Catalyst holds demo day for disruptive space tech
Colorado Springs, CO-based Catalyst Accelerator’s (Catalyst), Cyber for Space Applications announced on November 25 that it launched eight small businesses into the reaches of the U.S. Space Force, with its sixth accelerator Demo Day on November 19, 2020. Powered by Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate and sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, the cohort of small businesses concluded its 12-week accelerator, gaining traction into moving technology from commercial application to the military warfighter.
Cyber applications have long been the mainstay in the Department of Defense, but with the creation of the U.S. Space Force, a rigorous hunt for disruptive cyber technology has begun. No longer is the warfighter confined to air, land, sea and cyber. Space is now a contested domain, with near-peer adversaries with comparable capabilities, unsettling operations in both the public and private sectors. U.S. data exfiltration by malicious actors is staggering. In 2019 it was estimated that 6.5 million documents per day were stolen by U.S. adversaries, according to keynote speaker Brigadier General D. Jason Cothern, Vice Commander of Space and Missile Systems Center.
The U.S. Space Force is tasked with protecting America’s interests in space, deterring aggressive acts and sustaining operations in this far-off region. With this in mind, Catalyst’s Cyber for Space Accelerator invited small businesses to apply to become a cohort company and demonstrate how their technology might “secure the next generation of space operations and increase resiliency.”
“We had a team of 19 people that helped us choose the best companies for this cohort and judging from the response of subject matter experts from Industry and the Department of Defense over the course of the Accelerator, our selection was excellent. I look forward to these companies gaining the traction they need to get their technologies into the hands of the United States warfighters, making the cyber-physical systems they rely on more relevant and secure in the 21st Century fighting domain,” said KiMar Gartman, Program Director of Catalyst Accelerator.
With the support of LinQuest, the platform sponsor, the twelve-week all-virtual accelerator helped cohort companies mature their messaging, understand the government space and pivot their technology to meet the needs of the warfighter. The cohort received guidance from industry and government Sherpas and subject matter experts like Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center; spoke to operational warfighters to determine their needs; were instructed on the acquisition process; and began building relationships with key personnel interested in their technology.
Gentry Lane, CEO and Founder of ANOVA Intelligence, explained her experience with Catalyst’s accelerator, “I’ve been through other accelerators but Catalyst was different. They absolutely delivered on their promise to connect us [cohort companies] with people in the U.S. Space Force that make decisions about purchasing and using our technology.”
Demo Day, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, was the Accelerator’s culminating event in which government and industry scouts learned about the cohort’s dual-use technologies that will disrupt space cyber and place the U.S. in an even better position to dominate space. Cohort companies rose to the challenge and presented technologies that will improve warfighter capability today and well into the future.
The cohort company pitches can be viewed at http://catalystaccelerator.space/cacsa/