SpaceWERX Announces New STRATFI Funding Awards

SpaceWERX, the Space Force’s innovation funding division, announced a new batch of STRATFI awardees last week at SXSW. 

Build a bridge: SpaceWERX provides the much-needed bridge over the “valley of death” by supporting startups in their transition from an SBIR/STTR Phase II staged company to the more elusive Phase III contracts. STRATFI funding ranges from $3M to $15M.

The program works on a match system, requiring a level of private dollar contribution in order to be eligible. In 2023, SpaceWERX funded $72M into 14 programs. Including the private funding match, the total investment reached $125M.

The STRATFI awardees include:

  • Astranis for its GEO comms satellites
  • Starfish Space for its servicing vehicle
  • Skyloom for its optical comms 
  • Lunar Outpost for its robotic swarm
  • Defense Unicorns for its software solutions

Highlighting an awardee: Defense Unicorns received a $15M STRATFI award to help modernize the Space Force’s Assured Access to Space IT and cybersecurity systems. The AATS upgrades will help maintain the organization’s mission readiness as it handles a steep ramp in launches per year. 

“The STRATFI program is advancing game changing end-to-end capabilities for the United States Space Force,” director of SpaceWERX Arthur Grijalva said in a release. “These innovative ideas, technologies and capabilities are what we need to compete and win as a nation.”

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