Next stop: Luxembourg

Author: Carlos M. Entrena Utrilla

Adapted by: Alicia Vílchez Bedmar

Luxembourg name's in a big plaza.

Today we publish a more informal note. Not everything can be grand visions and deep analysis of the future lunar economy! We also want to share with you our small successes and little steps forward, all of which are required to successfully build a company.

In this post, learn from Carlos (our CEO) about our first steps into Luxembourg!

Joining an amazing space ecosystem

Just over a month ago, Plus Ultra Space was accepted into the 11th edition of the Fit 4 Start program in Luxembourg. This program is not only our first official financing as a company (Thank you, Luxembourg!) but also a key step in our development.

In recent years, Luxembourg has successfully positioned itself as the hub for New Space companies in Europe. They have provided a financial and regulatory framework that provides visibility, security, and funding for new startups aiming to create the future space economy. Companies like ispace, Made in Space, and Spire have made their home in Luxembourg, and a large ecosystem of smaller, upcoming space startups has been growing for the past 5 years. As you can imagine, this situation fit Plus Ultra Space like a glove, so we are eager to embrace the benefits of Fit 4 Start and join our fellow spacers in Luxembourg.

Beyond great coaching, networking, and marketing opportunities, Fit 4 Start also provides financial support to get an office going in Luxembourg. That means, we are already working on our first international expansion, and have been busy reviewing and interviewing candidates among a pool of more than 50 applications for our first hire beyond the initial core team. This is definitely an exciting time for us! Not only have we received funding and will perform our first hire, but we are also extremely grateful for the support and trust that the Fit 4 Start program and Luxembourg are putting on us. Plus Ultra Space is ready for takeoff!

Plus Ultra Space’s first international meeting

We were born during the Covid-19 pandemic, so all of our team has been working remotely from day 1. However, opening an office requires in-person actions to some extent, especially when the new office is in another country! This was the perfect excuse for the first international meeting of our team. Sebastian (our CCO) and I met in Luxembourg to visit our future office location, meet partners and coaches, and catch up with old friends from our network. It was an intense 2-day trip, only shadowed by the intense rain that Luxembourg has been experiencing.

Carlos Entrena (CEO, left) and Sebastian Ströhl (CCO, right) having some beer and eating together.
Carlos Entrena (CEO, left) and Sebastian Ströhl (CCO, right) sheltering from the Luxembourgish rain.

Sebastian and I had worked together in the past, but I had not seen him in person since February 2020, just before the first wave of the pandemic. However, we have successfully collaborated to build the company that Plus Ultra Space is today and continue to do so on a daily basis. All of this remotely! You could say that in order to build the first lunar communications infrastructure, you need to master first the existing terrestrial communications! This was our first meeting without a screen in between since Sebastian joined Plus Ultra Space about a year ago, and we celebrated accordingly with a long catch-up session, and a work dinner with great local beer.

I must say, in-person discussions are much more productive than online ones. Not only it’s easier to communicate (no network problems possible!), but it’s also easier to read the body language and feel a connection to the other person. So far, we had even done shareholder meetings remotely, and I was looking forward to going back to in-person meetings. Hopefully the next Plus Ultra Space team meeting will include more of our 10 members!

Our first steps in the Grand Duchy

While Luxembourgish beer is great, we had a lot of work to do for just 2 days! We spent most of our first day in a very exciting and productive workshop with a future partner in Luxembourg (sorry, can’t disclose for now!). After a whole morning of brainstorming and discussing the future of the Moon, we dedicated our evening to meeting coaches and advisors.

We also took the chance to visit our future office location. The Luxembourg City Incubator has kindly offered to host us as part of Fit 4 Start. The LCI is a great working space. Around 150 startups are hosted within the same building, and they offer a huge array of open desk spaces, closed offices, meeting rooms, and entertainment areas. The LCI staff offered us a detailed tour of their facilities, and we definitely were positively impressed! Our team also loved the pictures we shared (see some below!). We can’t wait to set up shop at LCI!

What’s to come

As I mentioned before, we are opening an office in Luxembourg. The company will stay in Spain, but Luxembourg is an ideal location for us to centralize our business development. In case you missed it, we even published our first open position for Business Development Director that will be located there (now closed). By the end of September, “Plus Ultra Space Luxembourg” hopefully will be fully operational, and by the end of the year we will have two people working there, helping our future customers integrate Harmony’s services into their mission operations.

This will also be ideal to improve our presence and image among the space industry. Luxembourg hosts plenty of events that our people there will be attending. Being in the same city will facilitate in-person meetings, even if travel restrictions are imposed again. Plus Ultra Space aims to be the backbone of the future lunar economy, and our team in Luxembourg will be spearheading that effort!

All in all, a great first step. Small, but necessary. I’m excited about the future of our company and of the Moon, and you should be too! Step by step, we’ll get there.

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