Silicon Valley Space Center provides business acceleration, strategic direction and angel level funding for startup companies within the growing NewSpace industry in Silicon Valley. We assist start-up and early-stage companies with the commercialization of their innovative products or services. We regularly host events and workshops to bring together the vast array of entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and investors who share a passion for shaping the future of space exploration. Join SVSC and become part of this group on the forefront of NewSpace in Silicon Valley.
Dr. Sean Casey Founder and Managing Director
Dr. Sean Casey is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Silicon Valley Space Center, a business accelerator for NewSpace entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He is a member of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and has over two decades of experience as an airborne astronomer. Dr. Casey’s work has been recognized as an example of NASA’s goal for “more efficient and cost effective methodologies to instrument design and construction…”. read more
He served as a Senior Scientist with the NASA/DLR SOFIA program as management and technical lead for SOFIA’s science instrument development program, lead for science instrument integration and commissioning, and science liaison for the review of system level requirements for SOFIA’s final operating capability. He is an author and co-author on several dozen of science publications and has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Chicago and dual MBAs from the Berkeley Haas and Columbia Schools of Business.
Dr. Periklis Papadopoulos Founder
Professor Papadopoulos is the Aerospace Program Coordinator and the Director/Founder of the Center of Excellence for Space Transportation and Exploration at San Jose State University (SJSU). At SJSU, he directs the microsatellite and CubeSat program. He is the author or co-author of 58 research publications in aerothermodynamics and computational fluid dynamics and has performed de-orbit trajectory, CFD and systems level analysis for the Mars Science Laboratory.
Lee Colin Executive VP/Business Development
Lee enjoys an extensive business development background. He is intimately involved in the leadership of the popular The Silicon Valley Space Center (start-up incubator) and the Final Frontier LLC which provides marketing for New Space clients. Along with Dr. Casey he is charged with launching the IDEAS Project (Innovative Design Environment for Air and Space) to provide the ideal home for space and aeronautics companies in California in three locations. read more
He has developed networking skills through top level participation in the following series of successful start-ups: GREEN Vehicles Inc (Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Executive), The Salinas Action Group for the Environment (Leader), The Alternatives to Violence Program (Egalitarian Communication Founder/Instructor), Sacred Body Sacred Ways (Wellness Center, Founder), Century 21 Showcase Realty (Realtor/Sales Trainer) and Roberta Enterprises (Temporary and Permanent Employment Agencies Counselor/Manager).
Active in founding, establishing and operating a wide spectrum of start-ups over a 35 year period, he is seen by those who work with him as their “Networking Guru”. His relationship development, bold assertiveness and negotiating skills have been and continue to be instrumental. In addition to the aforementioned development projects, his skills and commitment to economic development is being put to use, spring-boarding the launch and acceleration of multiple entrepreneurial start-ups within the thriving and exciting space and aeronautics Industry in California.
William Willoughby Chief Operations Officer
William Willoughby has more than 44 years of commercial, military and general aviation maintenance experience including station operations, airframe and engine heavy depot maintenance and overhaul, flight line maintenance and component back shops. Positions included chief operations officer, director of maintenance, aircraft maintenance manager, station manager, senior engineering supervisor, consultant, team leader, aviation maintenance instructor and supervisor.read more
Heavily involved with NASA’s 747SP SOFIA Airborne Science Platform Program, (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) with emphasis on program development, maintenance program, maintenance, technical, logistical, station operations & engineering support for 14 years.
Dr. Eric Morano Principal Advisor
Dr. Eric Morano is a Principal Advisor to the Silicon Valley Space Center where he provides management advice about the current and future direction of the center including its incubator efforts. He has over 20 years of experience and held multiple positions in science, aerospace engineering and management, and business development. At Caltech he was a Senior Research Fellow and a co-founder of the Virtual shock physics Test Facility for the DoE ASCI program.
He led the Northrop Grumman – Boeing Aerosciences proposal for the NASA Crew Exploration Vehicle, and was an Aerodynamics Engineer at SpaceX where he worked on the aerodynamic characteristics and aerothermal environments of the Falcon 1 and 9 rockets and the Dragon capsule. Most recently at NASA Ames he was a Technology Partnerships Manager where he helped manage Ames’ Intellectual Property and established several partnerships (Space Act Agreements) supporting activities ranging from the Asteroid Grand Challenge to aeronautics to water recycling and more. Eric has a Ph.D. in Science and Engineering from the University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis and performed his doctoral research at INRIA Sophia Antipolis in France.
Rick Kwan Director/DevOps and Communications
Rick Kwan is part computer scientist and part aerospace technologist. He is a Founding Member of the Silicon Valley Space Center, and serves as its DevOps (development operations) and Communications Director. His early aerospace focus was in trajectory modeling and spacecraft computing systems, but in recent years has expanded to include small launch vehicle propulsion and avionics. He is a technical adviser to small launch vehicle and drone start-ups.
In aerospace, he has worked at NASA Ames, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Hughes Aircraft, and System Development Corporation. In computing and electronics, he has been at Acer Labs, Sun Microsystems, Pioneer, VMware, Intel, and Imagination Technologies. His most recent work has been on MIPS computing systems in mobile device and compute engine environments.
Rick is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and of the AIAA Computer Systems Technical Committee, where he tracks evolving trends in aerospace computing technologies.