Broadcast 3190 Meagan Crawford

21 Sep 2018 Meagan Crawford
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Guest:  Meagan Crawford;  Topics:  The NewSpace Business Plan Competition for 2018 and noticeable trends in the commercial space industry and startups.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.   

We welcomed back to the show Meagan Crawford to discuss the NewSpace 2018 Business Plan Competition.  To find out more about it and to enter, visit https://www.cscf.space.  Do note that the entry deadline is midnight Central Daylight Time on Sept. 28, 2018.  There is no entry fee.  One just submits a max of three pages as an Executive Summary of your space or space related plan.  Our guest said there were examples of Executive Summaries on the site plus plan and industry/venture suggestions.  For questions, contact the organization using the Contact tab on the website.  We discussed this year's competition plus what was trending in the commercial space industry and finally the Center for Space Commerce & Finance during our one segment 59 minute program.  In addition, please be aware that we were twice disconnected from Megan's phone line but fortunately we were able to restore the connection both times.  During our hour with Meagan, we took many email questions from listeners plus I had lots of questions for our guest regarding the plan, the competition and the industry.  The competition is set for Nov. 9, 2018 at the conference in Austin, TX.

Meagan started the discussion by introducing us to the competition for this year.  She went through logistics such as only needing to submit an Executive Summary no longer than three pages in either the Word or PDF format.  The was no entry fee.  Our guest said the focus was on space commercialization and as we have heard before, space scalable which would include terrestrial business ventures but with a potentially useful market or application for space.  One example she provided was closed system farming, a topic we have heard lots about on Space Show programs.  Another suggested topic included the development and/or use of nano materials.  In response to an email question from Linda, like in other years, there will be a training opportunity for presenters (Boot Camp) the day before the event starts.  Meagan described this year's Boot Camp plans so if you are entering, make sure you know about this opportunity. 

Other listener emails inquired about the winning prizes, the continuation of the regional competition format that has been in place for a few years, and how the competition had evolved or changed over the past several years given Meagan said the competition had a nine year history.  A question was asked about experienced space industry employees for the new space startups and commercial activity.  Meagan suggested that experience was still on the short side but improving.  Don't miss what she said about the commercial space labor pool.  Todd then sent in a question asking if there were plans being submitted regarding human spaceflight.  I asked Meagan for a clarification since earlier she had been referencing ROI as a requirement for entering the competition.  I wanted to know if nonprofit plans were OK to submit.  The short answer was no because of the lack of an ROI but listen in full to how Meagan addressed this issue.  Our guest was then asked about international entries and international business plan competition.  She said international entries were welcome and that they were considering starting competitions in select overseas markets given the growth in interest in commercial space in multiple countries. 

We turned our attention to asking Meagan some questions about the industry.  For example, were their leading factors or triggers that were pushing commercial and NewSpace development forward.  She said yes and cited improved space access with lowering prices and the emergence of a Silicon Valley mindset for small, nimble companies that were flexible to get financing.  She referenced a few examples of this including Planet Labs.  Meagan also addressed the role of government (NASA) in helping to finance small business concepts and projects plus what was happening with this community and foreign investment.

Listener Jerry asked about trends such as the rapid growth in the Small Sat industry, citing the expansion with the SmallSat conference held each year in Logan, Utah.   Meagan said this was a big part of the new commercial industry development but when I mentioned imaging, she said the focus seemed to be turning toward satellite uses and instrumentation rather than imaging.  I asked her if there had ever been a plan submitted regarding space weapons as a potential business.  You might be surprised by her answer. 

BJohn asked our guest about space tourism.  Meagan thought it would play a role but just how big a role was still unclear.  The same for settlement.   As we were closing in on the ending of our program, Meagan address The Center for Space Commerce and Finance so please refer to the website provided above.  We spent time talking about the organization and its plans and more about setting up international plan competitions.  She also said they planned four regional competitions for 2019.  She also said the organizational goal was to get humanity to space through free enterprise.

Before we ended, Meagan got a question about virtual reality in the business plans, then she was asked about deep space mining and the fact that they were so long term how did that mesh with the 5-7 year ROI estimates our guest referenced earlier.  A few more questions came in before we ended. One wanted to know about plans using block chain and cryptocurrency and another asked Meagan about the development of multiple space business programs and classes at various schools around the country, commenting on how this had changed in recent years. 

Meagan offered us closing comments and reminded us that the deadline for entering the competition was midnight CDT on Sept. 28.  Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach Meagan through me or the Center's website.

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