Studying mechatronics engineering seems like a good place to focus your energy when you enjoy solving problems and building things. This is what Shoaib Iqbal (Sho) thought, anyway, but upon arriving at university, he discovered there are other avenues to be explored – like entrepreneurship. Sho has since launched his career as a space tech founder, where he is determined to solve big problems for industry and the environment. Sho pivoted his engineering degree to study Space Science while building his company, Esper Satellite Imagery as the CEO. Esper is a high tech satellite imagery company dedicated to supercharging industries such as mining and agriculture with environmental data. To put it more simply, if you can easily see the environment from space with satellites, you can use that information to make decisions about it.
During his time studying mechatronics engineering, he had the opportunity to work on high power rockets. Around this same time, he discovered that although he liked the subjects he was pursuing, he didn’t love the degree itself. Having had some time to dip his toes into space tech, Esper was an escalation of Sho’s interest in climate tech. The company was founded in 2019.
“It started with a simple Google search and it all snowballed from there”
The ultimate vision for Esper is to make industries on earth run more effectively from space, and he is on track to make this kind of impact in years to follow. As the CEO, Sho is responsible for the product commercialisation opportunities and general company direction. Esper is raising its first seed round and has not one, but three satellites scheduled to launch in 2022. Sho has already closed a seed raise from Angel investors, and is hoping to grow the team with a $5,000,000 Series A raise in order to accomplish these big milestones.
Sho is an active member of the HEX community having participated in our APAC Innovation program in 4.0 (appropriately nicknamed the Orbit program!). He regularly drops in to help run hackathons, host fireside chats or mentor our students through their entrepreneurial experience. “I learnt so much from HEX because I was able to meet so many incredible people in the startup ecosystem, it was very eye opening”. HEX allowed Sho to gain confidence in his skills so he can build products and test them quickly, “The entrepreneurial soft skills are important to learn as that brings about confidence and an intuitive feeling about what needs to be done next; HEX was great for that”.
Tapping into the HEX community has been a valuable resource for Sho to find new opportunities.
“The alumni network has had a big impact on my first funding and helped with my exposure to get into accelerator programs and it goes on from there.”
Sho recruited one of his first company hires by dipping into our talent pool of entrepreneurial minded student alumni, and HEX CEO, Jeanette Cheah, is an ongoing adviser to Esper.
As a big thinker who is always interested in pushing limits, we know that he is going to solve some big problems for the world, and HEX is here to support him all the way.
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