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Fans praise Bridgit Mendler’s ‘impressive’ resume as she becomes CEO of satellite data startup

Mendler, the CEO of satellite data startup Northwood Space, previously starred in Disney Channel’s ‘Good Luck Charlie’

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 20 February 2024 16:59 GMT
Related: Disney Child Star Bridgit Mendler Launches Space Startup

Former Disney Channel star Bridgit Mendler has shocked fans after revealing she’s the chief executive officer of satellite data startup, Northwood Space.

The Good Luck Charlie actor, 31, announced on X (formerly Twitter) that she is launching a career in the space industry with Northwood Space, which will create a “data highway between earth and space”.

“We are designing shared ground infrastructure from first principles to expand access to space,” Mendler wrote on X. “We have a lot of work ahead of us but that’s the fun part. If you like building quickly and seeing your work deployed in locations around the globe with real impact, we want you at Northwood,” she added, along with a link to a hiring page.

Speaking to CNBC, Mendler explained that the California-based startup aims to mass produce ground stations - large antennas that connect to satellites in space. Her company has already received around $6m in funding from investors including Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, and Also Capital.

“Space is getting easier along so many different dimensions but still the actual exercise of sending data to and from space is difficult. You have difficulty finding an access point for contacting your satellite,” she told the outlet.

Mendler explained that the idea for Northwood came when she was spending time with family in New Hampshire during the Covid-19 pandemic. “While everybody else was making their sourdough starters, we were building antennas out of random crap we could find at Home Depot,” she said, noting that Northwood’s name comes from a lake in New Hampshire. “For me, why the ground-side matters is because it actually is about bringing the impacts of space home to people.”

Prior to her newfound career, Mendler made several appearances in the Disney Channel shows Good Luck Charlie and Wizards of Waverly Place, as well as films like Lemonade Mouth and The Clique. In 2012, Mendler released her debut album Hello My Name Is..., which included the hit singles “Ready or Not” and “Hurricane”.

Mendler went on to receive her doctorate in philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, per her LinkedIn profile, as well as a research doctorate degree from Harvard Law School. She told CNBC she “completely fell in love with space law” while working at the US Federal Communications Commission’s Space Bureau.

In response to the news, many fans took to social media to applaud Mendler for the career achievement, while others were simply astounded by the former child actor’s growing resume.

“This woman is so incredible. Disney actress, R&B singer, lawyer, and now a CEO. You just have to stan,” one user wrote on X.

“She really has the most insane career out of any child actor? Like this is crazy and so impressive,” another person said.

A third user wrote: “She is Barbie. Like 12 different careers. Singer/songwriter, actress, Harvard doctorate of law recipient, MIT PHD student, CEO of a startup.”

This wasn’t the only exciting news Mendler had to share. On 19 February, she also revealed that she is the mother of a four-year-old boy. “The other news I wanted to share is I’m a mama to a sweet 4yo boy,” Mendler wrote on X, alongside a sweet image of herself and her son on the beach.

“Started fostering in 2021 adopted near Christmas of 2022. I’m so lucky - being a parent is the biggest gift and most defining experience there is,” she added. “That’s my news for now folks.”

Mendler married husband Griffin Cleverly - who is also Northwood’s chief technology officer, according to CNBC - in October 2019.

“It was magical,” she told Extra about their nuptials. “There was a great sunset and there was actually even this dude who built a sandcastle behind us while we were getting married - in his board shorts, constructing this beautiful, amazing sandcastle. While we are doing our vows, I could just see him in my eye line.”

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