First Black Woman to Travel to Space With Jeff Bezos Secures Billion-Dollar Government Contract

Aisha Bowe, the first Black woman to travel with Jeff Bezos on a commercial flight to space with Blue Origin, is also a former rocket scientist and a successful entrepreneur. Having founded and successfully grown three multimillion-dollar businesses, Bowe has now achieved another significant milestone: She recently secured a billion-dollar government contract, solidifying her status as a mogul in the making.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) announced it had awarded a $947 million contract to Exacta Solutions, a joint venture with STEMBoards, of which Bowe is founder and CEO. STEMBoards is a tech company that creates smart systems and solutions for large-scale U.S federal, and private sector clients.

The grant is designed to provide support to NGA’s total lifecycle acquisition management, strategic financial management, and strategic business management activities to Exacta Solutions.

This represents a groundbreaking accomplishment, resonating across industries and exemplifying the immense potential within minority-owned businesses.

It also marks a personal milestone for Bowe as she continues on her journey, one that was nearly diverted while she was a teenager. Bowe has inspired many with her story and was even the subject of the documentary In Her Element. Available on Amazon Prime and Apple TV, the film was released by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company and hosted by Meena Harris.

Bowe also is known for her philanthropic efforts, especially as they relate to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs.

“In high school, I encountered a counselor who suggested I pursue cosmetology. But deep down, I knew I wanted something more for myself,” said Bowe. “It was during my time at Washtenaw Community College where I discovered my passion for math and science. Determined to chase my dreams, I transferred to the University of Michigan, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in space systems engineering. These achievements opened the doors to an incredible chapter in my life as I embarked on a career as a rocket scientist at NASA. I realized that the only limitations you have in life are those you place on yourself.”

Bowe left NASA to create a pathway to support and inspire the underserved, saying she did not see minorities in certain spaces. Now that she herself has emerged as a business and STEM leader, she hopes she can inspire those who come after her.

“I am fully dedicated to hands-on involvement,” Bowe emphasized. “It’s crucial for me to be present advocating for Black boys and girls, those of Caribbean heritage, and women business owners to demonstrate our presence in these fields. We can build multimillion-dollar companies, secure billion-dollar contracts, create educational games adopted by schools and retailers, and be acknowledged alongside others, enjoying equal opportunities.”

An accomplished serial entrepreneur, Bowe bootstrapped her first company to millions in revenue. She also has the distinction of being one of a select group of women of color who have raised over $1 million in venture capital funding. She was recognized on Inc.’s fifth annual Female Founders 100 list, honoring a bold group of 100 women whose innovations and ideas are shaping the world into a better place.

Bowe’s award-winning tech company STEMBoard appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America. She also created the venture-backed LINGO, a hands-on, self-paced coding kit that enables students to learn how to code at home. LINGO is sold on Amazon, Target and Walmart.

Bowe’s extraordinary achievements are truly an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, as she paves the way for increased representation in tech and aerospace. Her visionary leadership, relentless pursuit of excellence, and dedication to empowering the next generation make her a trailblazer and a role model for individuals from all walks of life.

For more information, please visit her official website at


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