Astral’s drone subsidiary among Africa’s top 10 tech start-ups
18 / 01 / 2019
Astral Aviation’s drone subsidiary, Astral Aerial Solutions, is one of Africa’s top 10 tech start-ups shortlisted for the Airbus Bizlab #Africa4Future accelerator programme.
The 10 finalists, representing 19 countries, were selected from the 314 entries for the challenge, which opened in October 2018. The entries were assessed by a panel of Airbus and other independent experts.
The programme aims to encourage and support entrepreneurship in Africa. A spokesperson for the organisers said: “The continent’s young and increasingly techno-savvy population is likely to be the driving force behind Africa’s socio-economic development. “
The competition identifies Africa’s own pool of talented entrepreneurs using innovative aerospace based solutions to tackle the continent’s most pressing challenges such as transportation, agriculture and healthcare.
In 2017, Astral Aerial won the IATA Air Cargo Innovation Award in 2017 for its Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management Concept (UTM) for Africa.
There now follows an intensive six-month business incubation and accelerator programme for the finalists, involving technical, commercial and mentorship activities in France, Germany and South Africa.
This includes workshops and coaching sessions with Airbus experts, GIZ’s Make-IT in Africa, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and Innocircle coaches.
The programme will culminate with Demo Day events at the biennial Paris International Airshow and a special event in Germany from 19-26 June, when finalists will launch their products, define their collaboration with Airbus and announce their investment commitments in front of representatives from across the aerospace industry.
#Africa4Future is a joint business accelerator initiative of Airbus and GIZ’s Make-IT in Africa initiative , together with MEST, a non-profit seed fund and pan-African organisation that brings together start-ups, entrepreneurs and the tech community, and Innocircle, the South African-based innovation consultancy.