Techstrong Group

The Alan B. Levan | NSU Broward Center of Innovation (Levan Center of Innovation) has partnered with the Space Foundation to bolster space entrepreneurship for years to come. The collaborative effort will work to develop and implement customized programs, events and services targeted toward entrepreneurs in the space sector. 

“We will take our existing Founder’s Journey programming and customize it to the space sector to support entrepreneurs at all stages of maturity,” said John Wensveen, PhD, chief innovation officer at NSU and executive director, Levan Center of Innovation. “The first program will focus on ideate, the second program will focus on incubate, the third program will focus on accelerate, and the fourth program will focus on post-accelerate.” 

To kick off the initiative, the Levan Center of Innovation will host South Florida Space Day on Oct. 12. The first “space day” in the region will involve several supporters including the Space Foundation, NASA and Space Florida. The event will also have keynote speakers, panels, seminars, exhibits and more. Furthermore, Broward County Mayor Michael Udine will issue a proclamation, declaring Oct. 12 – Broward County Space Day. 

“In terms of benefit to the community, this partnership will result in breakthrough ideas, creation of new technologies, development of a new talents skills pipeline, company formation, job creation, and scaling of early-stage and young startup companies,” said Wensveen. “Additionally, existing businesses in South Florida will learn about space opportunities, allowing them to pivot and enter a new world for expansion.”

With the space sector being worth approximately $450 billion worldwide, its growing commercialization has generated a pressing demand for new products, services and companies. This rapid growth has also created many job opportunities, as there is a need to fill positions in areas that directly and indirectly support space. 

In turn, the Levan Center of Innovation has stepped into the sector, as it looks to cultivate entrepreneurship in the previously government-dominated industry. 

“Traditionally, the public has viewed the space sector as spaceships and satellites, not recognizing the total infrastructure required to support the industry,” said Wensveen. “Historically, the space sector has been controlled by the worlds’ governments and, given the lower barriers of entry due to technological advancements for more effective space activities, there is an increased reliance on the private sector to deliver – resulting in opportunities for entrepreneurs at all stages of the Founder’s Journey.” 

As it steps into this unique opportunity, the Levan Center of Innovation will work hand in hand with the Space Foundation, a nonprofit with vast space industry expertise. Together, the two organizations will take on the space sector, with hopes of pushing it to new heights commercially. 

“The Levan Center of Innovation can link the South Florida region while the Space Foundation is able to link the national and international space systems. Collectively, both parties bring an extensive network of knowledge, contacts, and resources, and this co-invested strategic partnership ultimately results in what will most likely be the most powerful ‘spacepreneuership’ offering in the nation when fully mature,” said Wensveen. 

All in all, as the Levan Center of Innovation and the Space Foundation continue to advance their initiative, both the space industry and its entrepreneurs will benefit immensely.