Aerospace Xelerated: Ask Us Anything
Welcome everyone to our ask us anything session. This is really to introduce aerospace, accelerated to everybody and help answer any of your questions about the program and what we're up to. So today it's me AeroX program manager at Aerospace Xelerated together with Nicola Bates, the managing partner and Jacqueline Davidson, the program director.
Thanks for being here, everybody. So Aerospace Xelerator, just to kick off it's a three-month program and based in the UK, but open to companies globally, we're looking for seed to series a startups working on autonomy and AI solutions. So we've got six core. Assured autonomy, autonomous navigation, generative design, smart maintenance, adaptive learning, and reduced workload.
We've also got a separate bucket for novel AI applications that may not fit into those six. So I'd love to hear from those startups as well. So today we'll cover a little bit about program structure, curriculum investments kind of corporate access, and any other questions you might have to kick off? Maybe we can talk a little bit about the application. I know this week, we've gotten a lot of questions from startups about how to best fill out the application how to make yourself stand out. So I can kick off a little bit on it. The application form is very extensive, but it's really important for us. So we can make an informed decision on whether you're a good fit for this program or not.
From a previous cohort, there was a founder that gave some excellent advice on how to apply and he got in. So it's worth listening to this, this kind of advice. And one thing he said, for example, was the aerospace specific make it easy for us to envision a POC. That's really important. Another one was make sure you're really talking about the solution you have for this industry. And another, the thing is also highlight why this accelerator is
strategically important for you and what you'd like to get out of it. So I think those are all very important things. Another question that we got what does the investment from Boeing mean? Could you talk a little bit about the a hundred thousand pound safe note? So I'll hand it over to Nick and Jacqueline to answer that one.
Sure. Yeah, so it obviously is a a direct investment from, from the Boeing company. And as you pointed out, it is, it is a safe investment. So it's just a simple agreement for future equity, which means that. What we're really doing is providing and providing the, the capital upfront. And we'll, you know, we'll, we'll deal with the conversion to equity at a later date when your company's a little bit more mature.
And so for us, it's really about being able to provide you that investment really quick. And in terms of the timeline for that investment, we, we hope to get. The cash through to you sort of mid to end January. So just a few weeks after the program has actually started. And that's really important to us as well, that you know, where we're able to get you through the process, do our due diligence.
So it is a real investment from the Boeing company. You will have to go through the due diligence process, but we try to do that in a very short, coated fashion. And so that we can get the funds to you as quickly as possible. And just to add to that too, once you, once you do receive the Boeing investment, you will be loaded into the supplier database. So that investment comes with a lot more than just, you know, financial commitment. It does come with the opportunity to have ease of access to proof of concepts. So if there is opportunity to do a proof of concept,
With Boeing, it makes that process a lot easier once you're loaded into our supply chain. And I will say too, that our commitment is when we make those financial investments with a safe note, you are considered in our portfolio. So we are dedicated through portfolio development to help and support your business. Even beyond the three month program. Amazing. Thank you guys. And another question that we got that I think is worth kind of following up on, you mentioned due diligence, does the due diligence happen during selection process and is it possible to participate even if one is not interested in this. So I'll answer the second, but first yes, it is. It is possible to participate,
even if you don't want to take the investment. At this stage, you know, our hope is that you get to work with us. You love working with us and we get, we get an opportunity to invest in your company. In terms of the due diligence process.
I suppose, you know, if I'm honest, that really starts from the, you know, from the first contact that we, that we have with you in terms of our our, our due diligence process. And that said that the formal due diligence will happen. Once you sign the the program agreement on, you know an indicate to us that you want to move ahead with the investment. So it does happen in December. We know that's a busy time for everyone. But I will give you
four award and that, that, that, you know, th the quicker that obviously you can get all of that data back to us. The quicker we can get you through that process and get the cash out. Perfect. Thank you so much for sharing that. Got another question. So what does the application process look like? So we kicked off the application period this Monday. So 23rd of August. The application window is five weeks. So until the 26th of September, I believe. And there there's several stages. So the first stage is really you sending in your application, filling it out.
The program team will typically follow up kind of set up a virtual meeting to get to know you and your business. And essentially at this stage, figure out whether you're in scope for the program or not asked for the long listing you'll hear back from him. Before or by the 25th of October. And from then we continue having follow-up conversations. This is with like Boeing and industry partner technical experts kind of strategic commercial conversations as well. And then shortlisting happens and we select 20 startups to be invited to our selection day, which is early. And then that's it.
We select eight to 10 startups for the cohorts and to kick off the program in January, 2020. So that's us. I think we have one question that we got through the Typeform is we have been developing an AI engine for the purpose of a manufacturing made smarter marketplace and believe it could be tuned for aerospace. What a project that has had grant funding, but no revenues quality. Nick. Do you want to answer that?
