Insights from Startup Nation Israel at IAC2015

Several StartupWeekend Space: Bremen, Gdansk and Shanghai team members attended the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. It was a perfect opportunity to meet space entrepreneurs to gain some insights from this startup nation.

One of the world’s largest space conferences, the IAC brings together the leaders of the space sector among industry, academia and agencies for a busy week of meetings and presentations. This year, over 1800 participants from over 60 countries took part in the congress, with about 40 heads of space agencies and astronauts. It is a key opportunity to network among the key players in the sector. The Israel Space Agency hosted the event.

Venue of the IAC2015, Jerusalem
Venue of the IAC2015, Jerusalem

Over the course of the week, the congress had a large and varied programme, covering topics as diverse as human spaceflight, space debris, earth observation, space propulsion, business innovation and space education. Sebastian D. Marcu and Magni Johannsson, co-leads for StartupWeekend Space: Bremen advocated the space startup scene in Europe at the congress together with the Bremen Invest (WFB), as a follow on from our successful StartupWeekend Space events in Bremen, Shanghai and Gdansk.

On the Monday afternoon, Sebastian formed part of a panel for the city of Bremen in a special “Startup & Space” event, bringing together selected players from Israel, to provide various perspectives on its thriving Israeli startup landscape. Sebastian commented:

“Having read the book ‘Startup Nation’, I was inspired by the spirit of entrepreneurship in Israel and wanted to take this opportunity to connect to local experts to see what could come out of this collaboration.”

Members of the panel included: Haim Kopans – JVP Media Labs; Ofer Lapid – Space-Nest; Eugene Jorov – Angel Sensor; Shoshi Rushnevsky – Chiprix; and Kartik Kumar – Satsearch (Second place winner at StartupWeekend Space: Bremen).

Startup & Space Panel
Startup & Space Panel

Tuesday morning saw a paper presentation by Magni Johannsson on StartupWeekend Space describing the event to an international audience. The paper delves into how the team conceptualised and realised the event in addition to key statistics and outcomes following the event.

In addition, Sebastian and Magni toured the Siftech accelerator where startup company Chiprix is located, to gain further insights from the Startup Nation on what Bremen can do to make it into an entrepreneurial city.

Bremen has a major aerospace sector with companies such as OHB, Airbus Defence and Space and HE Space, together with the German Space Agency (DLR) and the Centre for Applied Space Research and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University of Bremen.

The city will also host the Space Tech Expo Europe (17-19 November) where, among a comprehensive programme, will help bring together the realisation of a space startup city.

At the end of the IAC it was announced the city was successful in its bid to host the IAC in 2018. Its plan to become a hub for space technology and innovation formed an important part of this bid.

Hans Georg Tschupke from Bremen Invest said:

“As we approach the IAC2018 there is likely to be an upsurge in interest in space startups in the city of Bremen. It is therefore important we collaborate with other space startup nations and regions across the world to learn what infrastructures we need to harness this momentum.


StartupWeekend Space Workshop & Fireside Chat

StartupWeekend Space will be held a Workshop and Fireside Chat panel on Friday, 18th September. It was an opportunity for participants and invited guests to share specific challenges and they faced in their projects since StartupWeekend Space: Bremen in April where teams generated several space startup concepts.

Out of 11 original teams, 5 are still going strong. The teams will met at ZARM – the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen. Under the framework of StartupWeekend Space, together with the City of Bremen, the day built on their experiences. In particular, it was a chance to assess the day-to-day setting up and running of a business together with a full-time job.

The morning focused on status updates of the teams’ projects, talking about the main concerns or difficulties they have encountered, receiving feedback from the experts and mentors in the audience. A representative from each of the teams participated in the panel where co-lead for SWSpace: Bremen, Magni Johannsson, moderated.

A fireside chat took place in the afternoon – an informal chance for the audience to ask some experts about entrepreneurship topics. These included encouraging work on pre-seed startup ideas and how to get projects off the ground, strategies to help focus efforts within limited resources and seeking service providers for startups. Sebastian D. Marcu, who co-founded Design & Data GmbH and was a co-lead for SWSpace: Bremen, moderated.

SWSpace Fireside Chat
SWSpace Fireside Chat
SWSpace Workshop
SWSpace Workshop

Missed SWSpace: Bremen? Don’t worry! A complete recording of the SWSpace: Bremen’s highlights as a Livestream can be viewed here. Also, the second Startup Weekend Space in Europe takes place on 2nd-4th October 2015 in Gdansk, Poland. Check out the event blog and social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram together with #SWSpaceGDN for the latest news and announcements.

Connect with StartupWeekend Space at and on social media with hashtags #BeSpacial and #SWSpace.

StartupWeekend Space: Bremen was supported by the City of BremenAirbus Defence and SpaceHE-SpaceDesign & DataSpace Angels NetworkESAStartupbootcamp Smart Transportation & EnergyHill MediaCenter of Applied Technology and Microgravity (ZARM)and by Up Global, a non-profit organisation with headquarters in Seattle, which connects a global community of enterprises across all topics and is considered as pivot of the space industry.

Startup Weekend Space: Gdansk

Hosted by Gdansk Park Naukowo – Techhnologiczny, the event will challenge interdisciplinary teams from different nations to create space startups in 60 hours in Gdansk.

Startup Weekend Space

Startup Weekend is a global grassroot movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest global community of passionate entrepreneurs. As of November 2014, over 1,900 events have been held, involving over 150,000 entrepreneurs across more than 500 cities in over 127 countries and over 10,000 startups have been created. (See Startup Weekend trailer)

The second Startup Weekend Space in Europe takes place at the start of World Space Week (4-10 October) an internationally declared celebration of all things space supported by the United Nations. Participants will form teams, formulate space ideas, work intensively on them and finally pitch them to a panel of judges and investors. Teams will be supported by leaders in the global space community: entrepreneurs, academics, policy experts and business leaders. They will mentor and guide teams through these intense three days, making sure these ideas will translate into actual businesses.

For more information about the event visit: . You can also follow the event on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, together with the hashtags #BeSpacial #SWSpaceGDN