This is how Bridgit Mendler ended up becoming up a space startup CEO

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Former Disney stars often find themselves on divergent paths after their stints in the spotlight, with some leveraging their fame while others choose a quieter life away from Hollywood’s glare. Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez catapulted into superstardom, while others like Dylan Sprouse and Morgan York pursued unconventional careers. Take Ashlie Brillault, for example, known as Lizzie McGuire’s Kate Sanders, who now navigates the legal arena as a criminal defense attorney. And then there’s Bridgit Mendler, who took an unexpected turn into the realm of space startups, cementing her status as a mogul.

Despite her Disney background and a successful music career, Mendler has shifted gears to become a CEO and a mother. In a surprising announcement in February 2024, she revealed her adoption of a son alongside the launch of her satellite data startup, a venture undertaken with her husband and colleague. Mendler’s educational journey, spanning anthropology studies at USC, a master’s from MIT, and a pursuit of a JD from Harvard, laid the groundwork for her unconventional leap into the space sector.

Interestingly, Mendler’s academic trajectory wasn’t meticulously planned. A mix-up during the college application process led her to anthropology, a field she initially hadn’t considered. Yet, this fortuitous accident allowed her to explore diverse subjects, ultimately shaping her innovative mindset. Her experience at MIT Media Lab, where she developed tools to extract meaningful insights from online data, paved the way for her foray into space technology.

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Mendler’s foray into the space sector wasn’t without its challenges. Amidst the pandemic, she and her team embarked on a journey to revolutionize data transmission to and from space, even as she juggled the demands of completing her PhD and JD while raising her son. Though her PhD journey hit a temporary pause due to relocation, Mendler remains undeterred, demonstrating a remarkable blend of ambition and resilience.

With her startup’s success and ongoing academic pursuits, Mendler continues to defy expectations, showcasing her determination to push boundaries and make a mark beyond her Disney days. As she navigates the complexities of entrepreneurship and academia, one thing remains certain: Bridgit Mendler is a force to be reckoned with, poised for even greater achievements in the cosmic realm of innovation.