Sunday, September 03, 2017

How Airbus is mentoring aviation startups in its first accelerator outside Europe

The problem is not money but scalable ideas, says Siddharth Balachandran. He should know something about ideas that can take flight. He heads aviation giant Airbus’s global business accelerator in Bengaluru — the first outside Europe and only the third after Toulouse, France, home to the company’s headquarters, and Hamburg, Germany, where it has a jumbo factory.

Though investors have become a lot more cautious now, says Balachandran, they still place bets on concepts that have customer validation. “That’s why we encourage startups to develop pilots.” Airbus BizLab India completed its second season in India just last month, having hand-held five aviation startups through its six-month accelerator programme. Interestingly, while 137 applicants from nine countries competed for the programme, the chosen five were all from Bengaluru. Like Neewee, which speci ..

“The mentors guided us to refine our business model, strategise our go-to market and identify opportunities to scale,” says cofounder Harsimrat Bhasin. It is now in talks with Airbus’s manufacturing plant in Hamburg to help identify bottlenecks.

eFlight, another startup, is in the process of setting up a partnership with one of Airbus’s subsidiaries to jointly market charts in the business jets market.

Meanwhile Stelae has partnered with Tech Mahindra to propose a digitalisation project for Airbus, apart from Rolls-Royce Aerospace and French naval contractor DCNS.
03/09/17 Rajiv Singh/Economic Times