Yeah, potentially. And obviously we would need to have, you know, have more specific details on that, but because of has, because there is no revenue is not a barrier and in this program at all, what we're really interested in is obviously in the, in the longer term potential. And so while I say that, you know, it doesn't have to have revenue right now, obviously. This is,
as we've seen from previous two cohorts, it's a very, very competitive program. So do you get in touch with with the program team? I am. There are M a sessions available to have one to ones. And in advance of putting in your application, do you make use of that because they will really help you ship you know, the sort of details and help you pull out the sort of details that we really need to see to, to ensure your application is as competitive as it can. Absolutely. And we've had other questions also around, you know I'm applying and what kind of
thing do you want to see besides us being a seed to series a stage? How else can we best fit into the program? And it's really demonstrating traction that you've had, even if it's not an aerospace, talk to us about what you've done in other sectors as well. So that will be really great to see through that application process. Another question was around eVTOL. So we are an Indian, deep tech startup. We're working on urban air mobility and building eVTOL. Are we eligible for this program to get into the accelerator? And so if this question, I'm not seeing the questions, but if this question is about you know, a mobility platform like a vehicle, then no, that's not the sort of, that's not the sort of company that we're looking for.
And during this program, and we, you know, The sort of startups that we, you know, are, are likely to be able to support. Are those more software-focused companies? Absolutely thinking Nick. And one other question we have here is more of a technical question. If you can answer it, it's what TRL level do companies need to have to be accepted or if there is even a TRL level that you're looking for specific.
Yeah. So we like to see normally TRL three and above. However I say that with the caveat, I don't want to preclude anyone because we have taken companies where, you know, they just recently incorporated three weeks prior. So I would say really focused in on the applicability of your solution and to the pain point of the aerospace sector today. I know that, you know, the aerospace industry is ever evolving and ever changing and is more open and adaptable to change now more than ever. So I say TRL with three with the understanding that even if it is outside of that, and you think you have a real pain point to solve, then definitely apply and definitely get in touch with the program team.
And we would be happy to consider your application just to add to that. You know, if you are in that situation where you are, you know, a little bit earlier, right? You know, really think about what you would like to achieve in that 12 week window, you know, and what we could really do to help you, because obviously, you know, it is you know, once you would be part of our portfolio going forward, it is a very concentrated effort through those five weeks. What we don't want to do is put it in there. If you're not ready for that, you know, for that, that intense 12 week experience, you know, we will, you know, we will continue to run programs. This is not, you know, a one off. So please think about whether you know, whether you're really
ready to make that commitment to this program, because it is, it is it is an intense experience. Absolutely. Thank you both. And here we have another question. Is the accelerator format hybrid, both virtual and own location? Yes. Yes, it is hybrid. We would love to meet you all in person and make those kinds of industry connections. Also in person
in an ideal world, that's what will happen. And that's how we envision it. We are always looking at kind of government guidelines, both here in the UK and abroad to make sure that. You know, it is a possibility that it can happen. We we'll see what happens January 20, 22,
of course keeping a close eye on that. But yes, both a mix of virtual and in person in person, particularly at the beginning of the program we're starting to build those industry connections. But yes, it's not every week. We know you need to run your business. So it's really kind of a little bit here, a little bit there, and we'll, we'll kind of let you know, towards the start of the program, what that really looks. And if I can add to that too, I think, you know, I saw some ads comment in the chat box about, you know, shout out to this being an all female panel. And I think that's the key element of why we're thinking of making a more adaptable it's being hybrid because in the last cohort we saw a significant increase in the amount of women that applied. So we definitely don't know.
Eliminate anyone from being able to participate, regardless of whatever their situation is, we're really looking for the best and the brightest out there, whatever their situations may be. And we'll work with you to make sure that you can. Absolutely Jacqueline. Thank you for pointing that out. That's very true. And of course it's a global program, so we're going to try to make it work for everybody no matter what, where you are.
We had a very global hurt last year with teams of the us and Australia, and that made were really exciting for weeks. Definitely. Let's talk. Okay, so there's a question. What about industry partners and sponsors for this upcoming cohort? Nick, do you want to talk a little bit about that? Yeah, sure. So yes, I, I did see the question that the ATI aren't ambulating the program this year. So what, we've, what we've done it on really as a Testament to the success of our, and of our, of our previous two cohorts. And I'm really all credit to those teams for, for supporting us in that regard, it was always our vision and that the ATI Boeing accelerator would transition to be an industry led initiatives.
And that's just happens a lot quicker than, than any of us and kind of expected. We continue to have support from UK government and to run this program. But it is an industry led program and over the coming weeks, and we will be announcing the industry partners and that that will be joining us this year and it will still and have an aerospace focus, you know? Absolutely. And, but if you look at those the, the things that, that we have have created, we have created those you know, in conjunction with our, our, our industry partners, that, that we'll be able to release those names in the next few weeks. Absolutely. Thank you. Another question is we get this question often. Do you accept
two potential competitors onto the program? What I would say is once we once applications come in and we start looking at them it's inevitable that there will be overlaps under each theme. But we as a selection committee, we have a ranking kind of exercise where we rate, assess each startup to, to avoid this happening. So. We really want to give an opportunity for every startup to collaborate with Boeing or industry partners. And so to avoid having like eight to 10 smart maintenance companies, for example, we do this exercise to make sure we're selecting the best of the best. And I kind of have a varied cohort.
