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CHF 1,145
pledged of 15.000 CHF pledged of 15.000 CHF goal
18
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, April 10 2016 9:00 PM UTC +00:00
CHF 1,145
pledged of 15.000 CHF pledged of 15.000 CHF goal
18
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, April 10 2016 9:00 PM UTC +00:00

About

What do we want to do?

See a need, fill a need. We want to publish a space magazine with a fresh perspective.

We are a passionate group of people dedicated to the same vision. We want to make our unique online magazine, SpaceWatch Middle East, a reality. SpaceWatch Middle East is a departure from ‘traditional’ space publications that tend to merely focus on technology, rather than the impact that it has. Yes, technology is critical, but at SpaceWatch Middle East, we are offering a complete perspective on the Middle East space sector.

SpaceWatch Middle East provides business and geopolitical intelligence for the region’s space and satellite industries. By measuring the pulse of space developments, SpaceWatch Middle East provides market analysis and insightful forecasts on the activities in space that impact not just the region but the whole world.

SpaceWatchME.com is our information portal and online magazine dedicated to covering all Middle Eastern space activities, from commercial New Space developments to the intersection of space and geopolitics in one of the most consequential regions in the world. By launching this online magazine on Middle East space intelligence, critical analysis of the events impacting the world is now just a click away!

In the coming years, the Middle East is expected to be the fastest growing region for space development and satellite sales. Therefore, interest will not just be confined to the space communities in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Tehran and Riyadh, but also in Paris, Bangalore, Tokyo, Moscow, Beijing, Sydney and Washington. SpaceWatch Middle East will be a crucial online magazine that focuses on regional space developments for a truly global audience.

UAE space engineers (courtesy MBRSC)
UAE space engineers (courtesy MBRSC)

Where did our idea come from?

Currently, information and news on Middle East space activities is limited, with the global market lacking a geopolitical perspective. As the region pushes ahead with unprecedented space ambitions, the industry needs crucial insight now more than ever before.

Being long time readers of a number of existing magazines about space, we realised that none of the available magazines and portals covers and analyses the geopolitical components of space - the far-reaching implications that affect everyone on this planet. Knowing the value of such insight, we decided to fill this gap in the market. And so the idea to create SpaceWatch Middle East was born. We immediately founded ThorGroup GmbH, the parent company of our digital magazine.

We fully believe that space should be used for mankind, that space enables knowledge and enriches societies.

The inspirational Eiger mountain, Switzerland
The inspirational Eiger mountain, Switzerland

Why crowdfunding?

We chose crowdfunding to grow a community of interested, informed and passionate readers of space-related content.

ESA Ariane 5 rocket in Paris Le Bourget, France
ESA Ariane 5 rocket in Paris Le Bourget, France

What is behind our idea?

Our Mission: To provide the highest quality products and services to our clients so they can effectively achieve their objectives, safeguard their interests and assets, and better navigate a complex and uncertain world.

Our Vision: To establish ThorGroup GmbH as a pioneer in 21st century technology, policy, information and media management, and to champion technologies, concepts and policies for a better future for all.

SpaceWatch Middle East comprises a world-class team to produce and develop this publication. The magazine is headed by an experienced editor with extensive knowledge of the Middle East market and a solid background in the space industry.

Team:

Dr John B. Sheldon, 45, (British), Chairman and President - A thought leader in space and cyberspace policy and strategy, John has for many years covered the implications of space and cyberspace on contemporary geopolitics for governmental and commercial clients around the world. https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-b-sheldon-6947706

Michael Buholzer, 42, (Swiss), CEO - Running companies with the Swiss spirit is key. With a background in journalism, Michael combines technology with extensive media knowhow. https://de.linkedin.com/in/mbuholzer

Helen Jameson, 39, (British), VP Communications - Previously the editor of two satellite magazines, Helen is an experienced writer and journalist who enjoys nothing more than combining her love of space and words. https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-jameson-a375556

Adrienne Harebottle, 32, (South African), Editorial Director - A passionate editor and writer, Adrienne is a wordsmith with all-round publishing expertise, constantly pushing for those must-read articles. https://de.linkedin.com/in/adrienne-harebottle-6912812a

Torsten Kriening, 49, (German), COO - With a background in computer science, IT and space management, Torsten is as technical as they come. His specialty is business development. https://de.linkedin.com/in/torsten-kriening-68456

Mathieu Habegger, 30, (Swiss), CIO - He is the IT nerd with media knowhow. Bit-level experience on all current online platform developments make him unique in the team. https://ch.linkedin.com/in/habegger

Collectively, we form a powerfully dynamic team, one that believes SpaceWatch Middle East will be in great demand in and out of the Middle East. We also invite contributors to place their articles in our magazine. Editorial integrity is our most important value and will never be compromised.

