Founder & CEO
Bjorn Simundson founded Moonshot Works in 2014, to be a professional resource for early-stage investors to avoid research fraud and guide their investments across the gap between research and development towards a minimum viable product during the Angel and Series-A stages. He holds multiple patents and brings 18 years of business management, new product development, startup founding, technical development and innovation from consumer electronics to the energy sector. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business/Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in Industrial Design from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Bjorn leads the product development aspects within the company.
Kurt Francis is a seasoned, professional physicist, interdisciplinary engineer and technical project manager. He holds multiple patents and brings over 20 years of critical component technical design, development, reverse-engineering and manufacturing experience from early stage startups to the aerospace and defense industries. Kurt has played an active role in defining and executing every step of the business and product development cycles. He leads Moonshot’s technical auditing and product development efforts.
Julia Smart is a marketing, film and media content producer based in Santa Barbara, CA. Formerly Head of Production for Discovery Network’s Studio Ten in Los Angeles, Julia has produced over 23 original programs, with more than 5 Million subscribers, 1.44 Billion page views, 8.8 Billion Minutes of content watched and over 13 Million Likes/Comments/Shares in her international viewership audience. Julia spearheads creating and launching content, media and social strategies across multiple platforms to create the go-to-market campaigns. With numerous accolades and awards, she has produced hundreds of hours of premium, enthusiast-focused content.
Van Haas and his team at Accountix, Inc. help Moonshot Works with all financial matters, bookkeeping, accounting, payroll and financial reporting. Van graduated with High Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Business Economics and Communication. http://accountixsolutions.com/
Gil Barak is an industrial designer who helps with the technical and product development programs. Gil holds a master’s degree in Industrial Design from Academy of Art University and a Bachelor’s degree in Administration/Management from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. His former military background makes him a dynamic, pragmatic, driven and results-oriented leader, with vigilant execution towards the achievement of the Minimum Viable Product.
John Smart is a creative director, documentary filmmaker and fine-art photographer. He has worked for 2-decades in Hollywood, managing productions for Pirates of the Caribbean “Dead Man’s Chest” Pirates of the Caribbean “At World’s End”, HBO’s “Luck”, NBC’s “Law & Order LA”, HBO’s “Shameless”, NBC’s “Crisis”, FOX TV’s “Bones”, AT&T’s Original Series “Ice”, numerous “GEICO” commercials and numerous original programming for Motor Trend available on Amazon On-Demand.
Law firm and in-house general corporate attorney with significant experience in life sciences and related high growth industries. Serves as counsel for legal and regulatory initiatives, lead role in Executive and Board review for management of legal matters. Assist to prevent or minimize legal risk to the company, and help drive legal strategy to align and achieve strategic business goals. Business partner and manager in support of key customer group(s) with oversight and guidance.
Specialties: Corporate governance and SEC compliance for pre-IPO and public companies; privacy and healthcare laws and regulation during pre and post commercialization; FDA drug and device development and approval; commercial advertising and promotion regulations, False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, OIG guidance, and industry Codes of Conduct (PhRMA Code, AdvaMed Code, etc.); managed care contracting; government pricing and reporting considerations; acquisitions and related legal business development activities.
Financial Operations Manager / Controller
Dominic is a multi-disciplined financial operations and auditing specialist at Accountix. Formerly an Auditor with Deloitte, he brings his considerable bookkeeping, operations and financial reporting and compliance skills to the table, enabling a streamlined financial flow by levering the latest technology and software solutions.
David J. Levin
Software Applications and Database Development Team Lead
Dr. Carl Meinhart, Ph.D.
Mechanical Engineering, Microfluidics, COMSOL Multiphysics Simulation & Analysis
Dr. Carl Meinhart is a tenured professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara, and a fellow of the American Physical Society. He is a COMSOL-certified consultant, and recent keynote speaker at the 2017 COMSOL conference. His wide ranging expertise extends across thermodynamics and microfluidics research to analysis of commercial products. Carl has 10 issued patents and more than 65 technical publications.
Carl’s specialty is to develop and utilize experimental and numerical simulation techniques to understand complex physics. He helps the technical development team with reverse-engineering, mechanical engineering computational analysis and complex thermodynamics and nanofluidics challenges.
Dr. Sumita Pennathur, Ph.D.
Mechanical Engineering, Microfabrication, Nanotechnology and Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
Dr. Pennathur received her B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering from M.I.T. (2000 and 2001 respectively), and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University (2006). Prior to joining UCSB in 2007, she performed postdoctoral studies at both Sandia National Laboratories and University of Twente.