Yeah. And just to, in addition to that, cause then I would also, you know, if you think that that you're potentially competitive with any of the teams from our previous two cohorts, please take a look at that as well and think about how you would differentiate yourselves, you know, yourselves from them as well, or how you would work with them. You know, given that there, you know, they're a little bit ahead of you in this process. You
know, it'd be really clever to think about how you could actually partner with some of those and those teams that we already have in the portfolio, through our accelerator. That's a great point. And you can find out more about a portfolio companies on the website. So we've got it all there. If you have any questions, you can all be obviously email us, but all the information is there.
Okay, let's have a little luck. Another question we often get is is the accelerator focusing on software hardware or both? We are a software business with hardware elements. Are we still in scope for the program? So yes, we we've explicitly said we're looking for software businesses for this program software because of the time. It's 12 weeks and we want to start exploring POC opportunities within this timeframe. That said there have been
software startups with some hardware elements that have applied previously. So please, if you think that you fit under these themes, but you do have some kind of hardware elements do apply, we do want to see your application. And just to follow on from that say, you don't get a spot on the accelerator. We'd love to help you
as we can and introduce you to the wider ecosystem to see if there's opportunities elsewhere. I don't know if Nick and Jacqueline have any additional thoughts on that. Yeah, I think that, you know, whenever, you know, as you said, you know, we are very much focused on the software and that said we have had some. Some teams that have been successful in the program that are not software at all. And so please do get in touch with us and have a chat if it's something really interesting. You know, we're, we're more than happy to to consider it, you know, we can, we can certainly pull things through in terms of a live card.
Kind of famous as well. So, you know, do, do get in touch with us, you know, talk it through with the program team. I think the thing to keep in mind always is that we really want to be able to do something to support you and accelerate you during that 12 week window. So if you can, if you have a pretty defined kind of vision of what that, what that would be in that 12 week window then, then that would, that would really help you to be successful in the application process because at the end of the day, time is your biggest reason. So, you know, it at the end
of the 12 weeks, if you don't have a clear ask of what you could get out of it, then I think, you know, we want to make sure we're mindful that we are helping you in the best way possible. So hardware tends to come with the challenge as time goes, especially. The COVID pandemic and everything that, you know, the world is facing today with logistics being a problem, and a pain point in this being a global program, however that doesn't limit you, if you have a very specific application. So just take a look at the themes and then
you know, we're happy to chat if there's anything that you're unsure. Yes. And on that note, yeah, we were running office hours. So if you look at our website, you can book in talk to the program team tell us about what you're building.
We can kind of help guide you, direct you and answer any questions. So, so do that as well. Everything's on our website just to Ah. Okay. So it sounds like you're only interested in software AI technologies. Is that correct? Or are you open to other innovations? Yes. The theme for this cohort is AI and autonomy. You can find out
more on our website. So have a look there. Let me just look up other questions that we've got. Okay. How advanced should the proof of concepts be? Do you expect a functioning prototype? That's an excellent question. Next, Jack. On your ticket. And no, not necessarily, you know, because obviously we're not, you know, we're not just looking for proof of concepts in the sense of, you know, being able to deliver, you know, a trial or a proof of concept to an end customer.
For example, you know, Boeing has, you know, such a range of opportunities. You know, we have our, and Boeing research and technology group, you know, that look at very early stage. Perfect concepts and technology demonstrations. So it may be in not space that, but you want to test the technology maybe with some supervision, from some of the Boeing experts or, or our Boeing champions or, or equally it could be something that's, you know, ready to go.
And we're, we're kind of open to any of those things. I would also say there's many layers of our supply chain. A lot of our business is in our supply. So think about it in the sense of if your application is further along in, down into the supply chain. We're happy to make those introductions because you know, if it's even a small you know, proof of concept there that can grow into something larger, once you get up to the OEM level, that is. You know, we're happy to support that as well. Whatever
is making whatever is making the aerospace ecosystem better is a win for us. So regardless of how small or how big there's really no limitation there. Absolutely. Thank you both for that. Just have a quick look. Beyond the industry partners on aerospace accelerated, will we have the chance to connect with other space companies? You've touched on this a little bit, but maybe you guys can talk a bit more about that. Yes. So really from our perspective, we w we want to use this, you know, that use this program and these 12 weeks with you too.
