Uwingu Begins Funding Research Ahead of Schedule via Crowd Funding: SETI Allen Telecope Array Chosen

Uwingu, LLC and the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array (ATA) designed to search out extraterrestrial life, together announced today that the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array’s science team will be the first project funded by Uwingu, via its crowd-sourcing IndieGoGo campaign. Uwingu will donate half of all “bonus” funds above its $75K business launch target to the ATA.

“We don’t have to wait to begin helping space research until we launch our first product, we’re starting now!” said Uwingu CEO, Dr. Alan Stern. “And I can’t overstate how proud Uwingu is to have the SETI Institute’s ATA as a beneficiary of our IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign. SETI is one of the noblest and most important space research enterprises. We hope this will be a double-win—generating more funds available to launch our own commercial products, and more funds available to the ATA’s research teams.”

Added the ATA’s Dr. Jill Tarter, “Even without the looming specter of federal budget ‘sequestration’, available governmental budgets for space science, space research, and programs encouraging STEM education are shrinking fast. Our ideas and opportunities are bigger and better than ever, but they are all competing for a smaller resource pool.  Alternative funding in the form of entrepreneurship is an absolute necessity if we are to continue exploring and solving grand challenges.  All of us can participate in the IndieGoGo campaign and the launch of Uwingu, and purchase its products to generate revenues to fund the best ideas from scientists today and into tomorrow. Make it so!”

Uwingu is a space-themed, for profit start up seeking crowd-sourced funding to launch an ongoing series of public engagement projects. In specific, Uwingu will employ novel software applications to “game-ify “space, and targeting up to half of the proceeds going toward space research and education. Uwingu’s mission is to use proceeds from its projects to generate new funding 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. Included in the company’s portfolio of space heavyweights are 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.

The ATA is a unique array of 42 radio telescopes in Northern California to study the exoplanetary systems being discovered on the ground and with the Kepler mission. Says the ATA’s Dr. Tarter, “We know where exoplanets planets are located, and the ATA is systematically exploring them to try to uncover evidence that one of these systems is generating radio signals. We hope that Uwingu will accelerate this process and bring us closer to answering the question of whether we share this cosmos with others.

Uwingu’s crowd-sourcing campaign will last until September 14th. Uwingu’s crowd funding agent is IndieGoGo, a leader in the field. Uwingu now has almost 300 sponsors of its upcoming launch, and is nearing half way in meeting its crowd-funding goal.