Her major contributions have been disseminated in the form of over 60 archived journal publications, books or conference papers, 3 patent applications, and over 50 invited presentations. Notable awards include the DARPA young faculty award (2008), the UC Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship (2009), and the PECASE (presidential early career award in science and engineering) award (2010), and the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce Innovator of the Quarter Award (2012)
Process Engineering, Research Engineering
Matt Jacob-Mitos joins the technical development team to bring his extensive experience in photonics, high-speed and high-power amplifiers, sensors, III-V thin film manufacturing and deposition, wafer bonding, photolithography and other III-V processes to assist in nano-projects. His focus is developing custom process flows for fabless and fab-lite customers and academic and lab groups. He holds multiple patents, as well as a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and applied physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from UC Santa Barbara.
Technology Development Engineering UltraPure Water Systems (Intel Inc.)
Mr. Croft is an ultra pure water technology development engineer at Intel Corporation based in Portland, Oregon. He brings his extensive chemical engineering expertise to assist Moonshot Works with our water project initiatives to help bridge the gap between new water purification and atmospheric harvesting technology from research and development to commercial product.
Social Media Marketing & Content Strategy
Chris is a Midwest raised social marketing guru living in Madison, WI – formally Los Angeles. His experience stems from some of the largest companies in their categories – from Amazon, to Trek Bikes, to TEN: The Enthusiast Network. His deepest connection lies in the automotive industry where he has successfully created and executed Integrated Digital Campaigns with over 5 million subscribers and clients including Motor Trend Magazine, Automobile Magazine, Lexus, Range Rover, Infiniti, Toyota, Mazda, Lincoln, and more.
Outside the office Chris’s passions include dogs, motorcycles, photography, and bicycles – which you’ll find him enjoying all during my weekends!
Director of Photography, Film
Travis LaBella is a Director of Photography and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. His clients include NBC, Disney, Motor Trend, Toyota, Subaru, Volkswagen, Vice, PGA Tour, Golf Channel, and UFC. He began his career shooting documentaries and was the recipient of the ASC Student Heritage Documentary Award for Language of the Unheard, which was featured in American Cinematographer, and screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner. He recently finished a documentary on Land Speed Racing called the “200mph Club”. He now shoots a range of branded content, documentary, music video, and narrative work.
Cinematography and Film/Video Production
Nate is a Santa Barbara native who graduated from USC Film School at the age of 18. Nate got his start in professional film, working for Julia Smart at StudioTEN.
Collin is a Portland born, Chicago educated, Los Angeles located film editor. His work spans documentary, commercial and feature film. Collin’s most recently edited the aforementioned land speed racing documentary produced by Julia Smart and shot by Travis Labella. http://pqdavis.com
Advisor (Sunray Industries)
Jeff Chavez is a seasoned Chief Executive who has led multiple companies through myriad complex periods including: start-up, rapid growth, success, failure, resurgence, and acquisition.
Jeff currently serves as a Managing Partner of Authentic Development, a corporate transformation firm that teaches leadership, entrepreneurship, and productivity to organizations throughout the world. Jeff has worked with some of the most admired global brands and has established a broad network of trusted experts and advisors throughout the country. Prior to founding Sunray Industries, Jeff spent over 20 years in the entrepreneurial trenches launching new business models, raising capital, executing business plans, and managing dynamic teams. Jeff Chavez is passionate and tireless in his effort to help professionals reach their full potential and as a result, making organizations become great. He is a proud father of 7 and surfs any chance he gets.
Advisor (Sunray Industries)
Felicia Jao is a founding Partner of Sunray Industries, with an impressive track-record of portfolio management and strategic expertise. She has simultaneously managed multi-million dollar funds and projects in the US and Internationally.
As the former CEO of GFH Ltd. based in Hong Kong, she established and implemented the company’s business portfolio in Guangzhou, China.
Starting young, her abilities in strategy, finance and business development were honed at the Bridgecreek Group’s real estate and business ventures owned by her family’s investment portfolio.
She also serves as a board member of the Jao Foundation, which provides educational and scholarship opportunities to students. Felicia Jao is a trustee at Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach, and on the Advisory Council of the School of Physical Sciences at the UC, Irvine. She loves to play tennis and will beat you if challenged.
Advisor (RM Dalton Corp.)
