The initiative that pairs high-Level professionals – experts in Business, technical and legal realms – with Young entrepreneurs that hold innovative ideas based on Earth observation





On 6 and 7 November 2017, the exclusive Copernicus Accelerator Bootcamp for mentees and mentors of the 2016/17 and 2017/18 mentoring programme took place in Tallinn, Estonia. In line with the biggest European space event in 2017, the European Space Week, the bootcamp provided a great opportunity to join the international EO and GNSS community. The 50 new mentees – the top 50 winners and finalists of the 2017 Copernicus Masters – started their coaching relationship with their mentors whereas mentees and mentors of the first Copernicus Accelerator edition concluded their programme. These individual coaching sessions of each team were integrated into the two-day bootcamp, comprising also roundtable and panel discussions, business speed dating, pitch trainings and business workshops. The Space Evening Event on Monday and the Copernicus Masters Awards Ceremony on Tuesday provided the participants of both coaching rounds with a festive occasion to further deepen networking and to benefit from AZO’s innovation network.

The Copernicus Accelerator offers a customised business development scheme for the top 50 entrants of the Copernicus Masters. Since 2016, the programme supports startups and entrepreneurs from Copernicus Participating Countries1 to move beyond idea conception into real commercial ventures. Selected participants are matched with high-level professionals and benefit from individual mentoring alongside further training opportunities such as bootcamps and webinars.

The Copernicus Accelerator is a project of the European Commission’s DG Growth, and is part of the Copernicus Start-up Programme, which is designed to accompany startups from the generation of a business idea to its full commercialisation.


The Copernicus Accelerator has different phases comprising business development support of approximately one year.

The Copernicus Masters finalists are annually selected by the end of September. Following the matchmaking between finalists and mentors, the formal start of the Accelerator programme then takes place at the Copernicus Accelerator Bootcamp held in line with the Copernicus Masters Awards Ceremony in October/November.

Benefits for mentees

With their profound knowledge and expertise, mentors support the participants to turn their promising ideas into reality and to successfully enter the market, achieving measurable results in one or more of the following objectives:

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


In addition to the support by the mentor, mentees also benefit from exclusive webinars in which they are provided with approximately 1.5-hour training on either a technical or a business topic. The webinars´ speakers share their knowledge and experience about additional and useful tools which help Copernicus Accelerator participants to take their business ideas to the next level. Questions and debate with participants are also encouraged, in order to make the sessions interactive. A detailed overview of the 2018 webinars will be shared with the Copernicus Accelerator participants in January 2018.


During the coaching phase, AZO continuously monitors all relationships, in order to assist both parties and ensure a positive outcome for the programme. After a virtual mid-term review mentees and mentors meet again at the closing bootcamp one year later where they are provided with additional trainings and networking opportunities.

The current mentors officially met their mentees at the Copernicus Accelerator Bootcamp on 6 and 7 November 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia, in line with the European Space Week. This event marked the official start of their relationship, as mentors and mentees began developing a coaching plan that includes the objectives and KPIs of their mentorship. As part of the Copernicus Accelerator programme, mentees have the possibility to also benefit from regular webinars in which they are provided with approximately 1.5-hour training on business-related topics such as lean startups, minimal viable product or marketing.


You want to be part of the Copernicus Accelerator?

The 50 best entrants of the Copernicus Masters will automatically get invited to benefit from the Accelerator programme. The initiative gives participants the jump-start they need to turn great ideas into successful applications! To be eligible, participants must either be citizens of one of the Copernicus Participating Countries or they must have established their company in the territory of one of the Copernicus Participating Countries*.

The submission phase of the next competition round will be from 1 April until 30 June 2017. Pre-register now to never miss any important news or deadlines again!

VIEW 2016 MENTEES          VIEW 2017 MENTEES

Discover Copernicus Accelerator success stories



Interested in becoming a mentor?


The application phase for mentors is open each year from May until July. Sign up for the Copernicus Accelerator newsletter and be the first to get informed about the next application phase! Selected mentors are expected to deliver individual coaching services worth EUR 5,000 to their mentee(s) and will benefit from:

  • Scouting of innovative entrepreneurs and startups at an early stage
  • Networking with the prestigious Copernicus Accelerator community
  • Promotion among the international Earth observation community
  • Invitation to two ambitious Bootcamps in line with extensive networking opportunities

The eligibility criteria to become a mentor are:

  • Employed with a legal identity registered in the territory of one of the Copernicus Participating Countries, whose business purpose is focused on business consulting, e.g. business incubation centres, consulting companies, business intermediaries, university-based startup centres, innovation agencies etc.
  • Individual mentors that reside in the territory of one of the Copernicus Participating Countries, with a proven track record of customers (preferably startups) that they have mentored in their chosen field of expertise.

