Qantas partners with Slingshot for its first startup accelerator program

Qantas partners with Slingshot for its first startup accelerator program

Qantas will open its technology platforms, data and anonymised customer information to up to 10 start-up or scale-up businesses when it runs its first ‘accelerator’ from May.

The Avro Accelerator, named after Qantas’ first aircraft, is a 12-week program designed to help the airline innovate across its business, including its offshoots in insurance and banking.

Qantas’ partner in running the accelerator is Slingshot, a specialist in bringing corporate sponsors together with relevant start-up and scale-up businesses. Slingshot’s venture capital fund, whose investors include industry super fund Hostplus, will back each business selected for Avro with $50,000 upfront, with a further $100,000 for those still showing promise at the end of the program.

The size of the stake bought by that cash will vary depending on the maturity of the investee, but in previous Slingshot programs it has been up to 10 per cent.

Qantas flagged it would also offer direct investment to ideas it considered helpful, in the airline’s first major foray into startup investing since it took a stake alongside NAB and Westpac in data sharing platform Data Republic in May, 2016.

Qantas has previously tried ‘hackathons’, where developers were invited in to brainstorm improvements for the airline. However without immediate funding, ideas generated by the ‘hackathon’ model risked falling by the wayside, Slingshot chief executive Karen Lawson said.

Corporates could also try to seed startups internally, but Ms Lawson said that would only work if those on the project were allowed to completely put aside their ‘day job’, and even then the incentive level may not be high enough.

“At Avro we’ll have entrepreneurs that have truly taken the plunge, that have mortgages and kids’ educations riding on their ideas making a difference. That’s how you get truly disruptive, impactful outcomes,” she said.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce personally oversaw the development of the Avro program, which in addition to access to platforms, data and customer insights will provide the entrepreneurs with mentors from across the group.


To  read more about the accelerator program, please click on the link below…

Source: Qantas partners with Slingshot for its first startup accelerator program |