NewSpace Chicago Business Plan Competition Sweetens the Pot

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 – Chicago IL – NewSpace Chicago announced today that the organization is increasing the prize for winning its business plan competition by $500.

The NewSpace Chicago Business Plan Competition is focused on space-related and space-scalable business start-ups in or around the Chicagoland area. The NewSpace Chicago BPC will be held on March 16th, 2016 at 1871, a local high-tech incubator in downtown Chicago. Submissions will be accepted from February 2nd, 2016 until March 9th, 2016. Contestants will compete in a “shark-tank” style event, each having 15 minutes to present their business plan and answer questions before a panel of judges.  The winner of the NewSpace Chicago BPC will now receive a $3,000 cash prize and a guaranteed place in the national NewSpace BPC, to be held in Seattle on June 23, 2016.

The competitors should have technologies or products that advance the NewSpace movement. These would include the following general areas:

  • Space-scalable™: Technologies primarily developed to solve problems here on Earth for commercial benefit and profit, but are also scalable to solve key long range space problems when the demand ultimately exists, to help make the settlement of the space frontier a reality. This could include biotechnology, nanotechnology, medicine, radiation mitigation, smart materials, alternative energy, or next-gen IT hardware, among many other possibilities.
  • Space-related: Process engineering, power systems, bioregenerative systems, tourism, media, software, and other supportive solutions.
  • Entrepreneurial space: Those firms directly involved in launch systems hardware technology and supporting infrastructure, including data acquisition, communications, exotic fuels, space suits, flight safety, in-space market activities, etc.

This event is organized by NewSpace Chicago, a space industry networking group in Chicago, in partnership with the Space Frontier Foundation, Heinlein Prize Trust, and Orbital Transports, LLC. The competition in Chicago is the regional qualifying event for the national NewSpace Business Plan Competition organized by the Space Frontier Foundation.  The national BPC will select the winners from among contestants from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Chattanooga, and Colorado Springs.

About NewSpace Chicago

NewSpace Chicago was founded in 2015 by David Hurst, Joel Vinas, and Ulisses Meneses to build community around the space industry and new space ventures in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.  The group hosts monthly meetup events to connect students, scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs, investors, and others who are interested in or are involved with the creation of new commercial space ventures.  NewSpace Chicago is organizing the NewSpace Chicago Business Plan Competition to promote Chicago as a center of excellence for new commercial space, space-related, or space-scalable ventures.

To find out more about the NewSpace Chicago and the NewSpace Chicago Business Plan Competition, please visit  To find more about the national NewSpace Business Plan Competition, visit

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