Satnews Daily
February 23rd, 2016

Small Satellites = Big Opportunities... And The SmallSat Symposium Revealed Why Such Is True

[Satnews] Extraordinary opportunities that enable one to enhance their knowledge as well as to be in a gathering of a remarkable group of professionals are far and few between for the ever-changing satellite communications industry.

Then a special event arises where professionals can comfortably engage with peers who are willing to share the latest and greatest SATCOM and satellite technologies—this is the reason for the foundation and the birth of the SmallSat Symposium.

The SmallSat Symposium's first day's keynote speech by Steve Jurvetson.

The SmallSat Symposium (SSS), conducted February 23rd and 24th in Menlo Park, California, proved to be an extraordinary event for all involved—registered guests filled the Hogan Lovells center to maximum capacity. Comments from attendees reveal that the event is now known as the "hub" for smallsat business expertise acquisition.

Opening the SSS event was the keynote address by DFJ partner and industry expert, Steve Jurvetson. From sharing his childhood memories to his predictions for the future, Jurvestson's presentation offered highly optimistic and exciting views of the immediate growth of the smallsat industry.

The "Structuring Financial Alternatives" session.

During the first day of the conference, six panels were offered that were comprised of leaders from both large and small companies, all of whom are positioned to take advantage of smallsat industry growth.

Presenters included attorneys, insurance executives and leading venture capitalists, all of whom are active in contributing their knowledge to the smallsat industry—these panels offered a depth of information rarely experienced in other venues.

The "Defense & Government: Policy & Regulations" session.

The second day's headliner was Dr. John Paffet, the Chief Executive Officer of Surrey Satellite Technology-US. His stellar keynote discussed the industry growth that has already been experienced by his company and the need for firms to capitalize on the opportunities that arise on a nearly daily basis for smallsat business furtherance.

There were seven panels in total on the second day, where an additional and most impressive group of Who's Who of industry leaders discussed the trends and challenges that must be acknowledged and faced by those who wish to participate in today's smallsat industry. The panel members then openly shared their suggestions as to how companies need to position themselves for success in the dynamic environments surrounding the smallsat world.

The SmallSat Symposium underway at Hogan Lovells.

Numerous questions were posed by the attendees and willingly answered by these subject-matter experts... this was more like a gathering of friends and family all with the common purpose of helping one another to succeed.

The speaker list was exceptional—here, in alphabetical order, are the experts who offered their substantial knowledge to SmallSat Symposium attendees:

