3 Takeaways with Jason Sommerville of Orbion Space Technology

Kathleen Achtenberg

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Orbion Space Technology Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer Jason Sommerville offers insight on changing the dynamic of New Space.

An expert in the technology sector, Jason has been designing, analyzing and optimizing in-space propulsion and control systems for more than a decade. As Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer at Orbion, he leads a high-tech aerospace team designing a first-of-its-kind satellite plasma thruster that increases the value of images, is more affordable and reduces the rate of replacement launches.

Houghton-based Orbion recently raised $9.2 million in an early round of financing from venture capital fund Material Impact and capitalized on the vast resources available to startups through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), including the University Commercialization Fund (UCF) and Small Business Development Center. The company is a rising star in the New Space industry.

In the following video, Jason shares his three takeaways for entrepreneurs looking to start a high-tech company.

  1. Take market timing into account to make sure your product or service is in demand.
  2. Remain persistent but disciplined enough to know when to stop. You will have to be persistent when solving a hard problem or looking for investors, workspaces and employees. At the same time, it’s equally important to know when you are going down the wrong path and when to stop and change tactics. It’s a delicate balance, but you have to figure it out.
  3. Don’t go it alone. Every employee will bring a unique set of skills with different strengths and weaknesses. Figure out how to compensate for the weaknesses and build off the strengths. While leveraging resources available through organizations like MEDC, don’t forget to look for additional tools and resources to help your business succeed.

If you’ve got a high-tech start-up idea you’d like to explore further and don’t know where to start, contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative at 888-522-0103 or visit https://www.michiganbusiness.org/entrepreneurship.

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