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Diversity in the Space and NewSat industry

In episode #59 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were excited to be joined by Miguel Ayala, the CEO of Aphelion Aerospace.

We touched on his career so far, as well as his insight on Diversity and Inclusion as well as what his business is actively doing. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

How do you think Diversity can be better addressed in the industry? 

“I look back at my own experience, and I’m not saying that, that everybody is like me, or thinks like me. But, one thing that I’ve noticed is that people follow people that they can relate to.  

What that means to me is that now that I have a growing platform, and that people are starting to listen to me, I intend to be more engaged with the community and more vocal with the community to raise awareness.  

I also want to find more young people that are looking for role models like them, that look like them. And at the same time, I invite other people of different backgrounds to have a say. I think there are many ways of doing things respectfully without offending anybody.” 

What kind of things are you doing at the moment to address this? 

“One of the things that we’re actively doing right now is we’re partnering with a non-profit organisation. This gentleman, who was part of a non-profit, put together this CubeSat project; a three-step project for high school students.  

The first step is for high school students to get grouped in teams, and build CubeSat simulators. Then, the next step is for them to build fake cube sets that are launched with the balloon, and then eventually, the next the third phase will be to build actual or real cube sets, get launched on a rocket. We have high schools here in the US, in Canada in the UK and Ecuador. 

We’ve seen so much interest from all these different high schools all over the world. So then all these kids regardless of financial status, they can get engaged, and they can learn how to build the cube sets.” 

What one piece of advice would you give to someone entering the industry? 

“Talk to people and build a good relationship with your boss, make sure that your boss and your manager are aware of your interests, your strengths and your weaknesses. And, be completely candid about your strengths and weaknesses as well. Make sure that your boss is actually your advocate. Unfortunately, a bad boss, especially early on can damage your career.  

Also, make sure you have a good relationship with your co-workers and with other leaders in the company and industry. Finally, maintain high integrity,  not just because you should, but also because you just don’t know who you will cross paths again with in the future.  

You can catch the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Connectivity Unleashed – Dan Jeffery at MWC Barcelona

MWC Barcelona had a Connectivity Unleashed theme and provided over 61,000 people to meet face to face for potentially the first time in 3 years. The event saw over 1,900 exhibitors with over 49% of attendees at Director level and above from 124 countries.

Personally, it was my first MWC and I thoroughly enjoyed it even with a face mask. Despite the show’s capacity being around 60% to pre-covid times, it was a positive environment to be in. Also, with less people in attendance it was slightly easier to get from Hall 1 to 5 to 7 for those ill-planned back-to-back meetings!

The technology and information at booths only improved my knowledge and understanding of the market. I’m not a technical expert by any means but it really helped to join the dots of the last 2.5 years I’ve worked at neuco. Whilst I was impressed by the robot making drinks, I found the robot dogs somewhat scary and don’t even get me started on a robotic cat!

The AI telling me I was ‘hairless’ caused some laughs amongst my colleagues and aside from that, it was a pleasure to be in Barcelona with Laurie and Alistair.

Of the 6 key themes, here at neuco we took particular interest in 5G Connect. After over 100 meetings in 3 days between the 3 of us and around 25,000 steps per day each, the weekend was certainly needed to recover!

5G Connect was dominated by the talk on Open RAN with lots happening in the ecosystem. Whether it was existing partnerships being showcased or the opportunity to discuss new ones, collaboration seemed to be key. Several companies were providing demonstrations as an end-to-end solution or showing how powerful collaboration can be with the 5G Open Lab as one example. Rakuten Symphony acquiring Robin.io was major news for the Symphony sales effort as well as their new agreement with AT&T.

For all the positivity around Open RAN, John Baker, SVP of Business Development at Mavenir, was highly critical of Ericsson and Nokia for creating confusion. Clearly, the likes of Mavenir & Parallel Wireless are disruptors to the market but how much longer can Ericsson or Nokia protect their legacy and delay for?

As we move closer to deployments of more 5G networks, the market only looks to grow for those with 5G use cases or equipment providers on the networks. We’ve seen record sales years for some and whilst there are of course supply chain difficulties, hopefully the next 12-24 months will see further growth.

