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Notice – This funding award was made during the previous iteration of the Small Business Grants Competition which ran from 2016 to 2019. The format has since changed and monthly grant winners are now selected from members of the Small Business Pro community. See here for more details: The Small Business Grants initiative

Small Business Grants is pleased to reveal the winner of October 2017’s £5,000 competition is Sent into Space.

On December 17th 2010, University of Sheffield students Alex Baker and Chris Rose used a helium balloon to film the Earth from the edge of space on a shoestring budget.

The project would inspire Sent into Space, a company offering marketing, research and education with a focus on near space.

Dr Baker and Dr Rose have grown the company to a turnover of circa £300,000 and are looking to expand into providing services for developers of high-altitude equipment such as near-space satellites.

The company has also launched a service that scatters the ashes of the deceased from space.

The £5,000 grant will be instrumental for investment in key equipment to streamline processes.

Alex Keen, who looks after projects and innovation at the company says, ‘Winning this grant is a wonderful achievement for Sent Into Space. This money will allow us to buy a brand new CNC machine, which means we can expand the range of materials we use to build our near-space payloads and greatly improve our turnaround time for new projects.

‘What’s more, it’s very rewarding to be recognised as an innovation leader in our field by the UK small business community. Thanks!’

The pick of the judges

The Small Business Grants judges were impressed by the innovation shown by the company, as well as the partnerships forged and the degree to which the grant can take the business forward.

Rennie Schafer, CEO of the Self Storage Association says, ‘Sent into Space is a business facing the challenges of being a real innovator and having to create much of their equipment bespoke. I like the way the company is thinking creatively about uses for the product/service and not just focusing on traditional uses. The funeral idea is inspired.’

Rupert Lee-Browne, founder of Caxton FX feels that the company has made its service accessible and easy to buy which is reflected in its growth. ‘The grant will go towards a piece of kit that will make a significant difference to the business,’ he adds.

Andrew Clough, founder of The Brew says, ‘I love the multi-stream nature of the business in terms of how it appeals to education, research and the home enthusiast. And it’s impressive that this approach is underpinned by corporate sales.

‘On top of that, the upcoming partnerships with international space agencies and the use of the latest prototyping technology is why Sent into Space gets my no.1 vote this month.’

Our Small Business Grants scheme is sponsored by Worldpay, Travelers, A City Law Firm, Funding Options, and Sage. These selected partners are specialists in the small business sector and are focused on offering products and services tailored for SMEs.

We would also like to thank our partners,, the Business Show, No Brainer, the Forum of Private Business, London Chamber of Commerce, Angel Academe, Luxaviation UK, Caxton, Progressive Property, The Self Storage Association and The Brew.   

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