As we approach next month's Startup Comedy Roast, we're scanning the horizon for five Dallas-based startups that are set to launch into the digital stratosphere. Think you (or a friend) have what it takes? Visit our submission page to apply today, and in the meantime, catch up on how our friends at Kubos who, as makers of space grade software, have taken off since last year's roast!
Gene Roddenberry called space the final frontier. George Lucas thought it was far, far away. Kubos co-founder Marshall Culpepper, meanwhile, calls it his playground.
And why not? Why settle for a sandbox on Earth when you have space with its 100 billion billion stars to play in? At least that’s what Marshall thinks. You see, his company, Kubos, is a modern software development company with a penchant for getting (and keeping) satellites in space. And, I should also mention they were one of our brightest stars at last year’s Startup Comedy Roast.
Now, I’m not sure if I can go as far as calling Marshall’s extra-planetary software development team the Guardians of the Galaxy, but I wouldn’t be too far off the mark if I did. His team is living on the precipice of open source software that’s responsible for keeping satellites of all shapes and sizes frolicking happily around Mother Earth.
“I’m a software engineer by profession,” Marshall told me. “About five years ago my wife bought me a telescope and that was the proverbial beginning of the end. I remember looking through it the first time and seeing Saturn. Mind. Blown. That telescope ruined me. For the first time in my life, space was accessible. Within a year, I built a team that deployed three satellites from the international station, and I was officially ruined. We started Kubos to modernize software engineering in the satellite industry and change how people access space.”
So what did Marshall think of being at the center of the universe at last year’s roast? “I’m a big fan of comedy, especially roasts. So it came at a really good time for us. We were growing our business and confident in the direction we were headed.”
According to Marshall, the roast gave him and fellow co-founders Tyler Browder and Jesse Hamner, some substantive take-aways. “I didn’t grasp just how starry eyed my pitch was before the roast,” said Marshall. “When I talked someone about our business model, it turned that person into Major Tom. Their eyes just glazed over. I don’t think they were as disinterested as much as I simply wasn’t on point with my message. So, definitely, we walked away from the roast with some good ideas on how to bring our business model pitch back down to earth.”
So where is Dallas’ most enterprising satellite software company now? To find out, you simply need to look up. With a strong enough telescope, you’ll find multiple satellites circling the globe at dizzying speeds, thanks to Kubos’ open source software, which they affectionately branded KubOS.
“Think of us as the Microsoft of the satellite industry. When you buy a PC, it usually comes with Windows preinstalled. Our goal is to be the same thing for satellites. We’re looking to get our KubOS software preinstalled on every satellite that’s launched into orbit.”
But don’t let that Microsoft analogy fool you. Kubos’ open source software doesn’t need a Ctl+Alt+Delete function to reboot its system. In fact, their technology has become more robust over the past year. Just recently, the company announced their first release of KubOS Linux, which lets engineering teams integrate their hardware abstraction layers, middleware and developer tooling/SDK into an embedded Linux environment. (If that doesn’t mean anything to you, let me put it to you this way: It’s a data-driven mic drop. From space.)
And with three agreements inked over the past year, Kubos’ current trajectory is programmed straight to intergalactic success. Part of that success will come from building a more robust mission control center platform – or, to put it in laymen’s terms, space-level tech support.
“We’re going to be the single, go-to source for design, tech support and operations for the complete lifecycle of satellite operations. We’ll be a cradle-to-grave support crew. We’ll have software to make satellites function properly, serve as mission control while they’re deployed in space and then help close out the system when it’s time to shut down operations. No other company provides this holistic approach to supporting satellite systems.”
It’s no question that the force is strong at Kubos. So, if unchartered space engineering is your thing and you’re looking to boldly go where only Kubos can take you, it’s time to phone home. Kubos, like other young and growing companies, remains on the lookout for out-of-this-world web and engineering talent, as well as Jedi-like investors.
Want to be like Kubos? Want to grow awareness for your startup in Dallas' digital scene? And maybe have some fun, too? Well now's your chance, because on April 19, the Startup Comedy Roast returns to the Dallas Comedy House!
So visit our submission page to apply today, and as always, feel free to pass along to a friend!