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The Catalyst Space Accelerator is hosting eight space startups for 11 weeks  to work on how to space data to track objects in orbit and determine their capabilities and purpose. Management of each company will attend workshops, work with mentors and participate in a demonstration of their technology. (Facebook, Catalyst Campus)

The Catalyst Space Accelerator is adding a wrinkle for the fifth group of startups for its 11-week program that helps develop technology for the Department of Defense — a corporate sponsor.

Software giant Microsoft is underwriting $15,000 grants each startup receives for expenses of participating in the program — mostly travel. It also was involved in selecting the eight firms and planning the program and will provide a mentor for participants, said KiMar Gartman, program director for the accelerator at the Catalyst Campus near downtown Colorado Springs.

”We are excited to have Microsoft be our first corporate sponsor and look forward to working together to help these companies make great things happen,” Gartman said.

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The eight companies, including two from Colorado Springs, will combine data from numerous sources on space objects to determine where they are headed as well as their capabilities and purpose. Space tracking is becoming more important as more humans venture into space and to destinations that could include the moon and Mars, Gartman said.

The accelerator selected the eight companies out of 20 applications. The program begins Wednesday and continues every other week with workshops and mentoring at the Catalyst Campus, concluding with a demonstration day on April 2 where the companies make pitches for funding from government agencies and investors.

The eight companies are:

Colorado Springs accelerator hosts 8 space startups

• 114 AI of New Delhi, India, which has developed an artificial intelligence-based multisensor system.

• Blue Eye Soft of Greer, S.C., uses artificial intelligence and cloud computing for business intelligence and predictive analyticsand is researching combining data such as three-dimensional images and sound.

• Caliola Engineering of Colorado Springs focuses on wireless network security and data encryption.

• InfraLytiks of Des Moines, Iowa, uses machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence to automate complex tasks.

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• O Analytics of Fairmont, Va., uses digital signal processing and biometric techniques to determine the type and path of space objects, and also offers data services and tool kits for machine learning.

• Slingshot Aerospace of El Segundo, Calif., uses artificial intelligence to rapidly find insights in data from satellite, aerial, ground and other sourcesfor disaster response teams, first responders and military and commercial users.

• Spectrabotics of Colorado Springs provides data analytics and visualization by combining and analyzing data from internet-connected devices to determine what, where and why an event is happening.

• Vigilant of Tempe, Ariz., uses artificial intelligence to help information workers find information quickly from a large number of data sources.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234

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