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Plug and Play’s Insider Review by Sateliot’s Co-Founder Jaume Sanpera


Meet Jaume from Sateliot

Q: Can you introduce yourself and tell us about the beginnings of Sateliot?

A: I’m Jaume Sanpera, the CEO and co-founder of Sateliot. We founded Sateliot in 2018, focusing on connectivity. Our main project is deploying the first 5G IoT satellite constellation to connect standard 5G IoT devices from space.

Q: What motivated this startup idea?

A: The idea behind Sateliot emerged from observing a stark contrast in global connectivity. On one hand, areas with mobile connectivity enjoy easy, affordable access to the internet, making life and business operations smoother. In these regions, the cost of devices and connectivity is low, and this has led to the connection of about 5 billion devices.

However, this is not the case for about 80% of the world, where there is little to no connectivity. In these regions, connecting a device requires expensive hardware, costing between 200 to 400 euros, and high monthly fees, around 10 to 20 euros. As a result, in these areas, there are only about 4 million connected devices.

Our goal at Sateliot is to address this disparity. We aim to provide connectivity to this 80% of the world that lacks it, using the same affordable, standard devices that are used in more connected regions. This approach means that even in remote or less developed areas, standard devices, which are significantly cheaper, can have internet access. We envision a world where connectivity is universal, breaking down barriers and creating a more connected global community.


Why Plug and Play?

Q: How did Sateliot become involved with Plug and Play accelerator?


A: Plug and Play, known as one of the largest accelerators globally, reached out to us due to their interest in IoT and space technologies. They saw our work at Sateliot as highly disruptive and innovative.


Q: What was the application process for the Plug and Play program like?


A: The application process was quite straightforward. We completed a questionnaire and went through a series of interviews with sector-specific experts at Plug and Play. Based on these, we were selected to present at one of their major events in California.


Q: Did participating in the Plug and Play program include funding?


A: No, the program didn’t provide direct funding. However, it offered several other significant benefits. We had access to their facilities in Palo Alto, which was a big advantage. More importantly, the program facilitated presentations in front of potential investors and offered extensive networking opportunities. Plug and Play’s vast network was immensely beneficial, providing us with valuable connections and exposure in the industry, even though direct funding wasn’t a part of the package.


The Plug and Play Experience


Q: Can you describe what a typical day in the Plug and Play program was like?


A: The daily activities at Plug and Play were pretty standard but highly effective. They focused on helping us perfect our pitch and prepare all the necessary materials for presenting to venture capitalists. This assistance was invaluable, especially considering the years of experience and expertise they brought to the table. They paid attention to details that might seem minor but ultimately made a significant difference in our success.


Q: How involved were the mentors in the program?


A: The approach at Plug and Play was very much on-demand and tailored to each participant’s needs. Given that Sateliot wasn’t my first startup, mentorship wasn’t our primary focus. We were more interested in leveraging their expertise for specific areas where we felt we needed guidance. Their mentors were readily available, allowing us to address our particular interests or perceived weaknesses directly.


Q: Looking back, what would you say is the most valuable aspect of the Plug and Play program?


A: Without a doubt, the most significant feature of the Plug and Play program is its networking capabilities. The program is one of the most renowned accelerators, and the level of investors they connect you with is unparalleled. The opportunity to network with such a diverse and influential group of investors and industry experts is what makes the program truly worthwhile.



Sateliot’s Challenges and Milestones


Q: During your time in the Plug and Play program, did you face any particular challenges or learning experiences?


A: Our goal with Sateliot is to establish a global company, a step up from our previous ventures which were either national or international. This ambition brings its own set of challenges and learning opportunities. The most valuable aspect was the ability to ask questions to VCs and get insights from someone with a VC perspective. It was enlightening to hear from those who have been on the other side of the table.


Q: What lasting impacts did the accelerator have on Sateliot, and can you attribute any achievements to the program?


A: The program significantly improved our presentation materials and our ability to reach global investors. This has been a huge gain for us. Since completing the program, we’ve shifted from signing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to securing binding agreements. These binding agreements are far more valuable; we now have over 100 million euros in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) from these agreements, which investors highly appreciate.


Q: Has your growth trajectory changed post-acceleration, and can you share any quantifiable successes?


A: It’s hard to gauge where we would be without the program, but it certainly has helped. Before joining Plug and Play, we were already engaging with customers through MOUs to demonstrate market interest. However, post-acceleration, we’ve seen a shift to binding agreements, which is a significant development for us.


Q: Have you expanded into new markets since completing the program?


A: Our target markets remain the same. As a low-earth orbit constellation, we inherently have global coverage. Our focus is on technologically advanced markets that suffer from poor connectivity. This includes parts of North America, South America, Africa, and Asia.


Q: Can you elaborate on how Plug and Play expanded your network? Who were you connected with?


A: The primary connections we made through Plug and Play were with venture capitalists. We are currently closing our Series B funding round and these connections have been crucial. The VCs we met are interested in global, high-growth companies like ours.


Q: What are the next milestones for Sateliot, and do you think the accelerator program has influenced these?


A: It’s difficult to say which milestones we would have reached faster without the program, but our immediate goals include closing our Series B funding and starting the commercial phase. These are the milestones we are aiming to achieve in the coming year.


Founder’s Advice


Q: Do you have any advice for startups considering applying to Plug and Play or other accelerator programs?


A: It’s crucial for startups to be discerning when choosing an accelerator. There’s a wide array of options out there, and not all accelerators offer the same value. Some can be incredibly beneficial, while others might not provide the right kind of support or connections. My advice would be to aim for one of the top-tier accelerators. These are more likely to offer meaningful opportunities, such as putting you in front of the right investors, which can make a significant difference in a startup’s journey. Opting for smaller accelerators might not yield the same level of benefits or exposure.