AboutMike Cassidy is currently the VP of Product Development at Astra which makes rockets. Prior to Astra, Mike was the Co-Founder and CEO of five start-ups: Apollo Fusion, Ruba, Xfire, Direct Hit, and Stylus Innovation. Apollo Fusion designed and built a type of ion thruster for space propulsion and was acquired by Astra for up to $145M. Ruba helped travelers share their favorite places and was acquired by Google. Xfire helps gamers play online with their friends and was acquired by MTV for $110 million. Direct Hit was a revolutionary search engine whose customers included MSN, Lycos, AOL, etc., and was acquired by Ask Jeeves for $500 million. Stylus Innovation’s flagship product was computer telephony software Visual Voice. Artisoft acquired Stylus for $13M. Mike was also previously a Vice President at Google and was the Project Leader for several years of GoogleX Project Loon (balloon-powered Internet for everyone). Mike has a BS/MS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT. He graduated from Harvard Business School. He studied jazz piano at Berklee College of Music. He has been an advisor to From the Top, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Endeavor.org, and over 300 startup companies. He was selected for the DEMO Lifetime Achievement Award, nominated for a Webby award, and named a Forbes E-gang Trendsetter. His startup products have won PC Magazine’s Top 100 Websites, Computer Telephony Product of the Year, CNET Editor’s Choice, PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice, and many other awards.
Apollo Fusion is working on a revolutionary fusion hybrid power plant to serve safe, clean, and affordable electricity to everyone.
Project Loon is the latest moonshot from Google[x]: balloon-powered Internet access. It is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill in coverage gaps and bring people back online after disasters.