Investing in the New Space Race

Learn about the technologies of space exploration, the geopolitical landscape, and who will be the big winners and losers in the new space race. 
Hosted by: Education Advisory Group

Humanity is entering a new space race. The focus on Mars and the Asteroid Belt feels similar to the first space race, but the race to build constellations of cheap, low earth orbit satellites feels new and very practical. It has elements of a grand colonization and elements of familiar business models. While governments around the world remain major players, private companies are playing a larger role.  

Our panelists will explore current and future industry trends to expose the direction of this new market. The event will focus on understanding the technologies of space exploration as launch costs decrease, the geopolitical tensions that have always accompanies expansions into new territory, and the economic implications for investors.


  • What new technologies and capabilities are specifically driving the new space race?
  • As costs decrease to venture into space what changes will we see in the future?


  • How will nations manage conflicting interests in the exploration of space?
  • What nations will be contenders and how does the prominence of private actors complicate the geopolitical landscape?


  • What opportunities and businesses are being enabled?
  • Who will be the big winners and losers in the new space race?

Richard Godwin - President, Space Technology Holdings LLC  
Joan Johnson-Freese, Ph.D. - Professor  National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College (NWC)

Steven Jorgenson - Managing General Partner, Starbridge Venture Capital
Mark LaPenna - Founder & CEO, Xenesis
Myles Walton - Managing Director and Senior Analyst, Aerospace/Defense, UBS Investment Bank

Members - $45 or FREE with function ticket 
Student Members - $10
Nonmembers - $65
NewSpace Chicago Members - $45 (Please call the office at 312-251-1301 to register)
(member pricing underwritten by CFA Society Chicago)

*Limited sponsorships available, contact Kim Augustyn at

CFA Institute Qualified Activity: Eligible for 1.5 credit hours

Attire: Business Casual

Menu: Hors d’oeuvres, Beer, Wine & Sodas

Registration: Online

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Registration & Networking
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm: Program

*Please note distribution of presentation slides is at the discretion of the speaker and may not be available for this event



Richard Godwin has been a serial entrepreneur and businessman since childhood. He has successfully created and built small medium and large companies over several industries in both Europe and North America. He became interested in space exploration when he was seven years old and avidly followed the Apollo Program to land people on the moon as well as many space programs since then. He has served as a director on the board of both the National Space Society and the Space Frontier Foundation. He created and managed an asteroid research program known as “The Watch” which raised funding for asteroid discovery and characterization and presented its findings to the U.S Congress on Capitol Hill.

With his brother Robert, he owns Apogee Books, a space book publishing company which today has over 400 technical space exploration books in print, as well as operating - an enormous repository of space industry data.He has worked as a business consultant for Elon Musk at SpaceX building a business model for their nascent DragonLab spacecraft program. He served as CEO and Director of Zero Gravity Solutions Inc., ostensibly the world’s first public company creating new products and technology on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station for use on Earth. He also served as CEO and President of Zero Gravity Life Sciences at that time.

Godwin is currently senior managing member of Space Technology Holdings, a California based space technology development company as well as one of its subsidiaries Rideshare2Orbit, a space transportation company. He also serves as a business consultant and Director of several cutting edge NewSpace and aerospace companies.

Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese is a university professor, holds the Charles F. Bolden, Jr. Chair in Science, Space & Technology, and is former chair of the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College (NWC). In her faculty capacity she teaches Security Studies to US military officers and security practitioners from the United States and over 50 other countries. She has also been part of the Government Department faculty of Harvard Extension School and Harvard Summer School since 2004, where she teaches courses on Leadership in War and Peace, Grand Strategy and US National Security, and Women, Peace and Security. As a political scientist and educator, her research focuses on space security and Women, Peace & Security. 

She is the author of seven books on space security, the most recent (2016) Space Warfare in the 21st Century: Arming the Heavens and over 100 published articles, many with a particular focus on the Chinese space program. Johnson-Freese has also published multiple articles on aspects of Women, Peace & Security and her book, Women, Peace & Security: An Introduction, was released in December 2018. She regularly works with media including CNN, NPR, The New York Times, ABC, CBS, and Time Magazine on these topics. 


