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  • Writer's pictureBosco Lai


We all know that Oxford, and the EMBA experience, will take us to places. For some, it might be landing onto their dream jobs, and for others, it might be pivoting into new sectors, cities or countries. For our group, it has taken us to Space.

Soon after our EMBA journey commenced, a few of us hungry, entrepreneurial, Space lovers ran into each other. Over the next few months in between the late-medieval walls and countless pints of Guinness, we shared our deep aspirations of using Space-tech and solutions to change the world for the better. That was when our start-up Little Place Labs was founded.

Our first mission is to “Make Satellites Smarter” by enabling machine-learning capabilities on satellites and other space habitats. This would increase the speed and efficiency of Space-data enabled event detection and critical insights generation (e.g., notification of natural disasters and other commercial applications). In early 2021 we participated in the Gravity Challenge 03, a global innovation program organised by Deloitte and Amazon (AWS) for innovators to build Space-based solutions for real world problems. After months of hard work, we made an important step towards our mission as we were selected as the Challenge Champion (

None of these milestones and achievements would have been possible without the generous guidance that we have received from SBS and other Faculties. Specifically, Marc Ventresca, Michele Scataglini and the Oxford Space Initiative team have been instrumental in connecting us with subject matter experts and challenging us to take our work to the next level. We have also been supported by many in our cohort which is a truly vast ocean of experience and knowledge.

This is only the very beginning of our story, and we have a long way to go. We have and will continue to run into many conflicting and difficult decisions, notably juggling our start-up work, studies, and many other professional and personal commitments. Some of us have also taken the “leap of faith” to fully dedicate ourselves to building our start-up. While overcoming struggles will be inevitable, what gives us confidence is arguably the strong bonds that we have forged. With that comes understanding, cohesiveness, reinforcement and collective strength that can power us through the tall mountains and deep valleys.

As emphasized during our very first week, being an Oxonian and EMBA is a journey that goes beyond the time of the program itself, and we shall be transformed in magical ways. This transformation has already come true.

Oxonians @ Little Place Labs

Bosco Lai, Guarav Bajaj, Liuba Sergeeva, Daniel Davies, Qi Guo, Vanessa Tan

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