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Former Disney Channel star Bridgit Mendler becomes space startup CEO

The new company, Northwood Space, aims to mass-produce ground stations for communication with space. It has already received $6.3 million in funding.
Former Disney Channel star Bridgit Mendler becomes space startup CEO
Posted at 1:02 PM, Feb 20, 2024

Former Disney channel star Bridgit Mendler is having quite the career shift.

The actress, known for roles in “Good Luck Charlie” and “Wizards of Waverly Place,” is now a space-startup CEO.

The new company, called Northwood Space, aims to mass-produce ground stations, which are Earth-based radio stations used for communication with spacecraft or other locations in space.

“Expect the unexpected,” Mendler said on X.

“At Northwood Space, we have our sights on building a data highway between Earth and space. We are designing shared ground infrastructure from first principles to expand access to space,” Mendler said.

The company has received $6.3 million in funding, with the bulk coming from Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz, in addition to other contributions.

In her announcement post, Mendler also issued a call for interested prospects to apply for a role at Northwood.

“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 said.

Mendler has spent the past several years studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Law School, according to CNBC.

Mendler told CNBC her venture into the space industry was inspired by her “engineering household” and time spent at the Federal Communications Commission’s new Space Bureau, where she “completely fell in love with space law.”

“The vision is a data highway between Earth and space,” Mendler told 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.”

Mendler also commented on why she wants to focus on ground stations rather than rockets or satellites.

“For me, why the ground-side matters is because it actually is about bringing the impacts of space home to people,” she said.

With “colossal” amounts of data shared between satellites, the goal is to get the information to the ground safely and efficiently. It will focus on servicing satellites in low earth orbit, targeting companies that need ground station networks without having to build their own, according to Space Impulse.

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