Announcing investments in Outpost, Strong Compute, and 3 other companies
EL SEGUNDO, CA. (September 21, 2022) — Starburst Ventures, the first venture capital fund dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense, today announced the launch of its new early-stage fund. Focusing on aerospace, defense, security, as well as enabling sciences and technologies, Starburst Ventures is investing in the next generation of industrial, software and hardware companies.
The fund’s team will be led by Starburst Ventures’ Founder and General Partner, François Chopard. A widely respected industry veteran, Francois founded Starburst in 2012, before A&D became the venture investment category it is today. François is joined by Benjamin Zeitoun as Investor. Together they hold a significant track record of securing investment and building startups from the early stage to IPO. Joining them in an advisory capacity is Jacqueline Tame, startup founder and former Deputy Director of the United States Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and Natalya Bailey, Head of Strategy at Bloom Energy and former founder of Accion Systems, who was named top 15 most influential women in Space per Business Insider. Both will serve as hands-on advisors to provide unrivaled support in selecting investments and developing Starburst Ventures’ portfolio companies.
“The Starburst Ventures fund will be an imperative resource in developing the next generation of aerospace & defense companies,” said François Chopard, General Partner at Starburst Ventures. “Having the opportunity to lead and oversee something so impactful is a true honor. I look forward to working with some of the brightest minds across aerospace innovation and business development.”
Starburst Ventures’ existing investments include participation in a recent $7.1 million seed round for Outpost, a sustainable satellite & Earth return company founded by Jason Dunn and Mike Vergalla, and backed by Moonshot Ventures & Draper Associates, as well as Strong Compute, a startup that recently completed its $7.8 million seed round and helps developers speed up machine learning training pipelines. Strong Compute is led by Ben Sand and backed by prolific investors including Sequoia Capital India, Folklore, Blackbird; and Skip Capital (led by Principal Kim Jackson). Other investments include companies wishing to stay under the radar, working on mapping the 27,000+ objects jamming Earth orbit to pave the way for space infrastructure, Open Source Intelligence platforms, and a revolutionary optical sensing payload.
“All five of these companies are at the cutting edge of aerospace innovation. We’re excited that our thesis drives our investment in both deeptech and tech companies that have the potential to make a real impact in our sector and beyond,” said Benjamin Zeitoun, Investor, Starburst Ventures.
The Starburst Ventures fund’s portfolio is a reflection of its leadership’s unique ability to imagine the next wave of innovation in space, aviation, and defense systems. Starburst Ventures is an independent US venture capital firm owned by its General Partners with a deep commitment to building the future of aerospace and defense.
About Starburst Ventures
Starburst Ventures is the first venture capital fund exclusively dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense to build the future of Aerospace & Defense. The team is made up of Aerospace & Defense specialists, former founders, and accelerator operators who are on a mission to help early-stage founders accelerate their business development efforts across government & industry.
Starburst is an innovation catalyst in the aerospace industry. They are the first and only global aerospace accelerator, connecting startups with corporates, investors and government, while providing strategic growth and investment consulting services for all. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Madrid, the team has built an ecosystem of key players with 15000+ of startups in its network. Starburst’s accelerator program helps startups scale their business in aviation, space, and defense with access to the largest group of corporate stakeholders to help startups win their first contracts. More information about Starburst can be found at www.starburst.aero