When it was unveiled a few weeks ago, Elon Musk's Hyperloop project sounded almost too good to be true. Dr. Marco Villa, former director of mission operations at SpaceX, was among those who didn't get the memo from the naysayers, as he's just joined a team set on elevating Hyperloop from fantasy to reality. The crowd-sourced startup platform JumpStartFund enabled the group's formation after the Hyperloop plans were posted there in August; since then, a handful of talented individuals, led by Villa, received permission from Musk to work on developing the project. Joining Villa on the mission to make your high-speed travel dreams a reality is Dr. Patricia Galloway, who once served as president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (and was, notably, the first woman to hold that title). While the rail line is still a long way away from fruition, Villa seems optimistic, stating, "There does not seem to be any technical issues on this project that we can't solve, even if we do not know right away, we will figure it out."
JumpStartFund Reaches Agreement With Top American Engineers To Develop Elon Musk's Hyperloop Project
Dr. Marco Villa and Dr. Patricia Galloway to Lead and Manage the JumpStartFund Community and Help Make Futuristic Mode of Transportation a Reality
JumpStartFund Community Members Can Apply to Work Fulltime on the Hyperloop Project in Exchange for Equity
September 26, 2013 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JumpStartFund, a crowd-powered startup, today announced that Dr. Marco Villa, former director of mission operations, SpaceX, and Dr. Patricia Galloway, first woman President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), will lead and manage the Hyperloop project, an Elon Musk concept that was posted on its crowd-powered portal in August 2013. Equally, JumpStartFund is now accepting applications through its platform (apply in the "Participate" section) from JumpStartFund members who wish to work fulltime on the project in exchange for equity.
"I believe this project will revolutionize how transportation will be viewed for future travel to and from major cities similar to the way the Concorde almost changed air travel"
After its initial posting on JumpStartFund, and after 28 days of voting, commenting and vetting by the JumpStartFund community, a new company will be created to bring the Hyperloop project to life. The Villa/Galloway duo will be calling on JumpStartFund members to participate in different advisory groups to collaborate on every aspect of moving the Hyperloop concept forward – from design and feasibility, to solving technical challenges and creating a team surrounding its development.
"There does not seem to be any technical issues on this project that we can't solve, even if we do not know right away, we will figure it out," said Dr. Marco Villa. "Hyperloop is a very complex system and we look forward to receiving input and support from all the brilliant minds out there in the JumpStartFund community to make this a true open source development."
"I believe this project will revolutionize how transportation will be viewed for future travel to and from major cities similar to the way the Concorde almost changed air travel," said Dr. Patricia Galloway. "What is different today is the opportunities that crowdsourcing and crowdfunding offers in getting dreams and innovations off the ground to allow the 'Concordes' of the future become reality today."
"A lot of people talk about why this project will never work and how difficult it is to realize," said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO and co-founder of JumpStartFund. "We are honored to have Dr. Villa and Dr. Galloway on board to lead our community, and their involvement goes a long way to proving that our platform's processes, along with our community, can actually bring mega projects to life, such as Hyperloop."
About Dr. Marco Villa
In 2007, Marco joined Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he rose to the position of Director of Mission Operations, with responsibilities over the selection and training of operators, ground segment architecture, mission planning, and the final integration, on-orbit operations and recovery of the Dragon spacecraft. Dr. Villa was integral in the effort to successfully execute $2.5B in contracts for ISS cargo resupply and crewed Dragon development programs.. A certified Mission Director for Dragon missions to the International Space Station, Dr. Villa has been part of multiple successful missions, including lead roles over ISS approach and departure. Before leaving SpaceX in 2013, Dr. Villa was part of the on-going effort to develop the crewed version of the Dragon capsule, with responsibilities ranging from the definition of the overall concept of operations, to the establishment of the crew training methodology. Currently Dr. Villa is a business development consultant and co-founder of mv2space LLC, and is also Vice President for Products Development at Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems LLC. For more on info on Dr. Villa, see www.linkedin.com/pub/marco-villa/2/65a/6b8.
About Dr. Patricia D. Galloway
Dr. Patricia D. Galloway serves as an advisor to the energy and infrastructure industries regarding corporate governance, risk management, contracting/delivery, industry best practices, and program/project on complex megaprojects worldwide. She served as a member of the U.S. National Science Board, appointed by President Bush with Senate confirmation in 2006 for a six-year term, and served as its Vice Chair from 2008-2010. She is a mediator and an international arbitrator and is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). She is also the Chair of the AAA National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee. With over 35 years of experience globally, she is a Registered Professional Engineer in 14 US States, Manitoba, Canada and Australia. Dr. Galloway is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a Chartered Surveyor by the Royal Academy of Chartered Surveyors in the UK and holds a certificate of Director Education by the National Association of Corporate Directors and has serves on a number of private and non-profit boards. For more info on Dr. Galloway, see www.linkedin.com/pub/pat-galloway/12/248/998.