Disruptive Ideas on Extended Reality, UAV Tech and IoT Win the Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge

Monday, July 30, 2018

Bangalore: Boeing today showcased disruptive business ideas at the ‘Demo Day’ of the Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge, held at Boeing’s India Engineering & Technology Center (BIETC).Three Indian startups – Merxius, HUVIAiR and ZestIoT – joined three teams from BIETC in presenting to an audience of prospective investors and customers, as well as government stakeholders.

The Demo Day marks the culmination of a 3-month accelerator program launched in collaboration with T-Hub, a global startup catalyst that powers entrepreneurship. Following a stringent evaluation process, six teams from a competing pool of more than 1oo ideas and applications, have won the opportunity to join the cohort.

Boeing will continue to collaborate with the three external startup teams to help further their businesses. The ideas presented by the Boeing teams are under evaluation as potential future company offerings.

“India is known around the world for its inherent capabilities for disruptive innovation. This capability, coupled with a growing aerospace ecosystem offers the opportunity for technological breakthroughs that can redefine the way the world flies,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITIAayog. “I am pleased to see the way Boeing is providing a platform to promote innovation in India. Such platforms not only accelerate ‘Startup India’ but also add impetus to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’.”

The ideas presented by the three external finalists range from Extended Reality (XR) applications to the use of Internet of Things (IoT) for aerospace. Merxius develops a product that enables the creation of XR environments to save cost and reduce training time in aerospace manufacturing. HUVIAiR refines custom unmanned aircraft services and software solutions for survey and workflow management. ZestIoT explores solutions that connect the airport and airplane ecosystem using IoT to optimize ground handling at airports and improve on-time performance of airplanes.

“Innovation can happen anywhere and startups around the world have the potential to bring disruptive capabilities to aerospace markets and drive our industry forward,” said Brian Schettler, Managing Director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. “Boeing HorizonX is proud to partner with and invest in startups to help them mature and scale their products and services and create value for Boeing customers.”

“Never before have corporates and startups collaborated as much as they do now and T- Hub is a key cog that is driving this in the country,” said Jay Krishnan, CEO of T-Hub. “Boeing, which brings a strong legacy of technological breakthroughs, has been an instrumental partner of ours that embraces this philosophy. We are immensely pleased to collaborate with Boeing in discovering the right startup talent to support their innovation goals.”

The six finalist teams took part in a 3-month accelerator where thirty subject matter experts from Boeing and T-Hub mentored them and exposed them to potential customers, while strengthening their offerings and capability.

“Both external startups as well as internal ideas promise to disrupt business models and service delivery in aerospace. We are excited to tap into a new pool of ideas from India which will surely change the global aerospace industry,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India. “I am especially proud of our three Boeing teams from India that have made it to the finals with their ideas and technological breakthroughs”.

Boeing continues to evaluate disruptive startups in India, apart from the Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge finalists, for potential future investments.