With under $25,000 in capital Mark Dankberg, working alongside co-founders Mark Miller and Steve Hart, started ViaSat in a spare bedroom in Mr. Dankberg's house in 1986. The three remain in key roles at the company today. Dankberg is chairman and CEO, while Miller and Hart are chief technical officers.
Funded R&D Projects At First, But Always With an Eye on the Product Business
Our initial business was obtaining contracts for engineering & proposal support to defense prime contractors bidding satellite programs. Part of each agreement was the stipulation that, if these customers won contracts as a result, then ViaSat would become a subcontractor. After two such "proposal" contracts, the Company obtained venture financing of $300,000 from Southern California Ventures.
Even with its beginnings in consulting, every contract was aimed at developing products to manufacture. The first breakthrough was to develop and manufacture specialized test equipment. This product may have been at the periphery of the industry, but created a product basis and demonstrated our ability to design and manufacture. Despite a very small capitalization and a declining defense budget, the Company’s strategy resulted in growing revenues every year, and profitability beginning in year two.
ViaSat began trading as a public company on the Nasdaq Stock Market in December 1996 under the symbol VSAT.
Communications for the Network-Centric Military
Our initial successes in defense and government related communication products continue today in our Government Systems Division. We provide systems and services for military satcom; MIDS/Link-16 tactical communications; unmanned system video data links; data messaging for IP networking to the “tactical edge”; RF communication simulation; and secure networking for encrypting both data communications and data storage within non-secure networks.
Communications for the Enterprise and Consumers
ViaSat also provides connectivity for commercial communications and mobility. We provide these markets with enterprise IP networking; regional and global broadband access; antennas; communication chipsets; and system design and engineering.
Strategic Acquisitions Build Competitive Strength and an Environment for Breakthroughs
Under one roof, we have assembled virtually all the technologies we need to design and develop complete satellite and wireless communication systems, from microprocessing chips to satellite payloads. Read the story of how being "built for breakthroughs" gives us more freedom to design for optimum performance, rather than piecing together systems assembled from the products of other manufacturers.
A Unique Culture
To provide unique products and systems for our customers, we rely on technical innovation from our employees. Our track record for recruiting the most talented technical professionals in the industry gives us a winning combination of employees and culture, providing success year after year.
We seek out individuals who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in their academic achievements and whose dedication to lifelong learning and professional growth shows no signs of slowing down. All of our employees – from recent graduate to industry expert – are encouraged to stretch, be creative, and participate as a critical team member in the research and development of new products, architectures, and technologies.
Read more about Life at ViaSat.[link to page]
Long Track Record of Success, Stability, and Fast Growth
ViaSat has become nationally known for its record of rapid growth. The company has been named multiple times to many lists of hot growth companies compiled by the leading business publications.
Learn more about our Innovations & Industry Firsts.
Along the way, ViaSat has grown to over 3,300 highly skilled professionals and over $1.3 billion in revenue.
Note: ViaSat Inc. is a separate company from and is not affiliated with Viasat Broadcasting, owned by Modern Times Group, Sweden.