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by Sofia Villegas
19 October 2023
Glasgow space tech firm to represent Scotland in programme to level up start-ups across the UK

Charles Altuzarra and Yash Shah, founders of Metahelios

Glasgow space tech firm to represent Scotland in programme to level up start-ups across the UK

Glasgow-based company Metahelios has been selected to become an ambassador of the Start Up Loans programme. 

The firm, which specialises in advanced camera technology for space, will join a team of 12 tasked with levelling up startups across the UK. 

During the year-long programme – run by the British Business Bank (BBB) – Metahelios will take part in activities to encourage aspiring start-up founders into business ownership. 

Since starting in 2012, the scheme has awarded more than £60m in loans to almost 7,000 Scottish startups, with the total amount rising to more than £1bn UK-wide. 

Susan Nightingale, UK network director for the devolved nations at the BBB, said: “Scotland’s aerospace scene is booming, and it’s brilliant to see forward-thinking start-ups like Metahelios bringing cutting-edge technology to the market.” 

Charles Altuzarra and Yash Shah, founders of the tech firm, are former recipients of the scheme. Last year they each received a £25k loan to launch their business. 

Altuzarra said: “We’re making significant progress in taking our cameras to the next stage and proving the capabilities of our technology – and we’re currently in the process of raising equity funding. The advice we’ve received from some of the industry’s biggest names has been nothing short of inspiring, and we’ve got ambitious plans to be at the forefront of the UK’s space race. 

“The loans Yash and I received were instrumental, as they allowed us to invest in manufacturing and testing prototypes.”  

The entrepreneurs have created a pioneering long-distance camera that uses light to distinguish materials from a still image. 

They hope to deploy into space through one of the UK’s spaceport sites, of which five are currently being developed in Scotland, to capture satellite data that can help monitor climate change and orbiting space debris. 

Metasurface technology is expected to have a value of $10.7bn by 2030, according to a report by Lux Research – an advisory firm focused on sustainable innovation. 

Malcolm Offord, UK Government minister for Scotland and exports, added: “It’s great to see pioneers such as Charles and Yash being appointed as Start Up Loan Ambassadors for Scotland. Their story is the perfect example of what a huge difference this funding can make to businesses looking to get off the ground. With their help, we can encourage other entrepreneurs to use the Start Up Loan programme to give their businesses a kick-start.” 

Other firms selected include The Sustainable Kitchen in East Midlands, which explores why veganism isn't as accessible as it should be and also former land receivers Lunia 3D from Wales, which specialises in 3D printing. 

Ambassadors will be introduced at a launch event in central London that kick-starts the programme. 

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