Front Page: VC Firm Embedded Ventures Signs Cooperative Agreement With U.S. Space Force

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by Sandra Erwin — October 13, 2021
Embedded Ventures co-founder Jenna Bryant participates in a STEM forum on the streaming site Twitch. Credit: @EmbeddedVC

This is the Space Force’s first cooperative agreement with a venture capital firm

WASHINGTON — Embedded Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in space startups, has signed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Space Force, the company announced Oct. 13.

Under the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, Embedded Ventures will work with SpaceWERX, a new Space Force organization created to build ties with commercial industry and startups. Terms and length of the agreement are not known.

“The parties will collaboratively investigate the potential benefits of leveraging VC investment practices to accelerate the pace of change and innovation,” the firm said in a news release. “They will also examine the U.S. Space Force and industry business relationships to define future methods for investment into the VC ecosystem.”

This is the Space Force’s first cooperative agreement with a VC firm. According to the company, the CRADA “enables the two entities to cooperate on research and development opportunities promoting U.S. industry growth to prepare the future of an expanded aerospace economy and to defend U.S. interests.”

Embedded Ventures, based in Los Angeles, was founded in November 2020 by tech entrepreneur Jenna Bryant and Jordan Noone, who was co-founder of Relativity Space. The firm has not announced what specific space ventures it is investing in, but said they are companies in the space infrastructure sector developing dual-use technologies for commercial and government use, including in-space communications and logistics, life extension vehicles and resource extraction.

“SpaceWERX is excited to formalize this agreement with Embedded Ventures, creating a highly collaborative and efficient workflow between our two groups, while keeping us all accountable,” said Lt. Col. Walter “Rock” McMillan, director of SpaceWERX.

Mandy Vaughn, former president of Virgin Orbit’s VOX Space, is an operating partner at Embedded Ventures and helped develop the agreement. She stated that space is unique in that it uses commercial industry as an integral component of every space capability. Vaughn has advocated for changes in government procurement culture to allow it to take advantage of new technologies and services from commercial space industry.

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