  • Jason Andrews, Chief Executive Officer, Spaceflight Industries
  • David A. Anhalt, Vice President and General Manager, Iridium PRIME
  • Jenny Barna, Launch Manager, Spire Global, Inc
  • David Barnhart, Director/Co-Founder, USC Space Engineering Research Center
  • Christopher Baugh, President, NSR
  • Peter Beck, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer, Rocket Lab
  • Amir Blachman, Managing Director, Space Angels Network
  • John Booher, Partner, Hogan Lovells
  • Chris Boshuizen, Principle, Data Collective VC
  • Tom Boyer, Vice President, Kymeta
  • Dr. Sean Casey, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Space Center
  • Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner, The Tauri Group
  • Craig Clark, Founder, Clyde Space Ltd.
  • Mike Collett, Founder and Managing Partner, Promus Ventures
  • Randy Culver, Chief Executive Officer, AMERGINT Technologies
  • Stuart Daughtridge, Vice President of Advance Technology, Kratos Technology and Training Solutions
  • Hoyt Davidson, Managing Partner, Near Earth LLC
  • Dr. Lars Dyrud, Chief Executive Officer, OmniEarth
  • Daniel Faber, Chief Executive Officer, Deep Space Industries
  • Dr. Shahin Farshchi, Partner, Lux Capital
  • Nick Flitterman, Managing Director, Portland Advisers
  • Chad Frost, Deputy Director of Engineering, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Dr. Frank Gallagher, Chief, System Architecture and Requirements Division, NOAA/NESDIS/OSAAP
  • Dr. Jenny Gautier, Director of Commercial Programs, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Ronald Goedendorp, Vice President of Space Opportunities, Nanoracks LLC
  • Dr. Steve Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Venrock
  • David Hartshorn, Secretary General, GVF
  • Andy Hoskins, In-Space Propulsion and Power Business Development, Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Roger C. Hunter, Associate Director for Programs, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Susan J. Irwin, President, Irwin Communications, Inc.
  • John P. Janka, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Steve Jurvetson, Partner, DFJ
  • Keith Karuntzos, Manager, Business Development, United Launch Alliance (ULA)
  • Umesh Ketkar, Director, Advanced Spacecraft, Boeing Phantom Works
  • Dr. Josef Koller, Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Space Policy
  • Chris Kunstadter, Senior Vice President, XL Catlin
  • Adam Keith, Managing Director, Euroconsult Canada
  • Karl A. Kensinger, Deputy Chief, Satellite Division, FCC International Bureau
  • Tony Lin, Senior Associate, Hogan Lovells
  • Dan Lopez, VP of Technology, Urthecast
  • Catherine Melquist, Senior Vice President, Satellite Division, Sage Communications
  • Johanne Lecomte, Vice-President, Sales and Business Development, Thales Alenia Space
  • Debra Facktor Lepore, VP and GM of Strategic Operations, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp
  • Daniel Lim, President and Chief Executive Officer, Xtenti, LLC
  • Dr. Clare Martin, Vice President of Programs, Surrey Satellite Technology US
  • Suzi McBride, Vice President, Iridium
  • Randa Relich Milliron, Co-Founder, Interorbital Systems
  • Clayton Mowry, President, Arianespace
  • J. Armand Musey, President and Founder, Summit Ridge Group
  • Sunil Nagaraj, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Carlos Niederstrasser, Business Development & Special Initiatives, Orbital ATK
  • Dr. John Paffett, Chief Executive Officer, Surrey Satellite Technology US
  • Dara A. Panahy, Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
  • Doug Patterson, VP, Military & Aerospace Business Sector, Aitech Defense Systems
  • Eric Petkus, Director of Innovation - Responsive ISR, Harris Corporation
  • Barbara Plante, Founder and President, Boreal Space
  • Will Pomerantz, Vice President for Special Projects, Virgin Galactic
  • Chris Quilty, Senior Vice President - Equity Research, Raymond James & Associates
  • Rex Ridenoure, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation
  • Richard M. Rocket, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, NewSpace Global, LLC
  • Joe Rothenberg, Director of Engineering and Operations, Google
  • Mike Safyan, Director of Launch and Regulatory Affairs, Planet Labs
  • Dr. Alex Saltman, Senior Vice President, GeoOptics
  • Randy S. Segal, Partner, Co-Lead Satellite Practice, Hogan Lovells
  • Chris Stott, Founder, Chair & Chief Executive Officer, ManSat
  • David Strobel, Chief Executive Officer and Program Manager, Space Micro
  • Tom Stroup, President, SIA
  • Richard (Ric) A. VanderMeulen, Vice President, Space & Satellite Broadband, ViaSat
  • Al Tadros, Vice President of DoD and Civil Business, SSL
  • Dr. Joe Thurgood, Vice President Corporate Development and Marketing, Hera Systems
  • Dr. Marco Villa, President & COO, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems
  • Michael Vinter, Executive Vice President, International Space Brokers
  • Micah Walter-Range, Director - Research & Analysis, Space Foundation
  • Bruce Yost, Project Manager, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Louis Zacharilla, Director of Development, Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI)

Additionally, here are the SmallSat Symposium sponsors who stepped forward to add their positive influence to this event:

Valet, Dining & Reception Sponsors

  • Advantech
  • Kratos     
  • Arianespace
  • Avl     
  • AVL Technologies
  • Avl     
  • Ball Aerospace
  • Avl     
  • Boeing    
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Kratos     
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
  • Orbital Systems, Ltd.
  • Pumpkin Space Systems
  • Space Foundation
  • Space Systems Loral


Supporting Organizations

  • Global VSAT Forum
  • ManSat
  • Northern Sky Research
  • The Satellite Industry Association (SIA)
  • Society for Satellite Professionals (SSPI)
  • Space Generation Advisory Council


The venue and the date for next year’s SmallSat Symposium will be announced soon—please be certain to visit the event website at and sign up for the mailing list to ensure you receive important announcements regarding the 2017 event.