Michael J. Laine
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As president and founder of LiftPort Inc., the company devoted to the commercial development of an elevator to space, Michael Laine is turning a lifetime interest in space into a professional venture.

Laine has more than 15 years of business management and development experience in technology, financial services, and military markets, with the past four years devoted to space technology and development. Prior to LiftPort, Laine was co-founder and president of HighLift Systems, a Seattle-based company that received funds from NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts to research building an elevator to space.

Previously, Laine was chief executive officer and founder of TEKnology-Laine LLC, a Bremerton, Washington-based Internet conglomerate, which he owned and operated from 1996 to 2001. TEKnology-Laine consisted of three distinct companies: TekChek, one of the first checking account based financial transaction services for the Internet; TekNet, a national network of website designers; and YelloWWWeb, an internationally-recognized Internet merchant directory with more than 750,000 companies doing business over the Internet. While at TEKnology-Laine, he designed and built the first online grocery store.

Laine has also worked in a variety of positions in the financial services industry. He served in the United States Marine Corps, where he coordinated, tested, and trained other instructors to implement a pilot program of hand-to-hand combat for Marines in a variety of schools and class situations. Laine studied business administration at Boston University.