How to Navigate the Investor Space
The financial stars will align on 28 September to help you fund your future
In space, financing is becoming increasingly important, complex, and sophisticated. Space companies with financial strength and stability are increasingly at a competitive advantage in terms of capabilities and resources.
Outside capital from banks, venture capitalists, private equity firms, and other investors chasing performance and potential are becoming significant influences in the market, and raising the level of ingenuity in the industry.
The 28 September ASCENDxSummit, Attracting Investors to Your Space, will explore the financial, competitive, and strategic aspects of forming, funding, incubating, and yes, even exiting space-focused start-up ventures.
Preview the ASCENDx Summit Speakers
The four-hour agenda will feature a cross section of institutional and private equity experts invested in educating and empowering attendees to secure the funding they need to succeed in space.
Welcome and Introduction
Delelune Space and C5 Capital
As founder and CEO of Delalune Space, an operating partner of C5 Capital; former president of Blue Origin; and executive producer of ASCEND, Meyerson brings a unique awareness of the commercial space marketplace and the dynamics of deal-making to launch the summit program.
For insight, read the SpaceNews article on C5 Capital’s success in securing $130 million in Series B funding earlier this year to support Axiom Space’s first commercial space station.
Space Investment 101: Capital Formation Alternatives for Space Companies
Ingle specializes in the coverage of aerospace and defense, security, distribution and general industrial companies, and has worked on a variety of mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions for clients across these industries. Notable space-related transactions include Harris Corporation’s acquisition of Exelis and its merger-of-equals with L3 Technologies, the IPO’s of Parsons Corporation, Aeroflex and Booz Allen Hamilton, the acquisition financing for GenCorp’s acquisition of Rocketdyne, and work for several private commercial space companies.
Prepare for Ingle’s session by exploring Morgan Stanley’s take on investing in space.
Getting in Early: Incubating New Companies
Connecting the notion of what’s possible to what already exists in the world and pushing the envelope of both in the process is one of the things that fuels Fentzke’s drive at Techstars, a global platform for investment and innovation that connects entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations. With his deep background in science and technology, Fentzke sits in a unique position to help guide visionaries through the financial side of growing and capitalizing an idea.
For example, in the interview linked below with IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society, he explains New Space and how it is accelerating innovation toward humanity’s off-world future.
Fentzke on New Space
Bessemer Venture Partners
Tess Hatch’s focus is on the commercial possibilities of “frontier technology” from drone technology to space exploration to technical solutions to agriculture and beyond. Because the frontier isn’t just a place anymore. It begins with a vision of what’s possible.
In the video link below, she talks with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene on catalyzing the aerospace industry forward.
Hatch on Bloomberg
Case Study, Private Fundraising
Ursa Major Technologies
Named one of Forbes magazine’s 2020 30 under 30 in Science, Joe and his Ursa Major Technologies are on a mission to blur the lines between air and space, pursuing off-world objectives to create opportunities on Earth.
In the interview below from the company’s early stages,he talks about disrupting the rocket industry and lowering barriers to entry to space for smaller companies.
Just about every startup founder has a vision of turning their simple idea into a true industry and investment unicorn. The accomplishments of ABL Space over the past several years include raising $170 million in a recent fundraising round that launched the company into that rarified air.
SpaceNews reported on ABL’s latest round of funding, which Piemont said would be invested in infrastructure to scale production and increase launch cadence.
Slingshot Aerospace, Inc.
In February, Slingshot Aerospace co-founder Melanie Stricklan was named Chief Executive Officer “as the company gets laser-focused on space,” said a company press release. It’s the latest chapter in a rocket-propelled career that saw her navigate a 21-year stint in the U.S. Air Force — where she logged over 1,500 flight hours onboard ground surveillance aircraft, commanded over 200 experimental spacecraft missions, and led the development of advanced space control technologies for the Department of Defense —eventually landing at Slingshot, where she most recently served as the company’s Chief Strategy Officer.
Read the TechCrunch interview with Stricklan and co-founder David Godwin to learn about the company and where they want to lead it.
Case Study: Going Public via SPAC
Peter Beck founded Rocket Lab in 2006 where his team developed the “electron rocket” that has enabled cost-effective launches of small satellites and opened access to space internationally. Having merged in March with Vector Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Rocket Lab is accelerating its trajectory to compete with the likes of SpaceX and Blue Origin in the commercial space marketplace.
For perspective on the company’s vision and ambitions, watch Peter Beck’s 2019 TEDTalk on small rockets as the next space revolution.
Beck on TED
Case Study: Going Public via IPO
For the entire duration of the Space Shuttle program, astronauts and scientists in orbit depended on Canadarm, perhaps MDA Ltd.’s most publicly well-known product to do work and solve challenges on missions ranging from examining the exterior of the vehicle for safety to building the International Space Station.
On 27 April, MDA Ltd. announced the success of its initial public offering (IPO) that generated about $400 million in proceeds to the company.
In this session, recently appointed CFO Vito Culmone will present an overview of MDA’s mission, their product line, and the story of the company’s path to success.