“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” – Elon Musk
The first week of the On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM) Accelerator was a wonderful success! The week started off with a Sherpa Summit where the Catalyst Accelerator team along with all Government and Commercial Sherpas gathered together to introduce themselves and play some fun games to get to know each other. Some of the Sherpas, including Gregg Walsh of Microsoft, Bob Wright of Deloitte, Greg Sears of General Dynamics Information Technology, and Shannon Cambra of Lockheed Martin, have served as Commercial Sherpas in the past. They were each able to offer some incredible advice to those who are acting as Sherpas for the first time. The cohort kicked off on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. The cohort met all the Sherpas as a group then each had designated time to meet with their assigned Commercial and Government Sherpas. Wednesday started off on a positive and fun note when the Catalyst Accelerator team and each of the cohort companies explained a highlight of their week. Jeremy Schiel from OrbitFab mentioned that his highlight was visiting his mom. The Atomos team was excited that they planned a trip to visit some of their friends and introduce them to their 9-month-old daughter now that they are fully vaccinated. Kevin from Obruta Space Solutions was happy that his neighbors kept the noise down for once! The Dalai Lama said it best, “Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day”.
Ten subject matter experts donated their time to speak with the cohort during week one. Some of these experts included Dr. Gordon Roesler, COL Miller Belmont, Honorable Sue Payton, and Lt Gen David Buck. As Dr. Roesler presented on robots in space, he explained that “In space, when there are lines of commerce, they must be defended and they’re going to need logistics to do it”. COL Miller Belmont did not fail at making everyone laugh during his Army Futures discussion. The entire cohort and Catalyst Accelerator team was in awe at the wealth of knowledge that he has and how engaging he was with each of them. The Honorable Sue Payton discussed some of the unclassified security threats in space. When Jeremy from OrbitFab asked about how to get over the “valley of death”, Sue explained that “You will meet several individuals during the Catalyst Accelerator. You need to build a contact list and stay in touch with the folks coming in here because they see the value in what you’re doing. Align yourself with medium and large companies so that you can come in and be part of their team. Teaming is more important than ever”. On Friday, Marcus Collier-Wright from Neutron Star Systems had an incredible excuse for being a few minutes late. He had the opportunity to be interviewed by the Space Economy because they were one of the five finalists at the SpaceCom Entrepreneur Summit earlier this year. The OSAM cohort members each gave 15-minute overviews of their companies and answered questions from their fellow cohort members. This was an amazing opportunity for each company to understand their fellow cohort companies on a deeper level.
Thank you to every one of the speakers who donated their time to speak during the first week of the On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing Accelerator. The Catalyst Accelerator team is looking forward to what week two has to offer!