It may not be as heady as the X Prize, but the Space Frontier Foundation is planning what you might call the B Prize for space-related business plans. The payoff for the best pitch? Entrepreneurial glory … plus a $1,000 poker chip, awarded by an investor at the foundation’s annual conference in Las Vegas next month. XCOR Aerospace’s Rich Pournelle, a guy who is well-versed in the world of space entrepreneurship, sent along the call for entries for the NewSpace 2006 Business Plan Competition.
Pournelle emphasized that the entries need not be restricted to rocket ships. “It only has to be space-related,” he told me. “For example, if it’s a rocket-powered car, we would consider the business plan. Or materials science, or solar power technology that might be used in satellites, or remote sensing, or any kind of life support systems. Any of that kind of stuff, we would consider.”
Here’s the language from the call for entries, which will be posted on the Space Frontier Foundation‘s Web site as well: “Entrepreneurial space companies who are interested in participating in this rewarding competition are asked to submit a 1-3 page executive summary of their plan by July 10 to email@example.com. Amaresh Kollipara is an entrepreneur and a former Accenture executive who will screen the entries.
Entries should have some relation to space-related markets such as space transportation, space robotics, space-related entertainment, remote sensing, space communications, materials sciences, life support, green technologies, etc. Companies selected to present will be asked to submit a 10-minute presentation in advance of the competition.
A guideline for presentations can be found at [this link]. Special thanks to Mark Zetter of Golden Capital Network for the templates and formats we will use for this competition. “All selected finalists will have the opportunity to present their plans at a special event during the conference on Friday, July 21 at 4 p.m.
A panel of distinguished judges will assess the presentations and designate a winner. The winning team will receive a $1,000 poker chip donated by one of the judges, an award at the conference gala, and recognition on the Space Frontier Foundation Web site.
In addition to Kollipara, the judges will include: Lowell Ness, a partner at Orrick Harrington. Jacques Vallee, a partner at SBV Venture Partners. Lee Valentine, angel investor and executive vice president of the Space Studies Institute. Mahanjit Jolly, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures. Aneel Panday, angel investor (and founder of Transcender Corp.). Richard Harroch, managing director of VantagePoint Venture Partners. Other judges may be added to the list as the event nears. To get a preview of the judging criteria, check out this Word document. Any questions? Pournelle says you can send them to Kollipara or to firstname.lastname@example.org.