Steven Jorgenson is co-general partner of Starbridge Venture Capital. He is a founding partner of the Space Finance Group, Quantum Space Products, Space Angels Network, and Integrated Space Analytics. Steven is also an active angel investor in numerous other aerospace startups, giving him valuable personal experience as both the Investor and the startup Entrepreneur, as well as extensive experience as a professional investment fund manager. 

Jorgenson is portfolio manager for hedge fund Woodridge Capital, was previously PM for the Viridian Fund for over a decade, and in 2016 he founded Fifth Point Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor company (RIA) where he continues to serve clients as Investment Advisor Representative. Jorgenson graduated with honors from UW-Madison with degrees in bacteriology, biology, and business.


Mark (M.E.) LaPenna is the founder and CEO of Xenesis, a pioneer in Space based Optical Communications technologies. LaPenna began his career in Data Science and has worked on special projects for Exxon Mobile, Google, Apple, Air Lines Reporting Corporation (ARC), The United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and many other start-ups. Prior to founding Xenesis, LaPenna worked for Official Airline Guide in commercializing global aviation data-sets. While there, he envisioned a global flight tracking solution, utilizing satellite technology to bring global flight tracking into the 21st century. After receiving "work product release" from OAG, he left to start On Off Block Inc, a company focused on delivering the world's first Satellite Constellation capable of tracking aircraft from Space. Realizing the size and mission critical nature of the data, and the expenses associated with downlinking this much data, they pivoted from being a data creator, to the World's first commercial Optical Data Transport provider, Xenesis. Xenesis is partnered with Georgia Tech, JPL, NASA and several other companies to deliver the first Global Optical Multilayered Mesh Network System (GOMMNS). This fall, LaPenna will be a guest lecturer at The United States Air Force Academy.  

Myles Walton, CFA, is a managing director and senior analyst at UBS covering the Aerospace/Defense industry in the Americas. Prior to joining UBS, he was a managing director and senior analyst at Deutsche Bank with similar roles at Oppenheimer & Co, CIBC World Markets and Morgan Stanley before that. For more than 15 years, he’s been a leading Aerospace and Defense analyst providing insights on the industry to investors as well as corporate and government leaders. For over 20 years, Walton has been working with defense policy and studying aspects of weapons systems acquisition first with the Air Force and the NRO during his graduate studies and continuing with his relationship with the DoD’s Defense Acquisition University.

Walton is a frequent speaker at numerous industry and government conferences and has been a Distinguished Guest Lecturer at the Department of Defense’s Defense Acquisition University. He is a co-author of the 2002 book, Lean Enterprise Value: Insights from MIT’s Lean Aerospace Institute, as well as a number of conference papers and journal articles on topics ranging from finance to satellite design to lean manufacturing. He is widely quoted in financial and mainstream media as an expert on the Aerospace & Defense industry.  

Walton received his PhD and MS from MIT, both in the field of aerospace engineering with funding support from the National Reconnaissance Office. He worked on the Flight Operations team on the NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Space Telescope after doing his undergraduate work in Mechanical Engineering at WPI. Walton is a CFA charterholder and is consistently ranked as a top Aerospace & Defense analyst by Institutional Investor. He was the #1 ranked Aerospace/Defense analyst in the last year of the Greenwich Associates Survey.


*Special Notes Regarding Fees:
Regular, Candidate, and Affiliate Members may apply function tickets as payment for Nonmember or Student Member. Credit card required to guarantee ALL reservations except for reservations using Function Tickets. Day-of-event registrations accepted on-site only if applicable and space available. There is a $5 surcharge for walk-ins. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club are accepted. Cancellations accepted until 5:00 pm, September 5th.

Passport Program
Members of any CFA society may attend at the CFA Society Chicago member rate. Please call the CFA Society Chicago office at 312-251-1301 to register. If you are only a member of CFA Institute, you do not qualify for the Society member rate.

CFA Institute CE Qualified Activity
This program qualifies for credit under the guidelines for the CFA Institute Professional Development Program.

9/12/2019 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Palmer House Hilton 17 E. Monroe Street Chicago, IL 60603 UNITED STATES

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