Watching exceptional early-career founders compete in a pitch contest is not only a staple of TechCrunch conferences, but it’s also a favorite with attendees. Seriously, who doesn’t love a pitch-off? And the Space Pitch-off is just one more reason to attend TC Sessions: Space on December 6 in Los Angeles. Let’s take a look at the judges our fearless startups will have to impress.
But first, if you haven’t done the deed yet, buy your pass before December 1 at 11:59 p.m. PST. When the clock strikes midnight, prices go up.
Let’s go back to the pitch-off. Be in the room when three of the brightest early-stage space startups take the stage in front of a live audience – for fame, media exposure, investor interest and, drum roll please, a seat. automatic entry into the Startup Battlefield 200 at Disrupt 2023. TechCrunch is selecting a cohort of 200 early-stage startups to receive a VIP experience that includes, for starters, exposure to all three days of the show – for free – and a chance to win $100,000.
Without further ado, here are the investors whose launch candidates need to impress: Jory Bellgeneral partner of Playground Global; Marc Boggetco-founder and CEO of Seraphim Space; Tess Hatch, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP); and Emilie Henrikssondirector at Root Ventures.
Jory Bell behind some of Playground Global’s early investments, including Nervana Systems (acquired by Intel). Its first three investments in the company are now unicorns and one, Velo3D, went public last year.
Bell leads the company’s investment efforts in deep technology areas, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, computational therapeutics, energy, genomics, materials, next-generation computing and quantum and synthetic biology. Its investment portfolio includes Mangata Networks, Relativity Space and Strand Therapeutics, to name a few.
Marc Bogget, a pioneer in space technology investing, co-founded the Seraphim Space Fund and has invested in a portfolio that includes three companies that have reached $1 billion valuations. Previously, Boggett was a director of YFM Equity Partners, the firm behind the UK’s high-profile small businesses VCT 1 and 2.
Boggett also worked at Brewin Dolphin and Williams de Broë. He obtained his undergraduate degree in accounting and finance and he obtained a master’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Leeds.
Tess Hatch, a Silicon Valley-based BVP partner, fosters entrepreneurship in cutting-edge technologies, particularly the commercialization of space, drones, autonomous vehicles, and agriculture and food technologies. She currently serves on the board of directors of DroneDeploy, Iris Automation, Phantom Auto and Spire Global, and as an observer on the board of directors of Black Sheep Foods, Forever Oceans, Rocket Lab and Velo3D.
Hatch was included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital. She speaks and is published regularly on Bloomberg, TechCrunch and other space and frontier technology publications. Earlier in her career, she worked for Boeing and then SpaceX, where she worked with the government on integrating its payloads with the Falcon 9 rocket.
Hatch earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Stanford.
Emilie Henriksson is a principal at Root Ventures, a company that invests in three areas: tools and infrastructure, low-cost robotics, and hardware and data science. Prior to joining Root, she worked as a propulsion engineer and designed flight hardware for the SpaceX Falcon and oversaw the construction of vehicles for critical missions.
Henriksson also worked on the Model 3 battery module team at Tesla. She holds an MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
TC Sessions: Space takes place on December 6 in Los Angeles. Buy your pass today, then join us to see and learn about the latest space technologies and trends, meet rising star founders, and network for opportunities to build a stronger startup.
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