In August 2017, Airbus launched the #Africa4Future initiative, bringing together start-ups and Airbus’ own pioneers to transform innovative ideas into valuable businesses more quickly by combining scale and agility.

The programme selects the top start-ups for an intensive six-month business incubation and accelerator programme involving technical, commercial and mentorship activities in France, Germany and South Africa.

The access to Airbus resources, feedback on their technology and business models, and collaboration with key Airbus departments and networks, is invaluable for these entrepreneurs.

At the conclusion of the #Africa4Future programme, finalists pitch their products to the aerospace industry at an event at the Paris Air Lab during the Paris International Airshow. This year 10 of the continent’s most exciting businesses were chosen to pitch their innovations.With the 2019 programme the vision was to expand further across Africa and welcome the African portfolio companies into the global Airbus community, continuing collaborations with the portfolio companies with the biggest potential.

This proved to be a great success with 314 entries received from 19 African countries since the challenge was opened last October. So much so that the judges had a tough time selecting their top ten!

Rey Buckman, BizLab Campus Leader, says “Entrepreneurs are at their core problem solvers – in Africa, more than anywhere, necessity has always been the mother of invention and innovation.

“The aerospace industry offers solutions to many of the development challenges in Africa and around the world. It is a key enabler of socio-economic change and prosperity.

“#Africa4Future’s objective is to combine aerospace’s potential with the entrepreneurship that is a hallmark of African business.This was the primary reason for launching the #Africa4Future initiative.

“To develop successful products and services of the future, it is important to understand how the local ecosystems function and build partnerships with new players to create links with local communities.

“Participating in the challenge is a win-win situation for Airbus and the selected African startups, with finalists receiving access to the Airbus network and experts, and Airbus learning more about solving chllenges on the continent.”

Take a look at some of the inspiring stories invloved with #Africa4Future.