On April 7, 2021, investment experts and high-level decision-makers came together at America’s Future Series Space Innovation Summit. This interactive discussion covered the present and future states of the space investment landscape and highlighted the critical matters both startups and investors need to think about prior to investing in the industry.
André Pienaar, Chief Executive and Founder, C5 Capital
Dr. Kam Ghaffarian, Founder and Executive Chairman, Axiom Space
Jeff Crusey, Investment Manager, Seraphim Capital
Matt Kuta, Co-Founder, President, and Chief Operating Officer, Voyager Space Holdings
Ken Moelis, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Moelis & Company (moderator)
“Assessing the Space Investment Landscape“
In this new decade, the fast-moving space economy is one of increasing interest to founders and investors alike. Morgan Stanley estimates the global space industry may generate more than $1 trillion in 2040- just 19 years away. There have been an emerging group of venture capital investors who understand that space is the high ground of cybersecurity and find great value in this sector. This domain is integral to the growing low Earth orbit (LEO) economy and our reliance continues to grow on technologies that utilise space for communication, GPS navigation, weather monitoring, and more.
The sources of capital continue to broaden for space startups- everything from SPACs to seed investments to venture to government. SPACs are here to stay despite their difficult undertaking. There has been an enormous appetite for companies that can bring change in the public market and in the coming decades, we expect to see space flourish and create more opportunities than most other sectors.
The pandemic has accelerated digitalisation across all sectors of the economy. Today I look forward to discussing its effect on private equity alongside Catherine Parry and George Ralph at the #PEWliveTechnologySummit
Why I joined the Advisory Council of the Limitless Space Institute
By Andre Pienaar, 20th Nov 2020.
I am honoured to join the Advisory Council of the Limitless Space Institute (LSI) with such an esteemed group of space leaders.
The LSI is a not-for-profit organisation founded by the visionary U.S. space entrepreneur, Dr. Kam Ghaffarian. Dr. Ghaffarian built one of NASA’s largest engineering partners and he is now building some of the leading US companies like Axiom Space and Intuitive Machines. The LSI is led by the distinguished NASA veteran Brian Kelly, who served for 37 years as a leader in NASA and led the NASA’s Human Flight Directorate.
How did I come to be associated with such a distinguished group of space leaders?
As a venture capital investor, it was the importance of space to cybersecurity- the focus of our investment strategy in C5 Capital- that led me to look deeper into the sector. The US government inextricably linked the terrestrial and the space economies when GPS was made available to provide reliable time, location and navigation to everyone worldwide. Today every aspect of our lives depends on GPS. As a result, space is the strategic high ground of cybersecurity.
As I studied the space industry, I was thrilled to find the unfolding of a new, exciting era of discovery in space.
This year, in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station (ISS). Humans have now been living and working permanently in space for two decades.
Whole new worlds are being discovered. Since 1992, astronomers have discovered nearly 4,300 planets outside of our solar system, so called exoplanets. A new analysis of the data collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope suggest that there are at least 300 million solar systems in our galaxy that have at least one habitable planet and that there could be as many as 2 billion.
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovered its first Earth-size planet in its own star’s habitable zone. The range of distances between the new planet- called TOI 700 d- and its sun is such that it may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on its surface.
NASA is working on missions that will return humans to live permanently on the moon and to land humans for the first time on Mars.
It is an overnight flight from US soil to the ISS. It is a three-day journey to the moon. It takes NASA’s robotic spacecraft seven months to travel to Mars.
By 2050 humans will have become an interplanetary species with permanent human settlements on the moon and Mars and on multiple orbital space stations in our solar system.
We have had the first unmanned mission leave our solar system- NASA’s Voyager-1- to enter interstellar space after a journey of 25 years in 2012. There are at least 6 others on their way.
We estimate that the nearest solar system to ours- Alpha Centauri B- is 4.3 light years away. Moving beyond our own solar system will be the next generation’s frontier for discovery.
Space exploration today gives us a deeper understanding of the preciousness of our own amazing blue planet, while we grow in knowledge of the limitless possibilities of the unexplored new worlds and resources beyond our own solar system.
The challenge to make deep space exploration sustainable is a challenge of the human spirit. It requires us to inspire and educate a next generation of space leaders, while working through innovation and scientific discovery to equip the next generation with the ability to cross the vast distances of space within a human’s lifespan safely. It is this bold mission that drew me to join the LSI.
At the core of LSI is a remarkable group of scientists and engineers led by NASA veteran Dr. Sonny White who are thinking out of the box about alternative ways to accelerate space travel safely.
LSI’s global scholarship programme is partnered with universities all over the world to encourage students to help solve some of the hardest challenges of deep space travel.
It is this combination of leading scientists and engineers with young scholars that offers the keys to the future.
The new careers and jobs that the space industry will create as it rapidly grows to be an USD 1 trillion industry is as limitless as the 100,000 light-years expanse of our galaxy. Developing this talent for the future requires the focused inspiration and imagination that LSI provides today.
My childhood in Africa gave me a deep attachment to nature. The majesty of the African sky imbued me with a life-long sense of awe. The African sky is endless, and dramatically beautiful. The sun rises and sets like a huge orange ball of fire. At night the stars gleam and sparkle like polished diamonds against a dark velvet cloth.
