Denver 'space tug' startup Atomos wins $100K Rise of the Rest pitch contest at Groundswell

Denver startup Atomos Nuclear and Space — which is developing electric-propulsion "space tugs" to move satellites into varying orbits — flew cross-country to Melbourne and claimed Tuesday's $100,000 Rise of the Rest pitch competition.

But look for Atomos to return — to try to establish a presence on Cape Canaveral.

"I love the Space Coast. Originally Australian, I feel very landlocked in Colorado. I’ve worked at Kennedy Space Center on a couple of programs. And we’ll be back there in the future," Atomos Chief Executive Officer Vanessa Clark said, minutes after accepting the ceremonial check from AOL co-founder Steve Case.

"Besides launch, we don’t have integration facilities. We don’t have access to the resources that there are in Florida," Clark said.

"So we definitely want to come back. We definitely want to talk about how to partner," she said.