International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is a five-day space conference held annually in mid-October. It is one of the largest space conferences in the world. In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, the 70th IAC will be held in Washington D.C. from October 21-25 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Arguably the best event of its kind, IAC’s conference connects people from all corners of the global space community with a program of panels, presentations, and networking events tailored for industry professionals. If we could clone ourselves, IAC would be where to do it because there is no shortage of events appealing to the Astropreneur inside all of us. I’m Mclee Kerolle and I am pleased to be the curator of the 2019 (Ultimate) Astropreneurs’ Guide to IAC. Welcome!

Where to find Astropreneurs at IAC

In addition to the amazing exhibition floor, this year expect to find Astropreneurs at every panel, meeting, technical session, and/or networking forum dealing with space-based entrepreneurship. Sticking with this year’s theme, our guide also connects the past and the future of space entrepreneurship.

We have color-coded many of our favorite events under four categories for your convenience: Global Networking Forum, IAF, Technical Sessions, and Special Sessions. 

Monday, October 21

What: The Heads of Agencies Press Conference gives the audience the opportunity to directly address heads of various space agencies asking the relevant and challenging questions.
When: 15:15-16:00
Where: Room 206
Why: As members of the press, Astropreneurs cannot miss this opportunity to interact with the top of various space agencies.

What: Boeing and Energia: Search for New Forms of Sustainable Cooperation in Space
When: 16:50-17:35
Where: Grand Ballroom ABC
Why: Despite the obvious tensions that are inherent in international politics between two superpowers, it is comforting to now that these tensions tend to not overshadow international cooperation when it comes to space being for the benefit of all mankind. The most symbolic representation of this international cooperation in space is the International Space Station. This networking forum gives Astropreneurs an opportunity to discuss current trends of international cooperation with the heads of Boeing and Energia; 2 of the largest space companies in the United States and Russia respectively. Moderated by Lena D Winne, CEO and First Vice President of the prototypical future space state Asgardia, the symbolic significance and timely relevance of this forum should not be lost on Astropreneurs.

Tuesday, October 22

What: IAF Excellence in Industry Award for Blue Origin
When: 8:00 – 8:25
Where: Grand Ballroom
Why: Because, as its inaugural award, this is literally history in the making and inspiration for every Astropreneur! The IAF Excellence in Industry Award recognizes an industry organization for outstanding and sustainable advancements in space, showing the merits of leadership in developing and executing landmark commercial and civil space missions and for being a role model for cooperation in the global space industry workforce.  For its first awardee, the IAF has selected Blue Origin for its significant and sustainable contribution towards enabling an enduring human presence in space through its New Shepard launch system and BE-3 liquid hydrogen rocket engine. The ceremony will be followed by a fireside chat with Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.

What: IAF Entrepreneurship and Investment Committee (EIC)
When: 10:00 – 12:00
Where: Room 149A
Why: With all the top tier events happening at IAC, this is one that really speaks to the heart of Astropreneurs. The EIC promotes dialogue among entrepreneurs, established companies, government, and academia, focusing on the encouragement of economic innovation and attraction of private investment. With a clear goal of generating ideas and inspiring initiatives around the world that contributes to technology-driven economic growth by 2027, this is a meeting that depicts the more proactive, instead of reactive, side of the space industry.

What: Entrepreneurship and Innovation- The Practitioners’ Perspectives
When: 14:45-17:34
Where: Room 147B
Why: To many, the technical session at IAC is the foundation of the conference. As a result, it would be a disservice to Astropreneurs far and wide if they were not included in our 2019 guide. This session offers a broad spectrum of the entrepreneurship landscape from the perspective of practitioners.  With presentations such as “The Rise of Space Entrepreneurship: Trends in the Entrepreneurship and Investment Committee” and “Boosting Innovation Between Space and Non-Space Sectors: The Business Case of Spaceup Project,” this session will offer Astropreneurs practical and tangible insight into entrepreneurship in the space industry.

What: IAF Startup Pitch Session at IAC 2019
When: 16:30 – 17:45
Where: Grand Ballroom A
Why: Entrepreneurship and startups go together like peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, the sun and the moon. This session gives Astroprenuers the chance to watch pre-selected participants pitch their startup in front of a jury of world-renowned space experts and investors. The lucky 8 Startups that have been selected to participate in the pitch session are: Morpheus Space, HIVE, Hostmi GmBh, Klepsydra Technologies, Space Zab Company, Dipteron, Intergalactic Education LLC, & Digantara Research and Technologies. 

