World’s First Space Digital Startup Accelerator Announces 2017 Speakers & Agenda

In an effort to accelerate innovation within the space industry, the Global Startup Ecosystem has partnered with several leading organizations, including the NY Space Alliance to create the first digital online accelerator in Space history.

The pilot accelerator program will launch on July 18-20, 2017.  This program is the first of its kind for Space Innovators: galvanizing entrepreneurs, global thought leaders, investors, and researchers to accelerate innovation and participation in the Commercial Space era.

The accelerator program begins with a full series of boot camp workshops covering ideation, product development, marketing, customer acquisition, and funding. The boot camp is then followed by keynotes from astronauts, investors, experts, leading entrepreneurs and researchers connected to the Space ecosystem. The program concludes with a demo day where the top ten innovators pitch in front of prestigious judges from across the world for top prizes and a provision of mentors who focus on actionable training and development.Find out the companies selected for the 2017 cohort here. 

July 18, 2017, 6-9 PM EST

  • 6:00-6:15 Introductions NY Space Alliance
  • 6:15-6:30 Orientation
  • 6:30-7:00  Space Ecosystem Overview by GSE
  • 7:00-7:15 Startup Ecosystem Resources & Website Development by GSE
  • 7:15-7:30 Ideation & Product Development by GSE
  • 7:30-7:45 Speaker: John Tucker -What is “NewSpace”, what are “Space Entrepreneurs”, and why does it matter?
  • 7:45-8:00 Speaker: Mark Ciotola- “Using Space Technologies for Sustainability Purposes on Earth”
  • 8:00-8:30 Customer Acquisition- Growth Hacking by GSE
  • 8:30-8:45 Press & Marketing by GSE 
  • 8:45-9:00 Q/A

July 19, 2017, 6-9 PM EST

  • 6:00-6:15 Keynote NY Space Alliance
  • 6:15-6:20 Recap + Space Startup Ecosystem Programs By GSE
  • 6:20-6:30 The Art of the Pitch By GSE
  • 6:30-6:45 Speaker: Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux -“Fundamentals of a winning space venture and how to pitch it”
  • 7:00-7:15 Speaker: Adam Maher
  • 7:15- 7:30 Speaker: Hoyt Davidson- “Lessons Learned in 30 Years of Space Finance”
  • 7:30-7:45 Speaker: Abigail Hartley -“Social Media For Space Innovators: Selling the Public on the Final Frontier.” 
  • 7:45-8:00 Speaker: Chris Fabian “Creating Opportunities For Frontier Technologies To Benefit Humanity”.
  • 8:00-8:15 Speaker: Dave Phillipson- “The Language of Capital”
  • 8:15-8:30 Speaker: Jeff Manber- “Growing Your Typical Space Exploration Company: Challenges and Rewards”
  • 8:30-8:45 Speaker: Steve Kaufman
  • 8:45-9:00 Q/A

July 20, 2017, 6-9 PM EST

  • 6:00-6:15 Keynote NY Space Alliance
  • 6:15-6:30 Recap + Funding Development By GSE
  • 6:30-6:45 Mental Health & Entrepreneurship By GSE
  • 6:45-7:00 Announcement of Pitch Rules- Final 10
  • 7:00-8:00 Top 10 Pitch
  • 8pm-9pm Judges Remarks/ Q/A
  • Program End.


Christopher Fabian (@hichrisfabian) is a technologist who co-founded UNICEF’s Innovation Unit in 2006. He currently leads UNICEF Ventures, and is a Principle Advisor in UNICEF’s Office of Innovation. Chris led the launch of 11M$ UNICEF Venture Fund in 2015, creating the first fund of its kind in the United Nations.  The Fund uses a venture capital approach to invest in startups working on frontier technology like virtual reality, machine learning, and crypto-currency that can have a positive impact on humanity.The Ventures team also makes larger secondary investments in platforms like two drone testing corridors (in Malawi and Vanuatu) launched in 2017, as well as the Magic Box, an open source analytics platform that combines data and engineering from companies like Amadeus, IBM, Google, Telefonica to produce insights that help the organization make better real-time decisions.Previously, Chris’s teams have worked on technology for low infrastructure environments including award winning work on RapidPro, an SMS-based information system with more than 3.5M active users in 35 countries.Chris’s academic roles have included teaching at NYU, Tsinghua University and IIT Delhi, and he has recently been an invited speaker at Google, Facebook, Twitter, the US Congress exploring how to create fairness in a world of rapid technological change.  In 2013 he was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”


John Tucker – Creator, NewSpace Ventures & Manager of Master Scheduling, SpaceX. Since high school, John had wanted be one thing: a fighter pilot, yet somehow he stumbled into the Space Industry instead. As a young 1st Lieutenant, recently reassigned as the Military Delta IV Rocket Structure Engineer, John experienced his first rocket launch at Cape Canaveral AFS, and it changed his life. By day, John is the Manager of Master Scheduling at SpaceX, and by night John runs NewSpace Ventures. In the years since graduating from the US Air Force Academy with poor eyesight, John has experienced much of the Space Industry firsthand, including launch operations, mission assurance and risk assessment, launch vehicle engineering analysis, acquisitions, trade studies, vehicle production, anomaly resolution, and FDIR to name a few. Personally, he greatly enjoys entrepreneurship and helping space startups, scuba-diving, archery, entrepreneurship, traveling, and flying (private license).



