Clydespace founder is aiming for the stars
Walking in the front door of Clydespace the first thing you see is a large pool table.
To the left are banks of computers with casually dressed staff tapping away while to the right is the laboratory with a glass panel showing people crowded around complicated looking pieces of machinery.
A couple of leather couches and a coffee table make up the reception area while copies of Space News International are stacked in a neat pile.
The walls of the main conference room are dotted with characters from the classic Space Invaders arcade game and models of space craft.
Company founder Craig Clark grins: "All that stuff is important.
"It sends out the message we are a young forward thinking company which operates in a space industry which is full of a lot of dinosaurs. We can be more agile and do things a bit differently.
"I believe our brand is very strong. No matter what size your company is you need to focus on what you look like and how you are perceived."
What Clark has built since starting the business in Glasgow six years ago is impressive.
Clydespace is a fast growing company which is aiming to become a genuine player in the booming space industry.
From headquarters in the West of Scotland Science Park a range software, batteries, solar panels, power systems and other components are manufactured for small satellites then sent up into space.
The company has established itself as a specialist for a type of small satellite called CubeSats which have a range of applications including research, data monitoring and communications.
Customers including NASA and the United States Air Force can even order standard components through Clydespace's online shop.
Incredibly Clark had never planned to start his own company.
But when leaving a job in England to come back home friends convinced him to become an entrepreneur.
With an 18-month-old child and a pregnant wife it may not have seemed like the ideal time to get a start-up off the ground.
He said: "There was a lot going on in our life but there's never a good or bad time to start a business. You just need to do it if you want to do it.
"When I was growing up nobody I knew really had their own business or if they did it was fitting double glazing or in a trade.
"When I told one of my close friends I was moving back to Scotland the first thing he said was 'Are you going to start your own company?'
"I'd never thought of it until that point."
Since then there have been more ups than downs with sales regularly growing by more than 20 per cent in a year.
Initially Clark would go from exhilaration to fretting over tiny details but is now much more sanguine about the process of running a company.
He said: "My emotions would go from a high of winning a contract to being really stressed and down with some problem.
"Now after doing it for six years I don't get too excited or down about things.
"I stay at more a constant level and it allows me to be more calm. We just work through any variations we have got."
Although an enthusiastic consumer of science fiction Clark bats away notions his day job is influenced by this.
He said: "Any business needs to have vision. Without that you are stuffed.
"I love looking at where technology could take us but the vision is not about space ships going to other planets.
"It is about putting stuff into space. I want to make satellites in Glasgow."
With the space industry expected to go from around £7.5 billion in the UK to £40 billion by 2030 there should be major opportunities to create large scale businesses.
If Clydespace fails to capture some of that market it won't be for lack of ambition.
Clark said: "The industry has grown at an average of nine per cent for the past 10 years. Not many industries can say that.
"If the UK is going to do £40 billion then Scotland needs to do at least £5 billion as that's just our share.
"There's enough talent in Scotland to make that happen."
Clydespace has some ambitious plans which include a bush fire monitoring system and an image mapping scheme.
He said: "We have Technology Strategy Board studies into hi-resolution imaging which would be the kind of stuff you see on Street View in Google.
"We are looking at doing that from a three kilogram satellite which blows everything else away.
"With a satellite like that you could have 100 of them in orbit as the cost of putting them up there is much lower than one or two large satellites.
"Then you have a network which would be able to constantly take pictures and give a capability which would be game changing.
"And we can do that from Scotland and make it all here."
The wide smile on Clark's face as he preaches about the possibilities of the technology shows he is convinced of the potential.
That desire and ambition is encapsulated in the project to launch Scotland's first satellite which should be ready for take off in the not too distant future.
He said: "It should create a buzz but I knew there was a real business opportunity as it is one of the fastest growing platforms for space we have ever had.
"It is amazing stuff. It moves us from being a component supplier to being a space craft supplier.
"But what we are going to do is make sure we don't leave the component side behind. We want to show we can provide a fully tested and assembled platform which a payload can be put on and chucked into space."
While Clark has had support from the likes of Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise other investors are also starting to take note.
Last year Clydespace took £1 million in funding from a consortium led by private equity firm Nevis Capital.
Clark admits it was a long process to raise the money but one he believes will be worthwhile.
He said: "Being a space business in Glasgow isn't the easiest sell to banks and investors.
"I sometimes feel as if it would be easier if we were a fish and chip company or something so people could understand it.
"Also I really wanted the investment to be local so getting Nevis was great.
"They offer mentoring and support as well so it feels like we are not on our own and they really want Clydespace to succeed.
"There is a strong history of smaller space companies getting bought by larger ones so we will see what happens."
Although he acknowledges bigger fish often eat little ones Clark is in no rush for that to happen.
There is a feeling he is enjoying things far too much to give it up easily.
Even with positions on the UK Space Leadership Council and all the responsibilities of running a business he is still able to get into the lab and troubleshoot problems.
The benefits of being able to walk to work or nip home to read a bedtime story to his children also can't be overstated.
However having come a long way in a relatively short time he still feels like he is on a steep learning trajectory.
He said: "You are always developing. There is a different pressure now we have the investors.
"Previously it was survival now it is still survival but in a different way in terms of hitting target.
"The guys have been so good at telling us how we should structure our finances and pointing out things I didn't know before.
"I'm not sure you can train someone to be an entrepreneur or a business leader. I still have a long way to go before I would consider myself as that. I'm not there yet."
As long as he keeps aiming for the stars he should have a good chance of success.
After leaving school at the end of fifth year Craig Clark decided to study electronic engineering.
At age 20 he graduated from Glasgow University and applied for several jobs.
The first one he was offered was at a Surrey University spin out company so he moved to England in 1994.
During his time at Surrey Satellite Technology the business grew from around 30 people to nearer 200.
Clark specialised in power systems and rose up the ranks.
But after 11 years there he decided it was time to move home.
Inspired by a friend who suggested he should start his own business Clydespace was founded in Glasgow during August 2005.
In its most recent financial year the company sold more than s1 million of components and software to the space industry.
It employs more than 20 staff from its base in the West of Scotland Science Park and has clients around the globe.
Outside of work Clark enjoys playing the drums and reading science fiction.
He is married, with two children and lives in Glasgow.