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Home / Science / Chad Anderson, SpaceX investor, VC, Space Angels CEO on Elon Musk

Chad Anderson, SpaceX investor, VC, Space Angels CEO on Elon Musk



Like the universe itself, the market for space finance is seemingly limitless.

Chad Anderson, a venture capitalist, CEO of the Space Angels specialized space fund, says it's the best example of the kind of traits he's looking for from a founder, seeing SpaceX's owner Elon Musk himself recovered from failure.

Space Angels has invested in 22 space technology companies since 2010, the largest share of each fund, according to PitchBook. These include some of the start-ups that could crush the market in the coming years.

After barely existing before 2009, the private funding of space has increased. According to Morgan Stanley, this $ 350 billion market could be worth over $ 1

trillion by 2040. Hundreds of companies are looking for financing options every month, so finding the best founders for specialized VCs is key.

This is where founders like Musk come into play. In 2008, SpaceX made its third launch attempt with the Falcon 1 rocket. The rocket failed after it reached orbit, consuming all of the $ 100 million that Musk personally invested in the company.

After three tries to start, it seemed like this could be the end of the line for SpaceX. "But then Elon left the Mission Control trailer, walked past the press, and turned to over 350 SpaceX employees," Anderson told Business Insider. "He reminded them that what they were doing was extremely difficult and that they had done something in orbit that half a dozen countries had not."

Musk had provided VC funds for two more launches, asking his staff to "lift and dust" before the next launch of Falcon 1, which was a success only seven weeks later. "For my part, I'll never give up, and I never mean it," Musk said, according to Space.com.

Anderson said that this experience includes the drive founders need in the increasingly competitive and technically challenging field of space technology. While musk is not without flaws, the launch of Falcon 1 is cited as the beginning of a new boom in private space finance. Anderson soon invested in SpaceX.

Read more: According to a VC on Elon Musk's SpaceX board, founders who can not answer this question may miss millions in funding.

Search for the best founders.

"We are looking for founders who have similar approaches to this market as SpaceX – they need vision and real capabilities," Anderson said in an interview with Business Insider. "They need the right background to understand what they are doing, being passionate, hungry and resourceful."

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX.
Refugio Ruiz / SpaceX

Anderson managed JPMorgan's $ 50 billion property portfolio before moving to VC.

In his opinion, he cites three other characteristics and traits that are relevant to both musk and the founders of the Space Angels portfolio companies.

. 1 Honesty and transparency, especially when things go wrong.

. 2 Careful planning and communication. The best founders provide security for employees, even if they are trying something very risky.

. 3 Lead by example and help employees believe that together they can achieve incredible things when they expect as much from themselves as the founder.

As with any exciting new market, there are those who try to build businesses that may not pass the test of time or exam.

It is not surprising that space technology founders have a strong understanding of physics in their repertoire, Anderson said.


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