Award Winners

March 23, 2022

Via Satellite Announces Winners of 2022 Satellite Executive & Technology of the Year, and 2023 Startup Space Competition

Awards were presented Wednesday, March 15 during the Via Satellite Awards Luncheon at SATELLITE 2023 Conference and Exhibition where Don Graves, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce delivered welcoming remarks.

Rockville, MD – March 15, 2023 – Via Satellite, the premier publication providing essential news and expert business analysis on the global satellite communications marketplace, announced Melanie Stricklan, CEO, Slingshot Aerospace winner of the prestigious 2022 Satellite Executive of the Year Award, Apple, iPhone 14 Emergency Messaging Service via Satellite winner of the 2022 Satellite Technology of the Year Award, and Magnestar winner of the Annual Startup Space Competition.

As commercial and governmental activity increases every year in space, coordination and space traffic management are more important than ever. Melanie Stricklan is a leading voice on this issue as co-founder and CEO of Slingshot Aerospace. Stricklan had a blockbuster 2022, with the acquisition of Numerica’s Space Domain Awareness (SDA) division including a sensor network for satellite tracking and Seradata, with its leading database of launch and satellite data.

“The Via Satellite team is delighted that Melanie Stricklan is our latest Satellite Executive of the Year. She has led Slingshot Aerospace to new heights and it continues to be a pioneer in the area of Space Situational Awareness. The company is growing at quite a clip, thanks to Stricklan’s inspired leadership,” says Mark Holmes, Sr. Editorial Director of Via Satellite. “Stricklan is one of the most respected voices in one of the key new areas of satellite. She is a fully deserving winner of our Satellite Executive of the Year award, and very much a trailblazer for women in the industry.”

“I am humbled to accept this award today on behalf of Slingshot, on behalf of all of the ‘Slingshooters,’ as we call them, who have made our capabilities possible and extended those capabilities around the world in an operational sense. And all of those partners and collaborators and those using the technology today to deconflict their spaceflight operations on orbit,” Stricklan said in her acceptance speech. “We at Slingshot are here to chart a new course for humanity by building the technologies and the awareness capabilities to ensure space remains safe now, and a secure gateway of discovery and continues to be the core tenet of our global economy for generations to come.”

With the iPhone 14, Apple brought life-saving emergency text messaging to the world’s most popular handheld device, via satellite. The service is already operational and making an impact. When the service officially saved its first life, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, BBC, and other leading cable news shows ran with it as a top story. To make this difficult satellite-to-cell connection possible, Apple designed and built custom components and specific software and algorithms so that iPhone 14 antennas can connect to the unique frequencies of satellites.

“It would have seemed unheard of a few years ago for Apple to win any satellite related award. But, behind the scenes, the company has been working hard and now thanks to adding a satellite component to its latest iPhone, the combination of satellite technology and iPhones now has the power to save lives,” says Holmes. “But, beyond the capability that Apple has brought to the table, it has also created rich excitement seldom seen in our industry, as one of the world’s biggest and most recognized companies is finally part of the satellite eco-system. It is a fully deserving winner of our Satellite Technology of the Year award.”

“What’s really rewarding is being able to be a part of something that saves lives. We’ve connected people with the help they need, when they needed it most. From the couple in Los Angeles, whose car fell into a canyon, to the man in Alaska stranded on a snow machine. I cannot thank enough, the call center dispatchers and the first responders who have come to the rescue,” Mike Trela, Apple’s Senior Director of the Satellite Connectivity Group said, accepting the award. “It has been a privilege to be a part of this journey that has such a profound impact on our users’ lives. Thank you to Via Satellite and the space community for this recognition.”

Jacqueline Good, Founder and CEO of Magnestar, was named as the winner of the 7th annual Startup Space Competition. Good competed against eight other global startups in a five-minute pitch contest judged by 10 of the most active investors in space. Good is the first Canadian entrepreneur to win Startup Space’s prize.

In addition to leading Magnestar, Good has driven over $10 million in enterprise technical sales, led the development of five products from ideation to shipment and led the data strategy and infrastructure for a $100 billion pension fund. As Startup Space’s grand prize winner, Good will receive private pitch meetings with Bessemer Venture Partners, Starbridge Capital, Stellar Ventures, Seraphim Capital, OpAmp Capital, and MaC Venture Capital.

“Thank you for the opportunity! We’re thrilled to be helping operators increase their signal connectivity in contested and congested environments while optimizing their investment in space,” says Good.

The May 2023 issue of Via Satellite will honor and announce Melanie Stricklan as Satellite Executive of the Year and Apple as Satellite Technology of the Year in a special awards issue.

About Via Satellite

Via Satellite provides essential news and expert business analysis on the global satellite communications marketplace, including current and evolving applications, infrastructure issues, technology, and business and regulatory developments around the word, reaching the most engaged community of satellite professionals and qualified industry decision makers.

About SATELLITE 2023

SATELLITE unites a diverse community of aerospace and connectivity thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, engineers, end-users and enthusiasts from around the world for the largest and most important global satellite technology event of the year. The SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition took place on March 13-16, 2023. SATELLITE 2024 will take place on March 18-21, 2024 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mt. Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001). For more information, please visit