International Airlines Group (IAG) has chosen 13 finalists to join its latest Hangar 51 global accelerator programme in collaboration with Iberia, Vueling and IAG Cargo.
From 474 applications from around 50 countries, 36 startups presented their innovative products and services before 250 senior aviation and travel industry executives and a high-level judging panel, including four airline CEOs, at a pitch day in Madrid.
The 13 successful startups will be have the opportunity to work with mentors and experts from across IAG for 10 weeks, gaining access to resources to develop, shape and scale up their business. The innovative projects include next generation voice artificial intelligence and new carbon capture technology to effectively remove CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.
The initiative is based in Spain for the second time. The selected startups will co-work with IAG teams across Europe.
The Hangar 51 finalists in seven categories are:
- Mosaic Materials (US) has created an innovative adsorbent material to capture CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.
- Climate Blockchain Initiatives (Spain) enables businesses and consumers to offset their carbon footprint by investing in green projects that can be tracked using blockchain technology.
Airport operations and logistics:
- Whispr (Denmark) converts checklists and manuals into interactive audio guides to support employees on technical tasks while providing real time performance data to supervisors.
- SynapseMX (US) enhances maintenance using artificial intelligence to streamline aircraft turnaround times during unscheduled maintenance works.
- Donecle (France) uses drones for automated aircraft inspections.
Future cargo logistics:
- AllRead MLT (Spain) has developed cost-efficient software that simplifies and optimises data extraction processes using machine learning technology.
- RubiQ (Israel) allows passengers to self-manage flight disruption through artificial intelligence based communication.
Future of customer interaction:
- EuroPass (France) delivers an innovative service for Chinese travellers to pay in their domestic currency for hotel bookings or tickets to visit tourist attractions using their mobile devices.
- PolyAI (UK) has developed next generation conversational artificial intelligence technology to enhance customer experience and improve call centre efficiency.
New products and services:
- Sherpa (Canada) offers passengers the possibility to obtain eVisas based on their nationality and destination for an additional service fee during the booking process.
- KornChain (UK) is set to create a cost-efficient global loyalty points exchange network powered by blockchain. It will enable customers to earn, track, exchange and redeem loyalty points for higher value redemption.
- Quantum Metric (UK) specialises in the digital customer experience enabling companies to identify and eliminate friction experienced by passengers across all digital channels.
- TroopTravel (South Africa- Spain) uses big data analytics to optimise companies’ group travel plans, meetings and events by comparing destinations in terms of costs, travel time, visa requirements and carbon footprint.
Dupsy Abiola, IAG’s Head of Global Innovation, commented: “We’re delighted to be hosting the largest ever group of fantastic teams in this year’s Hangar 51 with an amazing array of new products showcased by global startups from North America, Europe, Israel and Africa.
“In line with IAG’s focus on sustainability, this year we’re exploring innovative carbon capture technology to remove CO2 emissions directly from the atmosphere which will play a vital part in the aviation industry’s plans to tackle climate change.
“Hangar 51 provides unique advantages to startups. It aims to rapidly validate their products on real-world business challenges to accelerate their growth. Disruptive startups can benefit from IAG’s size, global exposure and expertise to help drive faster product innovation and gain funding from the Group’s multimillion-pound venture fund. This is a great opportunity for startups seeking to highlight the potential of emerging technology and new ways of thinking while IAG explores innovative applications to transform customer experience.”
The Hangar 51 accelerator programme’s demo day will be held in Barcelona in January 2020.