Atlanta is about to embark on its own kind of space race, thanks to a new program housed at Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), an international organization for startup founders, is expanding its Space Stream to Atlanta and Paris. It aims to be the largest concentration of early-stage space companies in the world.
The Space Stream has operated in Toronto for the past four years under the direction of former NASA astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield and has worked with 27 space-related startups to date.
CDL will seek to recruit 20 new companies through international expansion. Lydia Turkié, director of CDL-Atlanta, said the overall goal of the program is to launch 150 companies that create more than $700 million in net worth by 2026.
Space is one of 16 global focus areas of CDL, a nine-month nonprofit mentorship program. The program seeks to “match scientific innovations born in the labs with the right commercial perspective,” Turkié said.
“The new Global Space Stream will bring together the vast and strong network of space professionals in Atlanta: astronauts, entrepreneurs, space investors and scientists,” Turkié told Hypepotamus. “Thanks to our mentorship program, founders will have the chance to benefit from the expertise of this network to accelerate their projects, raise capital and conquer the market.”
The Space Stream will seek startups developing space and ground technologies, whether in the areas of analytics, satellite hardware, navigation, manufacturing, space situational awareness, robotics or projects. called “moonshot” in the exploration of deep space.
“My long-term dream has always been the colonization of space,” JP James, president and principal investor at Hive Financial Systems and mentor to CDL-Atlanta, wrote in a statement. “But the path from here to there requires a combination of expertise, entrepreneurship, capital and government support. CDL connects all of these components in a transformative way. »
The program will also connect emerging space communities in Atlanta, Toronto and Paris. This is especially important as startups navigate different marketing landscapes and international space regulations. Turkié added that the Space Stream “will foster transatlantic synergies between talent on both sides of the pond.”
Atlanta’s global impact on the space community
Atlanta is a natural expansion site for CDL’s cosmic ambitions.
Georgia Tech alone has 1,400 current students studying at the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, making it the largest of America’s top university programs. It has also produced 14 astronauts and several space and aerospace-focused startups.
The US Space Force is also recruiting heavily from outside the university through its new partnership program.
The wider Georgia Tech community is also invested, as Turkié said the Scheller College of Business recently launched a Space Club for students interested in the industry.
Another draw to Atlanta’s selection was the larger space community in the Southeast. Six of NASA’s fifteen centers and facilities are located in the region, including the famous Kennedy Space Center and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
Other space centers in the Southeast include the Florida High Tech Corridor, Tennessee Space Institute, Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, and several universities offering aerospace programs and specializations.
International reach of CDL-Atlanta
Atlanta is no stranger to CDL and its international connections. Georgia Tech is one of ten universities worldwide to host a CDL program. Other schools include University of Oxford, Dalhousie University, Rotman School of Management, UBC Sauder, HEC Paris, University of Calgary, HEC Montreal, University of Washington, and University of Wisconsin.
To date, CDL-Atlanta has focused on e-commerce related startups, which have attracted founders from England, Canada, Israel and across the United States.
The program was born out of the evolution of Atlanta’s community of e-commerce founders and investors. The main partners of the Atlanta Commerce Stream are Frank Blake, former CEO of Home Depot, and Sid Mookerji, founder of Atlanta-based VC Silicon Road.
Current MBA and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech. students work with CDL companies around the world through TI:GER (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results), a competitive, transdisciplinary program designed to prepare students to work in high-growth technology fields.