So, you know, to really supercharge your, your network. And so we will provide you access to as many people across the aerospace industry is, as we think is relevant, you know, we're very conscious of you know, trying to help you guys from the point of view that we don't want to waste a lot of your time with a lot of conversations. So during the 12 week process, you will be exposed to lots of mentors and not just from aerospace. So, you know, the program team, but also pulled together. You know, some really high quality mentors and experts, you know, from the business and rather than the aerospace or, or technical and on those are hugely valuable for you as well.
And all of those people there. And when they come in there, their job is to really help act as a kind of a filter or a connection point and to help understand where the Boeing company. Just on its own is, you know, I watering a huge so being able to connect you with lots of people there but the more specific you can be. Who you want to talk to or who your customer focus is.
And the more that we can help you, obviously, Boeing has a huge supply chain right across the world. And if you can say, you know, we want to talk to this company and this location, or we want to talk to this individual you know, just let us know. We'll be able to, through our internal networks, be able to reach out and find the best way to get you connected and to those people.
And I'll say to you, I think each of each program is bespoke and unique in and of itself. So it's not to say that our, you know, mentor list or our Rolodex of contacts, contacts. Specifically baked into each program. It is very specific to the 10 companies that we choose to take in and we choose to work with and huge kudos goes out to our program team for really finding some of the best and the brightest to be able to mentor. And it's the mentors that
we've had in the past, beyond Boeing are not, you know, specific to our Aero ex accelerated mentors. They are really specific to each cohort in of them. Okay. Absolutely. Thank you. We've got a question here. Can you give us an example of things that we could tackle during the accelerator during the 12 weeks? And should we put this into our application? I'm going to assume this is about program curriculum and what's going to be part of it. During the trial. So we have a pre-program survey where we ask you what your needs are. We really
want to be able to deliver and, and, and help you during the 12 weeks. So it could be anything around product marketing, sales fundraising business model, like literally anything. We ask you, you let us know, and then we shape the program curriculum based off that But at the beginning, you've got kind of three weeks of meeting industry partners and meeting with your champions.
Then you've got all of the other kind of workshops and sessions we have planned towards the end. We do a lot of kind of meetings with investors. So that speeds style speed dating style mentoring. For example, we have a demo day at the end. So these are just some of the components of the program. And yes. We'll ask you that before the program starts make sure we shape it based on your needs. And I think if you're talking about shaping from a proof of concept standpoint that, cause that's kind of where my head went right away. I was chuckling a little bit, cause I was like, how much time do you have? I'll give you loads of things. But no, I, I, I will say something we've done in
the most recent cohort that. You will be afforded to this one as well, is our champions will come in and share some of their pain points that they're having. And so you will get direct access and insights to subject matter experts that are working on real life applications, because we don't want to waste your time. We want don't want to send you on a road show throughout our business and, you know, pitch to numerous different stakeholders. We want to bring the stakeholders to you. Tell, have them tell you their pain points so you guys can do what you do best and that's innovate. So. I think, you know, hopefully that'll make your lives a lot easier throughout the program and hopefully it'll make it so you can think about how to adapt your technology to real life point rather than the reverse.
Absolutely. Thanks, Jacqueline. Investive question. Does Boeing usually do follow on investors? And we have done. Yes. And, and it really depends. So there's, you know, there's, there's, there's kind of two options. One is, you know, a, a very simple extension of the safe
and the other is a a full, you know, a full equity investment off, off the get go. So it really depends on the situation. The key thing though is, and this is a game where the more specific you can bajur. Process or program the better, because what we really need to do is very, very quickly get you that that traction within the Boeing company because as part of our investment process for, for follow-ons through either route is really to, to make sure that we have established that pole from the business. So. It's not just all saying, we think, you know, we think this is a great investment, but we also need the business to be saying, this is a technology that we just can't live without. We absolutely need this. And we, we want to continue to invest. So,
so that's where you know, the quicker that we can do that, the quicker we can get into a where we would be able to make that follow on and. Thanks, Nick. So during this webinar, we actually have an alumni with us. We've got Simon Morris from Highrock. Who's joined us who will shed light on his experience on the program. So let me just bring him in. Hopefully he sees that on the screen. Now give him a second. There he is. Simon. Can you hear us? We can see you.
Yeah, very well. Very well. Thank you so much for joining our, ask us anything session. Awesome. So first before we start asking you any questions who are you and what does hybrid. So I'm Simon Morris. I'm the chief commercial officer of Highrock limited, and we are developing a new technology for clean generation of hydrogen from hydrocarbon.
Our past synthetic aviation fuel as well. Awesome. Thank you. Let's go back to the very beginning. Maybe. What was your motivation for joining aerospace accelerated formerly ATI Boeing accelerator? The motivation was that we were at a point in our development where we felt that exposure to some very large companies. With the right sort of strategy towards the carbonization the use of hydrogen in their industry. And the view that aerospace, even though it was more long-term for hydrogen, that we had this idea around the potential synthetic aviation fuels in terms of where we were as a company, we just felt it was the right time to be starting that engagement with these companies at that point. And out of that, Amazing.
