spaceWe’ve been hearing about Kris Kimel’s plans for a business accelerator at Space Tango for more than a year now. Last week, Space Tango launched the nation’s first business accelerator specifically for space enterprises and entrepreneurs. Three companies are in the Lexington area for an intense five-week session for space-driven startups.

The program will continue in the fall during IdeaFestival, also directed by Kimel. The participants will return for four days and participate in a pitch presentation for the public.

Space Tango is the for-profit arm of the nonprofit Kentucky Space. The accelerator is designed for space-driven startups with a goal of helping new and growing businesses innovate and develop novel applications for diverse markets.

As described by the Space Tango press release, the companies participating in the 2014 program are:

Aeolus AeroTech Pvt Ltd (AAT), based in Bangalore, India, is a research-to-product company that provides turnkey technical solutions and products in the field of advanced laboratory equipment, avionics and space sectors. It is the first Indian private company to develop COTS products for CubeSat and related microsatellite missions.

ConsiNet, headquartered in Morehead, Kentucky, is a ground station service provider for the rapidly growing global small satellite marketplace. ConsiNet is developing a novel network of ground stations to assist missions in achieving robust space to ground communications.

Vinveli, based out of Austin, Texas, is an international technology development and services company specializing in the space industry. The company’s work includes developing the next generation STEM based educational material for colleges, high schools and middle schools utilizing space and space experimentation as the basis for advanced project design and access to space for their customers.

According to the news release:

Space Tango works closely with a number of other dynamic companies, universities and organizations. These collaborators include the Office of Entrepreneurship at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, FedEx Space Solutions, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Morehead State University and the University of Kentucky.

You can read Insider Louisville’s three-part series on how Morehead, Ky., has become a hotbed of activity in the aerospace industry here.