The International Aviation Group (IAG) launched its third Hangar 51 accelerator program last week by embedding 10 start-ups within British Airways, IAG Cargo and Avios, its reward currency program.
“Hangar 51 has a unique approach of bringing the start-ups to the heart of our business and harnessing their potential to transform the future of travel,” says an IAG spokesperson.
A few of the start-ups relate to aftermarket operations, including Mobilus Labs, which created a wearable voice communications platform to connect teams in various environments; Satavia, which offers a cloud-based platform that uses earth observation data, weather prediction and aircraft tracking to optimize maintenance and flight operations; and Soter Analytics, which specializes in wearable health devices to prevent injuries in the workplace.
The 10 start-ups were selected from more than 400 applicants from 40 countries, 28 of which made it to “pitch day” a month ago and were evaluated on “the quality of their existing proposition, the ability to scale the product strategically across IAG, and how disruptive we feel the start-ups are, from an industry perspective,” says IAG.
“The selected start-ups are assigned a subject matter expert from one of six core areas which include connected service, smarter operations, loyalty & rewards, cargo logistics, new products and ‘wildcard’,” says IAG. The start-up collaborates with an assigned mentor to define key objectives during the London-based program and then work side by side to access resources to develop and test their products, says IAG.
At the end of the 10 weeks, the start-ups will demonstrate their achievements at a demo day. “It also enables start-ups to present their proposals for future engagement and potential investment from IAG’s multimillion pound fund where we see strategic alignment,” says IAG. The airline group says the program works well because disruptive start-ups can benefit from the group’s size and industry expertise to deliver faster development.
IAG says it has had a high success rate with finalists from the past two years and is still working with several of them.