Launch into the future with the complete Space Stage agenda at TC Disrupt 2023

We’re out-of-this-world excited to announce the complete Space Stage agenda at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023.

We're joining forces with the Aerospace Corporation to host this stage and of course are excited to hear the startup pitches from the Space Domain Awareness Challenge Pitch-off.

Space tech, while one of the most complex and costly endeavors, provides enormous opportunity to advance humankind. But this new space age comes with a host of challenges and uncertainties, and we’ll have some of the most knowledgeable leaders join us to unpack both.

The Space Stage agenda covers a lot of parsecs — the role of American public- and private-sector partnerships; venture capital’s unease with the U.S. Defense Department; quantum and espionage; AI and warfare and more.

Check the agenda below!

The complete Space Stage agenda at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023

The Most Exciting Time in Space: How We Got Here and What Comes Next​

This unprecedented time in space offers untold possibilities to transform humankind’s relationship with the cosmos and benefit the prosperity and security of all those here on Earth. Join leading experts as they explore what’s new and what’s next in space, from the mega-trends and cutting-edge technologies that will define the next decade to the critical role commercial companies will play in making the most of this exciting time.​

With Steve Isakowitz, president, Aerospace Corporation; Susan Karlin, Space Science journalist; Patrick O'Neil, CSO, BlackSky; and Brian Weeden, director, Program Planning, Secure World Foundation

The Space Domain Awareness Challenge Pitch-off and Winner Announcement

Five finalists will get the rare opportunity to pitch in front of our judges on the Space Stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 and exhibit their AI/ML startup at Disrupt 2023 this September. One winner will get the opportunity for a customer roadshow and expert-led concept feedback.

The Future of Sending Human Beings into Space

With commercial organizations playing a more prominent role in sending humans into space, governments, regulators, and even companies themselves are not quite sure what this heralds for the new space age. This panel will help us understand the future of sending humans into space and the respective roles of governments and companies.

With Laura Crabtree, co-founder and CEO, Epsilon3; Jared Isaacman, astronaut and commander, Inspiration4 and the Polaris Program; and Aaron Stein, chief content officer, War on the Rocks

Commercial Spacepower and the Next Space Age

In the United States, private industry plays perhaps the most important role in keeping America’s space aspirations aloft. This has created both opportunities and challenges as the U.S. government and the private sector try to chart a path forward together into the heavens. This panel unpacks the technologies the American public and private sectors are sending into space and the incentives that bring them together and drive them apart.

With Ryan Evans, CEO, Bedrock Learning; Dr. John Plumb, Assistant Secretary Defense, Space Policy, Department of Defense; General James H. Dickinson, U.S. Space Command; and Mandy Vaughn, CEO and founder, GXO, Inc.

Quantum and a New Age of Espionage

From busting open sensitive encryption to creating new unbreakable codes, quantum technologies have the potential to transform the world of espionage and cryptography. A government official and physicist, a former CIA officer now in industry, and a Stanford professor and the CTO of the only space FFRDC join forces to explain why, and how some of these technologies are related to things in orbit.

With Dr. Debra L. Emmons, vice president and chief technology officer, Aerospace Corporation; Herbert Lin, Senior Research Scholar, Hank Holland Fellow, Stanford University; Laura Thomas, chief of staff and Strategic Initiatives, Infleqtion; and Andrew Wilson, Quantum Physics Division chief, National Institute of Standards & Technology.

AI and Warfare

The lightning-fast adoption of ChatGPT supercharged conversations about how AI promises to transform warfare. But will it? Is the technology ready or overhyped? Are military institutions ready? Are the right companies ready to work with the military? This panel — representing industry, the academy, and the Defense Department — will unpack these questions and more.

With Rajeev Chand, partner and Head of Research, Wing Venture Capital; Dr. Craig Martell, chief digital and AI officer, U.S. Department of Defense; Tara Murphy Dougherty, CEO, Govini; and Torsten Reil, co-founder and co-CEO, Helsing.

Why Is Venture Capital So Uneasy with the World’s Largest Customer?

The U.S. Defense Department is the world’s biggest customer and is eager to work with innovative companies backed by venture capital. Unfortunately, most of the largest venture capital firms in the United States are gunshy when it comes to backing companies looking to tackle federal markets. Why is this? Are they being foolish and leaving money on the table? Or do they understand something important?

With Morgan Beller, general partner, NFX; Ryan Evans, CEO, Bedrock Learning; Dan Gwak, managing partner, Point72 Private Investments; Tess Hatch, vice president, Bessemer Venture Partners; Dave Tremper, Deputy Assistant Secretary Defense, Acquisition Integration & Interoperability, Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense.

TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 takes place on September 19–21 in San Francisco. Tickets will sell out. Buy your pass now and save $400 before prices go up at the door.

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