In the last 30 years, global GDP has grown from about $11 trillion1 to a staggering $70 trillion . A major driver of this sustained growth has been the power of science, technology, engineering, and innovation. From computers to robots, from medicine to agriculture, and from transportation to manufacturing, the world economy has benefited enormously from the commercialization of new inventions and technologies.
Key to all of this are entrepreneurial start-up companies, the founding team members who drive them to success, and the investors who share their vision. History is replete with examples of visionary entrepreneurs who brought world-changing products from idea to reality –individuals such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Elon Musk have accelerated the progress of humanity by building their companies. In general, the products and services of start-up companies improve the lives of millions of people around the world, and in so doing provide millions of new jobs annually and create literally trillions of dollars of wealth over time.
And while there are many ways of funding innovative entrepreneurs, one of the most effective and most critical is through angel investing.That is why it is so important for the world right now to really work to grow the global community of angel investors. Angel investors are true economic heroes – people who give back to society by investing in many cases part of their own hard-earned wealth to support the start-up businesses that make inventions and ideas real. But let us not assume angel investors are acting solely in charity, either. In fact, angel investors have traditionally done quite well. A Kauffman Foundation analysis found that the average return of hundreds of angel investments studied was 2.6 times the initial investment in a 3.5 year period — an approximate internal rate of return of 27 percent2.
I am proud to be an angel investor myself, and I am equally proud to participate in an organization that is doing more than any other to facilitate angel investment in the critical field of commercial spaceflight – the Space Angels Network.
The recently-formed Space Angels Network is the leading source of capital for space startups, having made several investments in member companies in the first few months of its existence. It is a community of bold investors who are helping to build the next generation space industry, one company at a time. My fellow members make exciting investments in startups that fly spacecraft, launch rockets, orbit payloads, or otherwise relate to the burgeoning business of aerospace. The network’s success continues to attract some of the best entrepreneurs and angel investors around and has become a valuable place for me to meet like-minded investors.
Joe Landon, its Managing Director, and the entire Space Angels Network team have done a fantastic job of building a flourishing community of aerospace investors. With the growth of commercial spaceflight and NASA’s recent $1.2B commitment toward developing commercial human spaceflight capabilities, we are seeing more interest in angel investing in space than ever before.
So, the takeaway is this: If you are financially able, it is important to invest in what you believe – and if you believe in commercial spaceflight and the “Star Trek future” that we all want, then I would highly encourage you to get involved in Space Angels Network! The returns will be stellar … not only for yourself, but for the world.