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Scott TibbittScott Tibbitts
Margaret BurdMargaret Burd
Frank TaiFrank Tai
R.C. "Merc" Mercure

Scott Tibbitts is a successful entrepreneur and nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship. He is the Founder and Executive Director of eSpace:  The Center for Space Entrepreneurship; a congressionally funded not-for-profit organization chartered with supporting the creation and development of entrepreneurial space companies.

Mr. Tibbitts has been involved as an investor, inventor, advisor and founder in several start-up companies including

  • Syberenity LLC:  An iPod-based social network monitoring system to support rehabilitation of substance abusers.
  • Lock-In LLC:  Theft-prevention systems for high-value construction trailers.
  • Mentor Interactive:  Education software for the Nintendo DX and other platforms based on “virtual tutor” algorithms developed at the University of Colorado

Mr. Tibbitts received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1980. In 1987 he founded Starsys Research Corporation, to bring a promising thermal actuator technology to the spacecraft industry. With Tibbitts as CEO, Starsys developed to be a world-class supplier of mechanical systems and actuators for spacecraft, with 150 employees and $18M in revenues.  Starsys track record of 2500 mechanisms flown on more than 250 spacecraft with 100% success is unmatched in the aerospace industry. 

Scott was the recipient of the “Esprit Entrepreneur of Distinction” award in 1998, and is the holder of three patents for spacecraft products.  

Margaret Burd is a founder and President & CEO of Magpie, Inc., a software company that offers a full suite of software development and consulting services for the Smart Energy, Telcom, and Healthcare industries. Margaret also is a founder and board chair of Magpie Healthcare, Inc., a software product company that provides hospital caregivers with simple, phone-based solutions for people-to-people and team communications that save lives by measurably improving quality of care 

Prior to starting Magpie, Margaret was a Director of Engineering at Lucent Technologies leading a software development organization focused on Mobile Internet and other telecommunications applications development.  She has over 15 years of experience in software development at Bell Laboratories. 

Margaret is a recognized leader in building and growing organizations that are constantly improving, growing new skills, and implementing new and best-in-class development practices.  

As a member of the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Margaret works to eliminate prejudice, violence and injustice at the local, state and national level.  She is also a founder and an active member of the ATL Foundation board of directors.  ATL provides financial assistance to women with serious health problems. 

Margaret has a Master's Degree in Computer Science from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics Education from Missouri State University. She holds two patents.




Frank Tai is a business owner, engineering consultant and entrepreneur.  He is the founder and CEO of Technology Advancements, Inc., a $10M Aerospace Engineering company that has been providing satellite engineering and design to government agencies and prime contractors for over 20 years.  Mr. Tai is a recognized expert in the aerospace industry and has served as a senior consultant on numerous multi-Billion dollar programs that serve the United States.  His entrepreneurial ventures span a wide range of interests, within and outside of the aerospace industry.
Mr. Tai received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Berkeley in 1977 and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. in 1979.  In 2000, Mr. Tai returned to M.I.T. to join the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department where he ran NASA's Space Grant program.

Mr. Tai has published numerous technical papers in the field of Satellite Guidance, Navigation and Control, and he and his company have received numerous awards from government, industry and professional societies, including NASA, the Small Business Administration, Northrop-Grumman Corp and TRW Inc.










After graduating from the University of Colorado with a Ph.D. in physics in 1957, Merc helped start the Ball Brothers Research Corporation, which later became Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation. He was one of the founders of Colorado Venture Management, Inc. in 1980. In 1988, Merc returned to the University of Colorado to serve in a number of high-level positions, including: Director, Master of Engineering in Engineering Management Program; Managing Director, Optoelectronic Computing Systems Center; and Professor Adjunct, Engineering Management. Merc currently sits on the Board of Directors of several private companies, is the president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Foundation, Chairman of the University Licensing and Equity Holdings, Inc., and a member of Engineering Advisory Board of the University of Colorado at Boulder, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is also on the board of the Boulder Innovation Center and a member of the Colorado School of Mines Technology Transfer Advisory Board. His list of civic activities includes a former stint as a Boulder City Councilman, a member of the Boulder City Planning Board, and as co-chairman of the Boulder Housing Authority.

Merc’s honors include:

  • University of Colorado – Norlin Medal
  • Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder – Distinguished Graduate
  • College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder – Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award
  • Boulder Chamber of Commerce Esprit Entrepreneurs – Lifetime Achievement Award – 1997; 20th Anniversary Award - 2004
  • Boulder County Business Hall of Fame – Inductee


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