angels fly with space agency

The partnership, which starts immediately, will link the ESA to EBAN members throughout all of Europe and will involve regular selection, pitching, and mentoring activities leading up to investment.

The European Business Angels Network (EBAN), a trade body for early stage investors, and the European Space Agency (ESA), have agreed to help entrepreneurs active in space-related activities.

The partnership, which starts immediately, will link the ESA to EBAN members throughout all of Europe and will involve regular selection, pitching, and mentoring activities leading up to investment. 

Candace Johnson, EBAN president, said: “ESA has played a pioneering role not only in leading European governments and corporations into space but also in inspiring, facilitating, encouraging, and funding entrepreneurs and start-ups to develop new space related businesses with their ground-breaking ESA Business Incubation Centres  (BICs).”

The BICs provide technical support at 20 locations in eight countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK through ESA's Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO), which is also responsible for the management of the patents portfolio and is tasked to market ESA’s own intellectual property to the non-space industry.

Additional ESA BIC locations are in the planning for Spain, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria and Norway as part of a programme to support more than 100 startups each year.

Frank Salzgeber, head of ESA’s TTPO and responsible for the coordination of the ESA BIC programme, said: “For the last 15 years, EBAN has been developing angel and early stage investing to be an asset class. Our startups will benefit from their accumulated experience, expertise, networks and, yes, financial investment to become global success stories made in Europe.”

Last year, angels invested more than €5.5bn in early stage investments throughout Europe, EBAN said. 

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