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Ursa Space Systems CEO Shares Leadership Insights

Ursa Space Systems CEO Adam Maher, left, and COO Julie Baker talk during a meeting early in 2020.

Ursa Space Systems CEO Shares Leadership Insights

In a recent feature on, Adam Maher, CEO and co-founder of Ursa Space Systems, spoke about the Ithaca, New York based geospatial analytics startup and his experiences growing and leading a team of approximately 45 employees—with more hires on the way.

A life-long Upstate New York local, Maher completed high school in Homer, New York before attending Cornell University where he received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and then his master’s degree in engineering. After spending a few years in California’s Silicon Valley building satellites, Maher returned to the region to launch his own startup—from his parent’s basement.

Maher recognized an opportunity to collect and analyze specialized radar images from orbiting satellites. With his co-founders, Julie Baker, Derek Edinger, and Evan Kurtz, Ursa Space Systems was launched in 2014 and soon found a new home at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, before opening its own offices in downtown Ithaca in 2019.

Ursa harnesses and analyzes satellite data, allowing their clients to research, monitor, target search, or discover physical objects anywhere in the world. Most recently, Ursa has been granting clients access to view the economic changes due to the coronavirus pandemic from a satellite’s view.

As the CEO of a growing company, Maher believes in the power of working as a team and understands that becoming an effective leader doesn’t happen overnight. He advises aspiring business leaders to be patient, flexible, and willing to take on any task.

“Take initiative and have a willingness to do tasks required to get the job done. I see that as a key difference between folks who become successful leaders versus not. One of my advisors at Rev is Brad Treat [Entrepreneur in Residence]. He says that CEO doesn’t stand for Chief Executive Officer. It really stands for Chief Everything Else Officer,” said Maher.

Read the full interview with Adam Maher on