Aerospace Xelerated invites applications from digital services start-ups

The programme will be run in partnership with the UAE's Tawazun Economic Council

The aerospace industry is seeking out digital services start-ups to take the sector forward. AFP
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Aerospace Xelerated, an accelerator for software start-ups, is calling on digital services start-ups from around the world to apply to its programme that is run in partnership with the Tawazun Economic Council, the defence and security acquisitions authority of the UAE.

Applications for the 12-week accelerator programme, which opened on August 15, will close on September 25, Aerospace Xelerated said.

The accelerator and Tawazun are teaming up to support entrepreneurs in developing ideas that solve real-life challenges and move the aerospace industry forward. This follows three cohorts led by Boeing, that were supported by industry partners.

Start-ups accepted into the programme will have the option to benefit from a £100,000 ($117,936) investment from Boeing, with potential for additional funding from partners throughout the region.

They will also have access to strategists and technical experts from industry that lend their support to the development of proof of concept opportunities.

“Tawazun is committed to the promotion of innovation. Through a continued focus on technology, we aim to increase efficiency, drive industry best practice and support SME growth,” said Abdullah Al Awani, executive director of economic partnerships at Tawazun.

Since the programme was set up in 2019, start-ups involved in the three previous Aerospace Xelerated cohorts have raised more than £100 million in additional funding and created in excess of 150 jobs across the UK and globally.

Organisations that have worked with past cohorts as partners or mentors include PWC, Frazer-Nash, Chevron Technology Ventures and easyJet.

Through Aerospace Xelerated, start-ups will be introduced to a network of angel investors, venture capitalists and key stakeholders within the aerospace industry.

Successful companies will also be mentored by a global network of experienced entrepreneurs and investors and will receive more than £100,000 in programme perks from partners such as start-up providers Oracle, Amazon, HubSpot, Digital Ocean and others.

Aerospace Xelerated is looking for start-ups in the digital services field.

Companies must be at the mid-late seed stage, preferably working on software solutions. They must also be at the traction stage, with proof of concepts, as well as contracts that are already in place and revenue and/or letter of intents.

The programme does not require the start-ups to be operating in the aerospace sector.

“When it comes to global start-up hotspots, few places are as exciting as the UAE,” said Nichola Bates, managing partner at Aerospace Xelerated and head of global accelerators and innovation programmes at Boeing.

“It is hard to match the extraordinary mix of dynamism, growth, tech, strategic location and government incentives that the Emirates has to offer.

“Having the programme launch out of the UAE will provide further market access not only to the UAE, but to all of the Middle East, Turkey and Africa regions, thanks to the strategic geographical location, as well as the global expansion initiatives that the UAE has accomplished to date.”

Updated: August 24, 2022, 3:30 AM