Dec 5, 2018 Gerda Verbickaite
It’s probably one of the most ambitious projects in Finland, if not the Nordics, building satellites which see through clouds and darkness. Earlier this year they have launched the first in SAR Microsatellite into outer space, then raised $34M, followed by another SAR satellite being just recently launched. And the year is not even gone!
ICEYE started by showing Falcon 9 recently launching their latest and second satellite into space. So what drove these young entrepreneurs to occupy the space with better and more affordable satellites?
They were slightly lucky, by starting their studies at just the right time, when Aalto University was building their own microsatellite. “It seemed normal for us, that students do satellites.”, but it mostly required a lot of hard work and determination. He wanted to create satellites, which are able to monitor data in real-time, however, he realized, then building traditional satellites would be too expensive and unrealistic. The satellites widely used today also cannot see through dark or clouds, which becomes problematic in countries such as Finland.
With the SAR satellites ICEYE is able to utilize real-time satellite imaging technology in new ways, that could even literally save lives. Pekka shared, how their satellites could monitor natural disasters, such as the recent fires in San Francisco, being able to identify dangerous areas in a safer and more efficient way.
The company also hopes to add convenience to regular consumers in the future, making them able to monitor their own homes and other property with satellites via their own smartphones.
Pekka and Jyri ended their show by sharing some advice for young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Pekka reminded that the space tech industry is an extremely hard industry to survive in, so to succeed in it you have to have the right team and devote yourself to working on in every day, for years.
The future is hard, but also very bright for ICEYE. The company has been successfully growing, with steady investments and two of their satellites already launched into outer space. Next step is to build more satellites and scale to space.
Missed the ICEYE story at Slush18? Rewind back in time at slush.org/live!
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