Commercial space start up UwinguTM, LLC announced today that its crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo culminated successfully on September 24th, raising 107% of the $75,000 fundraising target the company set to launch its first commercial product.
Commercial space start up Uwingu, LLC announced today that its crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo culminated successfully on September 24th, raising 107% of the $75,000 fundraising target it set to launch its first commercial product. With these funds, Uwingu expects to begin creating a new stream of dollars for space research and education.
“We’re ecstatic, and appreciative,” said Dr. Alan Stern, Uwingu’s CEO, “over 800 individual sponsorship contributions were made, as were 7 corporate sponsorships. And we’ve learned that of IndieGoGo’s 45,000+ campaign totals to date, Uwingu’s is in the top 25, which means we raised more funding than over 99.9% of Indiegogo’s campaigns!”
Uwingu is a space-themed, for profit start up. Uwingu’s mission is to sell innovative, web=based products to create a new funding stream for space exploration, research, and education efforts around the world.
Uwingu (which means “sky” in Swahili, and is pronounced “oo-wing-oo”) was formed by a team of leading astronomers, planetary scientists, former space program executives, and educators. The company’s portfolio of space heavyweights include space historian and author Andrew Chaikin, space educator Dr. Emily CoBabe-Ammann, citizen science leader Dr. Pamela Gay, author and museum science director Dr. David Grinspoon, planet hunter Dr. Geoff Marcy, planetary scientist and aerospace executive Dr. Teresa Segura, planetary scientist and former NASA science boss Dr. Alan Stern, and planetary scientist and CEO of the Planetary Science Institute, Dr. Mark Sykes.
Stern concluded, “With these funds we’re in a good position to soon launch our first commercial product and start improving the future of space funding. Stay tuned!”
Comments about Uwingu’s business model and objectives follow from three key members of the Uwingu team:
Uwingu advisor and UC Berkeley astronomer Professor Geoff Marcy: “Space Research has never been more inspiring, with discoveries of habitable worlds and moons both within our Solar System and around other stars. Uwingu offers the public the chance to fund the exploration of those habitats. Scientists and the public working closely together, with competitive and far-reaching space goals, can propel space research to worlds beyond our imagination.”
Uwingu’s Dr. Mark Sykes, planetary scientist and former chairman of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society: “The public supports basic space science and education! Its support of Uwingu’s rollout demonstrates a streak of optimism that persists even when times are not good. New ideas and innovation will continue to breath life into our efforts to explore, learn what is out there in the solar system and beyond, and consequently gain a better understanding of where we live. Uwingu plans to deliver!”
Uwingu’s chief education officer, Dr. Emily CoBabe-Ammann: “One of the paradoxes of our time is that as science and engineering education become more and more important for the economic future of our country, funding for science and engineering education is being cut across the board. Uwingu provides an important pathway to fund innovation in both research and in STEM education — opening a pathway that has the potential to change the STEM education paradigm both in the United States and around the world.“