Accelerate@IATA is the first industry-owned travel tech accelerator where airlines and startups converge for innovation.
It is lead by IATA and the Silicon Valley innovation platform 'Plug and Play', created to help airlines get access to new technologies and cutting-edge startups.
"IATA is committed to supporting airlines in their restart activities and Accelerate@IATA has been redesigned to contribute to this effort. The team has already identified technologies to showcase all of this and we are looking forward to offering our members access to them through Accelerate@IATA."
Muhammad Ali Albakri - IATA
Accelerating the Industry Restart
Last year, the accelerator was focused on assisting airlines in their digital retailing journey. The aim of Accelerate@IATA has now shifted to the industry’s restart priorities, such as stimulating demand, enhancing passenger confidence, and increasing operational efficiency. Supplying greater speed, agility, and technical expertise, Accelerate@IATA is intended to stimulate new solutions to support airlines in these activities.
Focus on Accelerate@IATA
What are the program deliverables?
Quickly facilitate pilots and implementations between airlines and startups who have interesting solutions and proven track records, targeting key industry business challenges.
What is the program roadmap?
- ACCELERATE: The primary objectives are to find solutions for airlines that accelerate standard development & adoption of standards, and stimulate competition to bring new entrants to the market.
- IDENTIFY & SELECT RELEVANT STARTUPS: Collaboratively, the partners define the focus of the program and select the startups that best fit their needs.
- MAP SOLUTION & DEMAND: During the 1-month program, IATA subject matter experts help the startups to develop innovative solutions to meet airline requirements and take care of the onboarding work, freeing up airline resources.
- IMPLEMENTATION: The goal is to start a pilot and implementation between new entrants and airline partners at the end of the program.
Accelerate@IATA will run 4 30-day ‘segments’ in 2020 tailored to help airlines with their restart goals. Each segment will be limited to up to 8 airlines and 5 – 10 startups. Our accelerator supports selected startups through education, mentorship, and, potentially, with financing from corporate partners.
Find out more in the Accelerate@IATA brochure (pdf)
What are the benefits for airlines?
- Access to global, stage-agnostic startups and technology providers that have the potential to increase airline revenues, reduce costs, increase operational efficiency and build brand loyalty
- Savings on innovation costs compared to internal development
- Access to new technologies that meet the industry standards.
- Startups and technologies double vetted by IATA and Plug and Play to ensure they meet industry guidance/standards, and that the startups are financially viable.
- Focus on broad Industry Restart initiatives, tailored to airlines’ restart plans
- Shorter program reducing time to market
- Dedicated Accelerate Innovation Partner and Project Manager throughout the whole cycle
What are the benefits for startups?
- Access to IATA’s global network of airlines and value chain partners for pilot and implementation opportunities
- Access to expertise and market knowledge
- Industry mentorship
For 2020, the program will operate 4 segments for a period of 1 month each, around the industry restart priorities.
SEGMENT 1 (15 Sept-15 Oct) - ANTICIPATE DEMAND : Understand demand and adjust supply
SEGMENT 2 (8 Oct-8 Nov) - STIMULATE DEMAND: Incentivize passengers to fly again
SEGMENT 3 (22 Oct- 22 Nov) - PASSENGER CONFIDENCE: Restore passenger confidence and improve experience on the ground
SEGMENT 4 (10 Nov- 10 Dec) - OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY: Optimize, automate and increase efficiency and processes.
How does it work?
Each segment consists of the following activities to facilitate and support pilots and implementations of new technologies :
- Deep Dive Session – airlines will listen to the startups' pitches.
- Survey - airlines will rank the startups and decide which ones they want to hear more about (up to 3)
- 1:1 Call - airline, startup, and Accelerate@IATA innovation team partner will set up a call to hear more about the startups’ solutions
- Selection - airline choses which startup(s) they want to work with
- Curriculum - airline informs the innovation team partner of any concerns in the solution. IATA subject matter experts work with the startup to improve their solution and provide insights into the industry. Thus, the Accelerate@IATA team does the onboarding work instead of using airline resources.
- Weekly calls - Accelerate@IATA innovation team partner will set up weekly calls to ensure deadlines are being met and the solution is progressing quickly
- Pilot/Implementation phase - after the 30-day program, the goal is to kick-off a pilot/implementation between the airline and startup. An IATA project manager may be assigned to help facilitate this.
For more details download the brochure (pdf)
|Anticipate Demand||Segment 1||Deep dive webinar||15 Sept 2020|
|Stimulate Demand||Segment 2||Deep dive webinar||8 Oct 2020|
|Passenger Confidence||Segment 3||Online Deep Dive Session showcasing new technologies to assist airlines on improving Passenger Confidence.||5 Nov 2020|
|Operational efficiency||Segment 4||Online Deep Dive Session showcasing new technologies to assist airlines on improving Operational Efficiency.||24 Nov 2020|
Committed to supporting airlines as they continue their digital retailing journey, Accelerate@IATA has already launched Batch 0 in 2019 and Batch 1 in 2020, both focused on accelerating the solutions of NDC aggregators in order to help distribute more NDC content.
Batch 1 - 2020
The focus areas for Batch 1 targeted offers and products within product differentiation covering the following areas: NDC, ONE Order, dynamic offerings, innovative payments and sustainability. In February 2020, 9 startups (30k, App in the air, Smooss, Bacarai, Deepair, WonderMiles, Ulysse, Aeronology, Airnguru) from around the world were selected based on their new solutions that can help airlines in these areas.
Prior to launch of Batch 1, the COVID-19 pandemic began and the batch was put on hold.
Batch 0 - 2019
The focus of Batch 0 was to accelerate NDC Capabilities, that addressed the industry’s current distribution limitations such as product differentiations, time-to-time market and access to full and rich air content and transparent shopping experience.
The following 7 startups participated in the program and addressed the following areas. For more information, check out Batch 0 report (pdf).
Innovative solutions, tangible impact
At the end of Batch 0, 13 pilots and implementations were launched, with another 30+ in the pipeline!
How startup Winglet pivoted their solution to be more relevant for the industry.
Winglet first pitched their product in July 2019. It was focused on a customer adaptive pricing engine. They were selected by the industry to join Accelerate, with the caveat that their solution was a few steps too far in the future for what the industry currently needs.
Through the Accelerate@IATA program of educational curriculum, mentorship, workshops and 1:1 meetings with technical experts and other IATA SMEs, they pivoted their solution to focus on Smart Routing. This solution would be able to maximize conversion rates for sellers, showing relevant offers to the right customer, changing an anonymous shopping request to a conversion.
Using their solutions, airlines can select the most relevant offers for the client, save significant computing cost, and customers are 3x more likely to purchase the recommended offers. At the Accelerate@IATA Winter Summit in February 2020, Winglet was chosen as Batch 0’s Best in Batch by over 250 industry members!