Ellen Chang | Unmanned Systems Institute

Ellen Chang

Ellen Chang

Light speed Innovations

Ellen brings over 25 years of experience in strategy, business and product development, and systems engineering in the technology and aerospace industries. As Managing Partner with LightSpeed Innovations, she sets Investment strategy and direction for company selection and programexecution.

LightSpeed Innovations a business accelerator for aerospace start-ups and has hosted stand-alone programs as well as defined those for specific corporate objectives. LightSpeed has recently completed a market research project that focused on an unmanned systems incubator/test facility in San Diego. It also just graduated its New Space cohort of start-ups which culminated in an investment pitch event in October. All companies have secured lead investment for their seed round.

Ellen started her career in the Navy developing analytical strategies for maritime intelligence operations. At mid-career, she left the Navy to pursue a business degree and later joined JP Morgan as a banker in their west coast office. There she was part of the client management team during the exciting dot.com period where she was able to explore and facilitate investment in start-ups.

In 1999 she left to found her own start-up in the aviation industry where the team focused on building a B2B aviation part sourcing and brokerage focused on business jets. In 2002 she joined Northrop Grumman where she commenced a career in autonomous systems, joining the team designing the Global Hawk, the USAF’s first high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial system.

Through the 12 years with Northrop Grumman, she held increasing responsibilities throughout a variety of unmanned systems programs that culminated with a position as the Director of the Advanced Mission Systems Division where the charter was to anticipate and develop products 5-10 years in the future. Ellen loves to run, taste wine, and debate national security issues. She is the chair of the Wharton Angel Network Southern California covering Los Angeles to San Diego. She is also co-founder of Wharton