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Idaho company chosen for space accelerator program

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 11:59 AM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT) - Idaho company natural intelligence has been chosen to the Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator company. The space accelerator program is a mentorship-driven program that focuses on the next generation commercial space technology companies and frontier related technologies.

Matt Kozlov is the managing director of the Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator program and explained the program.

“My job is to find and invest in the most incredible founders in the industry,” Kozlov said. “We invest in and for my program that is in space and adjacent industry.”

Kozlov explain the program has a wide range of partners including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Maxar Technologies, SAIC, and Israel Aerospace Industries North America.

The program itself is a three-month-long experience, and seeks to help the 10 companies chosen for the program achieve two years of commercial growth within 13 weeks by pairing them with mentors and industry leaders.

“Those mentors job is to find the right product market fit, find customers, grant opportunities, partnerships, and to help these companies grow very rapidly,” Kozlov said.

Among the 10 companies involved in this years space accelerator program is Natural Intelligence located in Boise, Idaho. Paul Dlugosch is the CEO of Natural Intelligence, and has worked for companies such as Hewlett Packard and Micron Semiconductor,.

“How close you get to the operation of the human brain is really what everybody is trying to achieve, it is the ultimate machine for intelligence,” Dlugosch says. “So all the companies in our industry are trying to get a better realization of how a human being becomes intelligent.”

Dlugosch says the work he’s doing at Natural Intelligence aims to separate the mathematics from the equation of artificial intelligence.

“Natural intelligence has developed systems that almost entirely eliminate mathematics. To my knowledge nobody else in the world is doing this.

Dlugosch say his technology has very broad applications not only in space but s such as space exploration, but also in the medical field.

“Artificial intelligence today is capable of informing medical researchers at a very basic level,” Dlugosch explains. “For example, breast cancer is someone likely to develop breast cancer or likely to stay benign? Our system not only gives those signals with high accuracy but also explains why an individual patient may have become malignant. And the reason that excites me is if we can give this much higher rate of medical information to a researcher, that is going to accelerate the time to discovery for therapeutics, or even cures to some of the largest diseases humanity faces.”

This years space accelerator program has different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dlugosch said while he’s still in the early stages of the space accelerator program, it has already shown that creating a tech-startup company is possible outside the realm of Silicon Valley.

“I’ve not left Boise and I just believe that overtime, Silicon Valley is going to lose its grip on being a tech capital,” Dlugosch said. “And its going to be great for communities like Twin Falls and Boise, and different areas, where you can actually to build these great companies, and show the center of innovation is spreading.”

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