About the Center for Space Commerce and Finance
The Center for Space Commerce and Finance (CSCF) is a Texas-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused catalyzing the growth of the NewSpace economy. CSCF develops educational programs, events, and publications focused on connecting and educating entrepreneurs and investors, with the goal of increasing investment deal flow in the commercial space industry. Our founders and team have been spearheading the development of the space economy for the last 30 years, including building, developing, and investing in space businesses. CSCF is built on this wealth of experience, with the goal of providing the industry’s most definitive resource for both entrepreneurs and investors.
Thomas Andrew Olson
Founder, Board Chair
For over three decades, Mr. Olson has been a business systems engineer and analyst in the Communications, Aerospace, and Publishing sectors. In addition, he worked in analysis and operations roles in the Financial Services sector. A serial entrepreneur, he co-founded Exodus Consulting Group as a “catalyst” helping tech startups and investors find each other, and was initially the project manager for the NewSpace Business Plan Competition, 2011-2015. Today he serves as Director of Business Development for Avealto, Ltd., based in the UK, an early-stage firm that will will soon provide High Altitude Platforms for internet and mobile services to under served areas around the world.
Laine has been involved with Space Elevator research since 2001 – initially, as a part of the definitive NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) research study. Laine (eventually) used the accumulated knowledge to form LiftPort Group to commercially construct an Elevator on the Moon.
Laine is President of LiftPort Group; LiftPort is an “idea factory” focused on commercializing the spin-off technologies developed in pursuit of the Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure. Laine’s team has discovered new metal alloys, hold records in robotics, and invented a new method of weather monitoring.
Laine’s array of professional experiences – U.S. Marine, investment advisor, internet entrepreneur, and real estate developer – have each contributed to the global program of building the Space Elevator. The Marines taught him to persevere under difficult conditions, chokepoint analysis – and most importantly at a young age – leadership skills. Managing other people’s’ money taught him to evaluate and mitigate risk. Laine learned time management, delegation, and operating at ‘internet speed’ running his first company. Finally, real estate forced Laine to focus on cash flow, politics, and the value of a stable financial foundation.
Laine is President of the U.S. Alumni Association for the International Space University and is an active Board Member of the Center for Space Commerce and Finance.
Active within the space community since 1989, Jeff received the ProSpace Activist of the Year award in 1998 for his instrumental work in creating and implementing that organization’s lobbying strategy to move the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 through Congress, laying the regulatory foundation for the NewSpace industry.
Currently Principal at Earth-Space Commerce Advisors, LLC, his space career has included roles such as IBM Systems Engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Executive Director of the Space Frontier Foundation (he has been widely recognized for dramatically improving its professional impact, reputation, and operations), and Director of the entrepreneur boot camp for the NewSpace Business Plan Competition.
Jeff has served in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Commercial Space Group, and the Operational Working Group of the US Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). He is an Ambassador for the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group, and served on the Steering Committee of the International Association of Space Entrepreneurs in its early years. In 2012, Jeff was recognized for his work as a global strategic thinker, speaker, writer and consultant on moving humanity into the solar system by being invited to join the prestigious Explorers Club in 2012.