Hoyt Davidson is the founder and Managing Partner of Near Earth LLC, a Connecticut based investment bank and advisory firm focused on the space industry. Near Earth’s clients include: satellite communications and commercial space companies, aerospace/defense companies, private equity and hedge funds, and early stage entrepreneurial firms seeking private equity capital. Near Earth has also been involved in consulting assignments for NASA and the U.S. Air Force.Before founding Near Earth, Mr. Davidson was a Managing Director in the Telecom Group at Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Davidson’s 30 year investment banking career began in 1987 at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette where he was a co-founder and Managing Director of the firm’s Space Finance Group, Wall Street’s first dedicated coverage group for the commercial satellite industry. While a member of the Space Finance Group, Mr. Davidson was an integral participant in public and private debt and equity financings totaling over $15 billion.Hoyt is frequently asked to speak at satellite and space industry conferences on financial and investment matters. He also currently serves on the Boards of XO Markets Holding, Inc., the parent company of NanoRacks LLC, the Space Foundation where he serves as Treasurer, and the National Space Society where he serves as VP-Development. He is also a past member of the Commercial Space Committee of the NASA Advisory Council.Mr. Davidson received his Science Masters in Management (MBA) in 1987 from MIT’s Sloan School where he was awarded the Henry B. duPont III Scholarship for academic excellence. Before entering Sloan, Mr. Davidson worked as a Senior Research Engineer at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (Sunnyvale, CA) from 1979 to 1985. Mr Davidson received a BS in Physics from MIT in 1979.

Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux is an entrepreneur and investor with 20 years of experience in space technology, investing and banking. She has played a key role in the growth of the commercial space industry, both as an early investor in this fast growing sector, and as co-founder of space technology company Escape Dynamics which successfully completed in 2015 a multi-year R&D program that significantly advanced beamed energy propulsion for space launch and was recognized by Fast Company in 2016 as the #3 Most Innovative Space Company behind SpaceX and Blue Origin. She began her career in the Investment Banking division of Goldman Sachs and held senior investment roles at TPG-Axon and Renaissance Technologies before founding her investment firm. Laetitia earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and has received numerous industry accolades and honors including being named a “Rising Star” by Institutional Investor in 2010 and a “Top 15 Most Influential Entrepreneur” by Vanity Fair France in 2016. She serves on the board of the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), as a Truman National Security Fellow, and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of New-York. She is also an advisor to Space for Humanity.

A corporate partner and satellite practice co-head, Steve Kaufman uses industry knowledge and versatility to negotiate and close many types of deals globally. For 18 of his 30 years at the firm, Steve served as outside general counsel for satellite clients, leading strategic joint ventures, “bet-the-company” contracts, financings, and M&A.What Steve does best: understanding complex business issues and translating them into legal documents. If a client can describe something, Steve can dra it.Working from complicated to simple, he has many times reduced a lengthy contract into a few pages of bullet points, showing the client what it needs and how to obtain it. He has even written a business and financing model for parties in the form of an agreement. Many clients comment that the business guidance from Steve is as valuable as the legal advice. Steve relies on his familiarity with issues common to satellite and communications companies to give him an edge in negotiations. This experience produces extra benefits when Steve deals with specialized satellite contract terms, targeted warranties, creative covenants, use of insurance to close gaps, license and spectrum issues, and even finance and accounting matters. According to Chambers Steve Kaufman is “a real authority and somebody who will always know the answer.” In advising clients, Steve emphasizes practicality, striving to achieve the client’s business objectives for the transaction, whether economic, risk reduction, regulatory/compliance, or transaction speed. This carries over into deal management as well as negotiations, where he willingly takes the lead. Steve and satellite practice co-head Randy Segal are regulars at the satellite conferences, making connections among clients and even adverse parties. He is listed in Chambers, Super Lawyers, and Legal 500. 

