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We’ve been catching up with our Angels@Essex alumni to find out how they found our programme, and to celebrate their successes.

We talked to CEO Marco Gomez-Jenkins from Super-Sharp Space Systems (S4), a University of Cambridge spin-out developing unfolding space telescopes to capture high-resolution thermal infrared (TIR) images with patented IP covering the self-alignment technology.

“We participated in the Judge Business School accelerator programme at the University of Cambridge. Nitin Patel (Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Essex) was our lead coach during the programme. He introduced us to John Stenhouse (Business Support Manager at the University of Essex) and William Millar (Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Essex). We were told that the Angels@Essex platform could help us with fundraising. We had assumed that the platform was only for businesses based in Essex but, as we learnt, it is open to everyone, and the Angels@Essex team provides support in developing the pitch decks.

Initially, we worked with John on our documentation to get S4 ready on the platform. Everyone in the team helped us with the pitch. Our pitch deck lacked a strong presentation of the investment opportunity which the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence helped us with. The team advised us on strengthening our financial projections and the value proposition. For someone familiar with the space sector our pitch was clear, but we wanted to aim at a more general investment audience.

We joined the platform a year ago. Shortly after, we were invited to a televised pitch event with Brit Asia TV, where we received live feedback from investors and were presented with additional opportunities for exposure across TV and social media.

We connected with an angel investor from Cambridge registered on the Angels@Essex platform and was an experienced entrepreneur. We almost reached an agreement for a £160,000 investment. We decided to take the business in a different direction, so we didn’t finalise the agreement, but it was a great opportunity.

Working with the Angels@Essex team was extremely valuable, and we recommend it to other entrepreneurs. Before we could put S4 on the platform, we must have gone through five iterations, but the final product was a big improvement. In the future, we would like to attend more in-person pitching events because it was useful to hear other entrepreneurs’ pitches. We were particularly impressed that the support in preparing to feature on the platform is free and that the Angels@Essex don’t take any equity if you receive investment.

We are still developing our product. We’re in a capital-intense business and customers require the instrument to be tested in space, which we are working towards. In early 2025, we plan to test our first telescope in space and then start selling them. Our goal is to sell full satellites that capture thermal images of the Earth.

We have recently been acquired by Satlantis (Spanish Earth observation satellite provider. The undisclosed investment gives us the financial and industrial resources needed to deploy an in-orbit demonstrator in 2025 as planned.”

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Angels@Essex is an invitation-only investment platform that links angel investors to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, allowing new disruptive technologies to flourish.