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Growing in North America

Growing Ubotica’s Team and Presence in America

 An interview with Aaron Rood, Ubotica’s Head of New Business Development for America

Q: You have worked in Business Development for over 20 years?

My entire career has been in and around aerospace, space and defence technology, largely on the hardware side for more than 20 years now. I’ve worked mostly around sensors, but also had some exposure to artificial intelligence and software. In previous roles, I have focused mainly on business development.

Q: Now you are Head of New Business Development for the United States at Ubotica. What does that involve?

Yes. I’m the first hire for Ubotica in the United States. The basis of my hire and the charter of my job is to open up business opportunities within the United States, working with organisations that provide satellite solutions. In the early days in this role, I’ll be mainly educating on behalf of Ubotica. By that I mean I’ll be introducing people in the USA to the technology and the capability and letting them know what Ubotica is all about. Then, obviously, the ultimate goal is to turn that education process into revenue for Ubotica to capture.

Q: Will you be building a Ubotica team in America?

I will be focusing on corporate or commercial opportunities to grow our footprint across the USA.  The plan is to grow our presence in America. Ultimately there may be some engineering and some R&D or other roles located in the United States.

Q: I gather you’re going to be representing Ubotica at the Small SAT conference at Utah State in Logan, Utah?

Yes, I think it’s a good opportunity to meet a lot of the stakeholders within the satellite industry, from start-ups up to the large prime providers. I am looking forward to introducing people to what we’re capable of so that we can grow and find opportunities.

Q: What are you hoping to get out of your role?

Obviously, the ultimate outcome should be swelling revenue and opportunity within the United States. As an intermediate step, we need to become a recognisable brand in the field. I need to be diligent with the marketing to go out and introduce our organisation and our capabilities to as many people as possible to create a familiarity that we can turn into larger opportunities.

Q: Do you plan to visit other space industry exhibitions and conferences?

We are going to strategically align the conferences that we do attend with our specific business development plans to help us gain presence and familiarity within the United States.

Next year, at the end of April, we will be at the Space Symposium, which is in Colorado Springs. That seems to be one of the largest of the US space shows. It’s entirely space focused and will probably attract several thousand attendees over the week, including small business, federal organisations and prime providers.

Q: What do you consider to be Ubotica’s key strengths?

I think there’s a couple of phenomena happening at Ubotica that will help us build to our success. One is the legacy of our leadership team having already experienced the whole start-up model and exit strategy successfully. Sometimes, start-ups decide that they’re going to do something great, but they lack the expertise and experience to thrive. So, I think one key strength for us is in our leadership.

Also, artificial intelligence is becoming a big catch-all, but Ubotica has been able to home in on a very appropriate, attractive and obtainable use case scenarios. It would be it would be easy to just say, “we’re going to use artificial intelligence in space.” However, we’ve focused successfully on image processing and operation, and I think that’s an unmet need in the US. I like to use the term ‘analysis by paralysis’ to describe it.

Historically, the burden of work required to analyse the amount of data that is available from a satellite exceeds the amount of work that can actually be done down on Earth. So, minimising the human component becomes a big pain point for many – and thus a great opportunity for us.

Coupled with our flight proven heritage and very low power envelope, means Ubotica has a compelling proposition for satellite system designers.