Larry Wares is a dynamic entrepreneur and founder of the software program, BidFax. At its peak, BidFax was transmitting over 50 million faxes and was in use by most of the general contractors in North America. The McGraw-Hill Companies, NY, NY, acquired the software. While working for McGraw-Hill, Mr. Wares developed a program called Dodge Plans, an electronic version of Dodge SCAN.
Larry co-founded Construction Management firm R.M. Dalton Corporation in Orange County, California and recognized the need for practical Internet-based software programs for the design and construction industry. He launched Buzzsaw.com. As Co-Founder of Buzzsaw, he continued to bring the prowess of practical construction knowledge together with the power of technology. Buzzsaw.com was acquired by Autodesk, Inc., the 4th largest software company in the world.
Dr. Daniel G. Aldrich III
Advisor (University of California)
Daniel G. Aldrich, III is presently semi-retired from the University of California although he serves in the Office of the President part-time as Senior Development Associate for the UC System. He has served the System professionally for over 30 years and held Senior Administrative positions, at the Santa Cruz, Riverside and Irvine campuses, as well as the Office of the President. He received his B.S. Degree from UC Davis and Masters Cognate in Public Administration and Ph.D. in Educational Administration from UCLA. Aldrich is a Vietnam Era veteran serving on active duty from 1966-68 and then as a Reservist until Honorable Discharge as a Captain. He received the Army Commendation Medal for his Service.
Professionally, he has overseen the development of fundraising efforts and helped secure in excess of a half a billion dollars in private support for the University System. He has received professional recognition from his professional association, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII, as its Tribute Award Winner in 1998. He is an active volunteer in his community serving as Past President of the Chamber of Commerce and United Way. He is also active in the local Rotary Club having helped create and manage a high school Scholarship Program that has raised an endowment of over $1 million and has awarded over $700,000 in student scholarships.
Advisor (ICV Group)
Robert Smith is a professional investor and fund manager based in New York City. Formerly the head trader at Bear Stearns, he currently serves as the Founder of Investment Community Visibility Group, which he founded in 2014. ICV’s mission is to bring together his network of Family Offices and Fund Investors to evaluate opportunities that create a social impact beyond a financial return. Robert identifies changemakers from around the world and connects them with family offices and fund investors who care for the future, and want to advance corporate responsibility and create social impact beyond financial return. Through the creation of partnerships, they are mobilizing trillions of dollars to find solutions to the world’s greatest challences. Robert serves on the Board of Directors for ICV Group, Chaeli Foundation and Harmon Foundation l BOA: New Frontier Bio, Permanent Secretariat of the Nobel Peace Laureate, Advisory Council of Represent.us President’s Advisory Board of Jefferson, and Business Strategy Advisor to New Frontier Bi, a multi-asset holding company, which leverages the long-term involvement fo the Kennedy family in healthcare.
Robert was recently recognized as one of the world’s Top-100 leaders by Real Leaders Magazine.
“If you build it, they will come.”
Chris Rudwal is a talented, interdisciplinary vehicle and industrial designer based in Montreal, Canada, and the creator of the BRP Can-Am Spyder. As the Director, Design & Innovation for the Sea-Doo and Can-Am Spyder product lines, he brings his wealth of knowledge and insight into creating compelling, engaging and natural design language which accentuates and celbrates the unity of form, function and excitement.
Chris joins Moonshot Works as a design advocate, working with our industrial design and engineering teams to create visually compelling, functional and manufacturable products.
Tomtomu "Tom" Matano
Advisor (Industrial Design)
Tom Matano is a legendary automotive designer, and the creator of the Mazda Miata. As the Executive Director of Academy of Art University’s BFA and MFA Industrial Design programs, Tom directed Moonshot Works’ Bjorn Simundson’s MFA in Industrial Design.
Tom brings his incredible depth of wisdom in the design fields to Moonshot Works, merging a Japanese Zen Design approach, to an Italian sense of form, together with American ingenuity for product manufacturing.
Resources & Partners
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, LLP.
Knobbe Martens is an agent of innovation, providing clients worldwide with forward-focused Intellectual Property and Technology law service and representation. We are one of the largest and fastest-growing IP law firms, with more than 300 attorneys and scientists representing the complete spectrum of technologies and IP practice areas.
We combine unmatched technical and litigation expertise to deliver superior results in both transactional and contested matters, for both cutting edge start-ups and established Fortune 500 companies. Our work spans fields ranging from physics to pharmaceuticals and entertainment to engineering.
But perhaps more impressive than our scope is our skill. We are established leaders in our fields—scientists, engineers and thinkers who blend deep educational and technical knowledge with a strategic focus gleaned from our real-world business experience.
