Aerospace Xelerated (AX) announced it will run a pitching competition during this year’s Farnborough International Airshow (FIA), on 25 July. The winning startup will get a prize of £5,000 plus six months of mentorship from the AX team as well as exclusive exhibition space for the 2026 Farnborough International Airshow to help them grow their business – the second place will also get a prize of £2,500 and 3 months of mentorship.

All shortlisted startups will also benefit from the opportunity to showcase their business to key stakeholders from leading organisations within the aviation, aerospace & defence industries. The deadline to apply is 17 June.

Startups from anywhere in the world can apply as long as they are able to attend FIA on Pitch Day (25 July 2024) and can cover the costs of travel to the conference. Eligible companies should be early-stage (Pre-Seed to Seed); registered; founded in 2021 or after; and address one of the challenge topics – Innovative Workforce; Sustainability in Aerospace; Next-Gen Travel.

The competition is open to both software and hardware companies. Startups should submit a 3-minute recording of the applicant pitching their business; their pitch decks and their application for consideration via an online form. A shortlist will be announced by mid-June.

AX is a global accelerator and innovation programme delivered in partnership with corporate and government partners, including the Boeing Company, Tawazun Council, GKN Aerospace, Etihad Airways, Rolls-Royce and the UK’s Defense and Security Accelerator. AX will have a dedicated startup area at FIA’s Startup Zone– the first of its kind in the show’s history – where 16 of its portfolio companies will be present. Located in Hall 3 (Area 3100), The Aerospace Xelerated Innovation Zone will have a lounge area, where exhibiting portfolio companies can host meetings, and a stage with panels, workshops, product demos, and more.

Taking place 22-26 July 2024, Farnborough International Airshow will see global aerospace and defence leaders return to Hampshire, United Kingdom, for five days of unrivalled opportunities to discover the latest pioneering technology and engineering, announce historic partnerships, and collaboratively work towards the cumulative sustainable aerospace vision. The introduction of the Startup Zone, in partnership with Aerospace Xelerated, will support the show’s role in powering excellence and innovation across the global aerospace and defence industries.

Nichola Bates, Managing Partner at Aerospace Xelerated, said: “The collaboration between AX and FIA will encourage innovation within the aerospace industry, highlight FIA’s first-ever Startup Zone, and support early startups, providing them with a unique platform to showcase their groundbreaking solutions to a global audience of industry leaders, investors, and corporates.”

Joe Muir, Commercial Aerospace Director of Farnborough International, added: “Representing the apex of aviation, the 2024 Farnborough International Airshow will demonstrate the future of the industry to the global aerospace sector. We are proud to join Aerospace Xelerated’s growing ecosystem of partners, with the aim to support collaborative innovation between the titans of industry and the newest trailblazers and highlight the pioneering startups entering the industry with new, sustainable technology.”

Aerospace Xelerated provides investment, mentorship, and support for startups and SMEs developing scalable and sustainable tech solutions for the aerospace industry and beyond. For the last four years, Aerospace Xelerated has invested in, mentored, and supported 40+ startups from 15 countries around the globe. To date, AX-supported companies have raised over £250M in additional funding — beyond the programme´s initial £100,000 equity investment into each and created 750+ new, high-skilled jobs internationally.

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