Catapult announces winners of SME Growth Challenge Competition

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The Satellite Applications Catapult has announced which two companies have been awarded Catapult sponsorship to take part in the SME Growth Challenge Programme, run by the Cambridge Judge Business School’s Entrepreneurship Centre at the University of Cambridge.

The SME Growth Challenge Programme uses the latest thinking in business management and draws on its wealth of experience in supporting growing firms, understanding both the common and unique challenges they face, and helping them to realise their potential through a bespoke approach.

The selection process involved an initial shortlisting from a diverse and substantial pool of applicants, followed by phone interviews with the CEOs shortlisted. In reaching a decision, the growth stage (size and revenue), appetite (ability and motivation for CEO and management to attend) and fit (alignment of the growth challenges disclosed in the SME’s application with the support delivered by the programme) were taken into consideration. The prize winners – Open Cosmos and e2E – were chosen because they scored highly across all three criteria.

Competition for the sponsored places was very tight, and the judges remarked on the quality of other applicants who narrowly missed out on a sponsored place in this year?s cohort but who would make excellent candidates in a year?s time.

Stuart Martin, CEO, Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “Having researched the previous edition of the programme, we were keen to partner with the Cambridge Judge Business School as we want to develop and promote CEO training opportunities for scale-ups in the space sector. As part of our collaboration, we are also offering to organise and host an additional workshop for all participants on the programme. We look forward to welcoming this year’s cohort at the Catapult and we hope all the companies involved will learn a lot over the nine months, and can take back and implement to the benefit of their businesses’ growth.”

Professor Stelios Kavadias, Academic Director of the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre, said: “We are pleased to partner with the Satellite Applications Catapult and work together in strengthening this industry by supporting companies that have a strong growth appetite and potential scale. We were impressed by the qualities of the applications, and narrowing down to only two companies was a difficult task.”

Rafel Jorda Siquier, CEO, Open Cosmos, said: “Scaling a company is tough. Open Cosmos has been doubling its size every six months over the last two years, and winning the SME Growth Challenge now will allow us to continue improving, learning from others and staying a step ahead of the risks and challenge intrinsic to growth.”

Barry Ross, CEO, e2E, said, “I am delighted to have secured valuable business and management training in support of its ambitious organisational expansion plan which is focused on making satellite communications more affordable to enterprises by 2020.”

The CEOs will join the start-up programme on 21 September 2017, and take part in a series of six one-day workshops, addressing the challenges of financing, marketing strategy and tactics, understanding a competitive landscape and defining their current business model.