Founder Event - Skybox Imaging
Skybox Imaging has since been acquired by Google for $500M. Its four founders were all Stanford graduates.
Originally posted on SSI's first website in 2013:
The Student Spaceflight Initiative was proud to host Dan Berkenstock, Ching-Yu Hu, and Mike Trela, 3 of the first 5 people of Skybox Imaging on February 5. All alumni of Stanford, they described the critical role Stanford played in helping them start Skybox- it was where the founders and first employees met, the class MS&E 273 introduced them to advisers and other resources that helped them raise their initial funding. Dan was sure to emphasize that “Stanford Students are the natural resource” needed in the entrepreneurship field, since their technical backgrounds and experience give them the authenticity and Stanford provides the resources and references that entrepreneurs need to generate credibility. Speaking specifically to space entrepreneurship, Dan, Ching-Yu, and Mike discussed that two most important things in their mind were anchoring the company in a customer market of today and breaking the goals down into concrete milestones that can be achieved without huge sums of money.
The idea behind Skybox Imaging is to create a constellation of small imaging satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide daily high-resolution imagery of the Earth’s surface. They seek to provide a platform of which the satellites are only a part - ground stations and personalized dishes among other things to make the collection and distribution of imagery easy and efficient. Already, they’re ground stations are being created and their first satellite- Skysat 1- has undergone all of its testing and is on track for launch this summer. Best of luck to the team and we hope that all goes well with upcoming launches!