Keizai Events

The New Space Industry: Views from the US and Japan

Over the last several years, the technology industry has turned to space ddds yet another area it can disrupt. Tech titans such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are involved with space launch startups and even Google has purchased a satellite company. With Silicon Valley’s latest focus on the space industry, the forum will discuss the role private industry, Silicon Valley companies and investors are currently playing in the space industry versus other areas in the US. It must also be recognized that the US isn’t the only country with a space industry to disrupt; we will also discuss the Japanese space industry and the possibilities of cooperation between Silicon Valley and Japan in this exciting field.


Sean Casey

Managing Director, Silicon Valley Space Center

Dr. Sean Casey is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Silicon Valley Space Center, a business accelerator for NewSpace entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He is a member of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and has over two decades of experience as an airborne astronomer. Dr. Casey’s work has been recognized as an example of NASA’s goal for “more efficient and cost effective methodologies to instrument design and construction…”. He served as a Senior Scientist with the NASA/DLR SOFIA program, management and technical lead for SOFIA’s science instrument development program, lead for science instrument integration and commissioning, and science liaison for the review of system level requirements for SOFIA’s final operating capability. He is an author and co-author on several dozen science publications and has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Chicago and dual MBAs from the Berkeley Haas and Columbia Schools of Business.

Rainer Sternfeld

CEO, Planet OS

Rainer Sternfeld is the CEO and Founder of Planet OS, a cloud-based data solutions company for the geospatial services market. A robotics engineer and product developer by training, Rainer is an experienced entrepreneur focused on data-driven businesses that grow enterprises and designing human interaction with data. Prior to Planet OS, Sternfeld led ABB Group to establish the world’s first nation-wide fast-charging infrastructure for electric cars. For 5 years, he led ABB Business and Corporate Development initiatives in the Baltic region. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the World Ocean Council, is the co-designer of the Statue of Liberty of Estonia and has spent the last 14 years in building and managing new businesses, new products and organizations in startup, corporate, academic and public/NGO environments.

Kohei Taya

Vice President, IHI Inc.

Kohei Taya is Vice President of the Research Division at IHI Inc. as well as a Venture Associate at Draper Nexus Ventures. He joined IHI in September 2005, starting in the System Design Group of Space Development Department. He was in charge of GX launch vehicle system development as well as LOX/Methane Propulsion system development. Since October 2014, Mr. Taya has been in the Business Development Division of IHI, with one focus being looking for new business opportunities mainly with start-ups. In April 2015 Mr. Taya started work as the IHI Liaison at Draper Nexus Venture, where IHI is a member L.P. Mr. Taya graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2005, with a M.S. in aerospace engineering. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer of Japan (, Aerospace). He was a member of Astrodynamics Technical Committee in the Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences (JSASS) in 2013 and 2014.

The New Space Industry: Views from the US and Japan

Phil Keys

Marketing Content Manager, Intertrust Technologies

Phil Keys is a Marketing Content Manager for Intertrust Technologies, a company specializing in trusted distributed computing. He is also a published columnist for the Nikkei Business Daily (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun) as well as a Forbes contributor. Mr. Keys was a Silicon Valley correspondent for Nikkei Business Publications for 14 years and has worked in the technology industry both in the US and Japan. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of California Berkeley.


Friday, September 23, 2016

PROGRAM: 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
NETWORKING: 8:15 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
650 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304

English Flyer
Japanese Flyer


$15: Early Bird Discount for first 30 registrations by September 6 (11PM)

$20: Regular Registration by Monday, September 19 (11 PM)

$35: Late Registration by Wednesday, September 21 (Noon)

$50: Walk-ins (Seats are limited and may not be available)

Food, including sushi and beverages, will be served.