Funding Opportunities

The Space Ventures Coalition helps SoCal small technology companies and emerging startups identify funding sources for a range of technologies and services. Please check below for active areas of interest from NASA, the Air Force & Space Force, and other government programs.

Current Funding Opportunities

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NASA Funding Opportunities

NASA SBIR

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was established by Congress in 1982 to fund research and development (R&D) by small businesses of 500 or fewer employees. Eleven federal agencies participate in the program, including the Department of Defense.

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NASA Tipping Point

The Space Technology Mission Directorate has prioritized funding opportunities for public-private partnerships to achieve NASA’s goals of expanding capabilities and opportunities in space. These solicitations increase focus on collaborations with the commercial space sector that not only leverage emerging markets and capabilities to meet NASA's strategic goals, but also focus on industry needs. NASA's investments in industry partnerships can reduce development costs and accelerate infusion of these emerging space system capabilities. While developing the technology to enable NASA's next generation of science and human exploration missions, we will grow the economy and strengthen the nation's economic competitiveness.

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Flight Opportunities

Researchers from U.S.-based industry, academia, and other non-NASA organizations can compete for funding through NASA’s Tech Flights solicitations. Awardees receive a grant or collaborative agreement allowing them to purchase flights directly from a U.S. commercial flight vendor that best meets their needs.

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NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Plan

NASA/Ames Research Center (ARC) on behalf of the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s (STMD) Small Spacecraft Technology (SST) Program is hereby soliciting information from potential sources for inputs on the desired future states / mini design reference capabilities (called “Outcomes”) and the associated “Technology Gaps” that need to be closed to achieve those “Outcomes” that are listed in NASA STMD’s Small Spacecraft Technology Plan.

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NASA Solve

NASA Solve is an invitation to members of the public to contribute their time and expertise to advancing research, solving problems, and potentially winning prizes as a result of their work. Specific projects listed on this site that engage people in problem solving include crowdsourced challenges and prize competitions, citizen science projects, and competitions aimed at advancing student education, and many more activities.

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Startup NASA

By offering a license with no up-front costs for commercial use of our patented technologies, we're letting companies hold onto their cash while securing the intellectual property needed to carve out competitive market space.

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US Air Force & Space Force Funding Opportunities

AFWERX Challenge

Challenge is where individuals, startups, small businesses, large enterprises, academics and research labs submit solutions to specific challenges to solve problems for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). It’s a growing military/business ecosystem. Most of the challenges are open, seeking to facilitate dialogue and collaboration. On open challenges, participants can usually see, comment, rate and community vote on submissions. AFWERX Challenge does not ask for IP, trade secrets or financial information to be disclosed publicly..

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Air Force SBIR-STTR

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was established by Congress in 1982 to fund research and development (R&D) by small businesses of 500 or fewer employees. Eleven federal agencies participate in the program, including the Department of Defense. The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program was established in 1992 to fund cooperative R&D projects with small businesses and non-profit U.S. research institutions, such as universities. Five federal agencies participate, including the Department of Defense. Both programs focus on projects and services with the potential to develop into a product for military or commercial sectors.

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AFRL Hyperspace Challenge

Hyperspace Challenge, powered by the Air Force Research Lab New Mexico and ABQid, brings together tech startups with government innovators to accelerate collaboration between commercial and government communities. Our unique program facilitates interactions between promising technologies and timely problems to increase rapid acquisition and contracting opportunities. Our goal isn’t innovation at the speed of light, it's faster.

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Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC)

SpEC minimizes barriers to entry for small, non-traditional businesses to work with the Government, and identifies research and prototyping teaming opportunities.

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General Tech Funding Opportunities

Defense Innovation Unit

DIU strengthens our national security by accelerating the adoption of leading commercial technology throughout the military and growing the national security innovation base.

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Army XTech Search

xTechSearch is a competition sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)), targeting small businesses to uncover novel dual-use science and technology solutions.

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Challenge.gov

Here, members of the public compete to help the U.S. government solve problems big and small. Browse through challenges and submit your ideas for a chance to win.

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are highly competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR and STTR enable small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated, and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs. Central to the STTR program is the partnership between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The STTR program requires the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

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Venture Capital

Space Capital

Space Capital is a seed stage venture capital firm investing in the space economy, specifically focused on unlocking the value in space technology stacks such as GPS, geospatial intelligence, and communications.

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DCVC (Data Collective)

DCVC backs entrepreneurs solving trillion-dollar problems to multiply the benefits of capitalism for everyone while reducing its costs.

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Khosla Ventures

Khosla Ventures provides venture assistance and strategic advice to entrepreneurs working on breakthrough technologies.

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Founders Fund

Founders Fund is a San Francisco based venture capital firm investing in science and technology companies solving difficult problems. The firm invests at all stages across a wide variety of sectors, including aerospace, artificial intelligence, advanced computing, energy, health and consumer Internet.

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Promus Ventures

Promus Ventures invests in disruptive early-stage software companies delivering analytic and data-driven products and services. The fund invests primarily in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, and focuses on mobile, digital media, tools and analytics, and connected web.

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Seraphim Capital

The world's first Venture Fund dedicated to financing the growth of companies operating in the 'new space' ecosystem. Seraphim Capital invests in companies that are transforming global industries through application, use and enhancement of satellite and drone enabled data.

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Y Combinator

Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year we invest a small amount of money ($125k) in a large number of startups.

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The Orbital Index: Space Startup & Entrepreneurship Funding

An extensive listing of funding sources for Space Startups & Entrepreneurs.

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Spaced Ventures

Space Ventures is building the world’s largest community of space investors. A community that comes from a diverse set of social, economic, and national backgrounds, but all sharing a common goal – sending humanity to the stars. It will be an ecosystem where space startup founders not only get the funds they need but also the support and guidance to go the distance. When the first trillion-dollar space companies emerge we expect some of them will be Spaced Ventures alum.

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