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Following up on the success of the 2020 NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Entrepreneurs Challenge, NASA has once again partnered with the global aerospace hub, Starburst, to renew the Entrepreneurs Challenge (EC) for 2021!

The Entrepreneurs Challenge seeks to invite fresh ideas and new participants in supporting development of instruments and technologies with the potential to advance the agency's science mission goals.

The challenge will take place in two rounds:

In Round One, applicants will submit a short white paper outlining a technology concept that addresses one of the technology focus areas below.  A panel of judges will then select up to twenty (20) companies to receive an invitation to Round Two along with $10,000 in prize funding.

In Round Two, participants will submit a more comprehensive white paper detailing their technological solutions and will also participate in a live pitch event that will be open to the public to present their ideas to a panel of judges who will score the white paper and the presentation. Industry representatives, venture capitalists, and NASA program managers will also be invited to the pitch event. Up to ten (10) winning participants will be awarded an additional $80,000 in prize funding to mature their concepts further. 

The 2021 edition of the Entrepreneurs Challenge will focus on identifying new approaches to advancing NASA's capabilities in the following focus areas:


SmallSat science technologies


Metamaterials-based sensors


Biomarker detection


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