Yeah. I still remember our first, our initial conversations before you joined the program. And how was your overall experience during the 12 weeks? Any highlights that you want to share? I think the whole experience was fantastic. I mean, of the team, I was probably the most skeptical about doing the accelerator. I've been involved in a number of accelerators before. Which hadn't really accelerated anything. This was vastly different. This was something where it was full on. I mean, there were the sessions where we were doing the the Boeing week in particular obviously with a lot of folks borrowing out of in Seattle, there was a very light finish sort.
The two, three nights running, it was really full on. The exposure to people who you normally wouldn't get the chance to talk to. The engagement from the people that we spoke to is incredible and the real interest, it wasn't. I always felt it was going to be a bit of a box ticking exercise, maybe even a bit of greenwashing from the companies that we were dealing with, but it wasn't like that at all.
It was, it was real interest and real engagement and, and it really worked. Amazing. And were there any, where the, was there anything new that you learned maybe around team culture or sales or anything like that? Well, not being the brightest kind of learn everything. I learn something every day anyway. So yeah, we've done a lot. I mean, particularly as we've grown very quickly as a company, I mean, when we started on the accelerator, We were seven people.
We're now 35 people. So just, just about the operational side about. Making sure that you have the right approaches towards diversity when you're recruiting. Those sorts of things were invaluable because they're the things you explained. You take
your eye off the ball when you're building a company you're so focused on the technology. You're so focused on fundraising. You forget the things that can contribute up as you go along, start to have those sessions where were particularly useful. But y'all learned something every day because you're starting from a very low point, so, oh, we're glad to hear that. I know we're very happy to hear that. So we've got a lot of attendees on this call people tuning in what would be your advice for those wanting to apply to this next cohort? If you're going to apply. Thank you seriously. I think that once we took the decision that we were going to go for the accelerator it became a high priority.
There's no point going at it half heartedly. If you're going to do the application really work at the application, really think about the application, putting in and make sure you give it everything. Otherwise don't bother because the, the competition is so high. You've got to give it your best shot. And then when you're on it, you've got to give it your best shot again. I think that as a company, I think we normally had at least two or three people on every session. And
I think the two or three people were involved in that got a lot out of it. So it's, if you're going to do it, do it go full tilt. Don't hold anything back. And yeah, I mean, w we really enjoyed it. I've made a lot, very good friends through the process as well. So I would recommend it very hard. Thank you very much. And one of the questions we got from these before also was, you know, how was the post-program support. And of course we can talk about it, but maybe
you can talk about it more from kind of the alumni perspective. What did you feel about the post-program support and kind of how we're supporting you now, even today? Well, again, I think it's important that you engage with the people you're dealing with. I think if you don't fully engage and get to know the people and understand what they are trying to achieve from the program, you're not going to get much out of it. I think if you put the time and effort into understanding the companies themselves, the sponsor companies trying to achieve then the support comes naturally because you're following the side. So I mean, for us, we've had GKN Rolls Royce. We're all we're talking to all three companies, still various stages or investment or potential investment or collaboration. And the support from you folks. Obviously the Metta folks has been
just wonderful. I mean, I'm not going off script a bit here, sending out now. It was, it's been. Amazing. No, thank you so much for sharing that experience. We've got if you have any questions for Simon, please just pop them in the Q and a, because he's still around.
He can answer anything for you from an alumni perspective. We've got another alumni on the line. I don't know if Andy is still here. No, I don't think so. But he asked a question. He said, do you work with other accelerators and programs in that ecosystem that are designed to facilitate. Pathways for early companies. Nick, do you want to answer it? Yeah, so we do work with we work with a range of other programs and for us, you know, this just isn't in the UK is as casinos pointed out.
So Jacqueline and I spent an awful lot of time and engaged with, with other you know, programs and. Corporates that are in a similar position to us that have maybe a slightly different ASP, you know, slightly different focus or slightly different approach. And you know, we, we work very collaboratively with everyone and we're really open to working with anyone. And so we have no limits on that at our side, and it's really important to us. So even, you know, like even this week, Jacqueline and I are in are in QA and we're talking to you know, ecosystems. I kind of champions here and we're always talking about our, our portfolio potential opportunities, you know, to, to work with our portfolio was why also there's a whole range of people, you know, whether that's through, you know, corporate networks, whether that's through our, you know, our work in terms of supporting global ecosystems or whether that's through you know, just our, our work with our other Boeing colleagues internationally.
It's very much the case that we want to try and find the best class and you know, to help you. And I know that, you know, even this week, I've, you know, there's been a number of people who. And got got through to the long list or got through to the short list the last time and have got in touch with me again on those teams, you know, I have seen, and we, you know, suggested other routes to maybe programs that suited them better. If it wasn't, you know, the, the right sort of company for us at the right time. I should say that when it comes to our, you know, our final team a lot of that as well as focused on the choice of how do we get to that final tan.
