The new space race with China has serious implications for life on earth, in orbit, and beyond. In order for the US and its allies to win this critical competition, the commercial sector and government must collaborate, but what will this partnership look like? What is the role of commercial entities in promoting US national security interests in space? How should investors think about deploying capital into this vertical? How should policymakers work with startups and innovators? Hear from Will Bruey, the CEO of Varda Industries, Dan Owens, Chief of the In-Q-Tel Interface Center at NGA, Ian Cinnamon, founder and CEO at Apex and an investor at Village Global, and Sarah Minerio, founder and CEO of Tanagra Enterprises.
Sarah Mineiro is the founder and CEO of Tanagra Enterprises, a defense, intelligence, space, science and technology consulting firm based in the national capital region. Sarah has worked within the national security and defense sector for over 20 years. Over her career Sarah has worked in venture capital backed private industry, the Executive, and Legislative branches of government.
Previously, Sarah was the Senior Director of Space Strategy for Anduril Industries, a hypergrowth VC-backed defense unicorn specializing in AI/ML enabled defense technologies. Sarah was responsible for developing the company’s space strategy, aligning internal company resources to product development, and business development. Sarah was the Staff Lead for the Strategic Forces Subcommittee for the House Armed Service Committee (HASC). She led the Subcommittee’s legislative and oversight activities of all Department of Defense and Military Intelligence Program space programs, U.S. nuclear weapons, missile defense, directed energy, and hypersonic systems. Sarah was the senior legislative advisor to Chairman Mac Thornberry on all strategic forces issues. In this role she was the primary drafter and negotiator of the Space Force and Space Command legislation for the House Republicans.
Prior to joining the HASC, Sarah served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSDP) , the Office of the Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs (SAF/IA) and she started her career as an intelligence analyst for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center in Dayton, Ohio. She was the lead employment analyst on foreign counterspace systems including space situational awareness sensors, directed energy, and kinetic kill vehicle systems.
Sarah is a board member of the Space Force Association and National Defense University Foundation. She has been awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civil Service. She has served on the Defense Innovation Board, and currently serves on the board of advisors for several space start-ups. She is an Executive Mentor with the Zed Factor fellowship, a newly established non-profit seeking to increase participation of underrepresented communities, including women of color and LGBTQ+ individuals, in the space ecosystem. Sarah is also a Senior Fellow with the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies as well as an adjunct senior fellow with the Aersopace Security Project at CSIS.
Ian Cinnamon is the CEO and co-founder of Apex, the world's first spacecraft manufacturer to offer productized, configurable satellite bus platforms. With a focus on meeting the needs of the rapidly expanding space industry, Ian leads a team dedicated to providing scalable solutions to both the commercial and government sectors. Prior to his work with Apex, Ian founded Synapse Technology Corporation, a company specializing in artificial intelligence security and defense. Ian led the company through acquisition by Palantir ($PLTR). Ian also co-founded Superlabs, which was sold to Zynga ($ZNGA), where he served as Director of Product after the acquisition.
Ian is a Forbes "30 Under 30" honoree, and an alumnus of Y Combinator. He received his B.S. from MIT and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business
Will Bruey is a veteran of the space and defense industry, with a diverse career that spans several key roles. As CEO and Co-Founder of Varda Space Industries, Will is at the forefront of designing, building, and flying spacecraft as a platform for manufacturing unique products in space for use on Earth. Will also co-founded Also Capital, a small venture fund, and served as Director of Global Equities Technology at Bank of America. In addition, he co-founded Second Order Effects, an engineering services company in LA. Will has extensive experience in spacecraft technology, having served as the spacecraft lead in mission control and flown Dragon on eight missions to the International Space Station. Prior to this he was a lead avionics engineer at SpaceX. Will holds a B.S. in Applied Physics from Cornell and a Masters in Systems Engineering. He was raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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