10 startups join the ATI Boeing Accelerator scheme


10 startup companies have been selected to join the ATI Boeing Accelerator programme, a business accelerator scheme created in partnership by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Boeing that is being delivered by Ignite. The startups for the second cohort were selected from nearly 200 applications, from more than 40 countries around the world.

Entry into the scheme can be advantageous, as demonstrated by the nine companies that were chosen to be part of the ATI Boeing Accelerator’s first cohort have raised over £8 million (US$11m), created more than 60 jobs, and received £1.2 million US$1.6m) in grant funding in the final quarter of 2020. These companies have gone on to partner with businesses including Rolls-Royce and Chevron Technology Ventures. Most recently, Intellegens, part of the first cohort to join the programme, has announced that it is leading a new project in partnership with Boeing and the University of Sheffield, applying its machine-learning technology to make the additive manufacturing (AM) process of metallic alloys for aerospace cheaper and faster, to support net-zero targets for aviation.

Of the almost 200 applicants for the programme, 90% of the businesses are focused on Industry 4.0 technologies and products, while 10% provide sustainability-focused solutions. 44% of applicants were from outside the aerospace industry, 26% of the founders were female, 42% were minority-founded, and 33% were first-time founders.

Gabriela Matic, programme director of ATI Boeing Accelerator said, “The quality of applications for our second cohort was exceptional and we’re delighted to welcome our 10 new startups to join the programme. Like everyone, we’ve had to adapt our ways of working due to the pandemic and we noticed an increase in the number of companies applying from outside the UK as virtual programming becomes more common due to restricted travel. This period in time also presents a great opportunity for startups, and for our partners in aerospace, to work together and solve industry problems.”

The startups benefit from a possible £100,000 (US$136,500) equity investment from Boeing HorizonX Global Ventures and access to ATI, Boeing, GKN Aerospace and Rolls-Royce strategists and technical experts. Mentoring is available from a global network of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and investors, and introductions will be made to the programme’s network of angel investors, venture capital firms and the wider aerospace industry.

The 10 startups joining the programme in January include:

Ai Build (London, UK): This company has developed an AI-powered software platform that delivers the world’s fastest and most reliable large-scale additive manufacturing

AireXpert (Buffalo & Minneapolis, USA): Enables real-time collaboration tools for airlines and other aircraft operators to reduce delays, lower labour and operating costs, and reduce compliance risk

Datch (San Francisco, USA): An intelligent voice AI for industry, enabling frontline workers to capture system information using voice in real-time and intelligently integrating into company databases

HiiROC (Hull, UK): Unique and innovative plasma technology enables a low cost and low-emission process for synthetic fuel and hydrogen generation

Makersite (Munich, Germany): A cloud-based product management platform that uses artificial intelligence and graph technologies to understand and improve products from the perspective of their regulatory compliance, environmental impact, supply risk and cost of production

MIME Technologies (Edinburgh & Inverness, UK): Remote medical software to support inflight medical events and emergencies, specifically designed for altitude

Phycobloom (London, UK): Using synthetic biology to reduce the cost of algae biofuels by forcing them to secrete their oil where it can be cheaply collected

Productive Machines (Sheffield, UK): Delivers software that maximises the sustainability of machining processes by reducing costs, eliminating waste and improving productivity

SensaWeb (Queensland, Australia): Real-time radiation monitoring solution

Signol (London, UK): The world’s first software to use behavioural science to reduce airlines’ greenhouse gas emissions and increase profits and job satisfaction

The second cohort comes from three continents. 40% are female and minority ethnic founded, 40% are first-time founders, 40% are from outside the aerospace industry, and 20% are re-applicants. Six of the startups are sustainability-based, two are focused on Industry 4.0, and two are focused on energy. Collectively they have raised nearly £13 million (US$18m) to date, with 20% at the pre-seed stage (bootstrapped or grant-funded), 40% at seed stage and 30% beyond the seed stage.

Brian Schettler, senior managing director at Boeing HorizonX Global Ventures commented, “We’re thrilled to be leading this programme again with ATI, especially given the focus on sustainability. Boeing is committed to developing innovative technologies and solutions that allow for safe and sustainable air travel for generations to come, but it takes partnerships and collaboration like this to be successful. Given the success of the first cohort, I’m confident that we will again work together with these startups and programme partners to address our industry’s most critical issues.”

Gary Elliott, chief executive of the Aerospace Technology Institute added: “Despite the challenges that the sector continues to face, we must continue to find areas of innovation and growth as the world slowly but surely recovers from the pandemic. This accelerator programme is an opportunity to bring innovators, investors, experts and entrepreneurs together in the same (virtual) space. Good luck to each of the 10 startups in this year’s cohort and we look forward to working with you in the coming months.”

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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