Mentors are also required to demonstrate experience in business coaching, or in the Earth observation, ICT, mobile industry areas, or in one or more topics of interest connected with the Copernicus Masters Challenges. This experience could be based on their own professional career or references from previous mentees.

Eligible applicants will only become mentors after they have been selected by one or maximum two mentees. Once selected the mentors are expected to provide their mentee(s) with customised business development services worth EUR 5,000 that will be remunerated at the end of the programme.


VIEW 2016 MENTORS          VIEW 2017 MENTORS


Our Copernicus Accelerator participants are all working on exciting EO projects. In each newsletter, we shed light on a startup or an application which has a great story to tell. Find out more about the Copernicus Accelerator participants, their goals and the USP which make them unique!

  • December 2016

    Sinergise is pushing the limits of managing of spatial data over Internet

    Sinergise is a company operating in a start-up mode for almost 15 years already. Not from the point of financial dependence on financing rounds – they have been profitable from day one – but from the point of organisation of work and search for innovation. They have been one of the first companies to implement management of GIS data over Internet, supporting hundreds of users to jointly edit the data, being connected via old fashion dial-up modems in 2003. Their cloud GIS platform Geopedia used power of simple browsers 10 years ago, making it simple to perform crowd-sourcing actions such as identification (and subsequent clean-up) of more than 15.000 illegal dumpsites in Slovenia.


    read more

  • February 2017

    green spin - the journey to digital farming

    green spin develops applications and solutions for digitalisation and optimisation of processes in the agricultural sector. The company was founded in 2013 by three alumni/scientists from the Department of Geography of the University of Würzburg: Dr. Sebastian Fritsch, Clemens Delatrée, and Gunther Schorcht. Their main goal was and is to allow their customers to profit from the use of open geospatial data. The use of spatial data, e.g. from earth observation satellites, can help to improve agricultural systems everywhere in the world. This will be an important task because of the immense rise of the global population in the next decades.


    Read more


  • April 2017

    The IceCream Team – the Mission to Save Glaciers Worldwide

    The IceCream (Ice Crowd-sourced REAl-time velocity Monitoring) Team has a huge vision: by using EO data, they try to save the glaciers on our planet. Their idea is to create a tool which leverages satellite imagery and climate data to illustrate the impacts of our changing Earth in areas of interest to everyone.


    read more

  • June 2017

    EnviroSAR© Ltd. - Knowledge building of UK wildfire regimes through online integration of geospatial datasets

    EnviroSAR© Ltd. is an Earth observation (EO) startup with the vision to improve the efficiency of managing wildfire disturbance in moorlands and heathlands. Wildfire is a major hazard in UK moorlands and is increasing in the Rural-Urban Interface (RUI), especially in areas of heathland. Since wildfires incur socio-economic costs for all parties involved and are predicted to increase due to climate change, this environmental hazard is of high relevance nowadays.

    read more

  • January 2018

    Golbriak Space – Towards a New Era of Space Telecomunnications

    The start-up’s mission is to develop and implement the services as well as the enabling technologies for distributed and federated satellite missions. These novel paradigms should bring several advantages for the space industry, not only by optimisation of data distribution, but also by increasing the overall mission performance and reducing operational costs.

    read more


The Copernicus Accelerator newsletter will be sent to participants of the programme and interested parties every four weeks from January 2018 onwards. Within the newsletters, you will find out more about interesting EO news and events, funding possibilities for your business and the Copernicus Accelerator Startup of the Month.

Find out more about Copernicus on the official Copernicus Website.




The Copernicus Accelerator Programme is an initiative funded by the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH) of the European Commission. The DG GROWTH is responsible for: completing the Internal Market for goods and services; helping turn the EU into a smart, sustainable, and inclusive economy by implementing the industrial and sectorial policies of the flagship Europe 2020 initiative; fostering entrepreneurship and growth by reducing the administrative burden on small businesses; facilitating access to funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and supporting access to global markets for EU companies. All of these actions are encapsulated in the Small Business Act; generating policy on the protection and enforcement of industrial property rights, coordinating the EU’s position and negotiations in the international intellectual property rights (IPR) system, and assisting innovators on using IP rights effectively; and implementing the EU’s space policy via its two large-scale satellite programmes Copernicus (for Earth observation) and Galileo (for global navigation), as well as research actions designed to spur technological innovation and economic growth.