Takeshi Hakamada is the founder and CEO of iSpace, a Japanese startup focusing on lunar exploration through microrobotics. Inspired by his love of Star Wars, his long-term goal for the company is to mine ice on the moon, thus providing a way to create fuel for spacecraft and rockets.
“By taking advantage of lunar water resources, we can develop the space infrastructure needed to enrich our daily lives on earth—as well as expand our living sphere into space,” as explained on the company’s official website. “Also, by making the Earth and Moon one system, a new economy with space infrastructure at its core will support human life, making sustainability a reality. This result is our ultimate goal, and our search for water on the Moon is the first step to achieving that goal.”
He studied aerospace engineering in Japan and the U.S., ultimately getting a master’s in the field at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During this time, he was inspired by the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million competition for private spaceflight; he then realized that finance and management play an important role in technological development. He decided to work at a management consulting firm to develop the business and management skills needed to complement his technical knowledge.
Using his newly obtained knowledge, he ultimately became the team lead of Team HAKUTO and found iSpace Inc. His leadership led the ventures to accumulate a $500,000 milestone prize, $2 million in venture capital, and around $6 million in advertising revenue.