And there's a big part of that, that that is about by timing as well. It's about, you know, do we have, you know, upcoming and priorities or opportunities for those tan. Yeah. You know, and that 12 week window, which is, you know, which is fairly niche. So you know, the, those that have been, you know, have gotten through to the long list or short list previously, shouldn't be put off because they didn't make it to the final time because, you know, in this game, timing is everything as well.
And so, so please do get back in touch with us. I know. You know, we continue on the program team continues to talk to a very large number of, of applicants. You know, even right from our, our first batch and those that, that didn't quite make it. We still continue to connect them. We try to keep them in mind.
You know, one thing that is really our fault, you know, as a, you know, as a, as a piece of advice is please do you know set us up on your. And faster updates, you know, send us a, you know, send us a quarterly note of where you've gotten to what else you're working on, because that might just trigger something for us where we, you know, we're an opportunity has come across our desk and it is difficult for us to keep track of everyone. So the more you can kind of keep in touch with us and keep in touch with the wider program team as well. And, you know, we, we will keep you from defined for different opportunities that may not be this accelerator. And just to add to Andy's question of how we work with other similarly aligned industries or competitors, or, you know, other accelerator programs. I never, I never fully, you know, believe folks when they normally say, you know, oh no, we're not competitors. And I really struggle with that, but,
but at the end of the day, I'm, I'm being very serious in the sense that it's not a land grab. If you're talking about, you know, very complex problems like sustainability or. AI autonomy. Boeing alone is not going to be able to solve those problems and those pain points and not one individual entity is you know, 10 years from now. I might be wrong, but okay. That's my perspective right now. And I think at the end of the day,
we need as much help as we can get to make our world a better place tomorrow than it is today. So at the end of the day, while Boeing side, side paycheck, I work for you all. So how can we help you out? Make this a better solution, whether it's this accelerator, another accelerator, whether it's Boeing or whether it's another firm we're having. Thank you both. And to echo what Nick said, you know, whether you're an applicant from cohort one or two, we'd love to hear from you again, if you feel like you fit under these themes, we want to see how you've progressed over the last year or two.
And when we want to see how we can help, so definitely, definitely get in touch. There was a question around raising around in 2022. How can you help with that? Several elements go into this. I think for us, you know we have a very strong network next, already talked about this a lot, but we have a very strong network of early stage investors and angels and VCs. We do mentoring with them and also we help you, depending on what stage you are. Of course seed series a, we kind of, we review a financial plan. We look at your fundraising strategy. We provide pitch training. We. Help you in any way we can't
and then get you in front of investors. So you're ready for when those meetings kind of take place. I don't know if Nick and Jacqueline want to say anything else to that. And yeah, so I think that, you know, there's obviously, you know, Jacqueline and I are obviously, you know, here from the corporate investing, you know, perspective on that. And, but we also have, you know, our, you know, our venture partners at the, in the program as well, you know, so you've got, you know, you've got access to, you know, investors. That are, that are investing every day. You know, they're, they're looking at teams every single day. You know, you've got the expertise of of, of
well and Gabby who have both been in your state. They both raised, and they, you know, they both lives for it. So, and I think that what that does and what you'll, you know, what you'll learn and, and say from us and the things time and can attest to this, we'll be brutally honest with you in terms of what we, what we, where we think you're right. What we think is a good strategy. But you won't just hear it from one person. It won't be a,
you know, and that this is our view and that's the end. You'll hear it from a range of people. And I think that gives you the opportunity to really, you know, to really get your head around the different perspectives and on what that should look like and the sorts of things that you need to consider whenever you're going into a race. Just one more point too. I think Simon can probably highlight this a little bit more better than I can, but you know, what we've seen as far as resources go look to your own cohort you know, there's a lot of similarly aligned technologies that, you know, you guys are all solving the same. Ish problems and pain points that we've seen a lot of partnerships within the cohort too. And that's been very successful for, you know, how do you scale and how do you grow and how do you kind of think about problems and pain points around what is realistic to solve from your own business, but then how can you help solve a larger problem by combining your solution with another? So I don't know if you have anything to add to that Simon, but I think partnerships within cohorts is a huge, valuable asset.
Yeah. I mean, w we were on the cobalt with a company called five Copeland. They introduced us to a guy, one of them had been at university with we're now supporting him in an application for funding based funding. His technology is perfectly in line with what we're doing within the synthetic fuel business. So we're also looking at potentially taking the investment in his company ourselves. So, yeah, so as I say, I'm still in touch with a lot of the people who were on the co with us and now WhatsApp chat channel is still got pinging away pretty much every day as well. So yeah,
those collaborations were established during that first three months, but they're still going on. Absolutely. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that Simon. Yeah, there have been a lot of collaborations, a lot of introductions made through the cohort. So that's been really, really good.
