Business in space. Dream it. Launch it. Sell it.
...and deal with it!
Haifa, 24 August 2016, by Maria Lucas Rhimbassen - This year's Space Management and Business was all about experiential learning. The outcome is a group of 15 participants who have all shown great proactive spirit and initiative, great teamwork and humble but effective leadership. The MGB crew managed itself as a small company, where both organic management and community management became one and the same, while the MGBer's dynamism sparked through not only great interest in entrepreneurship, but of natural talent for intrapreneurship and agility. Needless to say how impressed and proud we are, both the Chair (Adil Jafry) and myself (TA), of our crew who made it happen and who will do business in space by dreaming big, launching their creativity and selling their innovative ideas.
We all began our DA in the Student Unions's boardroom and here I would like to thank Neta Vizel and Daniel Brack for letting us storm in that executive room and immerse ourselves into pure management environment with style. We closed the DA loop in the same boardroom for the final presentations. That happened straight after the joint Space Law and Policy / Space Management and Business (PEL/MGB) DAs social event which took place on 3 yachts, in the Haifa Bay. Therefore, all of us were dressed for the beach so this gave a Silicon Valley touch to the pitches... The crammed schedule also had us organize rather ad hoc the time of the presentations, therefore there was more pizza and frozen yogurt on the table than notebooks and all. The result was very dynamic and concise presentations, with different teams helping each other with equipment and logistics. The collaboration killed any competition and that was phenomenal. Each presentation took the shape of a startup pitch with very interesting ideas, from precise agriculture of truffles using satellites to space selfies for weddings. The participants were already in the shoes (or flip flops rather) of entrepreneurs after the social on sailing boats, yes indeed, but also because they had gone through several hands on activities: either playing strategy games or either sharing their knowledge with kids.
Thanks to Harvin and Janet Moore, the DA got to visit the MoONA space incubator close to Haifa, which is located within a very rich and diverse community. Asaf Brimer is managing the incubator and hosted us for an entire day where the MGBers had the chance to visit the incubator and to interact with kids and mentors. Actually, they beyond interacting. Our participants actually coached the incubatees on how to take an idea and present it as a business opportunity in an elevator pitch format (2 mins). The experience was uplifting and very inspiring. By sharing, our participants learned even more and became part of the teaching process. This is why they were so collaborative, mature and proactive afterwards. MoONA is a place where creativity thrives and invites knowledge transfer and great outreach initiatives. Great job, Charles Bolden! Thanks to John Connolly and to Omar Hatamleh who joined us on this visit, as well as Stacey Solomone Falzarano (who herself transformed the MGBers into hardcore strategists).
Between more lectures, such as the ones during our super sharp visits to IAI, Elbit and Gilat, or the ones by Randy Segal during joint PEL/MGB DAs, or by Fabio Teixeira from Hypercubes on startups, we had Stacey over to teach us on how to excel in strategy. That comprised on 2 full DAs of teambuilding, games, hands on activities, coaching and debate. We learned the art of communication, strategy and more, applied to the space sector. During those two days, the participants learned about the power of words, of silence, and all the subtleties in between in order to better work within an international context.
We then had our final DA at the Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI), again thanks to Daniel, here at Technion, where we played with small sats and high tech equipment besides visiting the centre and learning about the ASRI exceptional level of research. After a short coffee break, we had our group picture and then Chirag Parigh gave us a stunning lecture on lessons learned in space management in the US and the rest of the world. His great experience and perspective inspired and enlightened the crew's insight in order to get ready and to get things done in the space economy. This determination shaped the final presentations during the day after and thus the DA ended on a stellar and positive note.
Thank you Adil Jafry for having been such a great MGB Chair!
Thank you Aly Reneau for all your help and we wish your daughter and grandchild great health!
Thank you to all SSP16 staff and MGBers who helped, you all know how grateful I am ~
TA Maria out-