Sale of Sea Launch

(Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois)—Christopher L. Picone, President and General Counsel of Picone Advisory Group, LLC is pleased to announce the sale of Sea Launch, SA (“Sea Launch”) to CJSC S7 Group (“S7”), Russia’s largest private aviation holding company.  Sea Launch has been a long standing client of Picone Advisory Group and Chris Picone also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Sea Launch.  Prior to the sale, Sea Launch was owned by S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Russia’s premier aerospace company.

The sale was originally announced in September 2016 but required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) before the sale could be completed.  CFIUS approval of the transaction was granted earlier this year.  As part of the transaction, S7 receives ownership of the Odyssey, a mobile sea-fairing rocket launch platform, the Commander support ship and certain additional equipment and intellectual property. S7 is planning on re- establishing the Sea Launch business under the new name of SL Aerospace.

Sea Launch is a heavy lift commercial telecommunications satellite launch company located in Long Beach, CA.

Kurt Johnson Book Award

Picone Advisory Group, LLC is proud to announce that our client and author Kurt Johnson has won the 2017 Moonbeam Silver Award for Best First Book.  Entries for this award are submitted from the United States, Canada and six international countries.  The science fiction fantasy novel, Raystar of Terra: Peace. Love. Family. War, was originally published in December of 2016.  The book chronicles the adventures of Raystar, a 13-year-old resident of the sleepy agricultural planet Nem.  Raystar leads a near picture perfect existence until her world radically changes when the pan-Galactic conflict that everyone thought was long over shows up on her doorstep.  The Moonbeam Awards were created in 2006 and are presented by Jenkins Group Inc. located in Traverse City, Michigan.  Jenkins Group has been involved in packaging, marketing, and distributing books since 1988.  We congratulate Kurt on being selected for this prestigious award.

ELSE SA Announces Successful $3 Million Seed Round to Enable Cost Effective IoT and Machine-to-Machine Services Globally

Company’s Astrocast Constellation Will Leverage 64 Nanosatellites in
Low Earth Orbit to Drive Efficiencies Across Numerous Key Industries Worldwide

Lausanne, Switzerland (August 8, 2017) – ELSE SA, the Swiss new space start-up, today
announced the funding of a $3 million seed round. The successful capital raise was enabled by a
group of investors including Airbus Ventures, a Geneva-based Independent Assets Manager and
Multi Family Office, as well as numerous additional Swiss- and internationally-based private
investors. The seed round follows $3 million previously raised by the company in public support.
ELSE SA is currently developing a network of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) nanosatellites named
Astrocast that will provide cost effective IoT and machine-to-machine services to global
enterprises. The seed round will support ELSE’s complete business operations through the
company’s planned demonstration mission expected in mid-2018, which will launch the first two
nanosatellites into LEO.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with this group of investors during this critical
development phase of Astrocast,” said Fabien Jordan, Co-Founder, CEO & Chairman of ELSE SA.
“This seed round validates our ambitious plan to connect the planet and enhance machine-to-machine
communications through our innovative satellite constellation and network technology.
We are looking to disrupt and serve numerous industries and this successful capital raise is an
important milestone for us in that plan.”

Astrocast is designed to provide unlimited coverage all over the planet, with no geographical
limitations. The constellation will comprise a total of 64 nanosatellites with ELSE projecting all to
be in orbit by 2021. The satellites will collect data, which will be delivered to ground stations,
then distributed for access by customers through a secure Internet gateway. Astrocast is
expected to drive efficiencies and operational cost advantages across numerous sectors
including retail, agriculture, automotive, transportation & logistics, utilities, maritime, oil and
gas, among many others.

“The machine-to-machine sector is burgeoning with new utilizations and benefits identified
constantly,” added Jordan. “While we have a clear idea of numerous applications and industries
that Astrocast will serve, we learn of more all the time, further solidifying our resolve in
delivering this constellation.”

The Astrocast mission is also supported by Swiss grants and by the European Space Agency (ESA)
through the agency’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program,
which transforms research and development investment into successful commercial products.
ELSE SA was founded in 2014 by the team that developed the widely successful SwissCube, a
single-unit CubeSat, Switzerland’s first satellite.

“Our team’s experience is proven by the SwissCube mission, a satellite projected to last no more
than one year yet is still fully functional today, nearly eight years post launch,” said Jordan.
“Other key members of our leadership team bring a wealth of expertise in the areas of launch,
space systems, finance, and business development – all of which is being leveraged to bring the
vision of Astrocast to life.”

