Fly your ideas in Cape Town

BizLab Africa4Future Challenge

Our global aerospace business accelerator, Airbus BizLab, has joined forces with South Africa’s Silicon Cape Initiative to launch the #Africa4Future challenge, which will encourage startups in the region to develop innovative ideas that will help define the aerospace business of the future.

Launched in 2015 in Toulouse, France, Airbus BizLab brings together startups and Airbus’ own entrepreneurs in a bid to accelerate the pace at which innovative ideas can be transformed into valuable businesses more quickly. To achieve this, Airbus BizLab is establishing an extended ecosystem and its own network of Business Accelerators to provide support to startups and turn these ideas and technologies into commercial reality. So far BizLab has already opened two new locations in Hamburg, Germany, and Bangalore, India, and the programme has hosted 29 startups and 27 airbus internal projects.

Airbus BizLab provides early-stage projects with wide-ranging support in the form of a six-month “accelerator programme”. As a result, startups can get help from a large number of coaches, experts and mentors in various domains — technology, legal, finance, marketing & communication — so helping them towards prototyping and market access.  

Head of the Airbus BizLabs Bruno Gutierres says, “We are excited to finally bring this programme to Southern Africa. We have been impressed by some of the innovations coming out of hubs and university research labs within the region also empowered by the Silicon Cape Initiative. We are looking forward to receiving inspiring ideas and concepts at our specially-convened Pitch Day in Cape Town on September 22, 2017.”

With its #Africa4Future initiative, Airbus BizLab looks for amazing startups and entrepreneurs that will shape the future of growing societies, support sustainable development and empower mobility through aerospace technologies — AEROmobility — with the focus on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), satellite operations and imagery, 3D printing, smart sensors, the internet of things (IOT), smart energy and artificial intelligence.

“Any startup in Southern Africa with any of the solutions or ideas that are in line with the Airbus Vision on AEROmobility should visit and submit their application on or before August 30, 2017 to get a chance of being shortlisted for the final pitch event,” Gutierres says.

A screening committee, which includes local industry representatives and the Head of the Airbus BizLab, will shortlist the most promising ideas or products.

The winning startup, selected by industry decision makers, top investors and key influencers at the final pitch event that will be held on September 22, 2017 in Cape Town, will win a fully-paid, 10-day-trip to Europe in October/November 2017 where they will have the chance to meet and interact with aerospace experts to boost their startup. They will be able to work on solutions and, depending on the project’s success, partner with Airbus BizLab to see it through to product stage.