After returning from the UK Space Conference in Glasgow we promised ourselves weâ€™d start to write weekly blogs and so before that becomes a â€˜neverâ€™ item I felt I ought to get going (for those whoâ€™ve not come across Ray Higdon, network marketing specialist, he advocates replacing sometimes and someday with never as a way to avoid procrastination).
During my presentation in Glasgow (slides) I set out my aspirations for our company; turnover of Â£5 Million and 30 employees within 5 years. A huge challenge and not something to approach lightly, but to quote Richard Branson â€˜It is only by being bold that you get anywhereâ€™.
Our aim aligns with the wider aspirations of the UK Space business sector defined in the updated Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS); for the UK to have 10% of the worldâ€™s Space market by 2020, which needs year-on-year 8-9% growth. Andy Green (President of UK Space) suggested this needs to be achieved by a five-fold increase in the downstream sector (Â£8 Billion to Â£37 Billion) and tripling in size of the upstream sector (Â£1 Billion to Â£3 Billion).
Pixalytics is in the downstream sector, which is the development of applications to use satellite mission acquired data, rather than building and launching the satellites themselves. Although I do fancy owning a cubesat and Iâ€™ve personally invested in the crowd funded ARKYD Space Telescope.
We had our first brainstorming session on how to develop our business. A not unsurprising conclusion was that growth requires manpower and that requires finance; especially cashflow stability. So to grow, we need to invest and in a loop back to my presentation – do we do this through retained profits / shareholder loans or seeking external investors? At present itâ€™s still probably the former as finding a suitable enlightened investor is a big ask in the current climate. Although crowd sourcing finance has already demonstrated it can fill that gap when the general public get behind a great idea.