By joining the Board of LSI, I hope to help scale access to the limitless possibilities of space and to the greatest adventure of our lifetime- to become an interplanetary people- to young people everywhere, that will take us deeper into these magnificent skies.
The Cyber Alliance to Defend our Healthcare uses Collective Defense to protect vulnerable healthcare organizations
For all intents and purposes, healthcare organizations are functioning in warlike conditions. Not only are they committed to their duties to treat the influx of COVID-19 patients, but also must defend the physical safety of their practitioners while also, incredulously, fighting the unseen battles of cyber attacks. Waves of unscrupulous cyber actors are taking advantage of the pandemic to exploit these organizations, and their patients and staff, when they are most vulnerable.
As CEO of C5 Capital — an investment firm dedicated to nurturing a secure digital future — I have seen firsthand the tremendous impact of Collective Defense to protect healthcare organizations and their workers against cyber attacks during the pandemic.
Allow me to tell our story…
It started in March when my cousin called to say the hospital where she works in London was under ransomware attack. Hackers had locked down the intensive care unit to extort a massive ransom from the hospital and the British healthcare system. Until the money was paid, all hospital systems and devices — some of which belonged to employees — would remain locked, preventing patients from receiving the care they so desperately needed.
At the same time, my cousin had been advised as a frontline healthcare worker to draft her will, given the dire outlook of the pandemic. To see her and her colleagues face a ransomware attack under such horrific circumstances was simply unbearable to watch. We soon recognized the problem spanned the entire healthcare sector, so we decided to take action.
The Cyber Alliance to Defend Our Healthcare
In response to cyber threats amplified by COVID-19, we created the Cyber Alliance to Defend Our Healthcare, a volunteer organization of cyber professionals formed to protect healthcare workers at our hospitals and clinics as they face the escalating threat of cyber attack. As investors in, and advocates of, IronNet’s collective defense mission and capabilities of IronDome, C5 Capital has established an IronDome to protect hospitals, clinics, and healthcare workers worldwide. C5 works with ITC Secure as the service provider of the Collective Defense solution.
Collective Defense is ideal for digitally transformed hospitals, which have a plethora of connected medical devices and IT infrastructure that present a diverse and widespread attack surface. At the same time, many hospitals and clinics are underfunded and unable to defend themselves against increasingly sophisticated cyber actors. Add the potentially lethal nature of ransomware attacks when lives are on the line and the need for collective defense becomes clear.
With Collective Defense from IronDome, all data that flows anonymously through participating hospitals and clinics is analyzed in real-time to search for suspicious activity. Whenever a suspicious threat is detected, preventative action is taken across the network of hospitals, all the way down the supply chain, to block the attack before it occurs.
This collaborative approach has completely changed the nature of cybersecurity at these hospitals. Not only does it make them stronger against attack; it also gives employees at these hospitals confidence that they can rely on the systems and the integrity of the systems — and that they are protected.
Coming together for the health of the future
I am proud to report that more than 30 cybersecurity companies from across the US and Europe are working together in the Cyber Alliance to Defend Healthcare to stop cyber attacks in the healthcare sector. It’s both wonderful and uplifting to see people step forward to help others in a time of crisis.
The Cyber Alliance currently defends healthcare organizations across the US, UK, and Europe, with interest building in Africa and Asia. Eventually, we intend to go global.
With IronDome, companies like IronNet are helping to change the nature of cybersecurity and ways to protect patient data and safety. And with its continued support, and the help of the entire Cyber Alliance, we’re determined to end the scourge of cyber attacks against the healthcare sector, and build a stronger future together.
On Wednesday 2nd September I will be a panelist in the Technology Impact Panel at the PEWlive Europe Summit. I look forward to discussing how to achieve Technology Impact in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The PEWlive Europe COO/CFO Digital Summit is hosted by #PrivateEquityWire on September 2nd-3rd.
The Defence Sub-Committee is established by the Defence Committee of the House of Commons to inquire into topics of its choosing. Its first inquiry was on the security of 5G
The Defence Committee took oral evidence from cyber security experts Andre Pienaar and Emily Taylor on Tuesday 28th April 2020, about the risks to the UK’s 5G network and Huawei’s involvement in telecommunications infrastructure.
The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion “Africa In An Emerging World” on Monday, January 14,2019 from 4:00pm – 5:15pm PST.
Africa will be home to much of world’s population growth in coming decades, giving it a young, growing, and increasingly urbanized population. At the same time, it faces economic challenges and will acutely feel the effects of a changing climate. The discussion will explore what these demographic and environmental dynamics, alongside the promise of advancing technologies and new means of communications, will mean for governance and development across the continent.
Moderated by Ambassador George Moose, United States Institute of Peace and former assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
Anthony Carroll, Manchester Trade
Ambassador Chester Crocker, Georgetown University and former assistant secretary of state for African affairs
Mark Giordano, Georgetown University
Jack Goldstone, George Mason University
Andre Pienaar, C5 Capital
Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO of tala.co
This event was open to the general public and part of a series led by George P. Shultz whose intention is to learn from our changing world, to map our governance options in response, and to help structure a variety of efforts going forward.