7:00pm: Doors open
7:30pm: Presentation
8:30pm–10:00pm: Networking

Brooklyn has emerged as one of the nation’s leaders in the innovation economy fueled by tech start-ups, creative companies and next-generation manufacturers. New Lab, located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is at the heart of this growth. Transformed from a site where naval ships were built, the location supports entrepreneurs focused on AI, robotics and more. Many of these are key to the ever-growing space economy. New Lab CEO Shaun Stewart will moderate an engaging discussion with founders of companies working in the space and rocket sectors that call Brooklyn their home.


Shaun Stewart, CEO, New Lab (Moderator)
Shaun Stewart is the CEO of New Lab. He is accelerating New Lab’s growth as it supports companies leading the most cutting-edge innovations in frontier technologies. Previously, he was the chief business development officer at Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle company based out of Google X in Mountain View, CA. He joined Waymo after fourteen years in the travel industry including work at Airbnb, Jetsetter and Expedia.

Max Haot, Founder and CEO, Launcher
Launcher is developing the world’s most efficient rocket to deliver small satellites to orbit. Prior to Launcher, Max founded and led Livestream for ten years, until its acquisition by IAC/Vimeo in 2017. Max has over twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur and a lifelong passion for space.

Deborah Navarro, Co-Founder, AirLev
AirLev is developing low-cost, efficient air levitation for Hyperloop high-speed travel. Deborah collaborated with the MIT Hyperloop team which utilized her air levitation technology. The team placed first out of all US participants at the recent SpaceX Hyperloop challenge. Deborah was born in a tiny border town at the tip of Texas with a population of roughly 3,000 people where she became passionate about connecting the world and empowering people from all walks of life.

Benjamin Pietro Filardo, Founder, Pliant Energy Systems
Pliant Energy Systems conceptualizes, patents and develops highly novel technologies in the fields of marine robotics, propulsion, electricity generation and pumping. After seven years working for famed New York architect Philip Johnson, Benjamin returned to renewable energy. Through a series of awarded patents, he set up Pliant’s lab in 2011 with funding from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, USDA, NYSERDA and private money. The lab has since turned foundational insights into a series of technologies with applications that go beyond renewable energy to include the company’s swimming/ice-skating Velox robot, a self-powered irrigation pump for streams and rivers, and a highly novel airship concept.

Xin Liu, Artist-in-Residence, New Lab
Xin Liu is an artist and engineer with work ranging from performances, apparatus and installations to scientific experiments and academic papers. Xin is currently the arts curator in the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative and she is the creator of Living/Distance: Everything Beautiful is Far Away. This art project explores one’s relatively inconsequential, but ever so unique, role in this universe through a zero-gravity dance performed by a crystalline robotic sculpture that was launched in sub-orbital space. The launch was almost a year in the making, as Xin led a team of designers, engineers, programmers and fabricators to create a sculpture that could move autonomously in zero gravity.