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New start-ups embark on SpaceTech South West business incubator
Out of several applications, four new companies from Cornwall, the UK and abroad were selected to participate in the SpaceTech Incubation Initiative (www.spacetechsouthwest.co.uk).
SpaceTech is an initiative of the South West Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications (SWCoESA; funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency) in partnership with Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd., SETsquared and the University of Exeter. Providing the opportunity for entrepreneurs focused on space-centric innovation, SpaceTech enables participants to gain support and expert input from industry while partaking in the Award-winning SETsquared Entrepreneur’s Programme. Funded by the UK Space Agency, the South West programme is part of the UK Space Incubator Network (http://www.setsquared.co.uk/uk-space-incubator-network).
“The Space Tech Incubation Initiative is a valuable addition to the UK Space Agency’s Business Incubation Network, extending our network to the South West of England, which has a rich history in exploitation of the space sector. We look forward to seeing the start-up cohort develop their business propositions,” says Helen Roberts, UK Regional Growth Manager of the UK Space Agency.
The official launch was marked by a networking breakfast with stakeholders from across the region and further afield, including the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, CIoS LEP, Invest in Cornwall, and Innovate UK.
David Walker, founder of Paddlelogger, and his colleague Thomas Sharpe comment, “SpaceTech introduced us to key individuals in this sector, allowing us to ask vital questions about the opportunities available surrounding the application of current satellite technology.”
The start-up cohort participated in a three day programme including the SETsquared Entrepreneur’s Programme and a day dedicated to space and satellite technology. Alongside business model development, market research, financial planning and a practical session on pitching to investors, the programme covered nuances of the space sector, industry insights and trends.
Whereas Sigma Technical, one of the participating start-ups, was founded by University of Exeter graduate Mike Badley, Ivan Timofeev, Founder of SteamJet Space Systems, travelled to Cornwall from Russia, highlighting the unique nature of SpaceTech.
The start-ups will now benefit from three months’ business support through SETsquared Exeter, and will be eligible to establish their business at Goonhilly Earth Station, Helston, Cornwall, for one year free from costs.
Following their participation in SpaceTech, the four businesses will join the growing network of space related enterprises in the UK’s South West. In the meantime, the SpaceTech team will be working hard to ensure another cohort benefits from this great opportunity in 2018.
Cathrine Armour, SWCoESA Director, summarises, “Whether satellite data and SatNav or space engineering and technology the South West is poised to achieve its share of the growing space industry. With the UK space sector growing 10% over the last decade the UK is targeted to grow to £40 Billion by 2030. There has never been a better time to enter the space sector. The SpaceTech Incubation Initiative aims to support space entrepreneurs who see their future in the South West. ”