Seraphim Capital today revealed the first six cohort members of Space Camp, the world’s first dedicated accelerator for global startups in the SpaceTech industry. The inaugural cohort come from the UK, US and Denmark and Space Camp is being run from Dentons London HQ at St Pauls.
Launched by Seraphim Capital and backed by corporate sponsors such as Dentons, Rolls-Royce and Cyient, the UK Space Agency, European Space Agency, SA Catapult and Capital Enterprise, alongside Seraphim Space Fund partners including Airbus, Surrey Satellite Technology, SES, and Telespazio, Space Camp is a nine-week programme, culminating with Product and Investor days on 9th and 10th July.
The programme will include visits to Harwell Space Cluster and Airbus in Stevenage, and also deliver workshops and one-to-one mentoring sessions by SpaceTech professionals, advisors and investors and pitch practice sessions. Speakers during the programme include some of the world’s leading SpaceTech Entrepreneurs and Investors:
Candace Johnson, co-founder of SES/ASTRA and SES Global
Michael Jones, former CTO of Google Maps, Earth and Local and Seraphim Capital Managing Partner
Frederic Rombaut, former Managing Director of Cisco Investment International and founder of Qualcomm Ventures Europe
Matt O’Connell, former GeoEye CEO and Seraphim Capital Partner
Peter Platzer, CEO Spire Global
Rob Desborough, Portfolio Director at Seraphim Capital and Director for Space Camp Accelerator, said: “We had over 1000 start-ups apply to take part in Space Camp, which just goes to show the extraordinary work being done in SpaceTech and the market potential. The entire Space Camp team, along with our key corporate partners, have been working hard to take this initial list down to just six companies to be part of the inaugural cohort. We believe that out of all the companies that applied these six have the greatest commercial potential across their specific fields and address a number of earth-bound business problems that SpaceTech can help solve. London is only the start as we look to roll Space Camp out globally in the future.”
Full information of the six cohort members is below:
1) QuadSAT – Blending Satellite and Drone Technology for Satellite Antenna Calibration
QuadSAT is a Danish company that has developed brand new tools and techniques for testing and calibrating satellite antennas being deployed in high-value Maritime and Aeronautical markets. Combining the latest drone technology with a simulated satellite payload and mathematical algorithms, QuadSAT simplifies the requirements for satellite antenna testing, qualification and calibration. In addition, use of QuadSAT’s products reduces vessels and aircraft downtime for such testing procedures, significantly reducing operational expenses.
As well as satellite antenna qualification and calibration, QuadSAT can also be used to identify interference to satellite transmissions with pinpoint accuracy, which is vital to minimize inadvertent or other rogue interference.
QuadSAT’s customers include the world’s Satellite Operators, Satellite Antenna Manufacturers, VSAT Network Operators’ maintenance teams and Antenna Testing Facilities.
2) Tesseract – Non-toxic satellite propulsion systems
Tesseract builds satellite propulsion systems that use non-toxic propellants, have dramatically better performance, and lower cost than existing options.
Current satellite propulsion technologies rely on toxic fuel that is dangerous to handle. This results in fuelling costs of up to $500k per satellite and are cost prohibitive for inexpensive smallsats. Tesseract has redesigned thrusters for low toxicity fuels and modern manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing. This eliminates the $500k fuelling cost and provides twice the propulsion for half the price.
Tesseract is an alumnus of Y Combinator – the world’s pre-eminent start-up accelerator and already has Letters of Intent for over $150m in annual revenues.
3) Earth Rover – developing autonomous farming robots based on ExoMars Rover space technology to make food production more sustainable.
By 2050 there will be 10 billion people on Earth, meaning that 70% more food will need to be produced from the same land we currently farm. The drive for yield-improving, high precision autonomous farming is therefore a pressing issue now.
Earth Rover is looking to address this by developing farming robots based on the same technology originally developed for the ExoMars Rover. Selling precision farming-as-a-service, Earth Rover’s initial target market is the £1.7bn labour-intensive organic vegetable production market in Europe where it hopes to save farmers £1,500 per hectare p.a. Initial field trials are planned for the current growing season with one of the UK’s largest organic farms.
4) Global Surface Intelligence – geospatial analytics for land assets. Providing the deepest insights imaginable into natural asset inventories & changing land use.
According to the UN, there are over 4,000 satellites currently orbiting the planet, which collect and communicate a vast array of raw data which can be transformed into valuable decision-making information. This information can assist institutions and companies to better manage their land- based assets such as forestry, agriculture, water, minerals and man-made infrastructures.
Global Surface Intelligence (GSI) is one of a handful of companies around the world with access to a satellite database that effectively maps the changing behaviour of the world’s resources. GSI transforms the raw images from satellite, drone-based LiDAR and other data sets into advanced asset analytics and builds contextual views of natural assets to quantify their performance, health, yield and value, making these natural assets more investable and better managed.
We monitor, analyse, evaluate and alert in near real-time changes in land use, with particular attention to the natural environment. Demand is coming from energy, government, insurance, forestry, drone services as well as retailers concerned with food supply chain certification.
5) Reconfigure.io - Platform as a service for FPGAs delivering 10-100x computer performance
The huge growth of Space data is outstripping improvements in conventional processing platforms such as CPUs and GPUs. A relatively new form of integrated circuit known as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) - designed to be configured after manufacturing by a customer using software - are capable of the hardware acceleration needed to address these issues. This capability is relevant for areas such as high-speed data analytics, network processing, security functions and low power processing for IoT and Space. Reconfigure.io has developed a core platform allowing the acceleration of key compute demands with such FPGA technology by for the first time making it readily accessible to engineers. It is therefore a key enabler for the mass adoption of FPGAs in the Space sector.
6) KisanHub - Crop Intelligence Platform (software)
KisanHub is a Crop Intelligence Platform and was borne out of a desire to give farmers everywhere a sophisticated, meaningful yet, simple decision-support. Founded in 2013, KisanHub uses big data analytics, cloud computing, and machine learning to compile data from satellite imagery, weather stations, soil sensors, and other sources. The platform offers yield predictions, pesticide application monitoring and other features for potato growing, which helps sellers manage contracts and supports farmers’ decision-making.
KisanHub’s target customers are agriculture enterprises, such as suppliers, processors, and retailers. Roughly 2,300 growers in the UK and 1,000 in India use KisanHub’s software, all paid for by the enterprise customers. KisanHub sources data via hardware and imagery partnerships, including one with satellite imagery provider Planet Labs. They have raised over £3M m VC investment.