By Riley Kaminer
Mark LaPenna’s head is in the clouds – in the best possible way.
The South Florida native, who returned to his home turf 2 1/2 years ago after having spent decades in Chicago, is laser-focused on building the most secure, fastest, and most resilient telecommunications architecture ever deployed. And yes: lasers are involved.
“The problem we’re solving is that there is no major data pipeline from ground to space that allows us to move large volumes of data in a cost efficient, effective way,” LaPenna told Refresh Miami.
“Our main mission is to develop a fully autonomous mobile communications platform,” he explained, starting with building the backbone infrastructure for what will eventually be their network.
Crucially, his startup, Xenesis, is not a service provider. Rather, the startup empowers companies by offering networks as a service.
Xenesis’s target customers include corporate and defense clients. It has already inked partnership deals with Airbus and the Space Development Agency. The company’s first deployment will consist of 72 satellites and 120 optical ground stations, delivering services across Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Australia. Once fully deployed by 2028, Xenesis will have launched upwards of 600 satellites.
Over the last few years, Xenesis has been busy designing its service offerings, selecting vendors, and attracting its first customers. “Now we’re ready to execute,” affirmed LaPenna, who has assembled a team of 10 full-time employees, on top of a constellation of contractors.
LaPenna has spent his years in aviation and data science. He sold his last company, an aeronautical company, to ExxonMobile. After that, he took a year off to travel before being sucked back into the business world to help monetize a dataset for global flight tracking. It was this gig that put LaPenna on the path to build Xenesis – a path that he admits almost bankrupted him.
Now LaPenna believes he has everything he has ever wanted. “As I look back on our business, there are so many people that wouldn’t answer our calls a year or two ago who are now calling us,” he said. How has he accomplished this? Focus, and the power of manifesting exactly what he wants.
Miami has also played a major role in Xenesis’s growth. “Miami is what Silicon Valley was 15 or 20 years ago,” said LaPenna. “It doesn’t know what it is yet.” LaPenna said he felt a different energy as soon as he touched down in the Magic City. “Florida was a total change of pace for me – a state of mind.”
It’s this fresh mentality that will also propel Xensis forward. LaPenna signaled that the company will soon announce a series of major news, including a fundraise and some high profile partnerships. And this is just the beginning.
“Space isn’t the final frontier,” asserted LaPenna. “It’s the greatest equalizer.”
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