Investing in the Next Generation of NewSpace Leaders

General Industry Trends
September 27, 2013
Author
Chad Anderson
September 27, 2013
Chad Anderson

In August, Toffler Associates and The Space Foundation hosted a “Future States Forum” dinner where industry leaders convened to discuss the future of commercial space and what they must do to prepare for it. Participants recognized that their environment is changing dramatically and that they and their organizations must change in equally dramatic ways. Throughout the evening the guests’ conversation turned to the importance of attracting the interest of the next generation of young entrepreneurs and technical talents to the industry.

Over the past five years the commercial space industry has grown considerably. A testament to this growth is the recent shortage of technical talent among NewSpace companies. For instance, SpaceX is looking for around 200 new employees, including highly technical roles in engineering and manufacturing, while Virgin Galactic recently held a career fair which highlighted 100 open positions.

And more NewSpace companies are actively looking for technical talent including Planetary ResourcesSpace Systems/LoralClyde SpaceNanoRacks and Ventions to name a few. In addition to technical talent, growth of NewSpace will be driven by entrepreneurs with big ideas. At least two schools have been focused on developing young entrepreneurs for some time. International Space University (ISU), for instance, has been dedicated to the development of space through education and research programs for the past 26 years. ISU offers multiple programs in space studies with faculty that includes astronauts, space agency leaders, space engineers, space scientists, managers, and experts in space law and policy. Singularity University (SU) just celebrated its fifth anniversary of using accelerating technologies to address humanity’s hardest problems. The school draws upon its Silicon Valley location to offer programs and its alumni have started such well-known NewSpace companies as Made in Space and Moon Express.

The growth of NewSpace over the past five years has been driven primarily by increased commercial activity, but with a shortage of business talent in leadership positions helping to manage that growth. From an investor’s perspective, this is a huge shortfall because angel investors focus on management teams typically more than any of the other NSG 4 Screens to evaluate investment opportunities. While many top universities have been supplying the industry with technical talent for ages, there has not been a steady flow of business school graduates to support NewSpace companies with making critical business decisions. However, this could soon change as there are a number of top management institutions with programs that are making progress toward filling that talent gap.

The Stanford Student Space Initiative (SSI), for instance, has a mission to change the space culture at Stanford by cultivating space entrepreneurship and strengthening the Stanford space community on campus and beyond. They aim to accomplish this mission by organizing speaker events, networking sessions, and workshops as well as think-tank discussions, startup evenings, and mentorship schemes. “Because we have dozens of dedicated students working on unique projects, many of whom had no interest in space before joining SSI and because students, publications, and companies reach out to us from across the country, we know that we’re doing something really important and making a difference”, said SSI President David Gerson. SSI leverages Stanford’s proximity to NASA Ames and the space corridor with a number of well-known NSG-tracked companies like SpaceX, Skybox, and Made in Space to name a few. In addition to SSI, there is also the Aerospace & Aviation club at Harvard Business School which connects students with industry.

Likewise, NSG sources indicate that people within the business school at Oxford University are working to build an Oxford Space Industry Initiative. The Initiative’s mission will be to address the lack of awareness and formal support for transitioning to a career in NewSpace. It plans to facilitate discussion and debate among non-technical professionals about the opportunities and challenges of the space industry through speaker series, startup workshops, student competitions, and elective courses. With the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus (a.k.a. “The Gateway to British Space” (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory/STFCSatellite Applications Catapult, and the European Space Agency)) just down the road, the initiative will also leverage its strategic location.

Another institution focused on developing space industry talent is the University of Surrey, by launching the UK’s first MBA program catering to the needs of the burgeoning sector. The Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK independent technology and innovation company, is working with the University of Surrey to develop the program. This Executive MBA has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the UK space industry, and students joining this year will gain a thorough grounding in business theory and practical skills during their first year, with specialized options in the second. Craig Underwood, Deputy Director of the Surrey Space Center said, “This new initiative will enable engineers to gain the business skills they need to become space entrepreneurs, and also give business leaders the technical background they need to fully exploit this key economic growth area.

There is a growing trend in the number of student-managed investment funds across the world, and the University of Dayton’s annual investment competition gives business students a dose of real-world investing pressure, pitting student portfolio managers against each other. In April of this year, Space Angels Network announced a new level of membership reserved for student-managed investment funds in order to raise awareness among these funds of the opportunity in the commercial space sector. The network also announced that the first to join the new program were the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and the University of Washington Angel Fund. While the Oxford venture fund has since shut down in favor of an Oxford-centric angel fund, the number of student-managed funds across the globe continues to rise. Ultimately, we wonder if this trend, in combination with increased student interest in the space industry, can translate to a wave of future investment in the industry.

This article appeared in the October 2013 edition of NewSpace Global’s Thruster market analysis report.

