Win a free ticket to the Disrupt Space summit!

So you think you have what it takes to become the next big thing in the space industry? Then the Disrupt Space summit is the perfect launch platform for you! And if you can convince us that you deserve a free ticket to the event in Bremen on April 7-8,  then you will get one!

Send us your reason to join the Disrupt Space summit before end of business on Friday 1 April (that’s 17:00 CEDT, not a joke!) on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using hashtag #disruptspace. We will select and announce one winner (one person) within 24 hours.

The rules are simple: Use your platform of choice (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) to tell us why you deserve a ticket to the event. Add hashtag #disruptspace to make sure that we will actually see it. Many likes and retweets or shares obviously will help, but we need to be convinced by your reason. You can send us as many reasons as you want and use any creative content that you like, so just text (an elevator pitch the size of a tweet would do), a picture, an infograph, a video, anything that fits one of these platforms.
We are looking forward to your creativity! We may retweet or share posts that we like, but that doesn’t mean that you will win! Good luck!

Bekanntgabe des Hauptpreises von Disrupt Space

Wir freuen uns den Hauptpreis des Disrupt Space Summit bekannt geben zu können. Der Summit ist ein einzigartiges Event, welches Entrepreneure und Startups mit Entscheidungsträgern in Kontakt bringt, um die aktuellen Herausforderungen von Industrie und Gesellschaft gemeinsam zu lösen.

In insgesamt 18 Teams mit jeweils drei bis fünf Teilnehmern werden die Entrepreneure mit der Unterstützung von Mentoren innerhalb von 24 Stunden ein Geschäftsmodell zum Lösen einer von insgesamt sechs Herausforderungen entwickeln. Die Herausforderungen werden hier vorgestellt. 

Zusätzlich zu den Preisen, die die Herausgeber der jeweiligen Challenges zur Verfügung stellen, erhält ein Vertreter pro gewinnendem Team (sechs Teams insgesamt) auch die Gelegenheit als Teil einer offiziellen Delegation von hochrangigen Vertretern des Bremer Raumfahrt Cluster, unter Leitung von Martin Günthner,  Senator für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Häfen, ins Silicon Valley, USA, zu reisen. Die Reise wird voraussichtlich im Spätsommer 2016 stattfinden.

Zu dem Event  werden auch bis zu 20 Raumfahrt-Startups aus Europa, den Vereinigten Staaten und Australien nach Bremen kommen und um die Möglichkeit konkurrieren ihr Startup auf der großen Bühne zu präsentieren und ihre Geschäftsideen vorzustellen. Das aus diesem Wettbewerb als Sieger hervorgehende Startup erhält die Möglichkeit bis zu zwei Gründer auf die Delegationsreise zu entsenden.

Die offizielle Delegation wird die Raumfahrttätigkeiten in der Bay-Area und die Startup-Kultur hautnah erleben können. Alle Teilnehmer werden sich auf diesem einwöchigem Kurs gegenseitig kennen lernen.

Disrupt Space in Kooperation mit Bremen Invest freut sich diesen Preis bekannt geben zu können und wünscht euch viel Erfolg auf dem Summit.

Announcing the main prize at Disrupt Space

We are happy to announce the main prize at the Disrupt Space summit. The summit is a unique event designed to connect aspiring entrepreneurs and startups with decision makers to collaboratively solve today's industry and sustainability problems using space.

The event will see teams of three to five participants compete over the course of two days with structured mentor support to develop business cases towards solving six challenges provided select organizations. These challenges are announced here.

In addition to receiving supporting prizes from many of the organizations submitting the challenges, one representative per winning team (six teams in total) will also receive the opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley in the United States as part of an official delegation of space cluster leaders from Bremen headed by Martin Günthner, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour, and Ports. The trip will occur at the end of summer 2016.

The event will also see up to 20 space startups from Europe, the US and Australia come to Bremen to compete against each other for an opportunity to pitch their business ideas. The winner of the resulting pitching competition will be able to send up to two co-founders on the delegation trip.

The official delegation will see first hand the space activities occurring in the bay area and experience its startup culture. Each participant will also get to know each other over the course of an entire week.

