DreamUp as PBC aims to lower barriers to student research in space

The company NanoRacks, which supports scientific experiments on the Int. Space Station and launches CubeSats from the station as well, has announced that it will spin off its DreamUp education program into a Public Benefit Corporation: Space Education and Research Reaches New Heights: Announcing DreamUp, PBC –

Today, DreamUp is excited to announce that NanoRacks and its parent company, XO Markets, are creating a new company dedicated to lowering the barriers to student and university research: DreamUp, PBC.

As such, we join the ranks of Ben & Jerry and Kickstarter, just two of the growing number of companies that have been incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation.

PBC’s are commercial organizations whose by-laws urge shareholders and management to do more than turn a profit: they also seek to undertake some public good in a series of defined mandates. Until now, in our society, companies must focus only on the bottom line. Benefit Corporations are different: they can and must do more for society.

For DreamUp, the goals are simple: we will strive to make space research a viable part of students and university researchers. We will seek to make crowdsourcing a far more efficient tool for space-based projects. And within a few short years we aim to have teachers and students from all fifty states and a dozen countries worldwide enjoy the benefits of real STEM experience via the unique environment of space.

Previously, DreamUp has stood as the educational arm of NanoRacks, the go-to company for commercial access to space. Explains Jeffrey Manber, the chairman of the board for XO Markets, “we realized the time has come to tap the expertise of a whole new set of dedicated professionals in order to leverage our existing foundation. We are proud of our educational partners and customers across the world that utilize DreamUp today. Now we are ready to take space-based education to a whole new level.”

DreamUp will continue to utilize the in-house experts to ensure DreamUp PBC continues to offer unprecedented opportunities for students, researchers, and innovators. To date, DreamUp and NanoRacks have launched over 200 unique educational payloads to the International Space Station.

Here is a video of a group of three students who will send an experiment to the ISS via DreamUp:

These plans also allow for DreamUp to focus further on crowdfunding efforts for space-based research. Crowdfunding has become an extremely popular method for funding research on the ground, as well as in-space research. Earlier this year, one of DreamUp’s teams experienced a successful crowdfunding campaign that will allow three high school sisters to achieve the dream of testing their plant growth chamber in microgravity. Using experiment.com as the fund-raising platform, Chicks in Space reached their monetary goal with help from the public, the space community, friends, family and the DreamUp team. Currently the Chicks are getting the hardware ready for a 2016 test on the International Space Station.