Airbus BizLab: Accelerating innovation globally

Airbus BizLab startups accelerator season 3

Twelve new startups are being given the chance to bring their ideas to the market thanks to Airbus BizLab, our global business accelerator. Now in its third season, BizLab takes a hybrid approach, bringing together external startups and so-called “intrapreneurs” based at Airbus, who will work together to ensure that their innovations are market ready. To date, 56 startups and projects have already graduated from the programme.

This season’s startups will be able to benefit from Airbus’ expertise across its Hamburg and Toulouse sites, where they will tinker with and perfect their ideas for the aerospace industry and other sectors.

“We were really amazed at the sheer quantity of applications. This year we received applications from around the world and were in touch with more than 2,000 interested contacts,” says Head Of Airbus BizLab Bruno Gutierres.

The selected firms hail from nine different nations — from Vietnam to Nigeria — and cover a broad range of topics: from big data to drones and robotics. The diversity of this season’s cohort was no accident, according to Gutierres: “This time around we specifically sought out startups that aren’t directly involved in the aerospace industry, yet which are developing ideas that hold great potential for our industry.”

Humanitarian approach

This season’s BizLab also includes a brand new concept. Alongside startups from the aerospace industry, candidates with a humanitarian approach could also apply as part of the “Humanitarian Challenge”.

This new facet of BizLab was inspired by the work done around the world by organisations such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent, according to Andrea Debbane, Executive Director Airbus Foundation: “We’re constantly amazed by some of the innovative solutions that people across the Red Cross and Red Crescent network are developing in response to the challenges they face in their own communities.”

Encouraging innovation

Airbus BizLab is an integral part of the Airbus innovation strategy; it serves as a petri dish for new ideas in the aerospace industry.

In the programme, startups first complete a six-month acceleration phase, focusing on skills such as business modeling, technical feasibility, and team competence. The first phase concludes with a “Demo Day” when company founders are given an opportunity to present their startups to Airbus management, investors and industry partners. This way, young companies can be fully integrated into a global company right from the start.

BizLab already has a track record of success with the likes of JetLite, which aims to reduce jet lag, having seen its technology implemented at companies such as Porsche and Lufthansa.

“We found the intensive mentoring and coaching extremely helpful but even more importantly, integration into the company helped us create an extremely valuable network. This network has been the foundation of our success today,” says JetLite founder Dr. Achim Leder.

Airbus BizLab startups accelerator season 3

Participating startups in the third season

Hamburg campus:

  • Aerial Industries (Nigeria): Works with high-performance drones which can operate crops spraying in emerging countries.
  • Alula (Miami, USA): Enables the real-time transmission of flight and maintenance data during the flight thanks to a ground-based crowdsourced network of antennas.
  • Artisense (Palo Alto, USA): Intelligent sensors for live mapping and computer vision. The data collected feed a new 3D map which enables autonomous navigation.
  • Holo One (Switzerland): Augmented Reality platform that allows companies to map their data and processes them in AR. This includes a video sharing mode where experts and employees can cooperate live while doing their tasks.
  • Neuron SW (Czech Republic): With the help of audio sensors defects in machines are predicted and maintenance times reduced preventing failure.
  • SkyBuys (Australia): An online-to-offline Mobile Commerce app and platform which enhances the duty-free shopping experience for passengers, airlines, concessionaires and brands.

Toulouse campus:

  • BizPay (Great Britain): Enables consumers to buy airline tickets with instalments. Bizpay’s software helps airlines increase profitability and market share.
  • Broad Bit Batteries (Finland): Novel low-cost sodium battery with better performance, scalability, safety & environmental friendliness compared to Lithium-ion.
  • Iridium Dynamics (Australia): Developed the ‘Halo’ VTOL UAS, a platform adding extended hover capability to fixed-wing missions.
  • Safetyn (France): Develops life preservation systems and intelligent assistance solutions for Pilots, unifying Human Factor, Common Sense and Technologies.
  • VR Nam (Vietnam): A real-time VR application in which trainees can learn/drill flows and procedures until perfection in an immersive 3D cockpit.
  • Zéphyr Solar (France): Develops solar balloons to quickly bring energy and services on isolated sites and promote NGO emergency response.

Learn more about the programme and application procedures at www.airbus-bizlab.com.