Bessemer, Playground, Root and Seraphim VC to judge TC Sessions: Space Pitch-off • CableFree TV

Watching outstanding aspiring founders compete against each other is not only an integral part of TechCrunch conferences, but also a favorite pastime for attendees. Seriously, who doesn’t love pitch-offs? And Space Pitch-off is another good reason to visit TC Sessions: Space December 6th in Los Angeles. Let’s take a look at the judges who should be impressed by our fearless startups.

But first, if you haven’t done the deed yet, buy a pass through December 1, 11:59 PM PST. When the clock strikes midnight, prices go up.

eLet’s go back to the beginning of the game. Be in the room as three of the brightest early-stage space startups take the stage in front of a live audience – for fame, media coverage, investor interest and, please, drumroll, automatic rankings. Launch of Battlefield 200 at Disrupt 2023. TechCrunch is selecting a cohort of 200 early-stage startups for a VIP experience that includes, to start, all three days of the show – for free – and a chance at $100,000.

Without further ado, here are the investors who should be impressed by the launch contenders: Jori Bellgeneral partner of Playground Global; Mark Boggettco-founder and CEO of Seraphim Space; Tess Hatch, partner of Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP); as well as Emily Henrikssondirector of Root Ventures.

Jori Bell was the source of some of Playground Global’s early investments, including Nervana Systems (acquired by Intel). His first three investments in the firm are now unicorns, and one, Velo3D, went public last year.

Bell is leading the firm’s investment efforts in deep technology areas, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, computational therapy, energy, genomics, materials, next-generation computing, and quantum and synthetic biology. His investment portfolio includes Mangata Networks, Relativity Space and Strand Therapeutics, just to name a few.

Mark Boggett, a pioneer in space technology investment, co-founded the Seraphim Space Fund and invested in a portfolio of three companies that reached billion dollar valuations. Previously, Boggett served as a director of YFM Equity Partners, the firm behind prominent UK small companies VCT 1 and 2.

Boggett also worked for Brewin Dolphin and Williams de Broë. He holds a BA in Accounting and Finance and an MA in Economics and Finance from the University of Leeds.

Tess Hatch, a Silicon Valley-based partner of BVP, promotes entrepreneurship in cutting-edge technologies, specifically in the commercialization of space, drones, autonomous vehicles, agricultural and food technologies. She currently serves as Board Director for DroneDeploy, Iris Automation, Phantom Auto, and Spire Global, and Board Observer for Black Sheep Foods, Forever Oceans, Rocket Lab, and Velo3D.

Hatch was included in the Forbes “30 Under 30 Years in Venture Capital” rating. She speaks and contributes regularly to Bloomberg, TechCrunch and other space and advanced technology publications. Earlier in her career, she worked at Boeing and later at SpaceX, where she worked with the government to integrate their payload with the Falcon 9 rocket.

Hatch received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford.

Emily Henriksson is the head of Root Ventures, a firm specializing in investments in three areas: tools and infrastructure, low-cost robotics, hardware and data science. Prior to joining Root, she worked as a propulsion engineer and flight engineer for the SpaceX Falcon, as well as supervising vehicle assembly for critical missions.

Henriksson also worked on the Model 3 battery module development team at Tesla. She holds a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

TC Sessions: Space will be held December 6 in Los Angeles. Buy your pass todayand then join us to see and learn about the latest space technologies and trends, meet rising star founders and network for opportunities to build a stronger startup.

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at