There’s never been a better time to get involved in commercial space. If you’re ready to start investing in private space companies, we invite you to apply for membership to Space Angels.

In August, Toffler Associates and The Space Foundation hosted a “Future States Forum” dinner where industry leaders convened to discuss the future of commercial space and what they must do to prepare for it. Participants recognized that their environment is changing dramatically and that they and their organizations must change in equally dramatic ways. Throughout the evening the guests’ conversation turned to the importance of attracting the interest of the next generation of young entrepreneurs and technical talents to the industry.

Over the past five years the commercial space industry has grown considerably. A testament to this growth is the recent shortage of technical talent among NewSpace companies. For instance, SpaceX is looking for around 200 new employees, including highly technical roles in engineering and manufacturing, while Virgin Galactic recently held a career fair which highlighted 100 open positions.

And more NewSpace companies are actively looking for technical talent including Planetary ResourcesSpace Systems/LoralClyde SpaceNanoRacks and Ventions to name a few. In addition to technical talent, growth of NewSpace will be driven by entrepreneurs with big ideas. At least two schools have been focused on developing young entrepreneurs for some time. International Space University (ISU), for instance, has been dedicated to the development of space through education and research programs for the past 26 years. ISU offers multiple programs in space studies with faculty that includes astronauts, space agency leaders, space engineers, space scientists, managers, and experts in space law and policy. Singularity University (SU) just celebrated its fifth anniversary of using accelerating technologies to address humanity’s hardest problems. The school draws upon its Silicon Valley location to offer programs and its alumni have started such well-known NewSpace companies as Made in Space and Moon Express.

The growth of NewSpace over the past five years has been driven primarily by increased commercial activity, but with a shortage of business talent in leadership positions helping to manage that growth. From an investor’s perspective, this is a huge shortfall because angel investors focus on management teams typically more than any of the other NSG 4 Screens to evaluate investment opportunities. While many top universities have been supplying the industry with technical talent for ages, there has not been a steady flow of business school graduates to support NewSpace companies with making critical business decisions. However, this could soon change as there are a number of top management institutions with programs that are making progress toward filling that talent gap.

The Stanford Student Space Initiative (SSI), for instance, has a mission to change the space culture at Stanford by cultivating space entrepreneurship and strengthening the Stanford space community on campus and beyond. They aim to accomplish this mission by organizing speaker events, networking sessions, and workshops as well as think-tank discussions, startup evenings, and mentorship schemes. “Because we have dozens of dedicated students working on unique projects, many of whom had no interest in space before joining SSI and because students, publications, and companies reach out to us from across the country, we know that we’re doing something really important and making a difference”, said SSI President David Gerson. SSI leverages Stanford’s proximity to NASA Ames and the space corridor with a number of well-known NSG-tracked companies like SpaceX, Skybox, and Made in Space to name a few. In addition to SSI, there is also the Aerospace & Aviation club at Harvard Business School which connects students with industry.

Likewise, NSG sources indicate that people within the business school at Oxford University are working to build an Oxford Space Industry Initiative. The Initiative’s mission will be to address the lack of awareness and formal support for transitioning to a career in NewSpace. It plans to facilitate discussion and debate among non-technical professionals about the opportunities and challenges of the space industry through speaker series, startup workshops, student competitions, and elective courses. With the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus (a.k.a. “The Gateway to British Space” (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory/STFCSatellite Applications Catapult, and the European Space Agency)) just down the road, the initiative will also leverage its strategic location.

Another institution focused on developing space industry talent is the University of Surrey, by launching the UK’s first MBA program catering to the needs of the burgeoning sector. The Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK independent technology and innovation company, is working with the University of Surrey to develop the program. This Executive MBA has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the UK space industry, and students joining this year will gain a thorough grounding in business theory and practical skills during their first year, with specialized options in the second. Craig Underwood, Deputy Director of the Surrey Space Center said, “This new initiative will enable engineers to gain the business skills they need to become space entrepreneurs, and also give business leaders the technical background they need to fully exploit this key economic growth area.

There is a growing trend in the number of student-managed investment funds across the world, and the University of Dayton’s annual investment competition gives business students a dose of real-world investing pressure, pitting student portfolio managers against each other. In April of this year, Space Angels Network announced a new level of membership reserved for student-managed investment funds in order to raise awareness among these funds of the opportunity in the commercial space sector. The network also announced that the first to join the new program were the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and the University of Washington Angel Fund. While the Oxford venture fund has since shut down in favor of an Oxford-centric angel fund, the number of student-managed funds across the globe continues to rise. Ultimately, we wonder if this trend, in combination with increased student interest in the space industry, can translate to a wave of future investment in the industry.

This article appeared in the October 2013 edition of NewSpace Global’s Thruster market analysis report.

There’s never been a better time to get involved in commercial space. If you’re ready to start investing in private space companies, we invite you to apply for membership to Space Angels.

