Secretary Ross to Host Space Startup Summit on Oct 21

Secretary Ross to Host Space Startup Summit on Oct 21

(Update to original post of September 26, 2019)

The Department of Commerce will host a special event on space startup innovation and financing on Monday, October 21, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., while the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is in Washington. We are organizing the event in coordination with the National Space Council.

The purpose of the event is to expose policy makers to the breadth of space-related innovation and entrepreneurship occurring at early stage startups across the United States, and to suggest ways the government can foster and leverage that innovation.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is confirmed to participate as both a speaker and a moderator. The event will also feature speakers from Starburst Accelerator, AWS Aerospace Pop Up Accelerators, Dcode, several startups and venture capital firms, and federal R&D agencies.


U.S. Department of Commerce
Herbert C. Hoover Building
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C.

In the Auditorium – changed from Library

Enter through the Main Lobby on 14th Street, across from the Ronald Reagan Building. Please do not use any other entrance unless you are a federal employee. Pass through x-ray screening and present government-issued ID at the front desk.





Welcome and Introduction

  • Kevin O’Connell, Office of Space Commerce

Keynote Address

  • The Honorable Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce

Panel 1: The State of Space Startup Financing

  • Moderator: Hon. Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce
  • Chad Anderson, Space Angels
  • Van Espahbodi, Starburst Accelerator
  • Jose Ocasio-Christian, Caelus Partners
  • Lisa Rich, Hemisphere Ventures
  • Rob Ruyak, Amazon Web Services

5-Min Lightning Talks by Startups

  • Vanessa Clark, Atomos Space
  • Blair DeWitt, Lunar Station Corporation
  • Justin Kugler, Made In Space
  • Michael Suffredini, Axiom Space
  • Adam Wong, Analytical Space




  • Maj. Gen. Nina Armagno, U.S. Air Force

Panel 2: How the Government Can Foster and Leverage Startup Innovation

  • Moderator: Michael Beavin, National Space Council
  • Nate Ashton, Dcode
  • Brig. Gen. Steve “Bucky” Butow, Defense Innovation Unit
  • Christie Cox, NASA
  • Karen St. Germain, NOAA
  • Stacie Williams, DARPA

Wrap-Up & Networking