The toughest challenge in building a space business, is architecting meaningful milestones into the roadmap. The King and Queen of startup survival are Protoypes and Sales; they enable iterative learning, evidence of market traction, and a back loaded funding profile minimizing investment risk. Audacy’s roadmap is laid out in five phases, accomplishing all of these objectives.
PHASE I : EXPLORATION (2014-15)
- Ideation - The best startups address a need witnessed by founders up close and personal. Based on the experience of several SpaceX Dragon flights to the International Space Station, Audacy is founded to make space communications both simple and ubiquitous.
- Product / Market Fit - The team has countless conversations with target users and (occasionally vigorous) debates to hammer out a rock solid business model. The phase completes with a 1st place win in the Stanford BASES competition, and acceptance to StartX & Founder.org accelerator programs.
PHASE II : RISK REDUCTION (2015-16)
- Spectrum - In telecom, everything starts and stops with spectrum rights; Audacy creates an architecture compatible with existing spectrum users, and files for its own spectrum with the US FCC and UN ITU.
- Market & Funding - A common telecom play is to leverage projected system earnings to secure debt funding for its construction. Audacy builds a 1B+ sales pipeline and crucial partnerships with globally recognized debt funding experts and financial institutions.
- Team & Tech - Audacy builds a team beyond a group of smart people sharing a beanbag office. Combining 5 business degrees, 8 nationalities, 14 engineering degrees, nearly 100 years of experience, and a cohesive & deliberate culture, we become a “team” in the most comprehensive meaning of that word. Yet, building space systems is like stacking Swiss cheese: the more layers, the fewer holes line up to let mistakes through. Audacy surrounds itself with experts from suppliers, customers, and the public (crowd) to vet every aspect of its architecture and readies it for implementation.
PHASE III : SINGLE-SITE (NOW)
- Prototypes - Audacy releases its Quindar mission ops software platform. We build our first ground station in the San Francisco Bay Area. Audacy One is our first CubeSat mission to demo our client terminal, ground station, and ops capability. We place an Audacy terminal on the ISS, enabling any ISS user to leverage the Audacy network (initially to ground and later via Audacy satellites); and we are now ready to start development of our relay constellation in collaboration with world recognized suppliers, and lock in their launch date.
- Sales - Combining ground and space assets, Audacy provides comm anywhere from the Earth’s surface to the orbit of the Moon. Each ground gateway offers unique capabilities generating first company revenue. With hardware in built, spectrum allocated, and launch reserved, Audacy enters customer contracts for current (ground based) and upcoming (space based) services. Captured revenue commitments enable execution of supplementary debt funding.
PHASE IV : MULTI-SITE (2017-18)
- Scaling - We construct a 2nd ground station and ops facility in Singapore, with a weather diversity site in Indonesia. With growing adoption, a 3rd gateway is commissioned in Europe (Luxembourg). Manufacture of our relay spacecraft transitions to launch integration. We install a 2nd ISS terminal and double throughput capacity.
- Revenue - Multiple ground locations continue revenue generation. With proven ground capabilities and upcoming space launch in under one year, Audacy begins collecting deposits against capacity reservations. Early adopters take advantage of Audacy provided hardware for client implementation, creating a base of compatible customers already on orbit. Ground based services users are ready to transition to high capacity/availability space services as soon as Audacy relay spacecraft go live.
PHASE V : LAUNCH (2019)
- Launch - Audacy has proven it can operate both ground and space assets. Client terminals have been deployed on the ISS, on Audacy One, and early customers already on orbit. Following final launch integration, the Audacy relay constellation is deployed and enters service.
- The expression “LOS” (Loss of Signal) ceases to be viewed as an industry standard acronym.