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The dates of the Slush 2019 conference in Helsinki are getting closer, and it's a good time to start planning for the event. Same as last year, we'd wholeheartedly recommend to come over to the Japan Booth to check out the startups coming to Finland from the Far East to meet the European community.
This year's pavilion features very different but equally exciting companies working in the fields of Lunar exploration, workplace happiness, and microsatellite technology. They will be around on both conference days, pausing only to participate in the pitch competition.
ispace: The future of commercial lunar exploration
While most of us are living in the year 2019, the team of ispace appears to be 21 years ahead. Check out the company's visionary video of what the year 2040 holds in store for all of us.
ispace, which raised $95.3 million in a Series A funding round in 2018, started as a company that managed the team HAKUTO, which made it to the finals of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The humble beginnings led to forming an organisation that now works on achieving what it calls “the world’s first commercial lunar exploration program.”
The startup develops moon landers and rovers, which are expected to bring customers' payload around the planet. It plans to launch its first lunar mission, codenamed M1, in 2021. According to the company, this would be the first privately-led Japanese mission on the lunar surface.
The mission M2 planned for 2023 is expected to bring and deploy a rover to start exploration and data collection on the surface of the Moon. After that, ispace plans to increase the frequency of the missions and bring more and more landers and rovers to eventually create industries and establish a settlement on the Earth's only natural satellite.
From paycheck to purpose with Unipos
“Tested and approved in Japan and going global” is the current motto displayed on the website of Unipos. Founded in Tokyo in 2017, the startup strives to bring a culture of recognition to any organisation through its “kudos platform” with a unique twist.
The solution developed by Unipos looks like a public timeline where employees can thank one another and celebrate everyday achievements. Each message also contains one or more value hashtags, which helps employees to understand and internalise the company values naturally.
Together with recognition and kudos, users can send points, which they get a limited amount of every week. At the end of each month, the points an employee received get paid out in the form of a donation to a charity of their choosing.
Unipos can integrate with the most popular team communication tools like Slack or G Suite products but is also available as a standalone web and mobile app. The team believes that adding everyday recognition to the organisational mix helps build a healthy culture and connect people behind a purpose rather than a paycheck.
Axelspace: Satellite imaging that doesn't cost a fortune
A pioneer in microsatellite technology, Axelspace is an R&D-intensive startup that focuses on building customised satellites and providing space imaging and data analytics services under the brand AxelGlobe. Under the motto “Space within your reach,” the company formulates its goal as to make it possible for everyone on the planet to make space part of their life.
The Microsatellite technology has democratised access to our planet's orbit a great deal, and Axelspace is a notable player in this area. The startup promises to build a custom microsatellite for pretty much any purpose, from taking photos to storing secret information or watching the space.
The AxelGlobe service, which was officially kicked off this June, offers satellite imagery of the entire planet for uses like smart agriculture, forestry management, smart cities, and so on. Currently, AxelGlobe operates one satellite and updates the images every 14 days. In 2020, the update frequency will go down to three days with the launch of four more satellites, while in 2022 the company expect to switch to daily coverage.
If you're attending Slush, make sure to come down to the Japan Booth to meet these companies and learn more about making the Earth, Moon, and the orbit a better place.