Advisory Board 

Prof Bernd Madauss (German) - Bernd is known as 'Mr Project Management'. His vast practical experience is internationally recognised. He also teaches this subject at International Space University. He has a total of 50 years' relevant aerospace experience and is still active as a consultant. Bernd was corporate advisor and acting CEO for Abu Dhabi-based satellite operator YahSat and a resident of the UAE for a year.   https://de.linkedin.com/in/bernd-madauss-559b031 

“I have extensive experience in the industry and the Middle East, having played a pivotal role in the YahSat satellite programme. I look forward to reading a magazine that gives a full account of the space industry in the Middle East and embraces all the developments that the sector is going through in the region.”

Prof Scott Pace (American) - Scott runs the Space Policy Institute in Washington, DC. His interests are global civil, commercial and national security space policy. https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-pace-4011311 

"I am delighted to see that ThorGroup GmbH, led by John Sheldon and his expert team, are putting together an online magazine to cover growing space activities in the Middle East. I look forward to reading SpaceWatch Middle East and learning more about new space business, military, and political developments are affecting the region and the world."

Robert Frize (Irish) - Robert brings over 30 years’ experience in international financial markets and advises corporate boards on strategy and business planning. https://im.linkedin.com/in/robfrize

“Space policy and regulatory issues are pivotal to the entire industry, but are often not discussed widely enough or are difficult to understand. SpaceWatch Middle East will provide insight and clarity into this integral aspect of the sector.”

Prof Bernd Hoefer (German) - Bernd is Chairman and CEO of A9C Capital Technology Advisors. He is based in Bahrain and has worked in the aerospace industry for more than 20 years.

"As someone who has worked in the aerospace industry for many years, and who has seen numerous trade publications enter the market, I am proud to be associated with a magazine that endeavours to give a complete view of the space sector in the Middle East. As a resident of the region, I can testify to the huge potential the Middle East has in space, and I look forward to reading the insightful and wide ranging content that will deliver a unique perspective on this dynamic market."

Why does space matter? 

Space is mankind's dream and the technology driver for societies. Space activities need a profound base of education and academia. We will transfer knowledge for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) free of charge.

Campus of International Space University in Strasbourg, France
Campus of International Space University in Strasbourg, France

What do we cover?

Space policy is complex and perhaps that is why it is not covered to any real degree in the space publications of today. In addition to being complex, the language used to describe it is just as convoluted. However, policy is the basis for all developments in space and, fortunately, we know how to cover it in an accessible way. We aim to make the complex understandable.

Antennae at SES Betzdorf, Luxembourg
Antennae at SES Betzdorf, Luxembourg

SpaceWatch Middle East will cover the following areas:

  • Space science missions and national space programmes 
  • Space policy, regulations and politics 
  • Launcher business and satellite launches 
  • Satellite communications 
  • Industry insiders and key players 
  • Space security 
  • Earth observation 
  • Applications (on earth) 
  • Science and technology 
  • Deep space exploration 
  • Ground systems and technology 
  • Global navigation satellite systems and timing 
  • Education (STEM) and training 
  • Sub-orbital space flights 
  • Cyber security 
  • Mars missions 
  • Moon missions
Lunar Rover by PT Scientists Berlin, Germany
Lunar Rover by PT Scientists Berlin, Germany

How do we access the best intelligence?

Through a comprehensive network of contacts built up over many years, we have access to the people at the centre of this dynamic industry - the influencers, the pioneers, the brains behind the technology that is pushing us to the next frontier. We also abide completely by the journalistic code of ethics.

Who is our readership?

  • Space Industry Worldwide 
  • Individual subscribers 
  • Geopolitical enthusiasts 
  • Active and retired space professionals 
  • Foundations 
  • Corporate executives 
  • Public Sector 
  • Federal, state and local governments 
  • Foreign governments 
  • Multinationals 
  • Manufacturing, technology 
  • Telecommunications, transportation 
  • Defense, energy 
  • Insurance, finance 
  • Infrastructures 
  • Professional and trade association 
  • STEM Academics 
  • Professors, students
  • Universities, libraries 
  • Media industry 
  • Media, wire services, periodicals

Why do we need Kickstarter? 