Wednesday, October 23

What: SGAC -LSA SpaceGen Entrepreneurs
When: 9:40-10:40
Where: Grand Ballroom C
Why:  Because the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), the premier international space organizations for young professionals worldwide, has teamed up with the Luxembourg Space Agency (home to one of the most dynamic space sectors in the world) to provide a forum where high-caliber entrepreneurs, business investors, and startup experts will discuss how to capitalize on new commercial opportunities in the space industry and the most effective ways to succeed in startup ventures. Note: This will be followed by a reception from 10:40-11:40.

What: Forming, Storming, and Norming the Future Lunar Exploration Enterprise
When: 10:50-11:50
Where: Grand Ballroom A
Why:  Because this session brings together a diverse set of industry experts to discuss the important questions related to our future Lunar Exploration Enterprise on the path to Mars: Why invest in exploration? What do you need from others across the enterprise to make your mission successful? How do we define success is sustained presence on the lunar surface and how will it contribute to Mars efforts?

What: Young Minds Meet Space Leaders: Words into Action
When: 14:45-16:15
Where: 146A
Why: This special session is your chance to contribute to intergenerational discussion on the future of space. Organized in a panel format, this session includes a ‘Who’s Who’ of space leaders including, Simonetta Di Pippo (Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs), Clementine Decoopman (Executive Director of SGAC), Kai-Uwe Schrogl (President of the International Institute of Space Law); and Jean-Francois Clervoy (Former Astronaut & President of Novespace).

What: The Future of Space Operations Across Industries
When: 16:30-18:00
Where: 146A
Why: This session will provide a platform to uncover the best and most practical practices to find synergies between the different operational concepts across the space industry in order to ensure that the commercial space revolution is a success. As a bonus, one of the speakers in this special session includes fellow Astropreneur, as well as the Co-Founder and CEO of CisLunar Industries, Gary Calnan.

Thursday, October 24

What: Towards a Formal African Space Program
When: 10:45-11:25
Where: Grand Ballroom C
Why: Because this is history in the making!  Earlier this year the African Union Summit approved Egypt as the host country for the African Space Agency. The next steps involve implementing a plan that formally creates an African space program that covers the 2 primary drivers established in the African Space Policy: 1) the creation of a well-coordinated African Space Program that is both responsive to the social, economic, political and environmental needs of the continent and 2) the development of a regulatory framework that supports an African space agenda that ensures Africa is a responsible user of outer space. This Networking Forum will give Astropreneurs a rare opportunity into the preliminary thinking behind creating a space agency.

What: Spaceports: Gateway to a Global Space Economy  
When: 12:40-1:30
Where: Grand Ballroom A
Why:  It is not far-fetched statement to say that spaceports will be the foundation, the backbone, of the space industry. Goldman Sachs projects that in 25 years the global space economy could total more than $1 trillion. As a result of this inevitable increased economic activity, there needs to be planning for the facilities, technologies, and policies required to ensure commercial success. This event features an international panelist of experts that will share their perspectives on the role of spaceports today, discuss the ideas for potential international collaboration, and share the lessons learned and implications for the workforce.

What: EU Space: Trends for the Future
When: 15:45 -16:30
Where: Grand Ballroom C
Why: The EU Space sector’s investment in space is a key enabler of security and protection of people. From tracking climate change and migration flows for Copernicus to enabling smart transport systems and precision agriculture for Galileo, the EU Space sector has been on the pulse of the global space sector for quite a while now; it is important that Astropreneurs track the trends for the future.

Friday, October 25 

What: Entrepreneurship Around the World  
When: 13:30
Where: 147B
Why: As a Global Technical Session this gives an opportunity for those Astropreneurs unavailable to attend the conference to watch sessions remotely. This session, co-sponsored by the EIC and the IAF Workforce Development/Young Professionals Program Committee, identifies the commonalities and unique characteristics of nation specific entrepreneurial barriers.

What: IAA Symposium on Space Policy, Regulations and Economics: Economics of Procurement in Space Contracting
When: 13:30
Where: Room 144A
Why: This keynote is one that no Astropreneur should miss because the speaker is Eric Morel de Westgaver, the Director of Industry, Procurement and Legal Services of the European Space Agency (ESA)! In the era of New Space, there needs to be a New Procurement era and there is no one that understands this new distribution of responsibilities between the public sector and space industry than Eric Morel de Westgaver. 

Posted by Mclee Kerolle