And we hope to kind of continue that through the next cohort and future programs as well. I've got a question here. Okay. So what level of strategic and technical support can we expect from Boeing and industry partners, which teams and departments are usually involved? Nick Jacqueline, you wanna take it? That's a pretty, that's a pretty large question. So it really, it really depends. And, you know, in terms of you have, you know, this program gives you full access to the Boeing company, you know, there are. You know, in one specific department, it's not in one specific country.
You know, we have colleagues right across the world from every part of the business available for you. And that's, it's really jarring to you to, to tell us and help us prioritize where he's best to spend your time during this program. If you need to chop, you know, you want to chat with it. Boingo. We can do that. You want to chat with a Boeing expert in a very niche technology. We can find them, you know, we have such a range of, of people that we can, you know, that we can put hands on and bring through into this program. You know, it really does need to be driven by you. And I think
that goes back to the point that Simon may have, you know, This will really be as successful as, as you commit to, the more that you can put into this, the more you can help us understand what it is that you need and the much easier it is for us to be able to find out. And we start that process as soon as we start to read the applications. So as we start to read the applications coming through where immediately thinking, oh, we need that person. We need this Carson. We need, you know, oh, here's a, you know, a business unit that we haven't spoken to before. So the more that you can. Provide us, you know, to begin that process and get those people lined up. And what we
learned through our first two coats. Was the sooner we can engage those those Boeing experts in the selection process. So when I think of, when I think of Simon's business, we had we had someone an expert from inside the business and who was involved from day one in our selection process and has been the champion for the high rock team, the whole way through it's them that saying, we want to make the further investment in this team. We think they're awesome. You know, whenever that's coming from,
whenever that's coming from, you know, the actual business unit, they, the Boeing expert and they failed. Like they have been part of the process. They feel like they have skin in the game to to make sure that your teams are successful. So, you know, the sooner we can begin to identify that person, even through the selection process and the more likely you're to be successful both in, you know, and getting into that final tan. And, but also during the program, Rest assured it's not Nick and I, that are going to be making the decisions on how you work within Boeing. We are the facilitators.
A session norm one of the days where we were looking at supply chain and procurement, and we were going through a particularly tough time at that point to get some raw materials. We were put in touch with somebody in procurement, in Seattle with Boeing, who then put at somebody in St. Louis. We actually ended up getting help from somebody in Sheffield. So we started in Seattle when we ended up about 30 miles east west of where I'm sitting. So. But that's the sort of engagement you can get. If you, if you start talking to people, you'll just get help. So I can concur that the the people that are engaging with, they want to engage with you as well.
It's not. Absolutely. They're involved at the selection stage, but also straight as soon as we start the program, right. We have some very intense industry partner weeks at the very beginning, and we have them so that you can meet everybody. You can start conversations from day one and continue them throughout the 12 weeks.
So that's kind of how we, we structure the program. It makes the most sense. Just just one more quick thing is, I mean, the champions that we've spoken to, this is a highlight of their job. Like they are so excited. To speak with you all. And you know, it's not to say that their day-to-day jobs are boring by any means that you guys give a fresh thought and a fresh perspective that they might've not thought about.
And they get to geek out about something that they personally love and do every single day with people who are innovating and finding new cutting edge solutions to. There are pain points. I mean, you know, it's not to say that they're a, you think it's normally an added Ash that they're taking a box, but we've seen in the most recent, the word I'm getting emails all the time of how can they get involved and how can I help? Because this sounds like a super fun and exciting opportunity. So it is because of you all that they're really excited. Thanks, Jackie. We've got a question here. A specific question,
but it's around sustainability as well. So I think it's worth answering. From Philippe, we are focused on airport technology to boost sustainability and productivity and the way to create infrastructure by knowledge and data. This way the airplanes will be where they have to be flying, set up uncongested ground operations and delays. Will this sort of technology be aligned for your program? Yes. I think the answer, the short answer is yes, potentially. I think the thing to keep in mind is to think about does Boeing. And so if you can be really specific about why, you know, why would you want to be on a Boeing program and not a more generic, you know travel type program.
So or, you know, or, you know, for example, our colleagues over in IAG on their, you know, on their program, for example, and we'll be the one that would come to mind. So, you know, be very specific about about what you do. And the other thing I would say to you is go take a look at our portfolio. And that's regardless. And see how your mum, you might align with one of the teams that we have in there. Cause I think that would be, that would be really important.
