“Á la carte, commission-based, or frequent flyer related: how would you like your ancillary service today, Sir?” No one’s asked me this question, but knowing what I do about Big Data, there’s a good chance there’s an Online Travel Agency, or OTA, database that already knows my buying habits when it comes to air travel, and my probable purchases are already factored into several airlines’ forecasts for the next 12 months.
In 1980, the movie “Fame” thrilled audiences with a stirring story about young men and women auditioning for highly coveted spots at the New York High School of Performing Arts. There, successful candidates learned that success wasn’t just about dazzling talent and hard work.
Most people will have heard of and possibly used Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe and Quora. They may know that the combined value of these companies is about $52 bn (yes – that’s billion). What they may not know, however, is that these four companies, along with many other successful ventures, began as startups under the knowing gaze and in the kindly embrace of Y Combinator, an accelerator in Mountain View, California. As of September 2018, Y Combinator has invested in 1,800 companies that have a total portfolio value of c. $100 bn.
How will the next generation of passenger aircraft be powered? We may all shortly switch to electric cars, but the aviation sector is a major user of energy in the form of fossil fuels, so it’s quite natural (and comforting) there’s currently a quest to develop aircraft that may first maximise the use of electricity, and – who knows – maybe go “full Hyperloop”.
But how is the next generation of aviation business startups going to be fuelled? What propellants are available to ignite and drive the efforts of entrepreneurs setting up the next wave of aviation businesses?
The first cohort of companies participating in Propeller Shannon, Ireland’s aviation sector Start-up Accelerator, completed their final week on Wednesday evening at a well-attended event in King John’s Castle, Limerick. Invitees included representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Boeing, Shannon Group, Datalex and Irish Aviation Authority.
Propeller Shannon was founded by Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) and DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs, partnering with the Irish Aviation Authority, Boeing and Datalex, and supported by Enterprise Ireland. The Accelerator is a world first; its aim: to boost the development and growth of the aviation, aerospace and traveltech start-up ecosystem.