Disrupt Space in collaboration with Bremen Invest are happy to award this prize and wish you good luck at the summit.

Late February Update

Hi there again!

We are now 6 weeks away from the Disrupt Space summit! Here's a summary of what has happened the last week:

Did you know that challenges are given to guide you to solve meaningful problems? Check back soon for announcement of what these challenges are!

Did you know that there will be a next gen entrepreneur panel at the summit highlighting four or five entrepreneurs picked from the statups that are attending?

Did you know that there will also be a panel on the opportunities of commercial space? The panel will be lead by investors and corporate executives, both from within and outside the space sector.

Our first panelist on the Opportunities in Space panel is Lucille Bonnet. She is an Investment Manager within High-Tech Gründerfonds with a focus on Cleantech, E-mobility, Energy, Water, Sensor Technology, Automation and Electronics sectors.

Meet the moderator for the Next Generation Entrepreneur Panel: Candace Johnson. She is a co-founder of SES, the world’s pre-eminent satellite group, the president of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN), and the president of Johnson Paradigm Ventures (JPV). She is also a member of the Advisory Board of numerous European and US ventures.


Our second panelist for the Opportunities in Space panel is Amnon Ginati. He is currently Head of the Integrated & Telecommunications related Applications Department at the European Space Agency where he works on combining space and non-space technologies to form new applications. He is also a board member at Seraphim Capital, a UK based venture fund specialized in investing in space startups.


Meet our seventh space startup coming from the US, Crowd 2 Space International. Crowd 2 Space is a first of its kind space venture. The company is developing global strategic financing, crowdsourcing, and crowdvetting solutions for space technology, economic development, tourism, and settlement.

Happy to see OHB SE,  a leading European company for space technology & security, telematics and satellite services join HE-Space as silver sponsor for the Disrupt Space summit.

Design & Data, a media agency which specifically caters to the global aerospace industry will be joining us as Bronze sponsor for the Disrupt Space summit. Happy to have them onboard!

Want to join the summit?

Mid February Update

Hi there again!

We are now 7 weeks away from the Disrupt Space summit! Here's a summary of what has happened the last week:

Did you know that the challenges are distributed according to who signs up first? So sign up early to work on a challenge that you like the most!

Did you know that there is a club inside the GOP Varieté theater? We intend to fully use it on Thursday evening!

Our sixth startup is Hypercubes. Hypercubes is a Silicon Valley based space startup with an aim to establish a new standard in how we monitor the health of the planet. Through a network of satellites capable of identifying pollution in our land, ocean and atmosphere, Hypercubes will enable business and industries to understand the impact of their action on the environment and allow us to better plan and prepare.

Happy to announce our keynote speaker Chris Boshuizen. Chris is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Data Collective VC, a boutique investment firm specialising in hard, data-driven science and engineering companies. He is also the co-founder of Planet Labs, worked as a Space Mission Architect at NASA Ames Research Center and established Singularity University, a school for studying the consequences of accelerating technological development. 

Our second highlight panelist i Frank Salzgeber. He is the Head of the Technology Transfer Programme Office of the European Space Agency (ESA). Prior to this post he was the Head of Commercial Development in European Astronaut Department. He spent 7 years of his career at Apple Computer and in 2000 he founded his first start-up, which was later merged with a publicly traded company.

Want to join the summit?

Early February Update

Hi there again!

We are now 8 weeks away from the Disrupt Space summit! Here's a summary of what has happened the last week:

Did you know that the winning team of each challenge will work with the Disrupt Space team and the challenge giver to flush out your business concept through a series of milestones?

Did you know that the deadline for applying to the Disrupt Space summit as a startup is March 15th?


Logo Viridian Raven - Green.png

Our forth startup is Viridian Raven. Pests kill millions of hectares of forest each year, damaging timber production, ecology and recreational values. Using satellite-data, Viridian Raven calculates pest risks and with an app, foresters can prevent these pests.


Our fifth startup is Blue Dot Solutions. Blue Dot is the first successful Polish startup to receive seed investment in the space sector. The company is creating its own downstream services and products based on Earth Observation, Global Navigation Satellite Systems and ground sensors data for emergency response management and quality of life.


