The ATI’s Head of Strategy, Innovation and Engagement, Rachel Power, launched the Institute’s new event series Aero Guru on 23rd July 2019. In this blog we hear Rachel’s thoughts on Aero Guru, the first event for UK aerospace startups.
Aero Guru, part of the ATI’s Innovation Strategy, is focused on helping startups solve their biggest challenges and test their solutions against some of the brightest brains in aerospace. The first Aero Guru event had three startups pitch to our panel of 14 gurus and to say the atmosphere was electric would be an understatement. The startups were blown away by the laser-focused feedback and the unprecedented access to key influencers in the industry.
The event was open to all startups interested in the aerospace market and we were overwhelmed by the wide array who registered their interest. We selected three truly innovative startups who touched different aspects of the aircraft manufacturing journey, and curated a diverse panel of gurus with technical, senior management, strategy, investment and start-up development expertise.
The startups were:
- MeshFlow – who pitched their novel AI solution for additive manufacturing
- Meteor Power – presented their radical solutions for reducing drag on aircraft
- Icomat – spoke about their patented approach for composite component manufacture.
Each of the startups had their own unique challenges. One company was only three months old and looking to aerospace for investment and opportunity, and another was looking to fund the next stage of their ambitious development. The very capable Aero Gurus were able bring unique insight to point each startup in the right direction, challenge their assumptions and offer connections to help them grow.
It wasn’t only the startups who benefited, which made the event truly special and unique. The Gurus came together as a community, bouncing ideas off each other, discussing collaborations and making a commitment to work together to develop the aerospace startup ecosystem.
Building a supportive ecosystem within aerospace for startups and enabling new technologies to grow is something I’m passionate about within my role at the ATI. The UK aerospace industry cannot sit back, wait for others to innovate and then follow.
As a world leader in aerospace, the UK is a hotbed for innovation and can lead in the next generation of air transport technologies. New entrants and emerging economies are challenging industry norms and we need collaboration across all participants in the industry to keep the UK driving the future of air transport.
Aero Guru aims to be one part of this supportive aerospace ecosystem and hopes to encourage further ambitious initiatives to emerge.
The next event will be on 10th September, followed by future events on a monthly basis.
If you are interested in getting involved either to pitch or as a Guru then register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org