June 8, 2021
5 mins

Start-ups writing history.


Last week, I asked anyone interested in empowering nr2’s AI with GPT-3 to send a selfie video saying that. The response has been overwhelming. We have already received more than 400 videos and they are still coming in fast. I want to ensure we do justice to these amazing videos and the energy that has gone into them. I am just so grateful for all the support. Now it’s on us to get nr2 access to GPT-3.

Seeing the enthusiasm for our AI, and the idea of open innovation, makes it clear we have to deliver...I’ll keep you posted!

Space exploration

You may have seen the news yesterday that Jeff Bezos plans to become one of the first civilians in space next month, taking Blue Origin’s first human flight a couple of weeks after he steps down as Amazon’s CEO.

Jeff will take the first civil suborbital flight with his brother on July 20th

Meanwhile, China’s solar-powered rover has started moving around Mars. Named after the Chinese god of fire, Zhurong, the rover landed on Mars last Saturday and has begun a 90 day search for evidence of life.


The successful landing of the rover was a technically more challenging feat than a moon landing; one which many other space agencies have failed to achieve. China is only the second country to have achieved it after USA; a good reminder that Chinese technology is advancing rapidly.

No CV required

I’ve written previously about space-related advances in China and how much is being driven by start-ups rather than traditional state-owned enterprises.

This week, I looked into the professional backgrounds of the start-up founders in the space sector. What jumps out is that while most of the Chinese founders have related experience, that’s starting to change.

One of the most ambitious and successful founders stands out for having no background in the sector: Xu Ming. Xu Ming is the founder of Galaxy Space, a Chinese start-up committed to low-cost, high-performance satellites.

Galaxy space’s satellite, credit to http://www.yinhe.ht/

Xu Ming began his career at Cheetah Mobile. The mobile internet company is behind some of the biggest mobile apps worldwide, but doesn’t have any space-related interests.

It’s about the people

The founder of Cheetah Mobile is the CEO and co-founder of Bilibili, who also has no background in space. Last September, the video sharing giant, Bilibili, successfully launched a remote sensing satellite into orbit. The aim of the satellite is to encourage students to learn more about space.

Just as we have seen in the USA, Xu Ming and Chen Rui show that start-up founders everywhere are becoming more ambitious. Xu Ming and Chen Rui come from a start-up ecosystem where there is increasing interconnectivity between relationships and capital and innovation. What has been the case in Silicon Valley for years is now happening in China and in South Korea at speed.

We live in a time where start-up founders are the driving force for change. Innovation is emerging everywhere. More than ever, I am excited to make sure these innovations cross borders and for nr2 to make it easy to find and evaluate them.

Thanks as ever for reading and, if you like what you see, please consider sharing!