Adventures In Deep Space

A blog about turning our "crazy" big idea to transform deep space exploration into a real company (click on header above to view this blog's home page)

Pitch Deck

August 25, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

I'm talking with someone at a prominent incubator in this space on Tuesday [edit: Monday] morning, so I went ahead and created a "deck" using Google Slides and a template. Not my area of expertise, per se, but I think it'll be good enough for a test run. Edit: I've updated the deck based on feedback from one of my advisors.

Tags: bizdev, thepitch, fundraising, incubator

Incubators and Seed Funding

August 20, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

One of the logical components to this process is enrolling, virtually (highly preferable), in an incubator or startup accelerator program. To that end, I'm researching various options that spespecialize in working with space related startups. I'll list these below as I find them.

Incubators

Seed Venture Funds

  • TheVentureCity - "committed to building a diverse network of portfolio companies, stakeholders and ecosystem of partners."

Tags: bizdev, incubators, accelerators, venture-capital, funding

Elevator Pitch

August 20, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

We are going to take the "production line" approach that Elon Musk and SpaceX are using for Starship and Starlink, and apply it to building and launching deep space probes. We are confident that launch costs for these devices are going to plunge through the floor in the next 3-5 years (or so) as Starship comes online and Musk starts sending stuff off to the Moon and Mars in volume, much the same way that vastly lowered launch costs to LEO resulted in a paradigmatic change in what and who launched there.

Our intent is to transform the process from handbuilt one-off design and builds to manufacturing in volume: hundreds, even thousands (over time) of units, send multiple/redundant probes to every object of interest in the solar system from Mercury out to the Kuiper Belt, and to transform visiting these objects from a once in a generation / once in a lifetime (Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, etc.) event to a routine, ongoing event.

Our founder, Thomas Leavitt, is an experienced startup veteran, a year plus into his latest venture, with connections to venture capital and technical resources, and has owned Space.Org since the mid-1990s when his first company, Web Communications, LLC (the world's first self-service web hosting company, founded in May of 1994) started testing out its DNS registration service. We're in the earliest stages of discussion with a prominent space focused accelerator, and one of his current business partners in another venture is a deeply networked, very high visibility VC, so we're confident that in combination with other resources, we can get this off the ground and funded.

On a personal note, Thomas is motivated by a deeply felt frustration at the relative paucity of deep space missions... he finds it unbelievable that Neptune and Uranus (for instance) havent't been visited since Voyager 2, when he was 7 years old! It is our mission as a company to fix this.

Tags: bizdev, thepitch, marketing, fundraising

Today's Activities - Outreach

August 20, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

I spent some time this morning going through my mental rolodex of contacts, reached out to a professor heading a university department in this area, as well as another contact who is extremely networked and who I've known since the 1990s, as well as updating my LinkedIn profile to include my position as "CEO", did some more research and bookmarked several items for followup reading. Part of this is refining the "elevator pitch" (see other post), because when I'm asking for "informational interviews", I'm asking for people's time and attention, and I need to be succint and curb my usual verbosity.

Later on, I also created several posts here, simplified the process of dealing with them, reached out to an incubator, and reached out to a couple more professors. In the evening, I went through my LinkedIn contacts and my mental rolodex, and reached out to even more folks.

Tags: outreach, bizdev

Serendipity

August 18, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

It appears that I may have accidentally put myself in contact with a startup accelerator interested in having me join them. We'll see what that entails, funding out of something other than my own pocket is at least an intriguing prospect, and of course will be necessary long term.

Tags: startup, bizdev