Aerospace Xelerated has today announced that Etihad Airways joined as a programme partner for its fourth cohort. Following three successful cohorts led by Boeing and supported by industry partners, this year’s programme will be run in partnership with Tawazun Economic Council, the defence and security acquisitions authority of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Startups from anywhere in the world working on digital services and solutions can apply  — the deadline to submit applications has been extended to 2 October.

As a programme partner, Etihad Airways will be giving startups the opportunity to collaborate and develop proof of concepts on unique challenge statements proposed by the global brand. Chosen startups will be working alongside Etihad to enable the trial and iteration of their digital solutions. 

Tristan Thomas, Director of Digital, Commercial & Customer at Etihad said: “Etihad’s commitment to offer high quality experiences for its guests, bring the world to Abu Dhabi and be a sustainable airline, calls us to constantly challenge the way we do things. The airline strategically places innovation at the heart of that process, allowing Etihad to source and trial promising digital technologies for its guests and business. We are excited to embark in this journey with Aerospace Xelerated and its startup ecosystem to rethink our industry and accelerate innovation”  

Nichola Bates, Managing Partner at Aerospace Xelerated and Head of Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs at Boeing, said: “It’s an honour for us to have Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, join as a partner, adding even more value to our programme. Their involvement is a true asset to our startup founders and I know they will bring huge benefits to our future cohort. We have extended the deadline to receive applications and are encouraging startups to get their materials submitted before they close on 2 October!”

Other partners include the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and GKN Aerospace. Building on the successful participation in Cohort 3, DASA will be continuing to observe and learn how industry is galvanising innovators to address challenges within their supply chain. DASA will also be working with the cohort participants to provide insight from government stakeholders into how to access and work with the UK’s defence and security ecosystem. As a programme partner, GKN Aerospace will act as a sounding board for startups and engage in providing Proof of Concepts (PoCs).

Startups accepted into the programme will have the option to benefit from a £100K investment from Boeing, with potential for additional funding from partners. They will also have access to strategists and technical experts from industry that support in developing proof of concept opportunities. 

Through Aerospace Xelerated, startups will be introduced to a network of angel investors, venture capitalists and key stakeholders amongst the aerospace industry, throughout the 12-week programme. Successful companies will also receive mentoring from a global network of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and investors, plus more than £100K in programme perks from partners including startup providers Oracle, Amazon, HubSpot, Digital Ocean and many more. 

Aerospace Xelerated is looking for startups in the digital services and solutions area. Companies must be mid to late seed-stage; preferably working on software solutions; and at a traction-stage with proof of concepts (POCs), contracts already in place, revenue and/or letter of intents (LOIs). The programme does not require the startups to be operating in the aerospace sector.

Since launching in 2019, startups involved in the three previous Aerospace Xelerated cohorts have gone on to raise over £100M in additional funding and create over 150 jobs across the UK and globally. Organisations to work with past cohorts as partners or mentors include, but are not limited on to, PWC, Frazer-Nash, Chevron Technology Ventures and EasyJet.