“We, at Airbus Ventures, have decided to invest in ELSE, as we believe in the development of
machine-to-machine communications and we have been convinced by the cost-effective
innovative satellite constellation and network technology which ELSE will be providing,” said Mr.
Francois Auque, Airbus Ventures’ Chairman of the Board of the fund’s General Partner entity.
“We are happy to foster further cooperation between ELSE and Airbus.”

ELSE SA will now transition into funding its Series A round, which is expected to close in 2018.
“We already have commitments and great interest in our Series A and fully expect it to be a
success,” added Jordan.

Visit ELSE online at www.astrocast.net for additional information about Astrocast.

About ELSE SA
ELSE is a Swiss company based in Lausanne developing the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) nanosatellite
constellation Astrocast, providing diverse global industries with a cost effective IoT and M2M
communication platform. ELSE was founded in 2014 by the developers of SwissCube, one of the
longest servicing nanosatellites in space. Please visit us at www.astrocast.net

About Airbus Ventures
Airbus Ventures is a Silicon Valley-headquartered, early-stage investment fund that operates
with autonomy and trust within Airbus Group. The group’s autonomy is essential as it
successfully funds companies worldwide. The fund is nimble, valuable and energetic in their
work with startups that will impact all life on Earth and beyond.

Christopher Picone Named To The Advisory Board For K8 Ventures

(Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois)—Christopher L. Picone, owner and president of Picone Advisory Group, has been named to the advisory board for K8 Ventures, LLC.

Based in Chicago, K8 Ventures invests in early-stage companies that address the human condition. The consulting firm delivers capabilities across key business functional areas that accelerate growth by reducing time-to-market and improving capital efficiency. Its current portfolio includes bamm, the next generation travel and meeting management platform that offers affinity and travel programs to non-profits and enterprises; and P3rceive, a computer software company that enables executives to simulate their business based on results, capacity staffing, and revenue cycle.

“Chris is a great addition to our board for so many reasons,” said Kurt Johnson, CEO of K8 Ventures. “His expertise across industries and experience with a broad range of complex business challenges is an enormous complement to the K8 Ventures executive team.”

With an understanding of the financial intricacies of companies large and small, Picone has decades of real-world experience providing creative ways to support clients through a wide range of services. He is committed to championing healthy business in America.

In his role as an advisory board member, Picone will work to elevate K8 Venture’s company profile by attracting new customers, helping raise capital, providing strategic and financial advice and planning, and guiding the company in legal, business and real estate matters.

Based in Chicago’s western suburbs, Picone Advisory Group specializes in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, operational enhancement, business turnarounds and restructurings, asset disposition, litigation support, neutral claim administration, real estate, and crisis management.

The firm provides consulting services to an international client base in a wide variety of industry settings including: financial services, manufacturing, aerospace, building and construction, food and food service, homeland security and first response, healthcare, energy, real estate, wholesale and retail services, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.

Picone Advisory Group Facilitates Real Estate Sale For The Institute Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

(Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois)—Picone Advisory Group has successfully negotiated and closed the sale of a significant property in Wheaton, Illinois. The parcel of land and structures on it had been owned by The Institute for the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) since 1946 and was sold to PulteGroup. The sale closed in May 2017.

The complicated deal had many moving parts, all of which were managed by Picone Advisory Group, thus showcasing the firm’s broad capabilities and ability to handle large-scale, complex projects. The company specializes in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, operational enhancement, business turnarounds and restructurings, asset disposition, litigation support, neutral claim administration, real estate, and crisis management.

Picone Advisory Group was retained in June 2013 to provide IBVM with real estate consulting services. IBVM is a worldwide religious community of Catholic women dedicated to serving God by responding to the needs of people through educational, pastoral and social ministries. In Illinois, the Sisters resided in a convent at the Loretto Center located on the Wheaton property. The 16-acre parcel included a 19th century mansion on its landscaped grounds.

The first order of business was a full assessment of the property, including current operations and potential revenue generating opportunities. Upon completion of the evaluation, Picone Advisory Group presented several strategic options to the IBVM Advisory Board.

“Our recommendation was to sell the property,” said Christopher L. Picone, president of Picone Advisory Group. “We firmly believed that was in the best interest of the organization and all of the Sisters.”

Although it was a difficult decision to sell the estate that had been their home for 71 years, the IBVM Advisory Board agreed with Picone Advisory Group’s recommendation. At this point, the strategic consulting firm conducted a confidential marketing process to locate the most advantageous buyer. This yielded multiple offers and Picone Advisory Group helped the organization analyze them all. The firm also managed the due diligence process and negotiated with potential purchasers.

According to Picone, “This was a very complicated sale due to significant environmental contamination on site, complex zoning issues, and the historic nature of the 19th century mansion located on the property. So we knew not everyone would be the right fit.”

