Who We Are. NewSpace Chicago is an open community of professionals who are interested in commercializing and developing outer space. We are promoting Chicago as a center of excellence for new commercial space, space-related, and space-scalable ventures.
Why Space. Space is not only for business, it is the future of industry. Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates the space industry will reach $3 Trillion in 30 years. Businesses already operating in space generate billions of dollars each year in economic activity. Examples include launch services, communications, weather, other remote sensing, and global positioning systems (GPS). As humanity moves beyond simply exploring space and goes there to stay, we will engage in the activities that people do when they inhabit a place. The challenges of space-based enterprises are familiar: air and water, energy, food, habitation, logistics, scheduling and transport, construction, finance, insurance, communication, resource extraction, manufacturing, entertainment and recreation.
Why Now. Space is happening now. NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program has motivated competition and innovation in the private sector like never before. Starting with commercial launch services for crew and cargo in 2009, this shift also is enabling the private sector to address other capabilities and the growth of an entirely new industry.
New space ventures span a broad range of for-profit applications originally developed to solve problems here on Earth, scalable to solve problems in space. These applications cover diverse fields including biotechnology, medicine, nanotechnology, smart materials, alternative energy, and even fashion. Innovation in space technologies is attracting significant capital interest, with over $3 B invested in 2016.
Why Chicago. Chicago is an economic powerhouse, regionally generating nearly $610 B in annual economic activity. Q1 of 2017 alone saw 26 VC rounds worth a combined $243 M. Chicago is a global financial center, a technology center, a transportation hub, supporting a large science and engineering workforce, and home to world-class universities and research institutions. Chicago has all of the ingredients to grow new commercial space ventures.
Why You. We are starting up the private space industry in Chicago. Our members include launch services, and spacecraft builders, but also aviation, information technology, aerospace fashion, and advertising creatives. Join us. Join the future.
Where to Start. Get involved! We have monthly networking events at mHUB Chicago. Sign up for our free newsletter and Meetup invites on our Contact Us page and follow us on Twitter @NewSpaceChicago.