Mark Ciotola Biography -Adjunct Faculty at Singularity University in Space and Physical Sciences. Instructor at San Francisco State University and Swinburne University of Technology. Editor of and Curator of Monash University’s Alexandria online learning platform (Faculty of Information Technology). Work experience at NASA Ames Research Center in wind tunnel instrumentation group, exoplanet atmospheres model generation, intellectual property law and technology commercialization. Industry experience at Intuit, Genentech, Applied Biosystems and Packeteer. J.D., University of New Hampshire. B.A., Economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison. B.A. Physics & MBA, San Francisco State University. Graduate Certificate in Space Sciences, University of Southern Australia. Advisor to numerous start-ups.

For over two decades now, Jeff Manber has worked to open space exploration to commercial interests, in order to make space another place to do business. Today, he is regarded by many as a pioneer in helping bring about this new chapter in our exploration of outer space. Currently, as CEO of NanoRacks from 2009 onwards, Jeff has steered the growth of the first company to own and market its own services as part of the U.S. National Lab on ISS. In just seven years, NanoRacks has flown over 500 commercial payloads, from biopharma research to education and has deployed over 180 satellites for customers from more than a dozen nations. The customer base includes customers from the European Union Commission, NASA, the German Space Agency, and organizations in Peru, Vietnam, Ukraine, Canada, UK and most recently, the first commercial Chinese research project, from Beijing Institute of Technology. NanoRacks also partners with Blue Origin on its suborbital New Shepard vehicle. In order to continue to lead the emerging market, NanoRacks is today starting a new phase, focusing more on its own commercial habitats and stations. Jeff also serves as Chairman of the Board for DreamUp, the first in-space educational organization. Previous to NanoRacks, Jeff advanced commercial space activities along different fronts, from satellite communications to manned space programs, including as:Co-creator of the Office of Space Commerce at U.S Department of Commerce in the Reagan administration;Managing Director of the American office for the Russian space company RKK Energia. Jeff facilitated the current cooperation between the Russian and American space programs. Participant in formation of Energia-Lockheed (ILS), Energia-Boeing (Sea Launch) and other key U.S.-Russian space ventures; carried over the first contract between NASA and the Soviet Union; Jeff has served as an adviser on international issues to organizations, companies and five governments, and was the recipient of the American Astronautical Society’s 2011 Lloyd V. Berkner Award, the 2012 NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Medal and the 2017 Pioneer of New Space Award from the Space Frontier Foundation.

Abigail Hartley has been the social media specialist for NASA’s Autonomy Incubator since her first internship in summer 2015. Post-graduation from Dartmouth College, she moved to Hampton, Virginia and started a full-time position managing the lab’s social media presence. The Autonomy Incubator now boasts one of the most comprehensive online presences in the entire agency. When she’s not at work, Abigail enjoys creative nonfiction writing and exploring the Virginia coast.


Mr. Adam Maher serves as Founder & President of Ursa Space Systems Inc. (Ursa). He founded Ursa in 2014 to develop his driving vision of connecting people to information rich data derived from synthetic aperture radar, seeing an obvious frustration and disconnect between the technology and those who could take full advantage of the capabilities. Adam established Ursa to provide a solution to the demand for intuitive and easily accessible data and analytics relating to many of the world’s biggest questions and problems that can be solved using satellite technology. Adam has 10 years of experience in the satellite industry. Prior to founding Ursa, he worked at Space Systems Loral, where he was lead systems engineer for two complete satellite builds and satellite lead for four successful commercial satellite proposals. He also helped establish a new subsidiary of the parent company and as new business lead, worked closely with both venture capital backed start-ups and established satellite communication companies.Adam holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Master of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, from Cornell University. At Ursa Space Systems Inc., he uses his knowledge of the satellite industry to fuel his vision of a living world map, where the connection between satellites and customers is no longer complicated or difficult, and users are empowered to make better decisions with better data.

Dave Phillipson has been a Business Trainer since 1987, working with such companies as Ford, AT&T, Remax, Century 21, Nordstrom and others, and while that may seem impressive in print, what really stands out is the results he gets for his clients. Dave has been a producer for the WallSt. Network, where he not only helped produce “The Three Minute Press Show” and the first contracted original content on Fox Business News, he was a mentor to  CEOs, CFOs and COOs, of numerous public companies.   He is also the inventor of voicemail for the Cell Phone.

Dave Phillipson is now a representative for CEO Space which is  an income acceleration, entrepreneurial training and world class business networking organization, providing MBA-level training and development and an immersion experience of cooperation that results in income acceleration through exponential business growth.   CEO Space is The World’s Largest, Oldest & Most Successful Organization for CEOs, Entrepreneurs & Visionary Investors and known as CEO Space – “The Entrepreneur’s Best Friend!”™Dave has hosted over 600 Meetings for Entrepreneurs in Southern California most of which were Orange County and has helped thousands of Entrepreneurs during that time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *