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Starburst Ventures launches new Pre-Seed and Seed Fund for Aerospace and Defense

Written by  Thursday, 22 September 2022 10:33
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El Segundo CA (SPX) Sep 22, 2022
Starburst Ventures, the first venture capital fund dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense, has announced the launch of its new early-stage fund. Focusing on aerospace, defense, security, as well as enabling sciences and technologies, Starburst Ventures is investing in the next generation of industrial, software and hardware companies. The fund's team will be led by Star

Starburst Ventures, the first venture capital fund dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense, has announced the launch of its new early-stage fund. Focusing on aerospace, defense, security, as well as enabling sciences and technologies, Starburst Ventures is investing in the next generation of industrial, software and hardware companies.

The fund's team will be led by Starburst Ventures' Founder and General Partner, Francois Chopard. A widely respected industry veteran, Francois founded Starburst in 2012, before A&D became the venture investment category it is today. Francois is joined by Benjamin Zeitoun as Investor. Together they hold a significant track record of securing investment and building startups from the early stage to IPO.

Joining them in an advisory capacity is Jacqueline Tame, startup founder and former Deputy Director of the United States Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and Natalya Bailey, Head of Strategy at Bloom Energy and former founder of Accion Systems, who was named top 15 most influential women in Space per Business Insider. Both will serve as hands-on advisors to provide unrivaled support in selecting investments and developing Starburst Ventures' portfolio companies.

"The Starburst Ventures fund will be an imperative resource in developing the next generation of aerospace and defense companies," said Francois Chopard, General Partner at Starburst Ventures. "Having the opportunity to lead and oversee something so impactful is a true honor. I look forward to working with some of the brightest minds across aerospace innovation and business development."

Starburst Ventures' existing investments include participation in a recent $7.1 million seed round for Outpost, a sustainable satellite and Earth return company founded by Jason Dunn and Mike Vergalla, and backed by Moonshot Ventures and Draper Associates, as well as Strong Compute, a startup that recently completed its $7.8 million seed round and helps developers speed up machine learning training pipelines.

Strong Compute is led by Ben Sand and backed by prolific investors including Sequoia Capital India, Folklore, Blackbird; and Skip Capital (led by Principal Kim Jackson). Other investments include companies wishing to stay under the radar, working on mapping the 27,000+ objects jamming Earth orbit to pave the way for space infrastructure, Open Source Intelligence platforms, and a revolutionary optical sensing payload.

"All five of these companies are at the cutting edge of aerospace innovation. We're excited that our thesis drives our investment in both deeptech and tech companies that have the potential to make a real impact in our sector and beyond," said Benjamin Zeitoun, Investor, Starburst Ventures.

The Starburst Ventures fund's portfolio is a reflection of its leadership's unique ability to imagine the next wave of innovation in space, aviation, and defense systems. Starburst Ventures is an independent US venture capital firm owned by its General Partners with a deep commitment to building the future of aerospace and defense.


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