Virgin Galactic CEO Whitesides to Speak to Congressional Black Caucus

George Whitesides and CBC members lead the discussion on jobs creation and business opportunities for blacks in space commercialization

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 6, 2010) — Coinciding with the Congressional Black Caucus, an exciting forum will explore how space entrepreneurship presents economic and development opportunities to emerging minority-owned businesses.

The forum will be held at the Rayburn Building’s Science and Technology Committee Room (Room 2318), September 15 from 3:00 – 5pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Two expert panels will discuss the future of private space commercialization and entrepreneurship including Congress and NASA representatives as well as space industry speakers from Goddard Space Center, the Department of Commerce’s Space Commercialization Office, the commercial space transportation division of the FAA, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, JAKA Consulting Group, and the Google Lunar X PRIZE JURBAN Team.

To kick-off the forum promptly at 3:00pm, Representative Donna Edwards will introduce the keynote speaker, George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, who will share opening remarks about the future of the commercial space industry.

Coordinated by JAKA Consulting Group & the Google Lunar X PRIZE Jurban Team, in cooperation with Representatives Donna F. Edwards (MD-4), member of the House Diversity Innovation Caucus, Diane Watson (CA-33), Chaka Fattah (PA-2) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) the forum will feature representatives from Congress and the private sector to discuss current and future opportunities for minority-owned businesses in addition to success stories and funding strategies.

“President Obama’s commitment to science, research, and technology are critical as we begin the important 21st century reinvention of our nation’s space program,” says Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4). “It is clear that space entrepreneurship has the potential to become a multi-billion dollar industry for African American businesses. Drawing on President Obama’s leadership, it was important for me to organize this event to create a forum for African American businesses to learn about the industry, available opportunities now and in the future, and to discover ways of getting involved in the ever-growing world of the space industry.”

Moderated by Ken Harvey, former Washington Redskins linebacker and president of JAKA Consulting Group, the forum is an exciting opportunity for participants ranging from business professionals, research faculty, HBCU leadership and college students to learn about the emerging business and economic opportunities for minority businesses in the space and technology sector.

Allen Herbert, vice president of development for JAKA Consulting, says “Jobs creation is the key to improving the economy and space commercialization has the ability to empower African American entrepreneurs to take command of our communities as never before.”

Dr. Jayfus T. Doswell, director of the Google Lunar X PRIZE JURBAN team, says “Now is the time in our history to reach beyond our comfort zones and explore new horizons, build new frontiers, and travel to new heights to achieve innovative products and services that deeply penetrate the competitive space commercialization marketplace. The time is now. Space is available.”

For more information and to register please visit http://www.juxtopia.org/jurban/ by clicking the Space Entrepreneurship Forum link or call 703 230-5252.

  • Sandy Mandrin

    George certainly seems to have landed rather nicely on his feet after Bolden fired him.