Airbus BizLab – Airbus’s unique step to help innovators soar high in the aerospace sector

8th Nov 2016
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A blank page while wanting to write something new can always be intimidating. However, for people at Airbus BizLab, this isn’t new. Every new season of the programme, we welcome a new set of startups, and open a new chapter in not just the entrepreneur’s journey but in that of Airbus as well.

For those who haven’t heard of Airbus BizLab, it is an aerospace accelerator that works closely with startups (entrepreneurs) and Airbus’s own internal innovation projects (intrapreneurs) to speed up the transformation of innovative ideas into valuable businesses.

The first BizLab was setup in Toulouse, France, and the idea of working with startups and bringing innovation from outside the company motivated Airbus management to create more BizLabs. Thus, in quick succession to the first, two more of these ‘Hybrid’ accelerators came into existence, one in Hamburg, Germany and one in Bangalore, India.

Why was Airbus BizLab setup?

In many big companies, one department of the company doesn't always know what other departments are working on, let alone have visibility on innovation happening outside the company.

BizLab was setup to ensure that different departments of Airbus have visibility of disruptive ideas coming from both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. The focus lies in identifying innovative projects and ensuring that these ideas find the right path in a challenging sector (aerospace).

The programme is not designed only for aerospace startups - Airbus BizLab welcomes any startup that has an innovation that can be adapted for the aerospace sector as well.

For example, in Season #1 of the programme in India, one of the startups selected for the six-month acceleration programme came from an applied gaming background. They had begun developing a VR/AR application platform for the retail and real estate sectors. VR/AR is potentially interesting for several departments within Airbus. The mentors at Airbus BizLab are guiding this startup in adapting their solution for the aerospace sector and, today, this startup has identified Business Intelligence and Manufacturing within Airbus as opportunities to explore and to develop use cases for.

Similarly, Airbus BizLab would like to explore innovative ideas for the Season #2 of the programme, in the following areas as well:

Robotics, Iot, Data Analytics, Image Processing, VR/AR, FinTech (Processes, Budgeting, Accounting, Reporting, Funding etc.), Supply Chain, Door to Door Mobility (Passenger experience), Gaming, Aviation Products and Services, Drones, Manufacturing, Airport Management (Services and Products), Space Technologies and Solutions.

I'm sure that by now, a lot of you reading this article must be asking yourself what is in it for you if you are selected for the six month programme.

So, here are some of the things one can expect from this programme:

  • Opportunity to work with relevant departments within Airbus
  • Mentors (both internal Airbus and external domain experts) and industry leaders who will work closely with you to guide you through exploring and identifying business potential and more importantly help in structuring your approach while hoping to convert these leads.
  • Free co-working space which will allow you to meet internal projects and other startups.
  • Develop an investment strategy and interact regularly with investors to maximize the chances of raising funds.
  • Contacts in sectors other than aerospace to develop more use cases and broaden your scope of doing business.

Airbus BizLab will not take any equity from the selected startups and will also not invest in any of the external projects.

Our interest in running this programme, as I mentioned earlier, is to collaborate with innovative startups and find a way to adapt the product/solution for the aerospace sector.

Collaboration is important not just because it's a better way to learn. The spirit of collaboration is penetrating every institution and all of our lives. So learning to collaborate is part of equipping yourself for effectiveness, problem solving, innovation and life-long learning in an ever-changing networked economy.” - Don Tapscott

The call for applications for our Season #2 is currently open on F6S, so if you are an entrepreneur and have a product/solution in any of the domains mentioned above, then we are interested in hearing from you. The last date for applying is the 27th of November 2016.

Airbus BizLab will be writing on YourStory on the different innovations in the aerospace sector and how startups are actively contributing in this endeavour, so stay tuned!

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