In August, Toffler Associates and The Space Foundation hosted a “Future States Forum” dinner where industry leaders convened to discuss the future of commercial space and what they must do to prepare for it. Participants recognized that their environment is changing dramatically and that they and their organizations must change in equally dramatic ways. Throughout the evening the guests’ conversation turned to the importance of attracting the interest of the next generation of young entrepreneurs and technical talents to the industry.

Over the past five years the commercial space industry has grown considerably. A testament to this growth is the recent shortage of technical talent among NewSpace companies. For instance, SpaceX is looking for around 200 new employees, including highly technical roles in engineering and manufacturing, while Virgin Galactic recently held a career fair which highlighted 100 open positions.

And more NewSpace companies are actively looking for technical talent including Planetary ResourcesSpace Systems/LoralClyde SpaceNanoRacks and Ventions to name a few. In addition to technical talent, growth of NewSpace will be driven by entrepreneurs with big ideas. At least two schools have been focused on developing young entrepreneurs for some time. International Space University (ISU), for instance, has been dedicated to the development of space through education and research programs for the past 26 years. ISU offers multiple programs in space studies with faculty that includes astronauts, space agency leaders, space engineers, space scientists, managers, and experts in space law and policy. Singularity University (SU) just celebrated its fifth anniversary of using accelerating technologies to address humanity’s hardest problems. The school draws upon its Silicon Valley location to offer programs and its alumni have started such well-known NewSpace companies as Made in Space and Moon Express.

The growth of NewSpace over the past five years has been driven primarily by increased commercial activity, but with a shortage of business talent in leadership positions helping to manage that growth. From an investor’s perspective, this is a huge shortfall because angel investors focus on management teams typically more than any of the other NSG 4 Screens to evaluate investment opportunities. While many top universities have been supplying the industry with technical talent for ages, there has not been a steady flow of business school graduates to support NewSpace companies with making critical business decisions. However, this could soon change as there are a number of top management institutions with programs that are making progress toward filling that talent gap.

The Stanford Student Space Initiative (SSI), for instance, has a mission to change the space culture at Stanford by cultivating space entrepreneurship and strengthening the Stanford space community on campus and beyond. They aim to accomplish this mission by organizing speaker events, networking sessions, and workshops as well as think-tank discussions, startup evenings, and mentorship schemes. “Because we have dozens of dedicated students working on unique projects, many of whom had no interest in space before joining SSI and because students, publications, and companies reach out to us from across the country, we know that we’re doing something really important and making a difference”, said SSI President David Gerson. SSI leverages Stanford’s proximity to NASA Ames and the space corridor with a number of well-known NSG-tracked companies like SpaceX, Skybox, and Made in Space to name a few. In addition to SSI, there is also the Aerospace & Aviation club at Harvard Business School which connects students with industry.

Likewise, NSG sources indicate that people within the business school at Oxford University are working to build an Oxford Space Industry Initiative. The Initiative’s mission will be to address the lack of awareness and formal support for transitioning to a career in NewSpace. It plans to facilitate discussion and debate among non-technical professionals about the opportunities and challenges of the space industry through speaker series, startup workshops, student competitions, and elective courses. With the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus (a.k.a. “The Gateway to British Space” (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory/STFCSatellite Applications Catapult, and the European Space Agency)) just down the road, the initiative will also leverage its strategic location.

Another institution focused on developing space industry talent is the University of Surrey, by launching the UK’s first MBA program catering to the needs of the burgeoning sector. The Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK independent technology and innovation company, is working with the University of Surrey to develop the program. This Executive MBA has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the UK space industry, and students joining this year will gain a thorough grounding in business theory and practical skills during their first year, with specialized options in the second. Craig Underwood, Deputy Director of the Surrey Space Center said, “This new initiative will enable engineers to gain the business skills they need to become space entrepreneurs, and also give business leaders the technical background they need to fully exploit this key economic growth area.

There is a growing trend in the number of student-managed investment funds across the world, and the University of Dayton’s annual investment competition gives business students a dose of real-world investing pressure, pitting student portfolio managers against each other. In April of this year, Space Angels Network announced a new level of membership reserved for student-managed investment funds in order to raise awareness among these funds of the opportunity in the commercial space sector. The network also announced that the first to join the new program were the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and the University of Washington Angel Fund. While the Oxford venture fund has since shut down in favor of an Oxford-centric angel fund, the number of student-managed funds across the globe continues to rise. Ultimately, we wonder if this trend, in combination with increased student interest in the space industry, can translate to a wave of future investment in the industry.

This article appeared in the October 2013 edition of NewSpace Global’s Thruster market analysis report.

There’s never been a better time to get involved in commercial space. If you’re ready to start investing in private space companies, we invite you to apply for membership to Space Angels.

