By Tim Ryan

In an exhilarating leap for innovation, NASA has unveiled the Space Tech Catalyst Prize, a pioneering initiative designed to foster diversity and growth in the space technology sector. This opportunity is not just a call to action for space enthusiasts but a beacon for entrepreneurs in the Hampton Roads region, urging them to harness their innovative spirit and contribute to this stellar venture.

The NASA Space Tech Catalyst Prize is a unique endeavor to recognize and support U.S. entities, including individuals, educators, mentors, and organizations. These entities are those who excel in empowering underrepresented and diverse professionals in space technology. The prize pool is a whopping $500,000, set to be distributed among up to 20 recipients, each potentially receiving $25,000. This substantial support is geared toward building a thriving community within NASA’s Early-Stage Innovations and Partnerships (ESIP) portfolio.

The primary goals of this competition resonate with the essence of innovation and inclusion. They focus on showcasing effective strategies to develop skills in the space technology sector, expanding NASA’s ESIP portfolio outreach, and recognizing those who champion diversity in this field.

For entrepreneurs in Hampton Roads, this is more than a competition; it’s an opportunity to align with global space technology leaders. By collaborating with local institutions and businesses, entrepreneurs can create solutions and educational programs that resonate with the prize’s objectives. Moreover, this initiative provides an excellent platform for networking, mentorship, and gaining industry recognition.

How to Apply

1. Register by February 8th, 2024, by completing the registration form and meeting the eligibility criteria.

2. Attend an informational webinar, an invaluable resource for understanding the competition’s nuances and requirements.

3. Submit your entry by February 22nd, 2024. This involves a detailed submission form, references, and a short video showcasing how your endeavors align with NASA’s objectives.

The NASA Space Tech Catalyst Prize is not just a competition; it’s a launchpad for Hampton Roads entrepreneurs to propel their ideas into the stratosphere of space technology. By participating, they join a constellation of innovators aiming to create a more inclusive and vibrant space tech community. This is an opportunity to be recognized by NASA, to network with peers, and to be part of an exciting journey toward a diverse and innovative future in space technology. Entrepreneurs of Hampton Roads, it’s time to aim high and dream big – the cosmos awaits your contribution!