We know your issues. Your pressures. And should the need arise, we know how to aggressively protect the assets that give your business its competitive edge—with extensive experience and intimate knowledge of domestic and international judicial systems.
Whatever our role, our goal is simple: to advance and protect those whose innovations propel the world forward.
Gavial Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc.
Aerospace, Nuclear, Precision Engineering & Manufacturing
Don Conners is President and CEO of Gavial Holdings, Inc. which operates a family of interrelated industrial businesses: Gavial, Aero Industries, MetWeld, and NuSource. Don’s teams provide skilled engineering and manufacturing of high-quality, high-reliability parts and systems for power generation, nuclear, oil & gas, acoustic sensors, aerospace & defense, and industrial technologies applications ranging from prototype to full production.
Gavial and its subsidiaries are dedicated to ensuring that mission-critical equipment is available to industries that require the highest level of workmanship and quality.
Gavial is a Platinum Certified vendor to the defense industry. ISO 9001:2008, NQA-1 / 10CFR50 Appx B, AS 9100 Rev. C.
Automation & Electronics, Inc.
Industrial Automation Engineering & Fabrication
Automation & Electronics, Inc., an electrical design-build contractor with strong automation and communication departments. A&E provides a full range of services including electrical power system design, ground resistance testing, switch-gear installation, distributed PLC based automation, process control system upgrades, power quality surveys, circuit breaker coordination studies, power factor correction, harmonic mitigation, and corrosion protection. A&E is certified to meet or exceed the quality control, manufacturing and certification standards of the energy sector.
ARIS Technology, Inc.
Automated Robotic Inspection Systems
Mingu Kang, President of ARIS is an entrepreneur & strategist with a passion for new business development & strategic technology planning [Focus Areas: Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3D, Robotics, Automation, Industry 4.0, Manufacturing]
ARIS Technology is measurement, made better and faster. 3D sensing and noncontact scanning technologies are transforming how many manufacturers gather measurement data both for machinery parts and assembled products – enabling faster and more accurate inspections and improved quality control. And in today’s “lean”-obsessed manufacturing environment, the time savings and accuracy that 3D scanning promises for a variety of applications can translate into significant efficiencies for plants.
Industrial Screen & Maintenance, Inc.
Industrial Prototypes, Fabrication, Machining, Manufacturing
Dan Miner is president of Industrial Screen & Maintenance, the largest and most advanced machine shop company in the rocky mountain region. Continuing the legacy of his father, who founded ISM in 1969, Dan joins the Moonshot Works Collective to bring large scale prototyping of industrial hardware with oil & gas and nuclear industry certification which can withstand the elements in hazardous, off-grid and extreme environments. Based in Casper, Wyoming, Dan holds multiple patents and has extensive oil and gas and nuclear capabilities and certifications, and adhering to all ISO 9001 and API standards.
3D Digitization, Optical Engineering, Robotics
Brad Johnson, President of NeoMek, Inc. is a Product Development Manager with over 20 years managing, designing, and implementing new products. Small business owner from 1999 to present, familiar with all aspects of managing business development, design, engineering, prototyping, manufacturing, HR and accounting as pertains to my business.
3D digitizing for reverse engineering and inspection. Training, certifications and working experience with GeoMagic, Rapidform, and Polyworks. Hardware experience with Laser, white light, and long range non contact scanning systems. Have completed over 250 non contact measurement projects.
Brad started using Additive Manufacturing in the mid-1990’s when it was first commercially introduced. He has owned and operated multiple additive manufacturing technologies over the past 25 years.
Power Service, Inc. (a division of Distribution NOW)
ASME Code Fabrication, Industrial Automation, Energy Sector
Power Service (A DistributionNOW Company) is your ONE STOP SOLUTION for rotating and process equipment, engineering design, installation, fabrication, distribution and service. Started in 1954 and originally a distributor of industrial engines, Power Service has evolved into an OEM parts distributor (including pumps, air compressors and blowers, generator sets, and more) as well as a fabricator of custom Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT Units) , Vapor Recovery Units (VRU), ASME Code Vessels and Water Production skids – to name a few. In other words, we are growing and changing at the speed of your company.
Power Service has:
– Multiple locations in the United States
– Over 400,000 sq.ft. of fabrication, service, and office space
– 350+ employees to better serve our customers
– A large staff of factory-trained technicians, which are supported by a large parts inventory, and are available 24/7
– Over $3 million in parts inventory that can be quickly shipped.
With this level of capacity, we can help companies all over the world find solutions to their rotating and process equipment needs.