Challenge accelerator, through this process, gives startups and universities the unique opportunity to iterate their technology for, and in collaboration with, the government in a way that doesn’t happen in the standard government contracting process,” explained Gabe Mounce, director of the Space Force Accelerator Program. “This is especially important in the rapidly growing commercial space sector; existing technologies may have an application in space, but they need to be identified and adapted for that environment.”

“This is the reason,” Mounce said, “that companies or universities developing technologies that may not be considered ‘space’ technologies should still consider registering for the Discovery Sessions.”

The mission needs that will be considered by participants in the Discovery Sessions and 2021 Cohort include the following:

  • How can we more precisely track the trajectory of orbiting space debris by pairing new statistical methods with existing information so that we improve flight safety in space?
  • How can we leverage advancements in machine learning to quickly understand objects in space so that our guardians have better real-time awareness?
  • How can we use the microgravity environment in near-Earth orbit to develop both commercial and military applications and products?
  • How can we support rocket delivery of emergency supplies anywhere in the world with rapid-delivery logistics packaging and processes?
  • How can we leverage quantum sensing to detect the undetectable in space?

Following the Discovery Sessions, participants can apply to join either the Hyperspace Challenge’s startup or university cohort, which run simultaneously from October 4 through November 17. Then, on November 18, the cohort will culminate in a pitch day event.

Since the program was founded in 2018, over 70% of commercial cohort participants have been engaged in partnership with and/or awarded government contracts.

For more information and/or to sign up for the Discovery Sessions, please visit

 About the Hyperspace Challenge

The Hyperspace Challenge was created in 2018 by the Air Force and CNM Ingenuity, the enterprise arm of Central New Mexico Community College, to accelerate partnerships between the government and startups to shift space innovation into hyperdrive. The accelerator, which is now directed by CNM Ingenuity in conjunction with the new U.S. Space Force, runs annually, and cultivates networks in an innovation ecosystem prioritizing connection and community over bureaucracy. To date, the accelerator has supported 37 small businesses and universities from across the U.S. and abroad. More information about the university program can be found at