It always seems impossible until it’s done.
Dylan Taylor is a leading angel investor, thought leader, futurist, and founding partner of Space Angels, a global network of commercial aerospace investors and entrepreneurs. As an early-stage investor in more than 40 emerging ventures, including Planet, OmniEarth, Accion, York, Kepler, and Vector Space, Dylan has played a key role in the growth of the private space industry. Dylan’s technical background, global business experience and unbridled passion for space make him a unique figure in the world of NewSpace investing. He regularly speaks and writes about the future of the space economy and is sought after by the media for his expertise in the financial aspects of space investing as well as industry dynamics. Underlying Dylan’s passion for space, however, is his fundamental belief in its power to unify humanity. Space exploration, from his point of view, can bring people together by highlighting the arbitrary nature of boundaries we create–geographic, ideological, and otherwise. In 2016, Dylan founded Space for Humanity, a global non-profit that strives to both democratize space as well as to demonstrate the power of space to raise human awareness to help solve the world’s most intractable problems.
Dylan is a leading advocate of space manufacturing and the utilization of in-space resources to further space exploration and settlement. In 2017 he became the first private citizen to manufacturer an item in space when the gravity meter he co-designed and commissioned was 3D printed on the International Space Station. The item currently resides at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
For his influence as a global leader and his commitment to having a positive impact on the world, Dylan has been honored with a number of personal and professional accolades in recent years. The World Economic Forum recognized Dylan as a Young Global Leader in 2011 and he was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute in 2014. Taylor is also a Delphi Fellow for Big Think, a digital knowledge forum that brings together top thinkers from around the world to collaborate and share ideas. Dylan is also Co-Founding Patron of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.
Taylor earned an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the Booth School of Business at University of Chicago and holds a BS in Engineering from the honors college at the University of Arizona where he graduated Tau Beta Pi and was President of the Engineering College. In 2013 he attended the Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century program at Harvard University.
James is a space industry executive and TEDx speaker with two decades of experience in sales, business development, and strategy. He serves as Vice President of the Earth observation division of Planetary Resources, a space technology company established with the long-term goal of enabling resource extraction on asteroids and the Moon. He is currently responsible for the company’s thermal imaging program based on the Arkyd-6 spacecraft which was successfully launched in January 2018.
Prior to joining Planetary Resources, James spent a decade developing large scale fueling infrastructure projects in the energy industry. He was responsible for business development at Clean Energy, which provides fossil and renewable fuels for heavy-duty trucking applications, the rail industry, space launch systems, and industrial applications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and an Agronomy and Precision Agriculture certification from Purdue University. He lives in Denver with his wife, boy-girl twins and a large Goldendoodle name Waffles.
Director of Operations
Rebecca Schaeffer is a conscientious problem solver and global humanitarian leader. With a background in non-profit management and U.S. refugee resettlement, Rebecca has served as a dedicated advocate giving voice to the world’s most vulnerable populations. She has successfully reunited hundreds of displaced refugee families and administered U.S. government funding for millions of displaced persons around the globe. Rebecca was voted among NewSpace People’s top 200 leaders in the NewSpace industry in 2017 and served as Space for Humanity’s Interim Executive Director from August 2017 – January 2018.
Rebecca holds a B.S. in International Relations from Beloit College and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is a 2016 Forté Fellow, and attended the International Summer School in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford in 2011.
Rebecca is experienced in growing nascent non-profits efficiently and effectively to scale. She is passionate about space and its ability to unify humanity toward a brighter future.
Director of Marketing
Sarah Cruddas is a British space journalist, TV presenter and children’s author. She has an academic background in astrophysics and is passionate advocate for the commercial space industry. Sarah is the ‘face of space’ on British television and can be seen covering space on Sky News, as well as other national UK channels, including Channel 5, Channel 4 News, BBC News and ITV. She also appears on screen on shows on National Geographic and The Discovery Channel, as well as various BBC shows such as Coast and Horizons Business.
Sarah specializes in space exploration, but has reported on all aspects of science and technology from across the world including from Rwanda, North Korea, Tibet and Eastern Europe. Her reports have featured on BBC Radio’s flagship ‘From Our Own Correspondent’, BBC World Service and across BBC News. As an established writer, Sarah covers space for Discovery, the BBC, New Scientists, The Sunday Times (London), CNN, The Royal Aeronautical Society and a host of other publications.
Away from journalism, Sarah works developing communication strategies for start-ups and as a corporate host and presenter for clients ranging from The European Union, to the European Space Agency, Google, Red Bull and Samsung. Sarah is passionate about STEM education and helping to inspire the next generation of space explorers. Her second children’s book, published by Dorling Kindersley, will be released worldwide this summer, with a third book planned for global release in 2019.
Ulisses Meneses Ortiz
Director of International
Ulisses helps clients increase their value by streamlining their tax-related cash flows and reducing operational risk as related to transfer pricing. Ulisses has more than 15 years experience in transfer pricing, including seven years as a transfer pricing manager in Mexico, and eight in the United States.
Ulisses has overseen a wide range of engagements, including advanced pricing agreements, documentation, audit defense, and planning. He has experience in automotive, food and beverage, industrial components and equipment, furniture, and high-end consumer products.
Ulisses is passionate about the use of private space for profit purposes, and as part of his efforts to bring capital and talent to the industry, published an article on using research and development tax credits to help space and high-tech related start-ups. He is founding member of the Booth Aeronautics & Space Club, and founding organizer of MIT’s New Space Age Conference. Ulisses has organized conferences with leading business schools and is currently the Director of International Outreach for Space for Humanity.
B.A. Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Estado de Mexico
M.B.A., The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Rachel A. Lyons
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Rachel A. Lyons is a next generation space advocate. Rachel actively works to spread knowledge and encourage others to get involved using the ideals of ‘The Overview Effect’. Her approach is multidisciplinary – recognizing the importance of integrating formal education, creative arts, culture, and social connection. Rachel has led engineering teams, organized professional events, music and dance celebrations, and outdoor adventure.
Rachel holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Miami. She is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space – USA, as well as the former president of the University of Miami Chapter. She is a former radio host of the science talk show and world music show on WVUM 90.5 FM.
Rachel’s goal is to use space to deepen the connection we share with each other, and our home planet earth. Her intention is to create an environment where people of different backgrounds can unite with a shared understanding of this important mission.
Director of Technology
TJ Sherrill is a space enthusiast, serial entrepreneur and strategic problem solver. With a background in web and mobile technology, TJ has helped clients solve bottom-line business challenges through creative technical solutions. He has run his own digital agency for 11 years and successfully raised angel investment for a social media marketing startup he founded.
TJ has worked with several of the leading space industry companies including Planetary Resources and Space Angels. His firm also sponsored NewSpace 2016 in Seattle WA, providing web and design services that included a rebrand.
TJ is passionate about the space industry and the opportunities it presents for humanity.