How startups keep big business in business

Startups have carved out a crucial role for themselves in big business.

Corporations look to them to experiment, disrupt and find tailor-made improvements for their businesses, while startups – whose agility and creativity are perfectly placed to innovate – seek out the investment, mentorship and exposure that large companies offer.

Enter the accelerator. More and more companies are creating accelerators in search of the next bright idea: Google has its three-month Launchpad programme in Silicon Valley, Amazon runs the Alexa Fund for voice technology innovation, Telefonica’s Wayra UK is geared at UK-based startups, while a sweep of major banks have invested in fintech incubators, from CitiBank and DBS to Barclays and the Bank of England.

IAG has opened applications to its own accelerator –  Hangar 51 – a 10-week programme that gives startups the chance to trial products at scale and work closely with the company’s senior management as well as experts across the IAG Group.

In its third year, there are six focus areas ranging from ‘smarter operations’ and ‘connected service’ to ‘loyalty and rewards’ and ‘future cargo logistics’. In cargo logistics, IAG Cargo is looking for new technologies that improve asset tracking and analytics, e-commerce and booking systems and ways to optimise end to end cargo operations. This could include anything from robotics and automated processing to AI in predicting volumes and logistics capacity optimisation.

What do you get back? Up to 100 hours of cross team mentorship; the chance to trial live data and get feedback on insights; and the opportunity to pitch at our Demo Day, attended by the Group’s CEOs, senior leadership and press. There’s also the possibility of up to £500,000 investment, depending on the startup’s stage.

Innovation manager at IAG Cargo Sarah Kelly says: “IAG Cargo is interested in all startups that could add value to our business – we want to hear from you regardless of whether you are at the beginning of journey or have existing products and customers.

“If you feel your company could benefit from working with IAG Cargo we would love to receive your application. The cargo industry could benefit from embracing a variety of different technologies from automation and robotics within the warehouse environment to using AI to better understand customer demands and manage capacity. We are also open to hearing from startups in terms of what they think the industry needs.”

Applications close August 5, 2018, with Pitch Day following on September 6th when finalists compete to win a place on the programme. From September 24, it’s ten weeks of intensive collaboration with Demo Day taking place on December 14th – discover how working with IAG can grow your business.