As leader of the firm’s Transportation and Space Group in Washington, D.C., Dara Panahy’s practice involves representation of satellite and space infrastructure operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications and data services companies, banks, private equity firms, hedge funds and other investors in debt and equity offerings, project, structured and vendor financings, corporate matters, mergers & acquisitions, financial restructurings, and in negotiating commercial contracts. He also advises on regulatory, risk management, sanctions, anti-corruption, national security and export control matters.
James Bruegger, the co-founder and CIO of Seraphim, is a prolific venture capitalist investor in the global Space Tech domain. James was the early VC investor in Arqit, Iceye, LeoLabs and D-Orbit and led investments in several companies that went public including Spire Global and AST & Science. Previously he worked at YFM Equity Partners and Burlington Consultants, a boutique strategy consultancy that was acquired by Deloitte & Touche. James holds a first-class degree in History from University College London.Francois Chopard
As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Starburst Aerospace Accelerator, Francois Chopard is pioneering today’s aerospace renaissance, uniting early-stage technology innovators with private investment to build the next wave of transportation, communication, and intelligence. Since founding Starburst in 2012, Chopard has created 6 innovation hubs around the world (Paris, Los Angeles, Munich, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Seoul) where his global team works alongside +1000 technology startups that are developing new aircrafts, spacecrafts, satellites, drones, sensors, AI, and software. He has invested in +120 startups, 2 of them became unicorns.
Mike Collett is Founder and Managing Partner of Promus Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in deep-tech early-stage startups, with offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Luxembourg. Mike has been a venture capital investor for over 20 years. Mike has invested in over 100 startups, including Rocket Lab, AngelList, Whoop, Mapbox, ICEYE, Bellabeat, FLYR, Kensho, Cobalt Robotics, Swift Navigation, and others.
Prior to Promus Ventures, Mike was Founder and Managing Partner of Masters Capital Nanotechnology Fund, a venture capital firm. While working at Masters Capital, a hedge fund, Mike invested in software and hardware startups. Prior to venture capital, Mike was a Vice President in Merrill Lynch’s Mergers & Acquisitions group.
Mike holds a BA in Math and BA in English from Vanderbilt University. He also holds a MBA in Finance from Washington University in St. Louis.
Mike and his wife Paige have four children and live in Chicago.
Mr. Letarte is a Vice President at AE Industrial and is primarily focused on origination, transaction due diligence, executing new investments, and monitoring portfolio investments. Mr. Letarte has helped lead AE Industrial’s recent space investments in York Space Systems, Redwire, Firefly Aerospace, and Sierra Space. Additional active investments at AE Industrial include Belcan, BigBear.ai, Resolute Industrial and Kellstrom Aerospace. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of AE Industrial portfolio company Belcan. Prior to joining AE Industrial in 2018, Mr. Letarte was an investment banker at Moelis & Company for 5 years, where he focused on M&A, restructuring and strategic corporate advisory across a broad spectrum of industries including aerospace and defense. Prior to joining Moelis, Mr. Letarte was in J.P. Morgan’s Leveraged Finance Group, where he provided debt capital solutions and acquisition financing. During his career, Mr. Letarte has completed over $50 billion of mergers and acquisitions across 60+ transactions and assisted in over $100 billion of debt financings.Dr. Xiaoming Yin
Dr. Xiaoming Yin is a Senior Investment Manager at Lockheed Martin Ventures. Her primary investment focus at Lockheed is in Space Technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Next Generation Computing Technologies, Quantum Technologies, and Materials & Manufacturing.
Prior to joining Lockheed Martin Ventures, Xiaoming was a Fintech Associate at Pivotus Ventures. At Pivotus, she developed the investment thesis and worked on product development for a next-generation digital bank. Before joining Pivotus, Xiaoming worked five years as a Quantitative Researcher in Citigroup Option Market Making trading division.
Xiaoming received M.S and Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University, where her work was published and presented in several international journals, as well as conferences. Xiaoming also received B.A in Economics and B.S in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.