Lucy Kennedy

Satellites are the most amazing source of global imagery and data that humans have, and yet we do comparatively little with this treasure trove of information.

I am CEO of Spottitt, an innovative Harwell based start-up which is pioneering self-service satellite analytics for clients in the energy, environment and infrastructure sectors. Spottitt was born out of a phone conversation back in 2014 with old work collegues, and now my fellow Spottitt co-founders, Marcello Deplano and Paolo Senes. Marcello was woking on a number of onshore wind developments and voiced his frustrations with the poor quality data they were using to find sites with suitable geography for development, there had to be a better way in the 21st centurary. None of us had any background in the Space sector or Earth observation but I started investigating and fell in love with a whole new world. We decided to take the idea of using satellite imagery and complex analytics to support onshore wind site selection to the European Space Agency. I still remember sitting in my basement writing the grant funding request which was accepted, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. We built a team and over the course of the two year development project turned an idea into a commercially available service with its first paying clients. We still have a long way to go before individuals and organizations run low cost, complex analytics on satellite imagery as standard.

After my Masters in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University I enjoyed 9 years working for Procter & Gamble developing my project and operations management skills within their FMCG engineering & manufacturing business units in Belgium. After that, a move with my husband and the birth of our first child in the Netherlands forced a change of direction into consulting and channel marketing delivery for high tech. clients such as HP & Microsoft for 8 years before a move back to the UK and my discovery of the world of Earth Observation satellites.

At 46 I would describe myself as somebody who has ‘grown into’, as opposed to being ‘born into’ entrepreneurship. I have a patient husband and 3 less patient children.