Bessemer, Playground, Root and Seraphim VC will judge the TC Sessions: Space Pitch-off

Watching prominent founders in early stage competition is not only an essential part of TechCrunch conferences, but also a favorite among attendees. Seriously, who doesn’t love a pitch-off? And the Space Pitch-off is another compelling reason to go TC sessions: space on December 6 in Los Angeles. Let’s take a look at the judges our intrepid startups will have to impress.

But first, if you haven’t done the deed yet, buy your pass before December 1st at 11:59 PM PST. When the clock strikes midnight, prices go up.

Let’s go back to the pitch. Be in the room when three of the brightest early-stage space startups take the stage in front of a live audience – for fame, media exposure, investor interest and, please, an automatic spot in Launch Battlefield 200 at Disrupt 2023. TechCrunch is selecting a cohort of 200 early-stage startups to receive a VIP experience that includes, for starters, exposure to all three days of the show — for free — and a chance at $100,000.

Without further ado, here are the investors who should impress pitch-off contenders: Jory BellGeneral Partner at Playground Global; Mark Bogetco-founder and CEO of Seraphim Space; Tess Hatch, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP); and Emily Henriksondirector of Root Ventures.

Jory Bell source of some of Playground Global’s earliest investments, including Nervana Systems (acquired by Intel). His first three investments in the firm are now unicorns, and one, Velo3D, went public last year.

Bell leads the firm’s investment efforts in deep technology areas, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, computational therapy, energy, genomics, materials, next-generation computing, and quantum and synthetic biology. His investment portfolio includes Mangata Networks, Relativity Space and Strand Therapeutics to name a few.

Mark Boget, a pioneer in space technology investment, co-founded the Seraphim Space Fund and invests in a portfolio that includes three companies that have achieved billion-dollar valuations. Boggett was previously a director at YFM Equity Partners, the firm behind high-profile UK small caps VCT 1 and 2.

Boget also worked at Brewin Dolphin and Williams de Broë. He graduated with a BA in Accounting and Finance and obtained an MA in Economics and Finance from the University of Leeds.

Tess Hatch, a BVP partner based in Silicon Valley, promotes entrepreneurship in frontier technologies, specifically the commercialization of space, drones, autonomous vehicles, and agriculture and food technologies. She currently serves as a director on the boards of DroneDeploy, Iris Automation, Phantom Auto, and Spire Global, and as an observer on the boards of Black Sheep Foods, Forever Oceans, Rocket Lab, and Velo3D.

Hatch was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital list. She speaks and is published regularly in Bloomberg, TechCrunch and other space and frontier technology publications. Earlier in her career, she worked for Boeing and then SpaceX, where she worked with the government to integrate its payloads with the Falcon 9 rocket.

Hatch earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford.

Emily Henrikson is a principal at Root Ventures, a firm focused on investing in three areas: tools and infrastructure, low-cost robotics, and hardware and data science. Prior to joining Root, she worked as a propulsion engineer and designed flight hardware for the SpaceX Falcon and oversaw vehicle construction for schedule-critical missions.

Henriksson also worked on the Model 3 battery module team at Tesla. She holds an MSc and BS in mechanical engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

TC sessions: space takes place on December 6 in Los Angeles. Buy your pass todayand then join us to see and learn about the latest space technologies and trends, meet rising star founders, and network for opportunities to build a stronger startup.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: Space? Contact our sponsorship sales team via filling out this form.

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