WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Michigan-Based Orbion Space Technologies Secures $20 Million in Funding (Episode 250)

On today’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses Orbion Space Technologies, a Michigan-based company that’s working on developing an aurora plasma thruster. Its system is now being met with widespread market acceptance, and it just secured $20 million in Series B funding.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to learn more about Orbion Space Technologies and how it may lead to Michigan becoming the epicenter of the space business sector:

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Good morning, Paul!

Think business in Michigan. Most think autos, mortgages, pizza, travel, maybe even apples and cherries, but our economy is diversifying, and today’s feature on the Business Beat makes that clear — Michigan is more than just about cars when it comes to business. Fresh off just successfully raising $20 million in a series B funding round, Orbion Space Technologies of Houghton, Michigan, is focused on developing and producing its aurora plasma thruster.

That’s right, a plasma thruster being developed and produced right here in the state of Michigan. Now, of course, it’s reasonable to ask: what in the world is a plasma thruster? Well, it’s a next-generation propulsion system for satellites. Of course, the company’s plasma thruster system is now meeting with widespread market acceptance.

The RBN system uses the spacecraft’s electrical power to provide what the company describes as a gentle and fuel-efficient thrust that is required in deep space missions. Now, what I love about this story. First, diversification is critical for the state’s economic objectives going forward and, certainly, a company producing plasma thrusters for spacecraft is a strong departure from the norm.

Second, success by one company in a given field can attract others in that same field, and how cool would it be to see the space business sector booming right here in the state of Michigan? Third, Orbion describes its manufacturing approach as one which draws on part from know-how and technology from the automotive industry.

And fourth, the $20 million they just raised was actually oversubscribed in a round led by California-based Inventus Capital Partners, and their investment into Oregon brings investment dollars into the state.

I love this story! Hats off to Orbion Space Technologies of Houghton, Michigan and Godspeed.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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