Munich / Berlin. Founded just a little over 12 months ago – and already one of the shooting stars of the Startup Day at the renowned ILA Berlin Air Show: eightyLEO, one of the few New Space start-ups based in Europe, was picked by the BDLI (the German Aerospace Industries Association) out of a pool of almost 150 applicants to present their business on 2 June 2016 to investors, industry experts and journalists in the Startup Zone in Hall 6.
Furthermore, eightyLEO is one of only five participants of the Startup Day to take part in an exclusive ILA lunch with the German government’s Aerospace Coordinator and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, Brigitte Zypries (SPD). The lunch, also on June 2nd, 2016, will be a good occasion to discuss the challenges and opportunities for New Space in Germany and Europe. – eightyLEO’s aim is, together with its European and international partners, to build a satellite-based broadband internet network for B2B applications: “Because only then will Industry 4.0 and the much-heralded ‘Internet of Things’ become a reality”, says Matthias Spott (46), founder and CEO of eightyLEO.
The ILA in Berlin builds on over a century of history: the first aviation exhibition took place here in 1912. In 2016, the ILA organizes its first Startup Day: where New Space start-ups have the opportunity to meet influencers, decision-makers and potential investors – to present their ideas and visions, and to start important conversations. Interest in taking part in the Startup Day (which will take place on the second day of ILA, June 2nd, in Hall 6) exceeded all expectations. Almost 150 new businesses applied, only 50 were chosen, of which a mere five will take part in the lunch with Parliamentary State Secretary Brigitte Zypries. “We are very pleased about this double honor”, Matthias Spott says. “For us, this is a sign that our plans have great potential. And it motivates us to continue our efforts to build a European satellite network specifically for B2B applications and customers.”
Matthias Spott has long-term experience in the aerospace industry. In his last position, he was Co-CEO of a services company in the high-tech sector with about 170 mio EUR in revenues. With eightyLEO, he does not just want to push Industry 4.0, but also to advance New Space in Germany and Europe in particular. “The US, California especially, are once more far ahead of us”, Spott says. “It is high time we caught up – and we believe that with a clearly focused business profile, this will be possible. That is why we specifically target professional, machine-based applications.”
Because whether it is Google, Facebook, Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic: most New Space pioneers intend to make space-based internet access available to private users around the globe. eightyLEO, on the other hand, aims to become the global leader in network, data management and application solutions, with a clear focus on the global industrial market for the Internet of Things. “With this approach, we are targeting the 80 billion – and more! – devices that are estimated to become internet-ready in the next years”, Matthias Spott explains.
“Our customers will come from all major industry verticals, such as: automotive, transportation & logistics, mining & construction, agriculture, mechanical & plant engineering, infrastructure, etc.” adds Michael Oxfort, CTO of eightyLEO since the beginning of 2016. Before, he held leading roles with RapidEye – the first (and so far only) successful New Space start-up from Germany, which has been acquired by Planet Labs from the United States recently.
Oxfort announces: “eightyLEO aims to launch the first satellites of a demonstrator mission in 2018 already. The goal of this mission will be to validate innovative communication systems both in space and on the ground, but also to integrate initial applications developed together with future customers.”