Funding Your Space Entrepreneur Dreams
A few weeks ago, a group of space investors and entrepreneurs in New York City gathered to hear Space Nation Board Member Stephan Reckie speak. This talk took place underneath the Space Shuttle on top of an Aircraft Carrier. It only got better from there.
NYSA and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum asked Stephan Reckie, an angel investor, to share what investors in the commercial space industry are really looking for. Then, a group of hopefuls pitched their space-related ideas, seeking investment, Shark Tank style.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is the perfect venue for generating excitement about space and technology. The opportunity to learn about space entrepreneurism underneath the Space Shuttle Enterprise gave even the most experienced space investors in attendance a feeling of excitement – this wasn’t your usual networking event! Settling down beneath the tail, next to a Souyuz capsule, the hundred or so attendees of NYSA’s AstroCafe were in for a fascinating night.
Stephan Reckie is the founder of Angelus Funding, an investment group focused on early stage technology, energy, and other leading edge sectors. In his presentation he talked about how Angelus Funding investors see space as a major leading edge that’s pushing forward a wide range of industries, including engineering, agriculture and food, fuels, and beyond.
If something works in space, chances are it can make a difference here on Earth as well. As the the Executive Director of Space for the Global Entrepreneurship Network, Reckie is in the center of a massive network of companies that are focused on doing business in space.
Reckie emphasized that starting a space company has a lot in common with starting any terrestrial company.
Space Investors consider:
Can they achieve their goals?
The Big Idea
Does it serve a real need or improve on existing options?
The Business Fundamentals
What’s the business plan? Are the plans sane?
Also important is trust; the human relationship between an investor and entrepreneur is essential to the investment process. Can you speak with one another? Are you confident you’re getting the information you both need from your discussions?
By far, the MOST thrilling part of the program was the pitch sessions, where a group of excited business owners pitched their ideas to an equally excited crowd, and a group of very savvy investors. Among them were a company making geological maps of asteroids for commercial mining, a rocketry company with a new fueling method, a Brazilian group looking to reach the moon, and an Indian group who wanted to help farmers around the world using satellite-based radar monitoring.
The New York Space Alliance does a lot of fantastic things, starting with offering an open forum for the discussion of workshopping the challenges of space travel and the space economy at The NYSA Innovation Network, and offering monthly public events to connect people to what’s going on in the commercial space industry.
I can’t wait to get to the next AstroCafe event and see what other entrepreneurs are taking on in the commercial space economy… and I can’t wait to get back to the Space Station on the Intrepid, an incredible stop for anyone visiting New York City to take a moment for an out-of-this-world experience.