Become the next high-flying entrepreneuer and take the world by storm with the Copernicus Accelerator!






Since 2016, the Copernicus Masters competition enriches its content with an exciting feature, the Copernicus Accelerator. This unique initiative funded by the European Commission provides a customised business development scheme for the winners and finalists of each Copernicus Masters Challenge1. It aims at supporting the best 50 entrants to move beyond idea conception into real commercial ventures. Within nine months, Copernicus Accelerator mentees can benefit from an individual coaching support worth an additional overall value of EUR 250,000.


Eligible are either participants being citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating Countries1 or participants having established their company in the territory of one of the Copernicus  Participating Countries.


These top 50 finalists are matched with high-level mentors having demonstrable experience in the field of interest of the participants. Also the mentors need to reside in the territory of a Copernicus Participating country. These mentors originate from the most prestigious Earth Observation network and are business or EO experts and possess profound knowledge in supplementary fields, such as ICT, the mobile industry or other industries associated with the Copernicus Masters 2017 Challenges.


Through a dedicated coaching process worth EUR 5,000, mentors will help participants of the Copernicus Masters to turn their promising ideas into reality. Mentees will receive the support they need tosuccessfully enter the market and to achieve measurable results in one or more of the following objectives:

  • Integration into an incubator
  • Getting a first client
  • Raising equity funding (angel, seed or venture capital)
  • Reaching profitability level with its first product
  • Development of a new product line
  • First access to a foreign market (internationalisation)
  • Business Coaching
  • Assistance in technical development.

The Copernicus Accelerator is comprised of different phases for a total coaching support from six to nine months. Finalists will be selected in September 2017, while the formal start of the initiative will be made official during the Accelerator Bootcamp taking place during the European Space Week at the Copernicus Masters Awards Ceremony in November 2017. This event will be an excellent occasion to join the international EO and GNSS community, meet investors and benefit from AZO’s global network of innovation and expertise.

To top it off, the Copernicus Accelerator represents a real added-value for Copernicus Masters participants: Finalists will receive a high valuable coaching service, and participate free of charge in a one-of-a-kind networking event with investors and high-level professionals. The initiative gives participants the jump-start they need to turn great ideas into groundbreaking applications!


Important dates for applying participants Timeframe
Submission phase 1 April– 30 June 2017
Idea evaluation by dedicated Copernicus Masters Experts 1 July – 31 August 2017
International evaluation meeting and ranking of the top 50 Copernicus Masters entrants By end of September 2017
Matching of the top 50 Copernicus Masters entrants with their preferred mentors 28 September – 13 October 2017
Copernicus Accelerator Bootcamp (mandatory) 6 – 7 November 2017


1 Participants of the Copernicus Accelerator had to be either citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating countries or must have established their company in the territory of one of the participating countries.


The current Copernicus Accelerator participants are all working on exciting EO projects together with their mentors. In each Copernicus Accelerator newsletter, we shed light on a mentee’s startup or his/her application and the mentor to share their success stories with the Copernicus Accelerator Community!


Discover the success stories