As we embarked on Bake In Space in October 2016, we knew we were taking on an ambitious challenge. We wanted to create a piece of complex hardware for the International Space Station (ISS) and in parallel find funding through sponsors all within the ambitious timeframe of 14 months. The technical and financial hurdles were very high from the beginning. However we managed to engage a lot of people for our cause. Late in the mission proposals and despite all odds, we were selected as one of the experiments to fly on DLR’s Horizons mission in 2018. From nothing we have come a very long way.
Over the past year we’ve had great conversations with a wide range of potential partners from the food industry as well as household appliance manufacturers and gathered huge media interest in our endeavour. We were happy to have been covered in the New Scientist and were amazed to have been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the popular U.S. late night talk show. We also spoke at the UK Space Conference, attended the StartupCon in Cologne and the Back Kongress (Baking Congress) in Munich where we all received very positive feedback. But unfortunately the publicity has so far failed to translate into interest from potential European sponsors.
We entered the ESA BIC Startup Challenge as part of the INNOspace Masters competition and were very happy to have come out on top as winner (see link) and were awarded with 50,000 Euros worth of startup services. As reported in SpaceNews in October 2017:
“We are obviously grateful for the 50,000 euros we have received from the competition, but to tell the truth, if you are trying to develop a piece of space hardware like this, 50,000 doesn’t get you too far.”
Despite a great amount of interest and support by DLR, we’ve therefore had to pull out of the Horizons mission this year due to lack of funds.
While this at first may seem like a loss, we feel we have a learned a lot from the experience of trying to launch a space startup in Europe. The experience has made us stronger and more determined to turn Bake in Space into a success venture. To also demonstrate to future space entrepreneurs that they too can change the course of human history by making their mark in humanity’s endeavour to reach for the stars. We are certain that the seemingly simple achievement of enabling us to bake fresh bread from processed raw materials in space, will pave the way for the future of space food and tied to that the wellbeing of future generations of astronauts. Why wait till tomorrow for this to happen? It is bound to happen one day, so why not start today?
As we look onto ‘new horizons’, we plan to support upcoming astronaut missions to be in line for future experiments. We are looking at focusing our corporate mission on four domains in particular:
- Sustainable food production
- Safe food processing
- New baking & cooking methods and technologies
- Cleaning, recycling and waste management solutions
These domains will not only enable us to set the standards for the future of human spaceflight but will also lead to spin-off innovations that we as a company want to commercialise here on Earth. The kitchens of the future, may be derived from space as could be new food production methods to feed a future world population of 10 billion people.
That is why we are keen to speak to companies that have the technological capabilities that our mission requires. Companies that think beyond immediate short-term turnover gains, but that would like to create real value for their customers and employees and participate in advancing humanity’s conquest of space.
Bake in Space is now no longer looking for sponsors in return for advertising value. Instead we are looking for customers that are interested to have their terrestrial products space proofed within the scope of our four mission domains and investors who see the long-term economic prospects associated with a moonshot concept like “Bake in Space”.
We are eagerly anticipating the launches of ESA astronauts Matthias Maurer (Germany) and Tim Peake (UK) estimated for 2020/21. In the meantime let’s get baking!