The Future of Space Speakers


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Louis Perna

Title: Co-Founder and Lead Mechanical Engineer

Company: Accion 

Louis co-founded Accion with the goal of increasing the ease of access to and utilization of space, starting by enabling a growing commercial space industry with Accion's high-performance satellite propulsion technology. His daily work focuses on product design and development, advanced manufacturing, performance testing, and multidisciplinary research. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees (SB '09, SM '14) from the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics where he specialized in space propulsion and helped develop the novel ion electrospray technology Accion implements today. Louis has worked with NASA both academically and professionally, including the investigation of ion engine operating modes; the design, test, and assembly of robotic extraterrestrial exploration systems; and technical and programmatic risk estimation for manned spaceflight systems. Louis was named one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016 and 2017 and Inc. 30 Under 30 in 2017.

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Karl Hoose

Title: CEO/CTO

Company: VALT Enterprises, LLC

Karl Hoose is the Founder, CEO/CTO of VALT Enterprises, which is developing the VALT launch system, to address the fast-growing launch demand and space access requirements of the emerging nanosatellite industry. Beginning with the National Aerospace Plane Program, Karl has over 30 years of experience with high-speed air-breathing (i.e. ramjet/scramjet) and rocket propulsion, high performance piston and combined cycle engines, and advanced vehicle systems. He was the Founder and President of Applied Thermal Sciences, Inc. (ATS), an award-winning, Maine-based research and development (R&D) engineering firm that earned a national reputation for developing cutting edge technologies, and has successfully transitioned concepts to commercial product. As a small R&D business under Karl's lead, ATS was successful in capturing more than $70 million in revenue in a 15 year period. He has been awarded patents for his innovative technologies, including an innovative internal combustion engine and variable thrust rocket motor. Karl is a licensed professional engineer, and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine. He has and continues to serve on several boards to facilitate the growth of an innovative STEM workforce.


David Potere

Title: Co-Founder/CEO

Company: Telluslab

David is the co-founder and CEO of TellusLabs, a Boston-based software company that combines decades of satellite imagery with a machine learning platform to answer critical, time-sensitive economic and environmental questions. David co-founded Boston Consulting Group's global data science practice. At TellusLabs, David is combining his love of satellite remote sensing with nearly a decade of practical experience addressing the geospatial and data-driven questions of the Fortune 500. Prior to BCG, David served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy. He received an AB from Harvard College, an MA in satellite remote sensing from Boston University, and a PhD in geo-demography from Princeton.


Dan Nevius

Title: Co-Founder/COO

Company: Analytical Space

Dan Nevius is a Co-Founder and COO of Analytical Space, a Boston-based startup building a network of small satellites that use optical communication to provide a data relay service for remote sensing satellites. Before starting Analytical Space, Dan was the Director of Special Projects at Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, where he worked on business development and strategy for the CERES constellation, a network of hyperspectral remote sensing satellites, and the company’s long term vision of asteroid prospecting. Dan also briefly worked at BCG in the London Office and interned at the Space and Science Branch of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Dan graduated from HBS in 2017 and earned his MSc in Space Science and Engineering from UCL in London, an MPhil in Engineering from the University of Cambridge where he researched methods for 3D printing large structures on the moon using local materials, and a BS in Engineering and Astrophysics from Harvard University.

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Matthew Weinzierl (Moderator)

Title: Professor

Company: Harvard Business School

Matt Weinzierl is a Professor in the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School. Prior to his doctoral studies, Professor Weinzierl worked in the New York office of McKinsey & Company, specializing in financial services. From 2003 to 2004, he served as the Staff Economist for Macroeconomics on the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Professor Weinzierl has written on a range of topics in optimal taxation and optimal economic policy more generally. His most recent projects, associated with the idea of Positive Optimal Tax Theory, focus on identifying and formalizing the goals for tax policy that hold sway among the public, political, and economic leaders, and leading tax thinkers, and then characterizing the implications of using those objectives in the analysis of optimal taxation. Professor Weinzierl is also the creator of an elective course at HBS entitled "The Role of Government in Market Economies." He has recently launched a new set of research projects focused on the commercialization of the space sector and its implications for the provision of space-related public goods.