11 March 2022 |
Ep38: Bessemer Venture Partners: Why The Answer is Always Software
By Joe Sweeny
Why Tess Hatch Has a Front Row Seat in Tech Innovation
- Teenage Space Dream: 1:24
- How Boom is Creating Supersonic Commuters: 6:24
- Why Two-Way Diligence is Essential: 12:43
- Private And Public-backed Rocket Launches: 16:27
- Space Tourism For All: 18:08
- Even Space Needs a Business Model: 23:21
- Making the Jump to Investor: 27:34
- The Future of The Space Economy: 32:32
“What I love a lot about my job now is it’s not only just space. It’s also drones, autonomous vehicles, the future of food technology, all types of deep and frontier technology and space is still my passion and I still hope to travel to space myself someday.” – Tess Hatch, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.
A venture capitalist with a passion for space and technology. Now that’s a great combination.
Right from childhood Tess Hatch has set her sights on space exploration as a goal, thanks to a school visit from astronaut Sally Ride.
While she may not have gotten out there yet, with an undergrad in aerospace engineering from Michigan, a Masters in aero astro at Stanford, plus positions at Boeing and SpaceX, it’s surely only a matter of time.
But for now, Tess is happy to turn her skills towards investment opportunities at Bessemer Venture Partners.
Food Tech, Space And Supersonic Travel
In the four years she’s worked at the company, recently becoming a partner, Tess has found herself in the food tech space. Working with drones to aid companies like Atomo Coffee in sourcing the natural ingredients needed for their groundbreaking coffee production techniques.
But space is never far from her mind and specifically how elements of the technology might impact industries such as travel and transportation. Using, for example, a rocket as an alternative to an airplane.
“I am very excited about the potential of going from New York to Europe in three hours. Any route over water, you basically divide that time by two and the ability to share cultures more easily. To have a three-day business trip be a day. I’m really excited.”
As an investor in Boom, a company pioneering supersonic travel, this is way more than a pipe dream.
Space Tech Evolution
From undergraduate to VC professional, Tess believes the greatest change she’s witnessed in the space industry is around launch capabilities.
The invention of the cubesat, a 10cm X 10cm X 10cm satellite, has replaced the traditional “school bus sized satellite” once needed to launch assets. This in turn has made it possible for satellites to occupy low-earth orbit (LEO) positions used to communicate with the Earth, take photos of the Earth or listen to the Earth for things like weather predictions.
It’s an exciting investment area and one that will eventually scale to space, allowing more in-orbit industries to develop.
And you can’t talk about the space economy without touching on space tourism. It’s something Tess believes is still a decade or more away and the real focus going forward will be on areas like space debris removal and space repairs on existing spacecraft.
In the meantime she’s willing to explore all her passions, using both her technical background and VC capabilities to champion companies exploring deep tech:
“What I really wanted to explore was those deep tech ideas, those deep tech founders. and I love space. I love rockets. I love satellites, but I also am interested in other deep frontier tech industries, whether it’s 3d printing, autonomous vehicles, food technology, I’ve been spending a ton of time there recently.”
The Future of Space
A woman landing on the moon. As a child with a passion for space, this is one goal Tess is determined to help make happen.
In the meantime she’ll support all the CEOs and deep tech companies, innovating to make this and other space technology breakthroughs happen.