The BIG platform

Funding a project of cosmic proportions to change the way we view our world
Founded: 2010
Website: Urthecast.com
COMPANY PROFILE
UrtheCast is a Vancouver-based Earth observation company that moves pixels from space to screen. They serve the rapidly evolving geospatial and geoanalytics markets with a broad range of Earth imagery products and services.

The challenge

UrtheCast was out to bring the world a powerful perspective on our evolving planet. That vision inspired their goal of installing two high-definition cameras on the International Space Station to stream live data back down to Earth. In addition to their imagery expertise and planetary prowess, they needed two things: reliable funding and a high-quality team.

How we tackled it

UrtheCast had a vision, but lacked the necessary human and monetary resources. BIG strategized a plan to equip this disruptive team with the funding and talent they needed to realize it, crafting a powerful narrative and leveraging RIPKIT, our proprietary business acceleration methodology, to bring their out-of-this-world idea down to Earth.

BIG WIN: WE WROTE A $52M STORY

First and foremost, UrtheCast needed a capital infusion to power software development. We crafted a narrative that spoke to the power of making this high-definition, live imagery accessible on a global scale – and raised $52M in financing. To engage their large investor network ongoing, we developed a robust investor management portal that shared project and financial updates to instill confidence as the company evolved.

BIG WIN: WE LEVERAGED A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP TO PROPEL DEVELOPMENT ON DAY ONE

Rather than hiring an entirely new team from scratch, we partnered with a small geolocation company, GroundMap, to leverage their specialized expertise and existing development team. Our collaboration empowered us to start building the product immediately while also taking the time to recruit the right full-time team members.

BIG WIN: WE RAPIDLY BUILT A HIGHLY SPECIALIZED, HIGH-FUNCTIONING TEAM

Building software to transmit data from space is no easy feat; UrtheCast needed not only a highly qualified team, but a number of specialists, including: developers, designers, functional support experts, ground segment operators and all around space geeks. We helped by recruiting and onboarding a new team so UrtheCast could stay focused on their product development goals.

Building Impossible

UrtheCast now operates four sensors in space – two satellites and two cameras aboard the International Space Station. As a result of the work we did together, UrtheCast went on to win Alberta’s Best Digital Startup 2012 and the T-Systems Cloud Computing GMES Masters Competition.