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NASA Names Six Entrepreneur's Challenge Winners


NASA has selected six entrepreneurial companies to receive $80K each as winners of a prize competition that sought concepts to build instruments and other technology that could support science exploration programs.

The agency said Wednesday it worked with Starburst aerospace accelerator in efforts to engage startups through the Entrepreneur’s Challenge to address three technical focus areas, namely physics-based transfer learning and artificial intelligence, advanced mass spectrometry and quantum sensors.

Under the pilot program, participants submitted ideas on the applications of AI and machine learning to help space vehicles function autonomously, as well as to facilitate disaster management and Earth observation initiatives.

Companies also looked at mass spectrometer as a potential tool to detect essential elements for life and explored quantum sensor technology for scientific instrument assessment.

The agency initially selected 15 proposals out of almost 80 submissions during the first round and awarded $20K each to 10 downselected pitches for the second round at a July 29 virtual event.

Finalists refined and presented concepts at the agency’s Innovation and Opportunity Conference in October.

The winning startups are:

  • Cognitive Space
  • Evermore Intelligence
  • MOBILion
  • Trace Matters Scientific
  • Guardion Technologies
  • Cold Quanta
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