Payload Pioneers 2023: Brendan Rosseau

Brendan Rosseau believes even Earth-bound businesses need to be prepared for the space economy to take off. It’s a rallying cry the 26-year-old brought to Harvard Business School as a teaching fellow, where he helped launch the business school’s first space class, titled “Space, Public, and Commercial Economics.” 

“None of the top 20 MBA programs had a space curriculum—until Brendan helped launch one at HBS in 2020 and 2021 with Dr. Matt Weinzierl,” Malory McLemore, cofounder and CEO of Stell Engineering, wrote in Rosseau’s nomination. “Studying a business model to go to Mars or fight China in space was unheard of in a place where everyone is focused on big tech and private equity roles.”

The importance of space: The class, which has ~100 students, typically attracts MBA candidates from Harvard, but it’s also open to aeronautics and astronautics graduate students from MIT, public policy students from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and other space-focused grad students in Cambridge, MA. That diversity leads to a “unique, nuanced classroom dynamic,” Rosseau wrote.

But Rosseau is also preaching the importance of space outside the classroom. He co-authored a Harvard Business Review article last year titled “Your Company Needs a Space Strategy. Now,” which was recognized as one of the 10 top reads of the journal that year. 

What’s next: Rosseau is working on co-authoring a book to be published in fall 2024 “that will provide a large, diverse group of readers with a deeper dive on issues central to the space economy, through the lens of economics,” he wrote.

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