SPRINT expert, part of the Quantum, Light and Matter (QLM) Group at the University of Southampton and CEO of Aquark Technologies, Dr Andrei Dragomir, completed the 10-week Seraphim Space Camp Fellowship Programme in June 2020. Here are his thoughts…
This is a pivotal time for my company as I’m focused on transforming my ideas from academic research to a business environment. My primary objectives at this point are to target and secure seed funding to enable me to start the practicalities of the business and product development cycle, and to leverage engagement with some of the major players in the space sector to gauge the potential fit for my product in the current marketplace.
The Seraphim team heard my pitch for my new cold atom quantum technology solution at a joint event with SPRINT at the University of Southampton. I was subsequently offered a Fellowship position and started the programme in April 2020.
The Fellowship Programme is aimed at providing strategic advice, mentoring and training on developing a market opportunity, and preparations for potential venture capital investment.
Once the programme started, I immediately saw the incredible value to my company and to me as an entrepreneur. The entire Seraphim Space Camp team were there to guide us, holding our hands at every stage.
You can’t get this knowledge just by reading books as it opens your eyes to see how your product fits into the market. The programme takes you from zero to hero in terms of making your startup a success and there wasn’t a single session that I didn’t find useful.
I was grateful for the support of SPRINT throughout the programme, allowing me to focus only on the programme and my development throughout.
It’s been amazing since the end of the programme. I’ve seen a 250 per cent increase in views of my LinkedIn profile, I’ve had approaches from industrial partners for possible collaborations and potential investors have been in contact. You wouldn’t usually get the chance to engage at those levels so soon. This will have a huge impact on the future of my company and potential investment.
I look forward to continuing to collaborate with SPRINT, Seraphim Space Camp and the University, and their support makes me confident that I can accelerate my start-up business to market.
About Aquark Technologies:
Aquark Technologies is a spin-out company from the University of Southampton. Its aim is to enable the mass market adoption of quantum technologies into everyday life by producing the first simple, plug-and-play, cold-atom quantum device on the market, which will be the size of a match box. The company’s main focus is on the vacuum chamber and novel optical geometry that sits at the heart of its devices, which allows the miniaturisation of most quantum technology-based systems.
About Seraphim Space Camp:
Seraphim Space Camp is the UK’s leading accelerator programme dedicated to rapidly growing space technology start-ups in a wide range of industry themes.