Qantas is on the hunt for the next big ideas in aviation.
The airline said on Monday it was giving “start-ups, scale-ups and digital disruptors” the opportunity to work with it on a 12-week project to come up with innovations relating to the travel experience both in the air and on the ground.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the AVRO Accelerator initiative was named after the airline’s first aircraft, the Avro 504K.
“We’re proud of our track record as innovators and early adopters and we think there’s much more to come, so we’re asking Australian and international start-ups to join us as we unearth the next big ideas,” Joyce said in a statement.
“Customer needs keep evolving and the limits of technology are constantly expanding, so there is a clear business imperative for us to find new ways to improve how we operate.
“We’re looking forward to opening up our doors to ideas that are different, challenging and truly innovative. Ideas that could benefit from the expertise and scale at a company like Qantas to refine them and make them a reality.”
Qantas said up to 10 teams would be chosen to participate. The airline outlined five areas of interest – creating seamless journeys, care beyond the air, building connected platforms, transforming for tomorrow and innovating without limits.
The AVRO Accelerator initiative is in partnership with Slingshot, a corporate startup accelerator. Slingshot’s venture capital fund will also provide up to $150,000 in funding for the successful applicants.
Successful applicants will be able to access Qantas Group’s operational data, technology platforms and anonymised customer insights, as well as get help from mentors.
“An innovation strategy must include an external approach to tap into an increasing world of disruption and talent,” Slingshot chief executive Karen Lawson said in the Qantas statement.
“We are seeing a fundamental shift as more corporate boardrooms mature in their understanding of the role start-ups and scale-ups play in navigating the reinvention of their industry and meeting customer’s changing expectations.”
Further information can be found on the Qantas website.
The company has also published a video about AVRO Accelerator on its YouTube channel: