Feb 23 Elsa Snellman
Ispace aims to develop spacecraft technology to extend human presence beyond Earth by learning how to use the natural resources and build sustainable infrastructure on the Moon. The first moon landing is planned for 2021. No biggie.
While ispace’s future looks lunar, Kazuo Ishigame’s Infostellars has its operations safely on the ground: the company build an infrastructure for satellite operations for startups shooting for the stars (quite literally). For effective satellite communication, the amount of secured ground stations is crucial. Each communication time between the ground station and its satellite usually lasts around 10 minutes. What Infostellar wants to develop is a so-called satellite antenna sharing platform to expand companies’ communication windows with their satellites. The space-exploring clients would pay for the shared antenna service, which would lower the cost of the communication and increase the communication time.
What advice would the two founders give to aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to hike the road slighty less traveled? How to make it in the space?
Takahiro reminds the audience of the importance of maintaining a good relationship with both startup ecosystem and the government. Japanese government has recently been taking steps towards supporting space startups, but as the space (pun intended) is rather new and many regulatory aspects of it remain unclear, it’s better to play it safe with the space-governmental relations.
When entering the space business, you’re addressing a completely market space, Kazuo states. Inside the industry, you’ve got various types of different markets. “To raise from investors, you need to address the global markets and employ global talent from the very beginning.”
What’s in the store for the near future? Japan Airlines has recently partnered with ispace, further engaging the airline in the space development business. The company is also teaming up with three other aerospace companies to conduct missions to the surface of the moon for NASA. Meanwhile, Kazuo’s vision for Infostellar’s future is both fearful and optimistic. As big tech giants like Amazon have entered their market space, their market niche has surely been justified – better in terms of fundraising – but naturally having Amazon-like players entering the industry evokes concern.
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