WASHINGTON — Amazon Web Services is launching a space accelerator program for startups, the company announced March 30. 

AWS is teaming up with the U.K.-based venture investment firm Seraphim Capital to select the first 10 startups for the four-week mentoring program scheduled to begin in June. The program will be modeled after Seraphim’s “space camp” accelerator. 

The space accelerator is another step in AWS’s expansion into the space sector. Amazon Web Services in 2019 introduced AWS Ground Station, a cloud-based system for controlling satellites, and for downloading and analyzing data. The company in 2020 stood up the AWS Aerospace and Satellite business to work with government agencies and the space industry and figure out new ways to use the cloud. Startups have become a huge part of the AWS space business customer base.

Applications for the space accelerator program are due April 21.

“AWS and Seraphim will select a cohort of space startups to participate in an intensive, four-week program with AWS cloud and technical training to help them accelerate research, development and growth,” Sandy Carter, vice president of programs for AWS worldwide public sector, said in a blogpost. 

Startups at all stages of maturity working with space technology or space data are eligible to apply, Carter said. Selection criteria include: the innovative and unique nature of the project, the overall value the solution will bring to the industry, the creative application of AWS to solve problems and the team’s ability to deliver on an identified opportunity.

The 10 selected startups will receive mentoring and up to $100,000 in AWS technical services offered under the AWS Activate program.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...