Haute 100 Update: Space Is The Place—7 Questions With Marc Bell Of PredaSAR

Marc BellPhoto Credit: Marc Bell

Businessman and Haute 100-lister Marc Bell is no stranger to reaching for the stars. The serial entrepreneur does more in one year than most people accomplish in a lifetime, between running and investing in a number of multimillion-dollar companies, participating in headline-stealing philanthropic efforts—like housing nearly 70+ foster kids in his own home during Hurricane Irma—producing Tony Award-winning Broadway plays, like “Jersey Boys” and “August: Osage County,” to personally handwriting thousands of notes—for birthdays, anniversaries, deaths in friends’ families – for lifelong friends and dear relatives to ensure they feel supported at important moments in their lives.

Now, with his latest business endeavor, PredaSAR, which will launch the world’s largest-ever constellation of Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites, Marc is literally making his way into the stratosphere, to bring to Earth—whether the U.S. government or Fortune 500 companies—the unprecedented benefits of SAR technology.

We caught up with the prolific impresario, a fixture of our annual Haute 100 list, to chat all things space entrepreneurship, entertaining business partners in South Florida, the beauty of a Miami Beach Pied-à-Terre, and more.

HL: Your newest business endeavor is a company called PredaSAR, which recently made headlines for a satellite “constellation” it will launch. Tell us more about the news and what you think is the most interesting aspect of bringing online a Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite constellation.

MB: The goal I am constantly trying to achieve is to make the world a better, safer place when I leave it than it was when I entered it. PredaSAR directly addresses that desire, because the constellation of radar satellites we are launching solves several problems, including monitoring of all global conflicts and commerce. We are actively finding solutions to problems that pose a direct threat to our everyday lives. The truth is, we are very blessed to live in the United States, but one downside is that our country is a target and requires attention to all issues that threaten our national security. If we can create a technology solution that reduces our vulnerability, then we can breathe easier, and these satellites by PredaSAR are the most innovative and complete solution to track these issues because they can successfully see just about anything from outer space, no matter the weather or time of day. It is the ultimate bird’s eye view that sees through clouds, trees and even man-made structures. Imagine being able to detect and track the flow of illegal arms around the world. Imagine looking through the canopy of the Amazon rainforest and finding vulnerable tribes of indigenous peoples, or illegal logging and deforestation. Imagine looking at the entire ocean 24/7 to detect illegal fishing, perform search and rescue, or detect an oil spill on the ocean surface to protect the planet’s creatures, environment and people. Soon, PredaSAR will make all those things not just a hypothetical, but a reality.

HL: Where do you see PredaSAR in the next five years?

MB: At the end of the day I see PredaSAR going public. It is our desire to take PredaSAR public and grow it with the help of shareholders who believe in our vision and industry-leading capabilities.

HL: Of all the industries you could have worked in, why space?

MB: Because there is a lot of it [laughs]. It is a business that has high barriers to entry. You cannot just wake up and say, “I’m going to put something in space.” The more complicated a business is, the fewer competitors, the more interesting an industry inherently is, to me. Also, every kid when I was young wanted to be an astronaut. Space is the place. And unfortunately, I am not quite built for zero-gravity environments, so this is the next best thing.

HL: Why do you think we are seeing more and more news about private companies going into major space endeavors?

MB: I would attribute that to the fact that it is becoming more affordable, relatively speaking, to do innovative things in the space segment. People are now considering Space a true asset class and an industry on its own. For PredaSAR specifically, things our sister company Tyvak does have made our work more attainable from both a technology and cost standpoint. Things that used to take years to do can now be done in months, and we have also helped revolutionize how people look at space. People dream and people dream of exploring. Humans are explorers. Going back thousands of years, we were explorers. First on earth, then in Space. But we have now seen the earth, so we want to explore planets, the stars and beyond.

HL: People usually associate Miami with partying and relaxation. How do you find a balance between all that, and running and investing in multi-million-dollar companies right here in sunny South Florida?

MB: Under normal circumstances, I am usually away from Florida for about five months total each year, circumnavigating the globe and far away from the local party scene that Miami can be known for. My work involves trying to take what we are building and offer solutions to other countries as well. There are a lot of countries that can use what we build. We are providing solutions to solve problems all over the world. I am passionate about what I do and that is my focus.

HL: What’s your No. 1 recommendation for out-of-town business partners who are visiting Miami for the first time and looking for a great night out or a great meal?

MB: My recommendation always is to go to one of David Grutman’s restaurants—any one of his restaurants is a great option, but my personal favorite is Komodo. Best Peking Duck in town.

HL: You split your time between Boca Raton and Miami Beach. Why those places, and what is your favorite part about each?

MB: I raised my kids in Boca and have our family home there, but we spend most of our time in Miami Beach and consider Miami Beach our home. Boca is where the kids grew up and it’s “home” but nothing beats living on the beach.