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Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta 2022 awards Kurs Orbital for its in-orbit spacecraft support solutions

November 8th, 2022
Three ESA BIC Turin start-ups shine at the award ceremony of the regional competition: Kurs Orbital wins the first prize and the Jacobacci Silver Award, Mespac reaches the second prize and the UniCredit Start Lab Award, Synchropal is awarded the Cuneo Prize.

Kurs Orbital, an Italian start-up incubated at I3P and part of the ESA BIC Turin programme, won the 2022 edition of Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta with its in-orbit support services for spacecraft, which enable satellite life extension and space debris removal missions, allowing to aim for a safer and more sustainable future in space. 

Start Cup Piemonte Valle d’Aosta is an entrepreneurial projects competition that aims to stimulate entrepreneurship and economic growth, awarding the best innovative business ideas expressed through a Business Plan. Now in its 18th edition, the competition is organized as part of the PNI - Premio Nazionale per l'Innovazione (Italian National Award for Innovation) and promoted by incubators I3P2i3T and Enne3 to spread the culture of innovation at local level, promote the economic development in Piedmont and Aosta Valley and support the birth of innovative and knowledge-intensive start-ups in various fields: Life Sciences, ICT, Cleantech & Energy, Industrial, Tourism and the Cultural and Creative Industries.

Thanks to the endowment made available by the promoters and supporters of the 2022 edition, as well as the support of Regione Piemonte through the European Social Fund, this year's total prize money amounted to more than 65,000 euros, in cash and services. The winners were announced and awarded at an event held in Novara, at the University of Eastern Piedmont, on November 8th, 2022.

The award-winning space start-ups

Start-up Kurs Orbital, incubated in I3P and part of the ESA BIC Turin program, won the first prize of 10,000 euros thanks to its solution for space logistics based on a patented technology. In particular, Kurs Orbital aims to offer services for the inspection and maintenance of satellites by supporting their life extension.

In second place, winning a 7,500 euros prize, is Mespac, a Turin-based start-up also incubated at I3P and part of the ESA BIC Turin program: through the use of space assets and the application of AI, Mespac aims to provide services that support Blue Economy operators in the various phases during the life cycle of offshore marine energy plants.

Among the special prizes, awarded by the sponsors of Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta 2022:

  • the Cuneo Prize of 7,500 euros for the best Business Plan that establishes the company in the Italian Province of Cuneo, sponsored by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, went to M.O.D.O. by Synchropal, a start-up incubated at I3P, which has developed an innovative system for the synchronization of time and frequency, through  a miniaturized optical oscillator, tolerant to spoofing, jamming and meaconing;

  • the Jacobacci Silver Award of 2,000 euros, awarded by Jacobacci & Partners and delivered in the form of consultancy services, went to Kurs Orbital;

  • the Unicredit Start Lab Award offered by Unicredit, which consists of a mentorship session during which it will be possible to assess the suitability of the project to be admitted to targeted content of the Start Lab programme, went to Mespac.

Young companies on the path to the future

"Kurs Orbital, supported by I3P, is extremely honored to have been selected for two prizes in the 2022 Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta. Since the beginning of our adventure inside the incubation process of the ESA BIC Turin we really felt to be in the right place to nurture our company," commented Volodymyr Usov, CEO of Kurs Orbital. "The will to open a new market frontier in orbit thanks to a technology we are developing is no joke, but being nominated as start-up of the year in these two regions and receiving a prize from Jacobacci & Partners about our IPs means we are on the good track to be successful in our mission. Now we will also participate at the national startup event in L'Aquila by PNICube, where we think ARCap, our autonomous rendezvous and docking module, will show its value to a bigger audience. Kurs Orbital is moving really fast but we are happy to see our work recognised and appreciated along the way."

"We are extremely excited for the award and deeply thankful to the staff of the ESA BIC Turin program at I3P, the Incubator of Politecnico di Torino, as they provided us continuous support during the preparation over the past months," said Andrea Gulisano, CEO of Mespac. "We hope to be able to make the best of all the opportunities that will come thanks to the visibility brought by this recognition. Besides, we really look forward to build Mespac into a sustainable company, while bringing our service into the hands of offshore renewable energy projects developers."

Ibrahim Osmani, Founder & CEO of Synchropal, commented: "Synchropal, founded in May 2022 in Alba, in the province of Cuneo, with the assignment of the Cuneo Special Prize in the business plan competition Start Cup Piedmont Valle d'Aosta confirms on the one hand its link with the territory where it was born, while on the other hand the validity of the Business Plan built on the scale of a cutting-edge technological innovation project (M.O.D.O. - Multichannel Optical Disciplined Oscillator). This positive result is also the outcome of our interactions in a qualifying environment like ESA BIC Turin, in which Synchropal is incubated. For these reasons, we can consider ourselves very satisfied."

"Start-ups have always been an opportunity for growth and evolution of our entrepreneurial system, an embodiment of the unique ability to seize new opportunities common to all Italians, experimenting and promoting ideas to increase competitiveness and development", said Andrea Tronzano, Councillor for Development of Productive Activities, Piedmont Region. "I am particularly pleased to see that among the award-winning companies there are some in the aerospace field, one of the sectors in which Regione Piemonte is investing and which undoubtedly represents one of the future development assets of our region. To all participants, and there were many, I wish them to continue to be eager for novelty and to work to make their dreams come true for all of us."

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