Today, we would like to present the fourth team of our accelerator program: Disrupt Space.
Disrupt Space started in 2015 as a movement that brought entrepreneurs together with decision makers and investors to collaboratively build sustainable business models for space ventures. This movement grew from hackathons to the Disrupt Space Summit. Now Disrupt Space’s mission is to build a multi-stakeholder, community-governed platform for entrepreneurs to create and grow space ventures and to help break down barriers between space and other sectors.
One of the co-founders is Magni Johannsson. Before he launched Disrupt Space, Magni worked at the German Aerospace Center, designing the next generation of launch vehicles and space planes. Magni has a background in aerospace engineering and studied at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Moreover he was part of the Space Studies Program at the International Space University. Prior to that, Magni co-led StartupWeekend Space Bremen and was an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council in association with the United Nations.
Ke Wang recently joined Disrupt Space as program manager. She is responsible for the Disrupt Space Summit, building stronger networks and a membership platform. Prior to joining Disrupt Space, she was the COO of a culture and entertainment startup in Beijing. She also worked as a lawyer in international trade remedy and WTO dispute settlement. Ke has a bachelor’s degree in law and a master’s degree in international business law in UIBE (University of International Business and Economics) in Beijing. Currently, she pursues a master degree in Management in ESCP in Paris and Berlin, specializing in design thinking, business development and entrepreneurship.
We spoke with Disrupt Space about their idea, their mission and the Berlin startup ecosystem:
Magni, how did everything start?
I first met Philippe at the International Space University in Montréal where we worked collaboratively with more than 30 other participants on the topic of space and open innovation over the summer. This program allowed us to ask the right questions, setting us on our current path.
Taking lessons learned from the summer program and with help from friends and colleagues, we formed two teams to organize Europe’s and Asia’s first StartupWeekend Space in April 2015. It occurred simultaneously in Bremen and Shanghai and drew more than 120 participants together. To this day, we are still supporting several companies that were created through the event.
After onboarding Izan, the core team with support from the City of Bremen founded Disrupt Space to carry on the grassroots activities initiated in 2015. The following year, we moved operations to Berlin, to more effectively access the entrepreneurial ecosystem Berlin has to offer. We scaled up the summit to almost 300 people, 50 space startups and attendees from 35 countries.
Where do you see yourself in six months and two years?
In six months we will successfully achieve our next milestone. In two years, we will have a dynamically growing global community of entrepreneurs that are building new space ventures and are working towards creating a robust space economy.
Why did you choose to take part in the accelerator program? What do you expect from the program?
The program provides the resources and tools needed to reach our next milestone six months from now. We expect the AtomLeap team to support us to reach our goals and be part of the early growth of an exciting new community.
What do you like most about the Berlin startup scene?
Its maturity. Berlin has come a long way in a short time. We expect the startup scene to grow in the next few years and are happy to be part of its journey.