24 October 2023

PRESS RELEASE: Dubai Airshow 2023 will be a gateway for innovative aerospace and defence start-ups

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  • The 2nd edition of VISTA will drive transformative change across the industry
  • A vital investment platform for global trailblazing organisations and venture capitalists

VISTA, the premier start-up platform for creative aerospace entrepreneurs worldwide, returns this year. Co-located with Dubai Airshow, from 13-17 November, VISTA is set to push the limits of innovation and drive transformative change across the industry, bringing global startups from a variety of future-focused industries, including robotics, sustainability, drones, eVTOLs, UAVs and space to elevate the event.

The four-day programme on the Startup Stage will host inspiring keynotes and panel discussions from industry pioneers on the trends and opportunities across the markets.

Dr. Mariam Ketait, Global Accelerators and Innovation Lead at Boeing in the Middle East, Türkiye and Africa, comments: "Aerospace Xelerated has a proven track record of accelerating innovation in aerospace, having empowered 40 ambitious early stage startups with knowledge sharing, development support and funding. The Dubai Airshow is a great opportunity for these budding companies to expand and seize new opportunities."

An exclusive investor committee will help ignite a positive transformation at the latest edition. Welcoming key industry leaders such as Abdulla Saif Al Awani, Chief Economic Program Officer at Tawazun, Reda Nidhakou, Head of VentureOne (Interim) at VentureOne, and Dan Bowyer, Partner at SuperSeed VC among others, the committee aims to help startups maximise their potential.

Brian Schettler, Partner and Head of AE Industrial HorizonX and a member of the VISTA investor committee, comments: “It’s an honour to be a part of the new VISTA investor committee and work alongside other members of the industry to help startups push their limits of innovation and shape the future of aerospace. Having worked with many global startups to launch disruptive technologies for next-generation aerospace and defence applications, I am looking forward to seeing the latest ideas and accelerating positive transformation of new industry players.”

Furthermore, more than 15 hours of insightful workshops and mentorship clinics, matchmaking sessions and an investor programme will connect start-ups with globally ranked investors, industry leaders and key decision makers. A dedicated exhibition area will bring together start-ups to showcase their breakthrough technologies and revolutionary ideas in front of the most influential members of the aerospace ecosystem.

Lukas Kaestner, Co-Founder of Sustainable Aero Lab, comments: “Sustainable Aero Lab is the world’s biggest accelerator program dedicated to sustainable aviation. Since our inception in early 2021, we have mentored over 60 international startups, with more than 100M EUR raised, and connected them with over 80 highly experienced mentors. In 2023, the Lab was backed by the Breakthrough Energy. During our attendance at VISTA, we look forward to connecting with startups, potential mentors, industry partners, and investors who show the potential to deliver a meaningful contribution to aviation sustainability through our five main focus fields, such as electrification, hydrogen, SAF, better operations, and novel aircraft designs and materials, and support the overall growth of our program.”

Donatas Skulskis, JETCOPTER CEO, comments: “The VTOL aircraft market is developing at pace, and we are excited to be showcasing our helicopter 2.0 concept model at VISTA. As the world’s only start-up working on this concept, the event provides the perfect opportunity for us to meet with new investors and discuss how we can work together to take VTOL aircraft to the next level.”

A series of new competitions will also run across three key themes: Space in partnership with UAE Space Agency in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, Bayanat and Planet, Drones and Logistics in partnership with LODD, and Passenger Experience in partnership with Dubai Airports. Set to raise the bar for startups globally, shortlisted startups will have the chance to pitch their winning ideas to technology leaders, investors and corporates for the chance to win exclusive prizes. One winner will be crowned the ‘Most Innovative Startup at VISTA 2023’ and receive US$10,000 to help grow and transform their business.

Taking place at Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai Airshow Site, VISTA at Dubai Airshow 2023 is a global event for the entire start-up ecosystem.

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