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New Wyoming Space Company

Tim Bendel, of Frontier Astronautics, is giving a presentation on how to address the gap between the ability of garage-based startups and larger companies to raise money. Not very many angels with money who are interested in space who aren't already doing it.

Giving a history of the Zeppelin. After the count lost his first ship, he threw in the towel, because he's lost all his money, but a lot of Germans sent him money, and he ended up with more than he had started with. Are there space enthusiasts who could do the same thing?

Talking about Warren Buffett's stock, and its high value that he refuses to split. Independent holding companies evolved by purchasing a few shares of Berkshire stock, and then issuing new, lower-priced stock based on that asset.

His proposal is to gather small investors for the holding company, put their money into escrow, and fund start-up space companies off the interest. Different "flavors" or classes of stock would be issued, with different Class A escrow accounts, which could be associated with specific start ups.

Unfortunately, most of the info is on his charts, which I can't read because I'm all the way in the back (where the laptop power is), and too dense for me to quickly transcribe even if I could.

He claims that it avoids sunshine laws, according to SEC lawyers that they've talked to. The basic idea is to provide a means for small investors to invest in small companies, albeit indirectly.

Issues: Have to pay for licenses, need to be broker/dealer, etc., a lot of paperwork. Probably about a hundred thousand bucks to get started. Goal is to do it for profit, in addition to helping space industry. Makes money on trades, but could also use other investment tools, such as puts and calls.

Has a business process patent on it, needs about a quarter million to start up.

Hard for me to evaluate it, given my funky state of consciousness, and inability to look at the numbers. I'll talk to TIm about it later.


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Habitat Hermit wrote:

Thank you for all the blogging so far on Space Access '08, a lot of it needs some time to sink in so I haven't commented much.

I hope we'll hear much more about this approach.

Ray wrote:

Assuming it's basically sound from a business and legal standpoint, and assuming the authorities don't consider it using a loophole that they'd try to close, the idea seemed to me to be applicable to investment in any type of "neglected entrepreneurial" business, not just space startups. It might be worthwhile to expand it to other industries to spread the overhead costs.

Maybe Tim should talk about it on the Space Show? That's a good place to try out space business ideas.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 27, 2008 10:07 PM.

Liberating The Press From Hillary was the previous entry in this blog.

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