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Disney Channel Actress Bridgit Mendler Launches Spatial Data Startup


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Top line

Bridgit Mendler, an actress and singer best known for her roles on Disney Channel's “Good Luck Charlie” and “Lemonade Mouth,” is adding a CEO title to her resume with her satellite data startup Northwood Space.

Key facts

Mendler will serve as CEO of Northwood Space, which plans to produce ground stations or antennas on Earth that connect and send information to satellites, she announced in a cheep Monday.

The startup will aim to build a “data highway between Earth and space,” Mendler told CNBC, and will focus on rapidly producing and deploying ground stations to facilitate the vast amount of data being sent as the space industry keep growing.

Mendler said Northwood Space is launch with $6.3 million in seed funding, backed by investors including Founders Fund (which was founded by Peter Thiel, who is worth $7.3 billion according to Forbes estimates), Andreessen Horowitz (co-founder Marc Andreessen has a value of 1.8 billion dollars) and Also Capital.

Mendler said he “fell in love with space law” at the Federal Communications Commission's Space Office, where he worked in 2022 according to his LinkedIn profile, and that he came up with the idea for the company during the Covid-19 pandemic with his husband and his partner. -founder, engineer Griffin Cleverly.

The startup will reportedly test its first connection to an orbiting satellite later this year.

crucial quote

“Space is getting easier in so many different dimensions, but still the actual exercise of sending data to and from space is difficult,” Mendler told CNBC.

Surprising fact

The number of satellites in space is increasing rapidly: The US Government Accountability Office reported that there were about 5,500 satellites orbiting Earth in 2022, and suggested that an additional 58,000 could be launched by 2030. Despite the rapid Increasing space activity, Northwood Space says Earth's architecture hasn't changed much since the 1960s, making data transfer difficult due to the “cololossal” amount of information traveling to and from space.

Key background

Mendler rose to fame with roles on Disney Channel, including the lead role in “Good Luck Charlie” (2010-2014), a sitcom in which her character makes a series of video diaries offering life advice to her sister. small. She guest-starred on several other Disney shows, had a recurring role on “Wizards of Waverly Place” and directed the Disney film “Lemonade Mouth.” Mendler has also had a successful music career, with songs like “Ready or Not,” which has 275 million streams on Spotify, and “Hurricane.” Mendler continued to release music, including her 2016 EP “Nemesis,” while pursuing college. She attended the University of Southern California and received her master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2020, according to her LinkedIn. She is also pursuing a Ph.D. from MIT and a law degree from Harvard University, where she was co-president of the Harvard Space Society, her LinkedIn indicates. Mendler's pivot from entertainment to academia has drawn admiration from fans on social media and tweets about her and her resume. versatility they have often gone viral. “Hurricane” has also been used widely in TikTok videos, although the original version of the song is no longer available after United Music Group pulled its catalog from the platform.

Tangent

Mendler had long teased fans that he had an announcement on the way, which many took as a sign that new music was coming. In November 2022, Mendler tweeted “hello world”, garnering 140,000 likes from excited fans, and “K wait calmly to receive news”, obtaining more than 80,000 likes. She clarified in a follow-up. mail a year after the news “will not be what you expected.” Mendler had previously tweeted an audio clip showcasing music in April 2021 that garnered 50,000 likes. She acknowledged her fans' desire for new music after announcing Northwood Space on Monday. narration one fan who lamented the long wait: “have you ever heard of satellite radio?”

Other readings

Disney Star Turned Space CEO: Bridgit Mendler Launches Satellite Data Startup Backed by Major Venture Capitalists (CNBC)

Bridgit Mendler talks growing up and coming of age in The Patch House (Billboard)



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