Broadcast 1855 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

17 Sep 2012 Dr. Burton H. Lee
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Guest: Dr. Burton Lee. Topics: Space entrepreneurship and venture capital investment. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr. Burton Lee back to the program to discuss venture capital and space entrepreneurship. Dr. Lee made a presentation about this subject at the NewSpace Conference Boot Camp and is sharing this information with us at this time. His Power Point presentation, "Space Entrepreneurship & Silicon Valley Venture Finance Trends in 2012," has been uploaded to The Space Show blog. During our 90 minute discussion without a break, Dr. Lee took us through the Power Point slides as we discussed important issues, trends, and suggestions pertaining to space entrepreneurship and getting it financed in the VC community. I suggest you go through the slides with us during our discussion. Some important take aways to consider include the need to stress business characteristics, not space related characteristics. In fact, he advised against being a space advocate in pitches, presentations, and business meetings. Also, Dr. Lee suggested getting real business experience with a non-space organization or start-up as it is the real business experience that matters, not space science, space engineering, or anything like that. He advised to really do your homework as to your markets, business planning, financing, etc. Later, he talked about "hot" books in the Valley which are a must read for the space entrepreneur. These are detailed in some of his later slides. Both Dr. Lee and I suggest you read these books. We talked about new funding methods including Kickstarter and the possibility of equity crowd source funding down the road. We also went over important trends that adversely impact the potential opportunities for the space ventures. For example, software is far better and more lucrative than hardware. The apps and related business are Valley favorites. We spent lots of time discussing and understanding these trends and seeing where space could possibly fit in but another take away was that space projects face fierce overall competition for funding from ventures with lower risk, larger markets, rapid exit strategies, and the potential for virality. This is an important discussion and I hope all of you listening to it will do so with an open mind. Dr. Lee has the experience, the position, and the knowledge on these subjects and what he had to say is something we have to know, even if we are simply space advocates and enthusiasts and not an actual space entrepreneur. For those of us that are space entrepreneurs, Dr. Lee's discussion is crucial to success - IMHO! Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog to benefit us all. If you want to email Dr. Lee, note that his email address is provided on the title page of his Power Point. If you do email him with a question, please copy me as I would like to continue learning and sharing in the knowledge Dr. Lee offers to us all. Thank you.



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