Absolutely. We've got a question from David coming in. Is it possible to get introductions to the billing network and to get help identifying the correct sector of the Boeing network? Even if you're not selected as part of the cohort? We will do as much as we can. We, you know, obviously, you know, our, our cohorts have to be our priority. You know, but if you, if you get in touch with the portfolio team you know, set up a session to have a chat and you know, I think. We w
we do try to help everyone. But we also need to be mindful of both your time and on that of our colleagues. Because you know, we D we don't want to waste your time. We can give you as much advice as we can, and in a quick chat, but, you know, again, the more specific that you can be on the ask you know, the more that we will be able to help you. Amazing. Thanks, Nick. Investment question does the money count towards state. No, no it's money direct from the Boeing company. Amazing. Thank you there. Okay. Then another question around themes. My
startup fits under more than one theme. How do I choose which one I should pick? Can I select multiple? I say select the one that fits best, but Nick, do you have any insights? And again, just, you know, select the one that you think is best. I will say that whenever we get into the selection process we do actually, you know, look at recategorize and you know, based on some of the things that we, that we see coming through and that's true. In order to help us be able to compare teams that are maybe tackling a similar problem might be in a very different way. Or if we start to see which we typically do, you see little groups of companies that are, that are all kind of clustered around to see them and kind of focus area So we will do that anyway. You know, don't overstress about it. It is, you know, it will be a Daybreaker if we think that from our perspective, you fit somewhere better.
We'll just move you across. So, so don't stress too much about that. Thank you. Yes, definitely. Don't just have a look. See what fits best. Pick that we can discuss further. Once we actually connect with you
relocation questions, you have to be in London for the duration of the program. No, no you don't. We are expecting of course, a level of commitment. This could be either from the founder, himself, herself, or a decision maker within the startup. Somebody who will be building these really. With corporate partners, industry partners to be present for in-person content, we'll have a better idea of that shortly, when that will be how that will look like it's not London necessarily.
It's kind of across the UK. So keep that in mind as well. Visa question will I need a visa to come to the UK? Do you help with visa applications? We will assess that case by case, but given the short amount of time that you're actually coming to the UK It's not always the case that you'll need a visa or a business visa. So we'll have to look into that, but that's something we'll work with you on. Once you get kind of into the shortlist, once we're already looking at you being part of the final cohort. And just to add to that, we are also assessing the COVID-19 pandemic and scenarios country by country. So again, it's case by case we understand, and we're cognizant of the fact that, you know, if you need to quarantine for up to two weeks and if that's not possible for a one day visit, that probably doesn't make the most sense for everyone.
So we will work with you all to make sure we have the best solution for whatever you know, wherever you're coming from. So we're cognizant of that. Thanks Jacqueline. Let me just have a little look at the other questions here. What is the deadline for the next cohort? The 26th of September. So you've got a few weeks to pull together your application again, have a very careful read of that. Take your time to apply. Right. Let's look here. So will we get a chance to develop POC with a sponsor that's already been answered, but then yes, the conversations will start through out the 12 weeks on the program.
Obviously 12 weeks is not a very long time. We're definitely hoping to kickstart those conversations and of course continue them even after the program is over. We're still in touch with you. We're still here to support you the program team, the industry. And yeah I think these are all the questions, unless somebody else wanted to ask anything live. This is your chance. You can raise your hand
or pop anything into the chat or the Q and a. So we'll give you a few minutes to do that. Let me have a little look at the other questions we had. So another broader question that we had earlier was is there any sustainability element to this AI and autonomy? Cohort three making Jacqueline. You want to answer that? Yeah. I will say, like originally, as I answered prior, you know, we're looking for the best and
the brightest solutions for autonomy and AI that is directly applicable to AP point today. So. Going back to Nick's point around the ask. We're happy to help as many people as we possibly can with limited resources, of course, being, you know, to individuals and trying to staff our team. How you, if you have a direct insight on this customer, that is. Buying Boeing planes is interested in doing X, Y, Z to be more sustainable.
That's extremely helpful. And that will give us insights for how we can give you proof of concepts. However, if you are telling me that you are developing an AI solution, that is. You know, going to make the aerospace ecosystem more sustainable. That's quite broad and it's very difficult to understand how to directly apply it.
I struggle with that because on a personal level, I'm Danish, very passionate about sustainability, but in the aerospace ecosystem today, we have to be very clear and precise with the challenges that the aerospace ecosystem is facing. You have to be precise and refined with what asks you. Yeah. Because there are multitude of different problems and pain points to solve. So finding a directed opportunity where there's resources allocated is our priority, because we want to make sure that these POC opportunities allow you to grow and allow you to create revenue. So I will say it's not ruled out by any means or shape or form, but just look at the problems and the pain points, look at the customer landscape and try to align it there. And that will make our job significantly easier. Definitely. And this just goes back to the application, think it through, think where
you fit best be specific, make it easy for us to envision how we can work with you that will make our job so much easier. It'll take you to the long list, short list, hopefully to the top 10. Be very, very clear. And yeah, so a few minutes ago, thank you everyone for joining today. This ask us anything session. Hopefully we've answered most of your questions.
If not, we're available over office hours. You'll find more information on our website. This recording will be up on our YouTube channel if you want to rewatch it or you want to share it onwards with someone who might find this useful then please do and we look forward to connecting with some of you over the next few weeks and talking to you further.