After surveying the scene of figuring out what it takes to be a NewSpace entrepreneur, there appears to be a trend. You might ask, what is the difference between a NewSpace Entrepreneur and just an ordinary Entrepreneur? I call it the magic sauce.
The sauce, in the same way, that makes ramen different from that made in Japan and elsewhere. A taste you cannot replicate and where the rule is not written in stone. Rather it is a natural progression or journey that seems to be effortless.
As many of us know, entrepreneurship can be messy from the angle of how fast past things are. The system of psychological challenges, endless pitching and investor meetings. Somehow though there is a creation to what these entrepreneurs can do.
Because they are in search of something.
At Singularity University, they call it, finding the world’s greatest challenge and impacting on a billion people. For the entrepreneurs that I have spoken to so far, they have an eagle eye for attention to detail and purpose. Nothing deters them. Of course they may doubt, but they don’t question their intention and will to make this difference of theirs.
In Japan, there is an interesting trend that I have observed, and my survey consists of about 40 active individuals in NewSpace or shifting from Old space to NewSpace and they are as follows:
- They are international at heart
What I mean by that is that they really are international citizens. They may have studied and lived in Japan, but for the most part, their minds are occupied by the world at large. They have ventured out of their comfort zone, from the countryside to city; from big city to bigger cities. They have overcome their fear of learning another language and have indulged the world with their talents. They truly exist in their higher selves and not shy to share that.
- Clear vision
Clarity is a great source of inspiration in the world too noisy and busy with social media. When opinions come freely and often, it is hard to find a place where we can sit down and just listen to our own mind and voices. For the entrepreneurs that I have spoken to, they have a clear vision, so clear that I too want to try and visualise and extract that clarity. When we talk about NewSpace we have a vision – I too have a vision – enabling others to realise and build the NewSpace ecosystem. My vision is to engage everyone and all stakeholders to make it happen, not leaving anyone out and certainly, not just leaving it to the scientists, but also rather embracing everyone as a worthy stakeholder.
- Knowing their limitations
One candid entrepreneur said to me it’s like a war, but it’s not what you think. It’s a self-imposed kind of expectation. As entrepreneurs they are their own bosses, they are in charge of their own time, who they meet, how they do things. The concept of war is they need to prioritise, they need to care about what truly matters, and then leave other things aside. This balance of priorities is not easy. For many, I sense there is a true introvert inside. Becoming a CEO or Founder has in many ways forced them to come out of their shell. It has forced them to come out of their comfort zone to realise their dreams and this all makes sense.
For the most part, most of the entrepreneurs in NewSpace do have a technical background, say engineering, aerospace, sciences with a few in economics, with MBAs and consulting backgrounds. Yet, when you come to think of it, these technical backgrounds can lead to very difficult conversations to what we see on social media or at events. This is not a change in personality, but rather training a dormant side of them.
- Strong purpose
What is your purpose in life? Why do you do what you do?
Come to think of it, there are many things we can do in life that is far easier than running a NewSpace start-up? Why? The risks are high, the rewards are low, and at least in the most immediate sense you are talking long term, so long that maybe we won’t see the rewards until long – many years to come. Yet that is the exact reason, which draws people into NewSpace. It is about shaping the future and not being fearful about it.
How often is it that people are scared to speak out? Or create waves? Or say something different?
NewSpace is all of that. It is about doing something different to get us to speak. NewSpace is about engaging non-traditional space actions to get to space.
It is not about looking at space as just a mere galaxy way beyond our reach, but rather to say I am going there, who else wants to join me?
I truly believe the NewSpace entrepreneurs are the leaders of the future because their vision does not stop to what they are exposed to or what limits there are. Rather it is truly the opposite, they have visions so great, that it makes sense to listen to them.
It makes sense to understand that whilst it sounds like what they are doing is like a dream- rovers on the Moon, robotics in space, growing meat in space, cleaning up space debris in space and communications in space – is it truly impossible? Of course not. In their minds, it’s a done deal, they can’t wait to see it being realised.
For me, that aspect of the law of attraction is so real. That ability to have a vision and see it happen is what I enjoy working with entrepreneurs on. The mindset is not just about survival but beyond that. It is about sensing a different dimension of living, enhancing the possibilities of humanity and the Universe.
I raise my toast to NewSpace entrepreneurs and believe 2019 would see a great year for NewSpace.
Written by Helen Tung
Emergent Tech Advisor/ MINERVA fellow- Space Applications & GNSS, EU – Japan Centre
Creative Convenor, EU-Japan NewSpace2060 Illustrated Haiku Competition 2019