Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Business plan info...

I'm on the space show tonight and I have been meaning to make the documents from the NewSpace business plan competition public... so here they are.
The goal was to assume the technology worked and to emphasize the business aspects.
So those that are looking for lots of technical details will be disappointed...

The Executive summary.

The Full Plan. (Written in a hurry while I had a 103 deg fever.)

The Slide deck... zipped up...


MTO said...

Minor nit: in your financials in the executive summary, you list "2016" twice.

QuantumG said...

You asked for comments about a Kickstarter.

First: you need to put together an awesome video that shows who you are. That means saying hi to the camera and then showing your awesome rocket work. Videos are what drives donations on Kickstarter.

Some ideas for donation levels:

Offer email updates on your progress for the lowest (and all other) levels. Those of us who donate to Kickstarters just love to get those updates which no-one else gets.

The video updates sounds like a great idea too, but again, you need to make it exclusive for donators.

I've seen people offering stickers, patches, T-shirts, etc, for various levels. Some (ITAR free) models of the vehicle you're building might also be interesting.

For the $500+ levels you can offer to do a 30 min Skype chat with the contributor, where they can ask all their questions face-to-face.

For higher levels you can offer to give them a tour of FAR or your workshop, etc.

peterfirefly said...

Some nits:
You have a few sapce's in the business plan and a believe it is XCOR Aerospace, not Xcor.

"that farther reduce the performance available" -- I believe it's "further".

"not a an Apple II"
"The launch will first stage will launch"

There's a font switch after "5. Management team and advisors.".


In the table on p.21: "Total Launch campaing costs", "Availible", "Availbile".

Table on pp.22-24: 3x "Pressureization", 3x "controll", 1x "Distruct". Also, I believe the amounts there are in dollars, correct?

Metric units: Kg => kg, m/sec => m/s. (Upper-case K stands for kelvin, not kilo, so 'Kg' means 'kelvin-gram'.)

peterfirefly said...

I have now read the business plan but not the slides (and I haven't heard the show yet).

So far I think it's looking good and it sounds exciting, especially if you can bring Ben Brockert on board!

Possibly our seas are more crowded than yours or the Danish government is more strict, but keeping the launch area clear of foreign ships is not something Copenhagen Suborbitals (of which I am not a member) could do alone and that service (from the Marine Home Guard) costs quite a bit per launch campaign. Can you really get away with something so simple as you describe in the plan?

As to the electronics, I have no idea why the other teams insist on dragging so much electronics along on their rockets ;)

Anonymous said...

I believe your salary plan for engineers and technicians seems optimistic. Veteran engineers usually have children, wives, ex-wives, ex-husbands, who push them to earn superior salaries. Add in Fringes,
and it gets to be a lot more then what I saw in your financials.

Stevo Harrington said...

No excuses, (103 fever) Beethoven wrote the 9th deaf.

I want to hear more about the customers, how many, do they really have money, can they write a check today, or must they write a grant proposal first? Who is paying for their launches now, grants, commercial businesses or?


Paul Breed said...

Basically the small sat conference documents projects launched. Based on the slide you can see its clearly an exponential curve... I've talked to people in the business of brokering cubesat launches and 250K for a 3U is becomming normal for a 2ndary payload with nebulous launch date... If you can just cut 6 mo off the nebulous launch date you can justify the 250->2400K rpice difference, add in the minimal qualification and ability to launch propulsion, energetic radios etc and I've gotten very little pushback on the 400K price from people launching real sats.

Joe Stanton said...

Nice documents, Paul. I enjoyed reading them. 1.5M and you not drawing a salary? Aggressive. RE: The nitpickers, would a grammar and spell checked help? Yes, but you are not asking for funding to be a writer, and you did not ask them to proofread it. Nevertheless, attention to detail is important and sloppy writing leads to wrong impressions.

Steve Rogers said...

Sorry, but I haven't been following your work. You're obviously serious here, but has this, or it will this be a submission to the NewSpace Business Plan Competition?

Re: Kickstarter - I just participated in funding the Parallella project funding and only found the video to be of minor importance, but YMMV. For me having both a good technical and business case was the deciding factor.

Paul Breed said...

Yes steve, this was the Submission for the SBPC the executive summary got me into the finals, I did not place in the top 3 in the finals.

Steve Rogers said...

Some thoughts on Kickstarter pitfals:

Steve Rogers said...

A market you may not have considered that your design could address is rapid response launch on demand. The DoD is interested in this and DARPA might be persuaded to fund a technology demo. This capability would have considerable military value. News and disaster response organizations would also be interested.

Steve Rogers said...

I also didn't see redundancy mentioned in your avionics design. SpaceX is reporting that reboots from radiation hits contributed to the anomalies in the CRS-1 launch.

Paul Breed said...

We are actually having a discussion about redundancy in avionics on the arocket list.

Basicly one side says commercial parts don't work, and the other side says they have been flying commercial parts in 800Km sun syncronous orbit for 8 years.... Truth is probably inbetween the two positions and added note that feature sizes were larger for 10yr old electronics. If your interested in this stuff arocket is interesting, sometimes the S/N ratio is wrong. (http://exrocketry.net/mailman/listinfo/arocket)

Steve Rogers said...

I'm confident that commercial parts can work in LEO with good redundancy to support fault tolerance. A cost/reliability optimized system might use rad hard parts for subsystems and commercial for others.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look at the list.

Thad Beier said...


If your numbers are realistic -- and I have to presume they are given your business and rocket-building experience -- couldn't this be something that could be funded by venture capital? Your return on investment looks really good, the market is there, and it really does look like you've done most of the hard work already.

It strikes me that the biggest un-answered questions relate to guidance. You obviously have succeeded in control; but tracking the rocket's position, orientation, and velocity to the accuracy required with only on-board sensors hasn't been done yet by anybody working in the sub-million dollar range. I'd be curious what kind of system Orbital uses for their Pegasus launcher. Your third stage is so light and lacking inertia that the response time woud have to be in the millisecond range.

Others here have responded that your engineer cost seems low -- I would presume that like other startups you would augment their salary with some kind of ownership -- and again, those shares look like they could pay off quickly.

It really looks like a good plan, Paul.

iain meek said...

Brilliant. Hope it flies.

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