From a recruitment perspective, the conversations were very positive with ambitious hiring plans across different functions. Whether it was new commercial roles through internal growth or expansion into new verticals/regions, the market seems very buoyant. Of course, I can’t mention recruitment without asking if there’s a software-based company who doesn’t have a need for Software Engineers?

Also, it’s an exciting time for product and presales functions as new services or solutions are being developed and need either taking to market or sold. The demand for the fine balance between a technical understanding but being confident enough to have an external conversation, is only going to increase.

Most importantly from the event, I feel that a barrier was taken down by having face to face conversations and really appreciate the time from everybody I met. Dare I say it, I’m already looking forward to 27 February 2023 for the MWC23!

The future of Content & Media

In episode #58 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were thrilled to be joined by Andy Hooper, who is the VP of Platform and Product management at Agile Content. Andy started his career in Accenture on their graduate programme later moving into the video space with Motorola.

We touched on his career so far, as well as his views and aspirations for the future both professionally and personally.

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

High quality content: What’s the reality of it? And, what’s the future of it? 

“The reality is that for a huge number of operators, there is space in the market for well delivered, well constructive high-quality TV and video viewing experiences, and that’s going to remain for a very long time.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say, a segment of people’s time will always be spent doing that and consuming it passively on a bigger screen, that’s and that’s not going to go away in the next 50 years. 

So admittedly, a lot of the attention will go away from that, but that’s fundamentally going to stay there. 

We tend to sometimes over-focus on the selling side of the technology in this industry on particular capabilities. But for a lot of customers, it’s still very important to have partners that are reliable and, and can execute and  be trustworthy.”

On a more personal level, in your career, are there any big goals or targets you have that you’d still like to achieve?

“Most of my life, I spent a lot of time removing stuff from my life, whether it’s clutter, or gadgets that I don’t need, and I resist buying gadgets that I’m unlikely to use very much anymore. That was something that I’ve learned. So, my ambitions don’t need to be driven by material possessions as much as they perhaps used to. 

I want to be able to say that I’ve created something from scratch. That’s the one thing that I think I’ve always been quite successful in. 

One thing that I’d like to achieve would be to find a moment that’s right, from a family and personal perspective, to start from scratch and take something from zero to something; and provide some honest employment for some good people on the way.”

You can catch the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The next industrial revolution?

In episode #57 of The Tech That Connects Us, we hosted Gary Calnan, CEO of Cislunar Industries, who are an exciting Space company working at the forefront of orbital debris removal and space manufacturing. 

He has a breadth of experience both in and out of the Space industry, and it was great to pick his brains on everything related to his role, as well as “the next industrial revolution” which we’ll be covering today.

We hope you enjoy it.

What’s your current view of the market? And where do you see it heading?

“I think that we’re at the beginning of a new industrial revolution, actually. And, I think that it’s going to be driven by space. 

My only personal experience was similar to this when the internet sort of emerged in the 90s. In 1990, I would have been 12 years old. So, that gives you some idea of how old I was when the internet was emerging, right? I think that we are right at that moment where it’s just starting and people, who are visionary see the potential.

Imagine sitting here right now knowing that people will use the capabilities that are the infrastructure that’s being laid down right now for space? In the future, as costs come way down, peoples ideas will be built. 

It’s going to enable lots of new things,  but the market right now, I think, is really a boom time.  We’re seeing a lot of investment pouring into it from the private sector. And, you know, we’re seeing increased interest from the government as well to support these things.”

What do you want to achieve? 

“I think we need to create a robust in-space economy.  I think we’re well on the way to solving launch; there are over 100 companies trying to do their own launch vehicle, but we see SpaceX really driving the cost down there. If we can put all those pieces together, and start to build that industrial layer in space, I think that’s the next step.”

What are the steps to make that happen?

“You build a robust economy in space, you can then tackle space debris and build the foundation for a moon that has hotels for tourists. And then that lays the foundation for going out beyond and utilising nuclear propulsion technologies to increase the speed of travel. 

The foundation piece is building up this industrial economy and cislunar space, encouraging that to happen, and sort of try and drive that forward. That, to me is the next Grand Challenge. And now, there won’t be an interplanetary species for sure.​!”

You can listen to the full episode here!

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.