Like almost every other event, the Catalyst Accelerator is shifting its 12-week program for space technology-focused startups into a virtual format to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.

The program to help startups develop technology for the Department of Defense had been offered five times at the Catalyst Campus near downtown Colorado Springs. For round six, starting Tuesday, eight small businesses focused on space cybertechnology will meet virtually every other week with industry and government experts and mentors to help them grow and find customers. They will get a chance to pitch their technology to government and commercial customers in November.

“In March, when COVID hit, we had to switch (immediately) to virtual, including the demonstration day for our last cohort (postponed to October) and several events we had planned for summer,” said KiMar Gartman, the accelerator’s program director. “It has been a challenge finding the right virtual platform, but we came up with one that worked for our Tech Collision event last month that attracted 50 companies to present to 375 potential customers, this program and the demonstration day for the last cohort.”

Pentagon focused on keeping small innovative space firms healthy through coronavirus downturn

The accelerator is a partnership of Catalyst Campus and the Air Force Research Lab Space Vehicles Directorate to promote technology advancement for use by military contractors and commands. In the latest group of companies, the U.S. Space Force is looking for new approaches to cybertechnology for space systems and operations. Each of the eight companies will receive $12,000 grants from information technology giant Booz Allen Hamilton, and defense contractor LinQuest Corp. is underwriting the cost of the virtual meeting platform.

The eight companies are:

• ANOVA Intelligence of Washington, D.C., uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect irregularities in computer networks.

• ARMS Cyber Defense of Brentwood, Tenn., combines small patches and moving target defense technologies to protect against network vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered.

Colorado Springs becoming the hub for directing traffic in space

• Astrapi Corp. of Dallas produces continuously changing signals for more efficiency and security to send and receive data from space.

• CyberCentric Technologies Inc. of New York City helps customers to identify, manage, and protect their most sensitive data using artificial intelligence.

• Corlina Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., helps customers track the communications of all connected devices on their factory floor — sensors, cameras, actuators, tools, gateways and other devices — for a real-time view of where data is going, what is connected to each device and network connectivity.

8 startups to work on space data at Colorado Springs accelerator

• DornerWorks Ltd. of Grand Rapids, Mich., helps customers develop virtualized software systems faster and easier, simplifying how they configure, build and deploy virtual machines, or software that creates a separate computer within a computer.

• Lyteloop of Great Neck, N.Y., uses lasers to send and receive huge amounts of data to and from space-based data centers.

• Vitro Technology Corp. of Austin, Texas, uses blockchain technology to authenticate secret and secure data to and from internet-connected devices.

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