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BRITEside Chat with Kurt Sacksteder

What is a BRITEside Chat?

Put simply, it’s kind of like the fireside chats you’re used to going to at a conference. But it’s so much more. It’s an opportunity for our entrepreneurial family to get together. Here, we practice our elevator pitches, share updates & triumphs and, most of all, we seek to grow & learn together. In fact, that last one is why we invited you here!

What You can Expect

Every BRITEside Chat starts with an elevator pitch: yours. Give us your best 60 second introduction and help us all understand what makes you special. Next, your BRITE host will introduce the week’s guest speaker. Our speaker will bring their knowledge and expertise to you and share their outlook on how it shapes and affects entrepreneurship as we know it.

Our guest will field your toughest questions (so be ready to brainstorm!) before our host rounds out the discussion by picking your brain, asking about your triumphs and tribulations and wishing you well until next week. We’re building a platform to encourage our fellow entrepreneurs to learn, grow and create, so please share your ideas and come ready to talk, but please give others the time and space to do the same.

What You shouldn’t Expect

This is not an opportunity for someone to sell you something and vice versa. We would all love to hear what you’ve been working on but no one enjoys being sold to at a networking event. If you would like to make a tailored pitch to our speaker, invite them to connect with you outside of our BRITEside Chat.

Please do not disclose any private information you don’t want your fellow entrepreneurs to know. We’re trying to get to know more about each other’s business and will try to respect each other’s business practices, but we can’t allot time in the agenda to sign NDA’s.

Kurt Sacksteder

Dr. Kurt R. Sacksteder is the Deputy Center Chief Technologist at NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Prior to his assignment as the Deputy Center Chief Technologist in 2018, Dr. Sacksteder was the Manager of the NASA Space Technology Research Grants Program Office providing support annually for hundreds of university-based technology development grants. Dr. Sacksteder worked for 28 years in what is now the Low-Gravity Exploration Technology Branch, inaugurating the use of parabolic aircraft for combustion science studies and introducing the use of the aircraft for partial-gravity environmental studies.

He was the Project Scientist for the first LeRC/GRC Space Shuttle experiment and participated in 15 Space Shuttle and Mir Space Station missions as Project Scientist, Co-Investigator, or Principal Investigator for various combustion science experiments. Dr. Sacksteder served for over 20 years as the NASA Co-chair of the Microgravity Combustion Science Discipline Working Group and as a member of the European Space Agency (ESA) Microgravity Combustion Expert Group.

Dr. Sacksteder led the multi-disciplinary effort at GRC developing In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technologies for eight years, coordinating ISRU system modeling, lunar water and oxygen production reactors, excavation devices, granular flow, seals, and the use of solar concentrators to provide ISRU process heat. Dr. Sacksteder also served for a combined five years as the Chief of the Space Environment and Experiments Branch and of the Environmental Effects and Coatings Branch which develop state of the art materials and coatings for Aeronautics and Space Applications.

At this week’s Chat, Kurt will be discussing NASA’s “Watts on the Moon” Challenge. The Challenge seeks solutions for energy distribution, management, and/or storage that address NASA technology gaps and can be further developed for space flight and future operation on the lunar surface. Participating in the challenge has the potential to open the door for startups to a working relationship with NASA, in addition to the available prizes! Learn more about the Watts on the Moon Challenge here:


Dec 17 2020



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