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‘From Disney to the Cosmos’: Bridgit Mendler soars to new heights as CEO of space startup

Former Disney Channel sensation and singer, Bridgit Mendler, renowned for her roles in “Good Luck Charlie” and “Wizards of Waverly Place,” has ventured into uncharted territory, making headlines as the newly appointed CEO of Northwood Space.

The California-based startup, not your typical space endeavor, aims to revolutionize the industry by mass-producing ground stations, marking a departure from conventional rocket and satellite production.

After several years of academic pursuit at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Law School, Mendler is set to redefine her career trajectory by steering Northwood Space toward pioneering innovations in the space communications sector. Ground stations, also known as teleports, are large circular antennas connecting to satellites in space, and Northwood Space plans to make them accessible on a mass scale.

Photo Credit: Mike Windle (Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Mike Windle (Getty Images)

“The vision is a data highway between Earth and space.” Mendler shared in an interview with CNBC. Space is getting easier along so many different dimensions but still, the actual exercise of sending data to and from space is difficult. You have difficulty finding an access point for contacting your satellite,” she added.

Northwood Space has secured $6.3 million in funding, with significant contributions from Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz, among others. This substantial financial backing underscores the promising potential of Mendler’s groundbreaking venture.

In an announcement post, Mendler extended an invitation to prospective candidates to join the Northwood Space team. “We have a lot of work ahead of us but that’s the fun part. If you like building quickly and seeing your work deployed in locations around the globe with real impact, we want you at Northwood,” she declared.

Mendler’s interest in the space industry was cultivated during her time at the Federal Communications Commission’s new Space Bureau, where she developed a passion for space law. “For me, why the ground-side matters is because it actually is about bringing the impacts of space home to people,” she explained.

Northwood Space will focus on servicing satellites in low earth orbit, providing ground station networks for companies without the need to construct their infrastructure. The company’s unique approach underscores Mendler’s commitment to efficiently channeling the colossal amounts of data shared between satellites and ensuring its safe delivery to the ground.

In a world where the unexpected is the norm, Bridgit Mendler’s journey from Disney Channel fame to the helm of a space startup showcases the limitless possibilities that individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds can bring to the ever-evolving landscape of the space industry.


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