We want to raise 15.000 CHF to start the project and portal. This money will be invested in: 

  • People 
  • Technology 
  • Content 

We will use the money for the development of the website and content delivery platforms, crowdfunding campaign, operational costs and content acquisition for the ramp up period.

What makes us special?

  • Our team has decades of experience in space, technology, policy, security and media. 
  • We create unique, independent content ourselves. 
  • We invite contributions from those with industry experience and knowledge. 
  • We follow the best journalistic code of ethics. 
  • Editorial integrity is our most valuable asset. 
  • We have local presence, partners and resources in the Middle East. 
  • We dedicate a part of our platform for education and learning.

What makes us unique?

We are a Swiss agency with a multinational team! Our individual talents come together to enable us to bridge the gap between space technology, policy and politics.We are providing the knowhow for the next generation.

The Swiss flag that leads our conduct
The Swiss flag that leads our conduct

What is the status of our project? 

Over a 10-week period, we asked an alpha group of 70 people (from the industry and from our target audience) for their opinions on the publication, what it should comprise and how it should be delivered. We shaped the product based on this information. We felt it was vital to be guided by the people who will eventually read the magazine and use the portal. We have a mockup - a work in progress - to illustrate the kind of content we will produce monthly for our subscribers. Visit www.spacewatchme.com

When do we launch?

We will end the crowdfunding campaign in the beginning of April. Our aim is to launch our project to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first space flight - Yuri’s night 2016, a celebration of humanity’s achievements in space. The paywall will be implemented in June 2016.

Yuri Gagarin at ISU Campus Strasbourg, France
Yuri Gagarin at ISU Campus Strasbourg, France

What will happen next?

Campaign, campaign, campaign! We will be working non-stop to raise awareness of SpaceWatch Middle East using a variety of methods. We’ll be attending two of the biggest industry shows in early March - Satellite 2016 and CABSAT 2016 - to target the companies and people who will have an interest in our magazine. We will use this opportunity to speak to our readers face to face. We’ll be using social media and press releases to get our message out and to generate as much interest in our unique publication as possible. We will also be listening to our potential readers, tracking their needs and interests. We want this campaign to involve as much dialogue as possible!

What will our next big thing be? 

We have the funding, so what’s next? Then we kick it into hyperdrive.We will be on a constant mission to build and improve our portal. We will incorporate multimedia, podcasts and a video channel that will provide programming to complement our insightful content. We won’t be stopping at the Middle East, either. Once SpaceWatch Middle East is established, we will roll out to other regions of the world, adding Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to the SpaceWatch series.

What can you do?

As a lover of all things space, we encourage you to support our magazine which will be a hugely valuable resource for the industry and for those with a general interest in space. We urge you to spread the word and tell your friends and colleagues all about SpaceWatch Middle East and its unique take on the space industry in the region and beyond. Tell them why it is so important that a publication takes the lead and addresses the real issues. 

Back us. Contribute to the magazine. Get involved. This is not a one-way conversation. We want to hear from you.

Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE, (courtesy MBRSC)
Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE, (courtesy MBRSC)

Risks and challenges

By the end of our first year, we must hit our target of 4,000 subscribers to remain operational. We’re confident that when we deliver the high-quality, wholly independent media outlet we’ve promised, readers and viewers will be satisfied and will support us with subscriptions.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Exclusive INTERVIEW

    You can have the golden opportunity to interview one Member of our illustrious Advisory Board (Prof Madauss, Prof Pace, Prof Hoefer, Robert Frize). These Members are the cream of the industry and can impart their extensive knowledge.

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    YOUR OWN SPACE STORY

    Your very own item in SpaceWatch Middle East online magazine. Written and edited by our professional editorial team. We will interview you and write YOUR story - or you send us your script and we will prepare it for publication. See your very own space story in print!

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    Exclusive BRIEFING

    Dr. John Sheldon will conduct an exclusive briefing at your event, at your location (travel costs not included). As a thought leader in space and cyberspace policy and strategy, he will present a compelling presentation to your audience.

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    HAVE FONDUE WITH US in Switzerland!

    How Swiss can we be if we don't offer this option? Visit our office in the heart of Bern, Switzerland and meet our team. Spend two fantastic days (with up to two people) with us exploring our wonderful landscape and our Christmas markets. It will be an experience to remember!

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Funding period

- (37 days)