Space Mission 3: Entrepreneurs Mission to California

Space Mission UK is an exciting series of entrepreneur missions specifically designed to support UK startups with their ambition to build world-leading space and satellite application companies. It’s supported by Innovate UK and produced by Chinwag.

The third in the series, Space Mission 3, is planned to visit California from 5-11 November 2016. The ten companies taking part have been announced: see Space Mission 3 company list.


Space Mission 1 & 2

The first mission focused on small satellites, CubeSats, Nanosatellites and their applications, and took 9 UK companies to Utah, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles in August 2015.

The mission programme in August included: a visit to the Small Satellite Conference in Utah, meetings and networking opportunities with big names in the sector including NASA JPL, Lockheed Martin, and Virgin Galactic, pitch events with O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Space Angels Network, and much more.

Space Mission 2.0, which visited Houston in November 2015, had a full programme of company and site visits including the NASA Johnson Space Center, company pitches to the Houston Angel Network, attendance at SpaceCom 2015, and more.

“The Space Mission to the US West Coast was one of the best organised industrial events I have attended. From first engagement with the UK companies, the visit plan itself, the on-site support team and the follow-ups, the mission has been thoughtfully put together and effective. It is not easy to create a buzz in the USA but this event showed that, with careful preparation, it can be done!” – Chris Lee, UK Space Agency

Read on for more information about what’s included in a typical mission, who can apply and the typical costs of taking part. To keep up-to-date with missions and find out as soon as the next trips are announced, please sign-up to our email alerts below and follow @innovateuk.

What’s included in a Space Mission?

The mission programme will be tailored based on the companies attending, typically this will include:

  • Company visits working at the forefront of the sector
  • Visits/exhibit space at relevant conference or expo
  • Networking opportunities with investors and corporate venture interested in space
  • Visits to incubators, accelerators and technology hubs
  • Meetings with leading academics and research institutions
  • Masterclasses on pitch development, business culture, market entry
  • Meetings with specialist UKTI international trade advisors
  • Insight from ex-pats who have done business overseas
  • Legal, tax, immigration, real estate and HR briefings
  • Opportunities to network with mission companies
  • Dedicated press, PR and marketing support for your company
  • Pre-mission briefing day
  • Post-mission debrief and networking event

The final programme is developed with input from the companies taking part in the mission. Don’t forget to include companies and events you’d like to target in your application form.

Why attend the Space Mission?

  • Understand the challenges and opportunities of exporting
  • Develop quality contacts with potential customers, investors and partners
  • Gain first-hand insight into new space and satellite applications markets
  • Fresh ideas and insight from international thought-leaders
  • Boost your company’s profile in both the UK and overseas
  • Hone company and product pitches for international customers and investors
  • Develop a market-entry strategy
  • Selection for mission boosts company profile

Entrepreneur mission successes

The previous Space Missions have had immediate impact for the companies involved, including securing over £1 million in investment, collaborating with major organisations such as NASA and the European Space Agency, winning contracts with the Ministry of Defence, and much more.

What’s the cost?

Typically, a contribution of £1,999+VAT will be payable from each mission delegate towards the costs of the trip. Although specific details will vary for each mission, this typically includes:

  • International flights, internal flights, accommodation, airport transfers
  • Transport between mission activities (where applicable)
  • Week-long programme overseas
  • Pre/post-mission events in the UK
  • Dedicated press and publicity support
  • Company profile video

Local grants may be available to offset some of these costs. Companies that are accepted on the mission will be introduced to their local international trade advisors who will be able to provide further details.

Who should apply?

Space Mission UK is designed to support innovative startups and SMEs based in the UK developing space and satellite applications with high growth potential.

Companies will be selected based on innovation and their suitability for the international destination market in a competitive process. Delegates will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s a good idea to apply as early as possible to get the maximum benefit.


More information or questions, please contact

To keep up-to-date with Space Mission UK and find out when and where the next trip is headed, sign-up for our email alerts and follow @spacemissionuk.