8 October Deadline for Start-Up Applications
The British MoD, through the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), has joined Boeing-led Aerospace Xelerated as a new programme partner, the Ministry announced on 24 September.
Aerospace Xelerated, formerly known as the ATI Boeing Accelerator and currently soliciting applications for its third cohort until 8 October, will invest in world-class start-ups solving challenges for the aerospace sector, ranging from autonomous navigation to reduced aircrew workload. The organisation is seeking start-ups in assured autonomy; autonomous navigation; generative design; smart maintenance; adaptive learning; reduced workload and aerospace AI applications
DASA finds and funds innovation to support UK national security quickly and effectively. On behalf of the MoD, it supports start-ups by providing insights from and access to front line commands, aligning them with the MoD’s interests in national security and innovation priorities.
“The MoD is keen to understand how early engagement between start-ups and MoD in programmes such as this can lead to improved outcomes for Defence and for the companies involved. By partnering in Aerospace Xelerated, and helping the companies understand the needs and opportunities provided by Defence, we hope to accelerate our own learning as well as theirs,” commented DASA Head, Anita Friend.
Nichola Bates, Managing Partner at Aerospace Xelerated and Head of Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs at Boeing, added “As a programme, we’ve already been fortunate enough to work with the DASA team as mentors and experts […] They bring not only their expertise to our cohort but also provide access to wider MoD capabilities. There is a great opportunity for start-ups applying to our programme to learn from the team and make valuable connections that will make a difference to their businesses. We’ve had applications from all over the world so far, and we’re encouraging start-ups to get applications in early before they close on October 8th!”
Aerospace Xelerated will be investing in start-ups building autonomous and AI solutions that advance the way aircraft are built, from the factory floor all the way to the passenger journey. The two previous cohorts have gone on to raise £20 million in additional funding and create over 100 jobs across the UK. Organisations to work with past cohorts as partners or mentors include GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, PWC, Chevron Technology Ventures and EasyJet. Further programme partners will be announced in the coming weeks.
Start-ups accepted on the programme will benefit from an optional £100,000 equity investment from Boeing. They will also have access to strategists and technical experts from industry and support in developing proof-of-concept opportunities. Through Aerospace Xelerated, start-ups will be introduced to a network of angels, venture capitalists and the wider aerospace industry, throughout the 12-week programme and wider ecosystem events. Successful companies will also receive mentoring from a global network of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and investors, plus over £100,000 in programme ‘perks’ from partners, including start-up providers Google, Amazon, Stripe, and Digital Ocean, among others.