Speaker: Startup Space 2018 Entrepreneur Pitch Contest
Joel Viñas was raised in Central Florida, in the shadow of the Space Coast. After service in the U.S. Marine Corps as an avionics technician, he transitioned from technical proficiency towards a business focus. A Star Trek fan, he was torn between "engineering gold" and "command red" - so decided to do both. While pursuing his business degree at the University of Central Florida, he began advising college entrepreneurs.
Upon graduating, his passion for space was ignited by the progress of the commercial space market. Since then, he's been an ardent supporter of human space settlement. He has served as the operations manager for the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace Business Plan Competition, and was the former Executive Director of the Center for Space Commerce and Finance.
Joel is an Advocate for the Space Frontier Foundation, a member of the National Space Society, Planetary Society and Chicago Astronomical Society. He currently serves as an advisor and coach to space startups, and is co-founder and board member of Chicago's space-centric networking organization, NewSpace Chicago.