And, in fact, two contracts were terminated during the due diligence period for various reasons. Ultimately, Picone Advisory Group inked a deal with PulteGroup that successfully closed in May 2017.

Prior to closing, full remediation of the property was completed and a No Further Remediation (NFR) letter was issued by the Illinois EPA. This letter confirms that the site does not constitute a significant risk of harm to human health or the environment.

Picone Advisory Group worked closely with both PulteGroup and the City of Wheaton to receive municipal approval of development plans despite significant public opposition. The firm also worked with PulteGroup to obtain approval from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to allow demolition of the historic building. This included a “museum quality” archive process.

But the firm’s role did not stop there. Picone Advisory Group supported IBVM even further by coordinating the relocation of the Sisters and the disposition of surplus furniture and other salvage items prior to the May 2017 closing.

Today, PulteGroup has begun sales for the 48 homes that will be built on the land. Proceeds from the sale of the property are being used to fund IBVM’s retirement plan and health care needs as well as continue the order’s mission.

“It’s rewarding to have found a solution that put this not-for-profit’s retirement fund back in a solid financial position,” said Picone.

Based in Chicago’s western suburbs, Picone Advisory Group provides consulting services to an international client base in a wide variety of industry settings including: financial services, manufacturing, aerospace, building and construction, food and food service, homeland security and first response, healthcare, energy, real estate, wholesale and retail services, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.

Strategic Consulting Firm Picone Advisory Group Launches New Website

(Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois)—Picone Advisory Group, LLC has launched a new website that positions the firm as a strategic advisor for companies engaged in today’s complicated corporate climate.

“Everything from the volatile political arena and fluctuating capital markets to the growing competition and pressures of the global economy impacts business,” said Christopher L. Picone, president of Picone Advisory Group. “Smart owners and managers stay in touch with these changes and are aware of the full impact they have on the health of their company.”

Picone Advisory Group offers a seasoned outside perspective to its clients, which comes from decades of looking inside companies large and small and helping leadership deal with issues they are unaccustomed to handling. The firm provides advice and solutions to improve the bottom line, plan for the next business cycle, gain operational efficiency, mediate the legal landscape, and manage through a crisis.

The new Picone Advisory Group website makes it easier for potential clients seeking assistance to connect with the firm. The site is responsive so that it is user friendly via any device. Content addresses issues that businesses are facing now and is optimized for key words to be found quickly during relevant searches. The website also aligns with Picone Advisory Group’s current scope of services.

“During the recession, we earned a reputation as restructuring experts,” said Picone. “However, we offer a much more extensive range of business analysis and strategic advisory services. The new website presents that message to the right audiences.”

Today, Picone Advisory Group specializes in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, operational enhancement, business turnarounds and restructurings, asset disposition, litigation support, neutral claim administration, real estate, and crisis management. The team works one-on-one with each client to devise a strategy and implement a plan that is appropriate for its needs.

“Smart executives think ahead, anticipate possible roadblocks, and find ways to proactively strengthen their position,” said Picone. “With our guidance, leadership can take control of the internal factors that affect their company before devastating financial business issues arise.“

Based in Chicago, Picone Advisory Group provides consulting services to an international client base in a wide variety of industry settings including: financial services, professional services, manufacturing, aerospace, building and construction, food and food service, homeland security and first response, healthcare, energy, real estate, wholesale and retail services, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.

Picone Advisory Group Serves As Financial Advisor For Non-Profit Organization

After Picone Advisory Group worked to execute the sale of the Loretto Convent site to a developer, the firm jointly worked with the purchaser to overcome complex zoning, environmental and historical preservation issues, culminating in the project receiving unanimous final City Council approval for a 48-unit, age-targeted, luxury residential real estate development.

Read more about this project in Crain’s Chicago Business
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20170228/CRED0701/170229891/wheaton-residents-balk-over-plan-to-demolish-historic-mansion

Read more about this project in the Business Ledger
http://www.dhbusinessledger.com/article/20170323/business/170329496/?utm_source=business%20edge%20alert&utm_medium=email&utm_content=article%20column&utm_campaign=Business%20Edge%20Alert3%2F23%2F2017

View this story from CBS Chicago:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh6mtuAoXU4

Picone Advisory Group Client Kurt Johnson Publishes Science Fiction Thriller

(Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois)—Picone Advisory Group, LLC has announced that its client, author Kurt Johnson, has published a science fiction thriller: Raystar of Terra: Peace. Love. Family. War.

“We congratulate Kurt on this exciting publication and are certain this book will be a success,” said Christopher L. Picone, President of Picone Advisory Group. “We look forward to future works by this gifted author.”