Happy to announce that Airbus Defence and Space is joining the European Space Agency as gold sponsor for the Disrupt Space summit.


Want to join the summit?

Early February Update

Hi there again!

We are now 9 weeks away from the Disrupt Space summit! Here's a summary of what has happened the last week:

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Did you know that as an aspiring entrepreneur, you will be mentored during the two days by the founders of the startups that join the summit? They bring with them a wealth of knowledge learnt the hard way very recently.

Did you know that apart from other space startups we are also inviting business developers and officials from other sectors to the summit, e.g. automotive, IT, construction and mining. They are there to understand how your space startup can help their companies. So do not forget to polish your pitch!

Happy to announce our moderator for the Thursday highlight panel, Sarah Cruddas. She is a space journalist, science broadcaster and established writer. She has covered all aspects of space exploration for various publications including the BBC, CNN, New Scientist, The Sunday Times and has appeared on Sky News,  the National Geographic and The Discovery Channel.

Our very own minister of Economic Affairs, Labour, and Ports of Bremen will give a short welcome speech at the beginning of the summit inviting all the international participants to Bremen!

Our second startup comes from Bulgaria, EnduroSat’s mission is to provide simpler access to space for the next generation of business customers, scientists and technologists.

Our third startup is Vali. Vali is a software which enables engineers to collaboratively build better and cheaper satellites in a more efficient way. Software as a service (SaaS) for complex engineering projects!

Want to join the summit?

Disrupt Space is supported by the City of Bremen, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Space Agency and HE-Space.

Late January Update

Hi there!

We are only 10 weeks away from the Disrupt Space summit! Here's a summary of what has happened the last week:

Early-bird registration for aspiring entrepreneurs and decision makers is about to end. Grab a ticket before 1st of February at a discounted price!

Did you know that there will be a chance to sit down with everyone after the event on Friday evening for a relaxed evening dinner? The dinner ticket can be ordered together with the summit during signup.

Based on feedback, we have decided to group investors together with decision makers. You will now represent one single category! We hope this makes the summit more streamlined!

Our first highlight panelist is Brian Lim. As a disruptive system thinker based in Silicon Valley, he has successfully steered five space startups to investment and profitability. His latest startup helps governments and companies globally to mitigate their climate change risk using next generation Earth Observation technology.

The summit will see a video message from the Director General of the European Space Agency Johann-Dietriech Wörner!

Read our introductory blog post about the journey to found Disrupt Space here.


Our first startup to join the summit is Satsearch. They are a B2B search engine platform for the space industry, supporting systems engineering, procurement and market analysis.

We are happy to have HE-Space Operations as silver sponsor for the summit! Our other supporters are the European Space Agency, Bremen Invest and the European Development Fund.

Want to join the summit?

Launch of Disrupt Space

Small teams driven by their passion with a clear focus can do extraordinary things.

This was the message given by Peter Diamandis at TED in 2012. During his talk he made the case for a future of abundance. A future of clean water and energy, enabled by the ever increasing pace of technological change.

The message was aptly chosen in reflection of his own history. He and two buddies of his, Robert Richards and Todd Hawley focused their passion in 1987 to found the International Space University (ISU). Today like the olympics, a nine-weeks summer program roams to a different country each year bringing together 120 “participants” and almost as many experts, influencers and leaders within the space sector together, regardless of citizenship, gender or background. The program provides its participants a holistic and international view of space treating subjects as diverse as policy and law, business and management, engineering, humanities, life and physical sciences, and space applications. The program ends with three to four intense team projects focusing on subjects that are relevant to the space sector, tackling them from an unique international, interdisciplinary and intercultural (3i) perspective.

In summer 2014, the program was held in Montréal, Canada. 122 participants from 32 countries came to experience this program, I was one of them. Although I was working at the German Aerospace Center at the time designing the next generation of launch vehicles and space planes, arguably a highly innovative activity at a first glance. The reality is that the traditional space sector is surprisingly conservative with a low aptitude for calculated risk. One key puzzle to this conundrum is the predominantly low volume, high value market the sector operates in, a relic from the past 60 years of government controlled activities.

