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Qantas is looking for the best startups and digital disruptors for its innovation agenda

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Alan Joyce

Qantas is calling on the world’s best start-ups, scale-ups and digital disruptors to help with its innovation agenda. The national carrier recently launched the AVRO Accelerator, an initiative giving start-ups the chance to work with Qantas Group mentors and pitch ideas to streamline the travel experience, design smarter ways of working, unlock the potential of new technologies and help solve business problems.

Up to 10 teams will ultimately be chosen for the program. As well as access to Qantas and industry mentors, participants will be able to tap into some of the Qantas Group’s operational data, technology platforms and anonymised customer insights to bring their ideas to life.

The 12-week program has been designed in partnership with Slingshot, Australia’s first and most experienced corporate accelerator program. It comes as Qantas steps up its focus on innovation, with investments in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and high speed onboard Wi-Fi, new digital and mobile tools, and disruptive ventures in sectors like health insurance and financial services.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the AVRO Accelerator was an opportunity for smart new business thinkers to shape the future of travel. “The program is named after our first ever aircraft, the Avro 504K, as a tribute to Qantas’ long history of aviation industry ‘firsts’,” Mr Joyce said.

“We’re proud of our track record as innovators and early adopters and we think there’s much more to come, so we’re asking Australian and international start-ups to join us as we unearth the next big ideas.

“Customer needs keep evolving and the limits of technology are constantly expanding, so there is a clear business imperative for us to find new ways to improve how we operate.

“We’re looking forward to opening up our doors to ideas that are different, challenging and truly innovative. Ideas that could benefit from the expertise and scale at a company like Qantas to refine them and make them a reality,” added Mr Joyce.

Slingshot CEO Karen Lawson said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with one of Australia’s most iconic brands to deliver a program that will pair an innovative company with passionate entrepreneurs and disruptive, impactful business ideas.”

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