• Reed Smith (map)
  • 1510 Page Mill Rd # 110,
  • Palo Alto, CA 94304


Recent years have seen dramatic developments in the technology, cost and innovative applications of small satellites. The impact has already been significant—both affecting and being affected by, big data—and the business implications are going to be widespread and dramatic. Not surprisingly, Silicon Valley already has many of the most innovative players in this space, and in this session of Silicon Vikings, we will explore what lies ahead—for both local players and for Nordic companies, large and small.

We have a great panel of experts who have been involved from day 1 in the dramatic changes of this emerging industry. We will hear about the most significant, recent changes, and what lies ahead—both in terms of opportunities and challenges, and who are the most leading and innovative players in this exciting arena. What industries and applications are likely to be most affected by “Next Generation Small Satellites” and how can local (Silicon Valley) and Nordic players, small and large take advantage of what we will likely see in the next 3-5 years.

Join us in this “interactive exploration” where you will have plenty of time to interact with the panelists and get answers to your questions about this exciting area.



  • Sean Casey, PhD, MBA, Silicon Valley Space Center (SVSC). Dr. Sean Casey is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the SVSC, a business accelerator for NewSpace entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He is a member of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and has over two decades of experience as an airborne astronomer. Dr. Casey’s work has been recognized as an example of NASA’s goal for “more efficient and cost effective methodologies to instrument design and construction.” He served as a Senior Scientist with the NASA/DLR SOFIA program as management and technical lead for SOFIA’s science instrument development program, lead for science instrument integration and commissioning, and science liaison for the review of system level requirements for SOFIA’s final operating capability. He is an author and co-author on several dozen of science publications and has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Chicago and dual MBAs from the Berkeley Haas and Columbia Schools of Business.


  • Hale Reynolds, Space Systems Loral (SSL). Hale is a Director of Business Development at SSL, one of the world’s leading providers of satellites and spacecraft systems. In this role he brings the experience and resources of an established industry leader to help non-traditional space companies, including startups and entrepreneurs develop their businesses. He also acts as an “intrapreneur” at SSL to help cultivate innovative thinking and the creative pursuit of new opportunities beyond SSL’s “heritage” core business. Hale has worked in aerospace in Silicon Valley since 2010 and has expertise in antenna systems, advanced materials, robotics, and small satellites. His roles have included design engineering, research and development, project management, and business development. Hale founded SSL’s additive manufacturing division at SSL as well as an internal “Brainstorming Group,” which he grew into a 100+ member “crowdsourcing” pool of employees spanning nearly all roles and levels of management. The Brainstorming Group incorporates “design thinking” practices to solve practical SSL challenges in innovative ways. A Silicon Valley native, Hale graduated from UC Berkeley, as a double-major in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. He is a champion of innovation and innovators, encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and problem solving in the typically heritage-driven aerospace industry.


  • Stig Are Thrana, Kongsberg Satellite Services, Norway. Stig-Are heads Kongsberg division in the Silicon Valley. He is a dynamic young executive, with a unique mix of financial savvy, international experience, and technical expertise. His experience in corporate business development combined with his technical know-how enables him to streamline market-leading solutions. His involvement in ship-to-land radio and satellite communications, through work with the Royal Norwegian Navy and at Telemar, gives him an exceptional range: Full value chain knowledge of communication, and sound grasp of everything involved in bringing data from sea and space to earth. Thrana's familiarity with legacy and new technologies enables him to identify market gaps and to execute on the opportunities presented. His pioneering outlook has translated into bringing the world's leading smallSAT network, KSAT Lite, to life. With his entrepreneurial mindset and steady execution, he daily helps small startups, big satellite companies, as well as space agencies meet their needs for big data. Thrana received his B.S. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Norwegian Business School in Oslo.


  • Amin Djamshidpour, CEO of Koolock. Amin is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Koolock, Inc., a big earth data and remote sensing company focused on environmental and disaster monitoring. Before starting Koolock, Amin has co-founded Tetonsys, LLC and YSPM, LLC, which focused more on engineering services and promoting space science and education to schools by helping them launch their own satellites into space. He graduated with a M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from San Jose State University in 2008. He worked for Space Systems Loral from 2008 to 2013 as a Mechanical Design Engineer in the solar array department, leading the manufacturing of solar panels and deployable products. His involvement in nano-satellite started in 2007 by participating as the first student investigator in a NASA research proposal joint project by UCB Space Science Lab and University of Kentucky when he designed and developed a deployable solar array with the ability of full functionality in 1g environment. In 2008, he was the recipient of the outstanding research award in Astronautics from San Jose State University for his research and development of thermal shielding of the re-entry vehicles, using phase change materials. His recent designed satellite, TuPOD, was launched and released from ISS in January 2017, carrying two smaller satellites (Tubesats) that were successfully deployed from the TuPOD three days later into low earth orbit. The TuPOD mission marked the first ever fully 3D printed nano-satellite deploying other smaller satellites into space independently. Amin is an associate fellow of SSPI (Society of Satellites Professional International) and a fellow of VLAB.




  • Brock Hinzmann. Brock is chairman, Silicon Valley Node, The Millennium Project and Former Director of SRI’s TechMonitoring (now Explorer) program. Brock’s expertise lies in anticipating the future and identifying early new business opportunities, built on 33 years at one of the world's foremost research institutes (SRI International), in the heart of Silicon Valley. His skill is to balance the various perspectives from trends in technology, social and market demands, and competing business models to make sense of the many bits and pieces of the future that are arriving constantly. He has conducted research and consulting projects on innovation in Small Satellites, Nanotechnology, Pervasive Computing, Advanced Interfaces, Robots, Sensors, Energy, 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing/Rapid Prototyping, and many advanced materials technologies. Clients are mostly in Japan, Korea, and the United States of America, including mostly commercial corporations and some government agencies, and, to a lesser extent, in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Brock has published numerous reports and delivered presentations to clients around the world.