Spend time upfront to invest in systems and processes to make long-term growth sustainable.

“Spend time upfront to invest in systems and processes to make long-term growth sustainable.” – Jeff Platt, CEO of Sky Zone

The seventh week of the Digital Engineering for Space Applications: Modeling and Simulation (#CADES) programming was full of remarkable material! The week kicked off with an incredible briefing by Gregg Walsh about what Microsoft is currently working on in space. Gregg is the Business Development Manager at Microsoft supporting their defense space business. He is part of the Catalyst Accelerator family and has been a Sherpa for all 8 cohorts. Microsoft is a Sherpa for the cohort company, GridRaster. Gregg offered great advice to the cohort by stating, “Focus on your core capability and avoid building infrastructure. You can’t afford it and what you build will present scaling challenges.”

The cohort then heard from Deloitte, a Commercial Sherpa for the Modeling and Simulation cohort, who is paired up with Embeddetech. Bob Wright and Jeff Matthews from Deloitte presented on what Deloitte is currently doing and what they are planning to do in space. The cohort has been spending their time working on getting their pitch decks and presentations ready for Demo Day on 18 November 2021. They have each been meeting with professionals to get prepared including, Joe Marney, Owner of defy DESIGN, and Cindy Kalman, PowerPoint Presentation Designer and Trainer at ONPoint Presentation.

ManTech is an additional Commercial Sherpa for this amazing cohort, currently paired up with Awayr AI. Greg Sears, Executive Director of Business Development for USAF/USSF Programs at ManTech, and Doug Orellana, Vice President of Intelligent Systems Engineering, gave a wonderful overview of ManTech and what they are doing within the systems engineering/digital engineering realm. Doug flew in from Los Angeles, California for this imperative presentation. Doug mentioned, “Although technology is the enabler for achieving the digital enterprise, we must not forget that the technology needs to add value to the day-to-day. If value is not seen in short intervals of time, transformation efforts tend to die out and adoption of technology is left behind.” Dr. Stephen Chambal, Vice President of Perduco Growth, then briefed on scaling and recruiting/hiring talent. He explained, “If you remember one thing, remember to spend time to truly understand your business model. Are you a growth company or lifestyle company? Are you a services company or a product company? Answering questions like these will allow you to better understand who you are and with that, how you’ll succeed going forward with your business.” The last Sherpa company that presented during week seven was Ball Aerospace. Ball is currently paired up with Improbable. Phil Schmidt, Program Manager at Ball Aerospace, spoke to the cohort about the history of Ball and what they are doing within the modeling and simulation realm. The Catalyst Accelerator is thrilled to have Microsoft, Deloitte, ManTech, and Ball Aerospace as Commercial Sherpas for the modeling and simulation cohort.

The week wrapped up with a briefing about In-Q-Tel given by Tom Gillespie. Tom is the Managing Partner at In-Q-Tel and he focused on Commercial Space Investing. Lastly, Tranisha Harris, Jeff Hanton, and Natalya Turner from Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) spoke about NSTXL/SpEC OTA. The cohort was thrilled when they heard that they would receive a free one-year membership!

Thank you to each of the subject matter experts who donated their time to speak with the modeling and simulation cohort and answer their questions. The Catalyst Accelerator team is looking forward to what week nine has in store!