“The traditional space sector is surprisingly conservative with a low aptitude for calculated risk.”

However the space sector today is experiencing a renaissance. New methodologies such as “agile aerospace” is enabling rapid design cycles of complex space systems. Innovative business models are being developed with the aim to commercialize and expand the sector’s value chain. A disruptive change to the industry is happening right now and at an ever quickening pace. But the majority of these activities are occurring in a select part of the US. In the rest of the world, including Europe, a lack of opportunities for innovative ventures in commercial space is still a common perception held by the new generation of space professionals.

Hence I was in Montréal. One of the team projects during the summer program that year dealt with the topic of “open innovation” and its application to the space sector. Open innovation, a buzzword coined by an American organizational theorist named Henry Chesbrough in 2003 promotes collaborative sharing of ideas, processes, and resources between sectors, organizations, and individuals as a means to reduce costs, diversify risk, reduce development time, and to spur innovation. Examples of open innovation include crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding, prize competitions and open source.

The work performed during the summer program at ISU shows that although open innovation within the terrestrial sectors have become a global phenomena through initiatives spearheaded by Tesla, Google, Facebook among many others, the space sector has only recently caught on this trend. We realized that the disruptive change currently happening where mainly driven by the sector opening up to leverage ideas and best practices from other sectors, including the software and consumer electronic industries. Leading companies such as SpaceX are recruiting game developers to write the software of their rockets and space capsules! 

Following that summer program and with new friends, we set out on the grand challenge of trying systematically break down the current barriers that encapsulate the traditional space sector outside of that small part of the US. We knew that working within the walls of existing organizations through a top-down approach would be ineffective. The speed and scope of change needed require the kind of decision making and execution process that would otherwise be stymied within the organizational structure of a large company or agency. The change needs to come from bottom up. It needs to be a grassroots movement.

“We set out on the grand challenge of trying to systematically break down the current barriers that encapsulate the traditional space sector.” 

To kickstart this movement, we gathered together two volunteer teams, one in Bremen, Germany and one in Shanghai, China. Looking outside the space sector, we investigated various formats that could spur the development of entrepreneurial grassroots communities. One model that stood out is the Startup Weekend model.

Startup Weekends are weekend long events spanning 54 hours. Starting Friday evening, every participant receives an opportunity to pitch a business idea. The resulting pitches are voted on by the participants with teams formed around a subset of the best ideas. Industry experts and entrepreneurs join the event on Saturday and Sunday to act as mentors, providing feedback and direction to the teams. On Sunday evening, the teams wrap up their activities and present their work to a panel of judges consisting of investors, successful entrepreneurs and technical experts. Core startup methodologies and philosophies applied within the modern technology sector such as lean startup, business model canvas, design thinking and open innovation are prevalently discussed and applied during the events.

The result was two three-day events occurring on the 10-12th April, 2015. People with backgrounds outside of space were especially encouraged to participate. We gathered several leaders in the global space community – including entrepreneurs, academics, policy experts, technical experts, and business managers – and asked them to serve as mentors.

The events fulfilled the objective of kickstarting an international grassroots movement with 81 participants from 18 countries attending the Bremen event and 43 participants from 12 countries attending the Shanghai event. The first edition of this format acted as a platform to launch several innovative early-stage space startup projects of which currently four international teams formed during the event are continuing to make headway in bringing their products and services to market.

With the foundation of an international grassroots movement in place, I am happy to announce the next step: The Disrupt Space summit. The summit will act as a kickoff platform for new projects by providing aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to tackle challenges proposed by select organizations using space. Furthermore, a number of select early-stage startups will showcase their products and services. Most importantly however will be the attendance of corporates, government representatives and investors, many from outside the space sector. The summit therefore seeks to provide these decision makers a platform to understand the potential and act on opportunities in the space sector.

Just like the team that followed their passion and created ISU, we therefore invite you regardless of your citizenship, gender or background to join in the next step of making space our backyard.

Let’s play!