When Surrey Satellite Technology Limited in the United Kingdom was considering opening its U.S. headquarters, the state that continually elevated to the top of its shortlist was Colorado.
Although the firm already had a small presence in the state, it was Colorado’s prominence in the nation’s aerospace industry, critical mass of satellite companies and related technology firms, experienced workforce and an investment from the state and county that solidified the decision for Surrey executives.
“When we were looking to establish our U.S. headquarters, there were a few other states in contention,” said Becky Yoder, CFO at Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC. “While they were offering nice incentive packages and beautiful buildings, quite frankly, we would have struggled to get people to live there.”
Yoder added, “Colorado being able to provide the lifestyle that it provides and the fact that it is number one in the U.S. for private aerospace employment made it the obvious choice.”
Today, Surrey Satellite, a full mission small satellite manufacturer with capability to provide a mission from concept to operations, has grown to 25 employees in the state and expects to double its workforce in the next five years.
“We have a deep employment pool from Colorado Springs all the way to Boulder,” said Yoder. “We’re also lucky that the University of Colorado, whose aerospace program is phenomenal, is right in our backyard.”
While Surrey Satellite’s parent company is well known for being vertically integrated and has the capability to take piece parts in and push satellites out, the current model in the U.S. is based on leveraging partner relationships in Colorado as needed to best meet the customer requirements.
“What we’ve learned is that if you’re an international firm with a presence in the U.S., sometimes it is more effective to find partners on a project instead of trying to do everything in-house,” Yoder said. “There are so many related technology firms here, that we can literally stay in Colorado and team up with them to help fulfill our customer’s mission.”
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