The Reef Starter Innovation Challenge is intended to kickstart a broad array of commercial operations in low Earth orbit (LEO). This exciting new challenge from Orbital Reef is primarily geared towards startup organizations, at any stage of development or commercialization, though corporations of any size are welcome to respond.

Potential industries and applications of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Agriculture/Agronomy
  • Advertising
  • Entertainment
  • Materials Science
  • Pharmaceutical development
  • Manufacturing including additive manufacturing
  • Biochemistry
  • Human Physiology
  • Textiles
  • Electronics
  • Quantum technologies

Terrestrial end-use should be the primary focus of any proposed technology or business. Proposals focused on innovations for a space operations hub including assembly, refueling, and maintenance are welcome but are not the primary focus of this Challenge.


To participate in the Reef Starter Innovation Challenge, interested respondents must submit a response via the online response form prior to the submission deadline of November 4, 2022 by 8pm EST. Responses must include only non-confidential, non-proprietary content.

The online response form gives you the opportunity to tell Orbital Reef about the exciting innovations you think are possible for your technology with access to microgravity.

To learn more, check out the other sections of this Challenge page, refer to our webinar, or contact us.


Reef Starter will invite up to twenty-five (25) highly rated respondents to participate in the Reef Starter Pitch Event to be held in November 2022. At these sessions, respondents will pitch their technology to a broad array of Orbital Reef representatives from business development to science and more.

From the list of finalists, up to 3 presenters will be awarded up to $100,000.

Reef Starter will also present Innovation Awards of up to $25,000 for innovative startups and research efforts at the pre-seed/concept stage that are ready to take their first step towards commercial development.

Furthermore, Reef Starter will provide winners with a broad range of post-challenge supports, as determined by the needs of the respondent. Examples of potential support include access to workshops and introductions to the broader Orbital Reef network.

Advanced Technology International (ATI), the parent company of TechConnect, will also introduce finalists to representatives from the various consortia it manages. The ATI consortia are responsible for facilitating billions of dollars of government spending on technology needs, across a wide range of technology domains. To learn more about the consortia, please visit the ATI Collaboration page.

Additionally, all finalists will be awarded a fully paid registration for the TechConnect World Conference 2023, to be held in National Harbor, Maryland (travel and lodging not included).