Startups Prepare for Takeoff at Airport Demo Day

Monday, November 21, 2016

Six startups from around the world had the opportunity to pitch their innovations to airport and airline representatives at what might be the first of many Aviation Innovation Demo Days. Held in November during the final week of the Atlanta-Toulouse Startup Exchange at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the event featured startups delivering their pitches to representatives from the airport, TSA, and Global Fortune 500 companies including Delta, Lufthansa, and Southwest.

Invest Atlanta, the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, and the airport’s ATL Business Ventures division organized the event.

“The idea is to put some interesting concepts in front of you,” said Sam Adams, Invest Atlanta’s Manager of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Ultimately, we want to provide a platform for emerging enterprises to showcase their technologies and possibly generate new business with the world’s busiest passenger airport and its leading airlines.”

“Innovation is about adding new value for customers,” said Doug Strachan, Innovation & Strategic Business Development Manager for the Innovation Unit at ATL Business Ventures, to kick off the event. “We’re concerned about innovation because we want to continually add value for our 101 million passengers a year.”

All six of the presenting teams went through an extensive vetting process before arriving at Demo Day. Several Atlanta-based startup incubators—including Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), TechStars, The Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), and Switchyards—helped the Demo Day assemble 23 nominees. That list was then narrowed down to 11, and with input from airport and airline representatives, these 6 finalists were chosen:

  • Donecle: Uses autonomous drones to inspect airplanes and detect defects in real-time.
  • Uwinloc: Provides low-energy radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to track inventory at a lower cost.
  • Predikto: Provides predictive analytics service that leverages data to optimize operations and flag equipment failures.
  • Pointivo: Creates accurate as-built drawings with a smartphone camera.
  • Volantio: Delivers marketing optimization in dynamic pricing environments.
  • VeriSolutions: Installs sensors in eateries to improve food safety.

Two of the startups, Donecle and Uwinloc, are based in Atlanta’s sister city of Toulouse, France. Both companies were selected to represent Toulouse in the two-week Atlanta-Toulouse Startup Exchange program. The other four startups are based in Atlanta.