Four new businesses hoping to break into the fast-growing space industry have been given a lift after becoming the first to take part in a special training programme.

The SpaceTech Incubation Initiative is run in partnership with Goonhilly Earth Station, the University of Exeter and SETsquared - a collaboration of universities supporting high tech start-up companies - by the South West Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications.

It offers support from industry professionals, funded by the UK Space Agency.

The four start-up businesses took part in three days of workshops, which included SETsquared's entrepreneur programme and a day dedicated to space and satellite technology.

They also focussed on developing business models, market research, financial planning and how to pitch to investors.

The businesses will now receive three months of support through SETsquared Exeter and will be eligible to work out of Goonhilly Earth Station for one year, free from costs.

They range from one set up by a graduate of the University of Exeter to another whose founder travelled all the way from Russia to be involved.

It is hoped a similar opportunity will be given to a new batch of businesses next year.