All the Startups Vying for a Spot in Starburst Accelerator 2020

April 14, 2020
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Starburst is the top accelerator for aviation, aerospace and defense startups looking to achieve lift off. The 12-month program provides emerging companies with networking and mentorship opportunities as they develop their product and prepare to raise investor funding. On April 8th, Starburst–Los Angeles held a virtual selection event where the following ten companies presented their offerings in hopes of landing a coveted spot in the renowned program.

Asylon

Philadelphia, PA
Founded in 2015

Damon Henry, Brent McLaughlin, and Adam Mohamed are the co-founders behind Asylon, an aerial infrastructure company that provides drone technology for surveillance, military, and mining applications. The startup’s DroneCore system gives users the ability to set drone patrol missions and respond autonomously to IoT alarm triggers. The small UAVs can also perform their own battery swaps for maximum uptime. Asylon raised a pre-Seed Round of $1M last year.

Fortify

Boston, MA
Founded in 2016

Fortify founders Randall Erb and Joshua Martin were students at Northeastern University when they began their investigation into 3D printing for fabricating composites with optimized microstructures. Their research led to the invention of Fluxprint, a process that combines magnetics and digital light processing 3D printing to produce composite parts with ideal mechanical properties. Components created by Fortify's Fluxprint technology feature enhanced strength, stiffness, resolution and mechanics all with a reduced time-to-market. Last year, the startup raised a $10M Series A with Accel coming on as lead investor.

HyperJet Fusion

Chantilly, VA
Founded in 2017

HyperJet Fusion is developing a safe, clean and economical approach to utility scale fusion energy called the Hypervelocity Gradient Field Fusion (HGFF). The technology uses a HGFF reactor that works by firing a small fusion fuel pellet from an advanced plasma railgun at a hypervelocity of 10 km/s. These advanced, high performance plasma guns produce clean energy for industrial and aerospace applications.  Dr. Y. C. Francis Thio and Dr. F. Douglas Witherspoon are the leaders and engineers at the helm of HyperJet Fusion, and they’ve secured $2M in private funding from Strong Atomics as well as additional financing from NASA and the Department of Energy.

Launcher

Brooklyn, NY
Founded in 2017

Satellites have shrunk to the size of a bread loaf and no longer need the power of large and expensive rockets to get into orbit. That’s why startup Launcher is developing high-performance rockets capable of carrying payloads up to 773 kg. Launch vehicle components are 3D printed and the engine uses kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants to break the surly bounds of Earth. Max Haot founded Launcher in order to offer smallsat customers lower prices and greater flexibility for reaching low-Earth orbit. The startup raised over $4.5M including $1.5M from the U.S. Air Force’s first-ever Space Pitch Day held last year.

Lynk Global, Inc

Falls Church, VA
Founded in 2017

Charles Miller, Margo Deckard, and Tyghe Speidel are the co-founders behind Lynk, a startup developing the first “cell tower in space” using a constellation of nanosatellites. Lynk aims to offer every cell phone on the planet wireless connectivity so that they can stay connected, always. In the desert, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in the dense Amazon jungle, Lynk users will be able to make calls and send texts using terrestrial or satellite signals. In July 2019, Lynk raised a $12M Series A with Blazar Ventures LLC, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest, Unshackled, and RRE as lead investors.

Skyways

Austin, TX
Founded in 2017

Skyways is building autonomous VTOL drones that can deliver payloads up to 45 lbs to remote areas. The startup was founded by Charles Acknin who got the idea for the company while stuck in Silicon Valley’s infamous traffic. Skyways participated in Y-Combinator where it was awarded $120K in Seed funding to bring total financing to over $2M. Acknin plans to focus on fully autonomous, AI-driven payload delivery to fund a long-term goal of fully autonomous consumer vehicles.

T-Worx Technologies

Sterling, VA
Founded in 2017

T-Worx’s Devin Schain and Don Mclaughlin are the brains behind the company’s I-Rail – a  platform that powers, connects, and communicates data from rifles and accessories to command centers on and off the battlefield. I-Rail snaps onto standard military rifles and instantly turns them into smart weapons that distribute critical data and high-resolution video, enabling instantaneous responses to shifts on the ground. T-Worx has been working with the U.S. Army to develop the technology, and has secured roughly $30M to date.

United Aircraft Technologies, Inc.

Troy, NY
Founded in 2017

Evaguel Rhysing, Daryian Rhysing, and Donald A. DeVito are the founders of United Aircraft Technologies, (UAT), a maker of hardware-free electric clamps used in aircraft. The concept for the technology was born out of Daryian’s experience as an aircraft electrician who developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome while replacing outdated clamps. UAT’s solution uses a network of sensors, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, housed in the world's first hardware-free electrical clamp for aircraft wiring. The device is 60-65% lighter than existing counterparts, reducing carbon emissions while increasing the personal safety of aircraft technicians tasked with maintenance. UAT has received over $800K in funding.

Wilder Systems Robots

Founded in 2015
Austin, TX

Wilder Systems Robots is improving aircraft manufacturing by developing cost-effective robotics that can assist with drilling, rivet drill out, aircraft washing, non-destructive inspection, and tool
cleaning/maintenance. The company’s technology cuts labor time by more than 50%, speeding deliveries and reducing labor costs. Plus, the robots help planemakers reduce incidences of repeat motion injuries so that team members can stay on their A-game. Will Wilder is the founder and CEO of his namesake company which was awarded first place at the Spring 2018 Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition.

Veracity Protocol

New York, NY
Founded in 2018

As its name suggests, Veracity Protocols enables any camera to verify the authenticity of products anytime, anywhere. The authentication technology is 99.7% accurate, 100% tamper proof, and allows for mobile verification in less than 3 seconds. Veracity uses an object’s unique material to create a code that can’t be cloned, removed or tampered with unlike tags, chips or markers. It can be used across industries to verify pharmaceuticals, electronics, fashion items, and secure government documents. Jakub Krcmar and Roman Komarek founded Veracity with $2M in pre-Seed capital, and the startup participated in the Alchemist Blockchain Techstars
Accelerator.

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