Today, the Pathfinder podcast brings on its first married cofounder duo. Seyka and Brian Mejeur run AdAstra, an executive and technical headhunting firm for NewSpace and Clean Tech startups. Pathfinder #0036 is brought to you by Kepler Communications, a company bringing the internet to space.
Today, the Pathfinder podcast brings on its first married cofounder duo. Pathfinder #0036 is brought to you by Kepler Communications, a company bringing the internet to space. Find out more at https://kepler.space/
Our guests today are Seyka and Brian Mejeur, the cofounders of AdAstra, an executive and technical headhunting firm primarily for space technology startups.
Seyka, AdAstra’s CEO, draws on a long resume of recruiting gigs. Brian, the firm’s COO and CTO, worked mainly as a SpaceX propulsion engineer for seven years before AdAstra. The two have worked with Varda, Ursa Major, and other leading startups to place space talent (but their full customer list is confidential).
By virtue of so many former SpaceX’ers matriculating into the climate tech world, Ad Astra also helps clean technology startups with talent acquisition. For all, think not entry-level but execs and founding teams. In fact, the recruiter duo even helped place a cofounder at a seed-stage startup.
• A sneak peek •
In today’s episode, Ryan, Seyka, and Brian also discuss:
- Where the space headhunters often focus their recruiting efforts
- A space hiring slowdown that coincided with funding dip in Q3 and Q4, with some seasonality-induced slowness mixed in
- How and why hiring is ticking back up in 2023
- SpaceX’s “culture of extreme ownership and rapid iteration,” as Brian put it
- Seyka’s concept of a space talent funnel
- The draws of being a mission-driven company and why excellent storytelling helps space startups attract top-flight talent
- Equity literacy (or lack thereof) with engineers looking to make the jump from a big company to a startup
• Chapters •
02:13 Guest intro and backgrounds
09:06 Types of people you work with from both sides of the table
10:43 Passive vs active search for talent
13:10 Post & Pray
14:56 What do you look for in clients that you work with?
22:35 What have you observed recently about company creation and hiring trends
25:22 How do you convince talent to join your company?
29:32 Kepler ad break
30:20 Did the slowdown in funding for space reflect in hiring?
33:34 Hiring advice for CEOs and founders
35:27 Are there enough aerospace engineers in the workforce?
37:13 Funnel for this industry
42:21 Equity and comp discussion
48:34 Is there a cut off for clients that are too big?
50:44 SpaceX mafia matriculating into climatetech
55:56 Lightning round