New Space and Tech

Liftport Regroups and Will Focus on Balloon-Borne Platforms

By Marc Boucher
April 8, 2013
Filed under

According to Alain Boyle over at the MSNBC’s Cosmic Log Michael Laine and the Liftport Group have decided to regroup and focus on balloon-borne platforms.

From the article:

As of today, Laine said LiftPort will “shift 100 percent into commercialization of balloons.” He said the plan would be to test balloons that could loft observation or communication platforms up as high as 150 feet for three- to 10-day windows, and extend that capability to monthlong stints at an altitude of 1,000 feet – depending on the regulatory go-ahead from the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to the article, Laine as decided to try and make a go of it until September to produce a commercially viable product.

“We have enough in the checkbook to last until Sept. 1, so I’m drawing a line in the sand that says if we’re not making 25 grand a month by September, then we will close,” he told me. “But we don’t have to close as a result of me losing the building. That my personal money ran out does not mean that the project is over. What it means is that we have to find another sources of capital.”

The article is an interesting read and gives you an insight into an entrepreneurial mind. It’s obvious Liftport stretched itself thin like so many startups do to try and make a go of it. What’s also interesting is how this has been reported mostly in blogs and hardly in the mainstream media. By this I mean that information has been hard to come by. Liftport has yet to release anything officially and if you were just coming upon the their website you would be hard pressed to know that anything was wrong with the company. Their news section makes no mention of problems. You have to navigate to their blog to get any information and even there you have to try and put the pieces together.

Liftport over the years built up four companies into a group of companies. They raised money and they have private shareholders and even though they are private you would hope that they would release something official for both the public and their private shareholders providing them with clear guidance as to what is happening. While the turn of events that we are aware of have been difficult to say the least, Michael Laine is not the only one affected here. Liftport has 14 employees that are going through this difficult time and shareholders that over the years have helped fund this company.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.