Matti Ekdahl Business Development Director of Ubotica

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background, and what led you to join Ubotica?

I began my career in the space industry at ICEYE, serving as the Business Development Director. Alongside my team, we identified and cultivated the near real-time flood mapping business case, now implemented by numerous global insurance companies and governmental agencies. Additionally, we pioneered a tool for catastrophe management.

Later, I transitioned to Kuva, a spectral satellite company, assuming the role of Director of Business Development. In this capacity, I headed up Kuva’s business and overall strategy, while also validating potential business cases with clients in diverse sectors such as insurance, defense, finance, environment, and government.

What really caught my attention with Ubotica was the potential of onboard processing, particularly AI-powered solutions.  This represents a groundbreaking shift for the Earth observation industry, and adoption will become a necessity for all players. Implementing  SPACE:AI offers the potential to radically streamline operations for our customers.

I was further drawn to Ubotica’s focus on innovation. The opportunity to lead global sales for a trailblazing space AI company aligns perfectly with my ambitions.

Q: What attracted you to the field of space specifically?

I’ve always had a deep curiosity about space, for as long as I can remember. When the chance arose to work in the space tech sector in Finland, I applied without hesitation. While there was undoubtedly an external opportunity, my personal drive played a significant role. I’ve remained deeply intrigued by the industry, and what keeps me engaged is the continuous evolution of our work. It’s an ever-changing landscape, constantly pushing boundaries and developing at a rapid pace.

The technology being developed at Ubotica, like CogniSAT-6, holds the potential to change the world, transforming how people interact with the natural environment. It’s poised to address a wide array of global issues and problems because satellite technology knows no bounds—it spans the entire globe. That’s what makes it so captivating; it’s hard to imagine working in any other industry after being part of this.

Q: What excites you the most about working at Ubotica?

What excites me most about working with Ubotica is the amazing team. The team has over 20 years of experience in AI and VISION:AI specifically  with great expertise, giving Ubotica a great edge over their competitors. The team has also made it very easy and comfortable to join the company. 

Q: What do you hope to contribute to the team and the company’s mission?

My main priority is to lift up the business by securing clients and by building a strong pipeline for the future. Additionally, I hope to contribute to Ubotica outside of the primary scope of my role. Through my previous experience in the space industry, I can help guide Ubotica with my knowledge from previous roles on what processes work best, when to ensure things are done, and how we can avoid wasting any time or money. I would like to contribute to the overall success and development of the company.

Q: Will you be visiting space events and exhibitions?

I will definitely attend lots of events and exhibitions, some are still to be confirmed. I will be present at the Paris Space Week in May, The Farnborough International Airshow in the UK and the Space Tech Expo in Bremen in November and hopefully many more throughout the year.

Q: Are there any particular challenges or opportunities in the field that you’re eager to tackle?

Business development comes with its fair share of challenges; selling a new product is never a walk in the park. While our products at Ubotica have seen some adoption by many companies and satellites, it is still early days for AI in space. LIve Earth Intelligence , in particular, is a new market category in the Earth Observation Industry industry. Consequently, there’s a considerable amount of work ahead, including collaborating closely with the marketing team to conduct market research, refine our messaging, engage with clients, and foster strong relationships with customers.

We need to build trust with our prospective clients. While personal presence is undoubtedly crucial, there are numerous things to consider in establishing trust within the industry. Integrating our offerings seamlessly into their spacecraft is our priority.

Q: Outside of work, do you have any hobbies or interests that you’re passionate about?

I play tennis and  It’s not an uncommon thing to see me with my tent somewhere in California deserts or high up in the mountains. So that’s something I do several times a year. Last year I went to Wyoming, Arizona and Utah and of course spots in Finland.