July 11, 2023 3:38 pm Published by

With the UK Space Agency’s first Space Investment Forum flying in and out of our stratosphere as fast as lightning, we’re so proud to have worked with the agency to launch their vision into reality.

We’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of our amazing attendees of the UK Space Agency’s first-ever Space Investment Forum – and go through some of the highlights!

The Space Investment Forum was designed to spark investment into the fascinating start-ups shaping the future of space technology. We were honoured to work closely with the UK Space Agency’s team to bring their vision to life. From utilising their iconic branding to connecting investment leaders and space entrepreneurs, this dream-team – headed by Dan Jones – had a mission, and we had a goal! Having hosted over 100 experts from space agencies, start-ups, and tech companies looking to catalyse change in the UK space sector at the beautiful Institute of Directors in the heart of London, the inaugural Space Investment Forum was a raving success! Here are a few highlights from this epic event!

The Show

At our maiden voyage of the Space Investment Forum, we pulled out all of the stops – from engaging panel sessions with top space experts to live pitches from exciting start-ups to pre-arranged investor meetings. The agenda was packed to the brim with exciting opportunities for each of our attendees!

Our first panel was an absolute powerhouse. With a star-studded stage, ‘Beyond the Stratosphere’ took a deep dive into space investment horizons. We heard from industry legends Luca Del Monte, Head of Commercialisation Department at the European Space Agency; Dan Jones, Future Markets Lead at the UK Space Agency; Robert Gibbs, Associate Administrator of Mission Support Directorate at NASA; Rick Tumlinson, Founding Partner of SpaceFund; Fatima Al Shamsi, Acting Director of Space Policies and International Relations Department, Space Policies and Legislation Section at the UAE Space Agency; and Manny Shar, Managing Director of Orbit Fab

When asked what he looks for in a company seeking growth capital, Robert Tumlinson replied: “It’s a question of taking this technology and finding the best application for it. No one knows where NASA will be in ten years; but we know we will be more successful and more agile than we may have been in the past. From an investment [perspective], we need to shift focus on what to do with the innovation – and try to get a little ahead of the curve.”

Newicon, one of our amazing event sponsors, took to the stage next. CEO Steve O’Brien discussed harnessing design for impactful narratives, pitch success, and deep insights in ‘The Power of Working Backwards’, an exclusive standalone.

‘Pitching Space’ was our second panel of the day and focused on what makes a fundable project in the space sector. Rob Desborough, Managing Partner of Seraphim Space, started the session off with a bang: 

“Space is a genuine opportunity and is very much open for business.” – Rob Desborough, Managing Partner, Seraphim Space

Daniel Carew, Deeptech Investor, weighed in by acknowledging one of the key facets space holds over other sectors – the emotional weight. “Space has that unique dynamic where people will wake up and take notice of the tech – and that really matters. The emotional side will get investors on your side.”

Lukas Leitner, Investment Team | Venture Capital at Lakestar; Anthony Baker, Founder & CEO at Satellite Vu; Dr. Julien-Alexandre Lamamy, Managing Director at ispace; and Sushma Shankar, Co-Founder of Deep Planet, also joined the stage. 

“Establishing relationships goes long-term. Trust your gut when working with investors.” – Sushma Shankar, Co-Founder of Deep Planet

A five-minute standalone from our event sponsor, Marks & Clerk, was next on the agenda. Dr. Phil Merchant, Senior Associate, European and UK Patent Attorney, discussed the vitality of ‘Patenting Space Technologies.’

At noon, our final panel was underway! ‘Cosmic Capital’ asked a very important question: “you got founded, now what”?

“What you want to be looking at is delivering all of those projects in a shorter span – know the runway and how nimble you can be with it.” – Sanjeev Gordhan, General Partner, Type One Ventures

Investment professionals including Nicola Sinclair, Investment Partner at Metrea Discovery; Michael Dimelow, Chief Commercial Officer at Bloc Ventures; Richard Johanson, CEO of Archangel Lightworks; Sam Harman, Senior Investment Associate at Oxford Science Enterprises; and Mike Collet, Founder and Managing Partner of Promus Ventures took to the stage to analyse this vital aspect of investment.

With the final panel concluded, it was time for our much-anticipated live pitches! We organised for 12 exciting space-tech start-ups to present a 5-minute pitch deck directly to our room of curated attendees. The companies and presenters were:

After a much-needed lunch and networking break, we moved onto our pre-arranged meetings. These sessions were organised internally based on each attendee’s application; through a precise and complex matchmaking process, we created agendas specific to each attendee – investor or start-up – and ran these meetings in a ‘speed-dating’ style over the course of two hours, aiming to connect interested parties directly with each other.

The speaking sessions concluded with an exclusive fireside chat between Dan Jones, Future Markets Lead at the UK Space Agency, and Cosmonauts’ own CEO, Timo Karakashev. This discussion not only took a look at the overall outcome of the event, but the larger-scale aims, goals, and thoughts from within the UK space sector.

“The UK doesn’t have a core space program. So to pool large amounts of money towards space, there’s a need to speak to investors. We’re Going to try and fix that gap in our outreach to the business community.” – Dan Jones, Future Markets Lead, the UK Space Agency

A lavish drinks reception sponsored by the General Electric Company with a generous amount of wine and networking concluded the first-ever Space Investment Forum. We had an absolute blast during this inaugural event meeting the pillars of the space sector and facilitating a cataclysmic spark of change for the future of investment into the industry – and we hope you did, too!

If you missed the first Forum or would like to beat the crowd and register your interest in attending the next edition, head over to the website now to pre-register.

It was an honour to work with the UK Space Agency to create such an important and inspiring event. We’d also like to issue a special ‘thank-you’ to Marks & Clerk, Newicon, and the General Electric Company, our amazing sponsors, for making this event not only possible, but magical!

Do you have an event vision, but no way of executing it? We utilise our services to help bring your vision to life with dynamic, connected, and bespoke events. Get in touch with the team today to learn more about these services and what we can do for you.

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