FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub – year in review 2022


The FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub is the first-ever air transport community designed specifically for the organisations and individuals who are at the forefront of innovation and digital transformation in the aviation industry. Throughout the year, the FTE Hub brings together the most forward-thinking Corporate Partners – including airports, airlines, vendors and investors – as well as high-potential startups and scaleups, providing a unique platform for them to share expertise, discover new partners, collaborate, and deliver positive change.

Throughout 2022 our portfolio of Corporate Partners has continued to grow, with the likes of Miami International Airport, Air Canada, Aeroporti di Roma, United Airlines and Schiphol Group joining long-standing members such as Southwest Airlines, Pittsburgh International Airport, VINCI Airports and Marubeni Corporation as members of our unique community.

Here is a brief overview of some of the exciting and insightful members-only events and activities from the last 12 months:

Airlines, airports, investors, startups and academia gather at FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub Live event in Dublin

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Hosted at Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, the FTE Hub event included keynote speakers from Trinity Business School, Dublin Airport’s Future Factory and Aer Lingus.

On 7 June 2022, members of the FTE Innovation & Startup Hub gathered at the renowned Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin for our first in-person event of the year. The members-only meeting featured inspirational keynote addresses by Michael Flynn, Lead Future Factory Manager, Dublin Airport; Michael Flynn, Director of Executive Education, Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin; and Wayne Gough, Head of Strategy & Innovation, Aer Lingus, as well as startup pitches on the pertinent topics of sustainability and automation, and interactive co-creation sessions.

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The event also included startup pitch sessions addressing the topics of sustainability and automation.

Delivered with the support of Trinity Executive Education, Future Factory and Aer Lingus, the event provided a welcome opportunity for those at the forefront of innovation in the aviation industry to share knowledge and expertise, and learn about the newest and most forward-thinking products and services from a selection of high-potential startups.

Interested in joining as a Corporate Partner? Contact us for more information >>

Members-only virtual events and video calls – exclusive insights from the industry’s innovators

Throughout the year, our Corporate Partners have access to virtual events and video calls, featuring exclusive presentations by innovators from across the industry, each of which is followed by an interactive Q&A to promote knowledge sharing between our members.

Among the industry pioneers who delivered virtual presentations throughout 2022 were Stephen Snyder, Managing Director, Operations & Partnerships, JetBlue Technology Ventures; Hamidul Huq, Innovation Project Manager, Geneva Airport; Naashom Marx, Director of Strategic Innovation – Advanced Mobility, CVG International Airport; and Cole Wolfson, Director, xBridge, Pittsburgh International Airport, to name just a handful. All of the video calls are recorded and hosted in the members area of the FTE Hub website so our Corporate Partners can rewatch them on-demand throughout the year.

FTE Global 2022 hosts FTE Startup Idol finals in partnership with the FTE Hub

The inaugural FTE Startup Idol final took place at FTE Global 2022, with ThorDrive emerging victorious.

Corporate Partners and startup members of the FTE Innovation & Startup Hub gathered at Future Travel Experience Global 2022 (6-9 September, Las Vegas), which included a selection of members-only activities for FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub Corporate Partners.

Among the highlights was the final of the inaugural FTE Startup Idol competition, which was delivered by the FTE Hub with the official support of JetBlue Technology Ventures. A total of 12 early-stage, high-potential startups were invited to pitch to an audience of industry decision-makers, focusing on three of the most pertinent air transport industry topics: Sustainability, Automation & Workforce, and Digital Identity & Security.

The judging panel, including industry experts from Harry Reid International Airport, JetBlue Technology Ventures and Plan3, selected one startup from each category to advance to the final, with ThorDrive then chosen as the overall winner by an audience vote.

Interested in joining as a Corporate Partner? Contact us for more information >>

Aeroporti di Roma leads members-only innovation workshop

Aeroporti di Roma’s Pietro Caminiti, Head of IT, and Stefano Biondi, Head of Maintenance Engineering, led a members-only innovation workshop at FTE Global 2022.

In Las Vegas, our Corporate Partners also had access to an exclusive interactive workshop led by Aeroporti di Roma (ADR). ADR’s Pietro Caminiti, Head of IT, and Stefano Biondi, Head of Maintenance Engineering, led the workshop in which they shared how ADR’s Innovation Cabin Crew – a dedicated team of innovators within the airport group – is helping to successfully foster corporate innovation throughout the entire organisation.

FTE Startup Hub online directory – more than 400 approved startup members now online 

Another major benefit for our Corporate Partners is access to the online FTE Startup Hub directory, which now includes more than 400 approved startup members.

Each startup has their own profile which includes detailed company and product information, as well as contact details so our Corporate Partners can get in touch with them directly if they would like to learn more and explore a potential collaboration.

Every startup member has products or services that are relevant to the air transport industry, with the areas of focus ranging from artificial intelligence, robotics, biometrics and digital transformation to passenger comfort, ancillary revenue and sustainability.

Interested in joining as a Corporate Partner? Contact us for more information >>

More exciting plans in place for 2023 – join the air transport industry’s digital transformation and innovation network 

Our Corporate Partners can look forward to even more members-only events and activities in 2023. As well as exclusive innovation tours, workshops, roundtables and startup pitch sessions alongside FTE EMEA, FTE Global and FTE APEX Asia Expo, our virtual events and video calls will take place on a monthly basis in 2023 (increasing from bi-monthly in 2022). We are also working with our partners around the world to add more exciting in-person activities, details of which will be revealed early in the New Year. All of the events and activities will tie in with the three core pillars of the FTE Hub: digital transformation, innovation and startup engagement.

If you’re interested in joining the FTE Digital, Innovation & Startup Hub in 2023 and playing an active role in our unique digital transformation and innovation community, please contact us here and we will be happy to share more information.


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