In August, Toffler Associates and The Space Foundation hosted a “Future States Forum” dinner where industry leaders convened to discuss the future of commercial space and what they must do to prepare for it. Participants recognized that their environment is changing dramatically and that they and their organizations must change in equally dramatic ways. Throughout the evening the guests’ conversation turned to the importance of attracting the interest of the next generation of young entrepreneurs and technical talents to the industry.

Over the past five years the commercial space industry has grown considerably. A testament to this growth is the recent shortage of technical talent among NewSpace companies. For instance, SpaceX is looking for around 200 new employees, including highly technical roles in engineering and manufacturing, while Virgin Galactic recently held a career fair which highlighted 100 open positions.

And more NewSpace companies are actively looking for technical talent including Planetary ResourcesSpace Systems/LoralClyde SpaceNanoRacks and Ventions to name a few. In addition to technical talent, growth of NewSpace will be driven by entrepreneurs with big ideas. At least two schools have been focused on developing young entrepreneurs for some time. International Space University (ISU), for instance, has been dedicated to the development of space through education and research programs for the past 26 years. ISU offers multiple programs in space studies with faculty that includes astronauts, space agency leaders, space engineers, space scientists, managers, and experts in space law and policy. Singularity University (SU) just celebrated its fifth anniversary of using accelerating technologies to address humanity’s hardest problems. The school draws upon its Silicon Valley location to offer programs and its alumni have started such well-known NewSpace companies as Made in Space and Moon Express.

The growth of NewSpace over the past five years has been driven primarily by increased commercial activity, but with a shortage of business talent in leadership positions helping to manage that growth. From an investor’s perspective, this is a huge shortfall because angel investors focus on management teams typically more than any of the other NSG 4 Screens to evaluate investment opportunities. While many top universities have been supplying the industry with technical talent for ages, there has not been a steady flow of business school graduates to support NewSpace companies with making critical business decisions. However, this could soon change as there are a number of top management institutions with programs that are making progress toward filling that talent gap.

The Stanford Student Space Initiative (SSI), for instance, has a mission to change the space culture at Stanford by cultivating space entrepreneurship and strengthening the Stanford space community on campus and beyond. They aim to accomplish this mission by organizing speaker events, networking sessions, and workshops as well as think-tank discussions, startup evenings, and mentorship schemes. “Because we have dozens of dedicated students working on unique projects, many of whom had no interest in space before joining SSI and because students, publications, and companies reach out to us from across the country, we know that we’re doing something really important and making a difference”, said SSI President David Gerson. SSI leverages Stanford’s proximity to NASA Ames and the space corridor with a number of well-known NSG-tracked companies like SpaceX, Skybox, and Made in Space to name a few. In addition to SSI, there is also the Aerospace & Aviation club at Harvard Business School which connects students with industry.

Likewise, NSG sources indicate that people within the business school at Oxford University are working to build an Oxford Space Industry Initiative. The Initiative’s mission will be to address the lack of awareness and formal support for transitioning to a career in NewSpace. It plans to facilitate discussion and debate among non-technical professionals about the opportunities and challenges of the space industry through speaker series, startup workshops, student competitions, and elective courses. With the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus (a.k.a. “The Gateway to British Space” (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory/STFCSatellite Applications Catapult, and the European Space Agency)) just down the road, the initiative will also leverage its strategic location.

Another institution focused on developing space industry talent is the University of Surrey, by launching the UK’s first MBA program catering to the needs of the burgeoning sector. The Satellite Applications Catapult, a UK independent technology and innovation company, is working with the University of Surrey to develop the program. This Executive MBA has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the UK space industry, and students joining this year will gain a thorough grounding in business theory and practical skills during their first year, with specialized options in the second. Craig Underwood, Deputy Director of the Surrey Space Center said, “This new initiative will enable engineers to gain the business skills they need to become space entrepreneurs, and also give business leaders the technical background they need to fully exploit this key economic growth area.

There is a growing trend in the number of student-managed investment funds across the world, and the University of Dayton’s annual investment competition gives business students a dose of real-world investing pressure, pitting student portfolio managers against each other. In April of this year, Space Angels Network announced a new level of membership reserved for student-managed investment funds in order to raise awareness among these funds of the opportunity in the commercial space sector. The network also announced that the first to join the new program were the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and the University of Washington Angel Fund. While the Oxford venture fund has since shut down in favor of an Oxford-centric angel fund, the number of student-managed funds across the globe continues to rise. Ultimately, we wonder if this trend, in combination with increased student interest in the space industry, can translate to a wave of future investment in the industry.

This article appeared in the October 2013 edition of NewSpace Global’s Thruster market analysis report.

There’s never been a better time to get involved in commercial space. If you’re ready to start investing in private space companies, we invite you to apply for membership to Space Angels.

Investing in the Next Generation of NewSpace Leaders
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