An entrepreneur and management consultant as well as author, Johnson is the CEO of K8 Ventures, LLC. Headquartered in Chicago, the firm invests in and accelerates early stage companies. With the company creation supply chain and go-to-market know-how, K8 has achieved significant capital efficiency and is redefining how early-stage capital is invested.

Johnson has dreamed of writing a science fiction fantasy novel since he was a child. He draws inspiration and motivation from Chicago’s tall buildings that reach toward the stars. Raystar of Terra: Peace. Love. Family. War. chronicles the adventures of Raystar, a 13-year-old resident of the sleepy agricultural planet Nem. Raystar leads a near picture perfect existence until her world radically changes when the pan-Galactic conflict that everyone thought was long over shows up on her doorstep. In a blink, Raystar discovers that she has immense powers and that her very survival is threatened. To live and protect those she loves, she must learn to control the tremendous powers at her disposal. To save humanity, she needs to unlock the secrets of her legacy and to save herself, she must figure out what it means to be human.

Raystar of Terra: Peace. Love. Family. War. is now available on Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/Raystar-Terra-Peace-Love-Family-ebook/dp/B01N5HAWPH/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8).

Through May 31, 2017, 50 percent of all the net proceeds from the sale of Raystar of Terra will be donated to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Based in Chicago, Picone Advisory Group provides consulting services to an international client base in a wide variety of industry settings including: financial services, professional services, manufacturing, aerospace, building and construction, food and food service, homeland security and first response, healthcare, energy, real estate, wholesale and retail services, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.

Picone Advisory Group Facilitates Funding For ELSE Nanosats

(Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois)—With strategic guidance from Picone Advisory Group, Swiss space startup ELSE has formed a strategic alliance with Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a mobile satellite service operator.

Signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) allows both companies to collaborate and benefit from each other’s capabilities on multiple fronts including technical, regulatory, and sales and marketing. In addition to expediting access to the market, the agreement between Thuraya and ELSE extends both their product and service portfolios.

Picone Advisory Group had been retained by ELSE to assist the Swiss company acquire funding for its 64-nanosatellite constellation AstroCast. AstroCast is a network of nanosatellites that will provide global machine-to-machine (M2M) communication for businesses worldwide. The constellation will allow companies to affordably connect assets—whatever and wherever they are—to information systems through Internet of Things (IoT) services.

“We are pleased to have assisted ELSE in developing this significant strategic relationship with Thuraya,” said Christopher L. Picone, president of Picone Advisory Group. “This is a big step toward achieving ELSE’s goal of a first satellite launch in 2018.”

“As an established company, Thuraya brings experience, skill and a reputable legacy to the table,” said Fabien Jordan, co-founder and CEO of ELSE. “ELSE shall benefit greatly from its technology and distribution reach. We are very excited about the possibilities this alliance will create.”

The first satellites are scheduled for launch by 2018, as a demonstration mission, with a plan to have a total of 64 satellites in orbit by 2021. Once fully operational, the constellation will provide remote monitoring, geolocation services, predictive maintenance, and intelligent data gathering. The full scope of markets that will benefit from these capabilities include retail, agriculture, automotive, utilities, maritime, oil, and gas, among others.

In addition to building AstroCast, a network of low-earth-orbit (LEO) nanosatellites that will provide cost effective IoT and M2M services to global enterprises, the ELSE team has supported more than 10 European Space Agency (ESA) missions and seven nanosatellite missions. This mission is also supported by ESA through their ARTES program.

Thuraya Telecommunications Company is an industry leading MSS operator and a global telecommunications provider offering innovative communications solutions to a variety of sectors including energy, broadcast media, maritime, military and humanitarian NGO. Thuraya’s network enables clear communications and uninterrupted coverage across two thirds of the globe by satellite and across the whole planet through its unique GSM roaming capabilities. The company’s diverse range of mobile satellite handsets and broadband devices provide ease of use, value, quality, and efficiency.

ELSE is based in Lausanne, Switzerland and was founded in 2014 by the developers of SwissCube, one of the longest servicing nanosatellites in space.

Picone Advisory Group was called in to assist ELSE obtain financing for the AstroCast project. Based in Chicago’s western suburbs, the firm provides consulting services to an international client base in a wide variety of industry settings including: financial services, manufacturing, aerospace, building and construction, food and food service, homeland security and first response, healthcare, energy, real estate, wholesale and retail services, technology, telecommunications, and transportation.

Picone Advisory Group, LLC Proudly Sponsored and Attended the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary Gala

Picone Advisory Group, LLC, sponsored and attended the 23rd Annual Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary Gala on September 18, 2016, held at Chicago Gaelic Park in Oak Forest, IL