10 startups helping shape the future of sustainable aerospace

Gabriela Matic
Aerospace Xelerated
6 min readJan 14, 2021


We’re excited to announce the second cohort of companies to join the ATI Boeing Accelerator programme!

The 10 startups were selected from nearly 200 applications from more than 40 countries. The second cohort are from all over the world; from Hull to Queensland, from the US to Germany. It’s also our broadest cohort yet, providing solutions for the aerospace industry such as software to support inflight medical events and emergencies and behavioural science technologies to reduce airlines’ greenhouse gas emissions.

Like everyone, we’ve had to adapt our ways of working due to the pandemic and, while scouting for the programme, we noticed an increase in the number of companies applying from outside the UK as virtual accelerators become more common due to restricted travel.

While challenging, this period in time presents a great opportunity for startups, and for our partners in aerospace, to work together and solve some of the industry’s problems.

The accelerator was created in partnership by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Boeing and is delivered by the programme team — myself, Wil Benton and Ksenia Kurileva.

GKN Aerospace is the programme’s corporate sponsor and Rolls-Royce recently joined as a programme partner. The first cohort was in person in London and concluded just as Covid-related travel restrictions were beginning. The second cohort will be virtual.

To date, the nine companies that have been a part of the ATI Boeing Accelerator’s first cohort have raised over £8M, created more than 60 jobs, and received £1.2M in grant funding in the final quarter of 2020. They have gone on to partner with businesses including Rolls-Royce and Chevron Technology Ventures. Most recently, Intellegens, part of the first cohort to join the programme, has announced it is leading a new project in partnership with Boeing and the University of Sheffield, applying its machine learning technology to make the additive manufacturing (AM) process of metallic alloys for aerospace cheaper and faster, to support net-zero targets for aviation.

Of the almost 200 applications for Cohort Two, 90% of the businesses applying were focussed on Industry 4.0 technologies and products, while 10% were providing sustainability-focussed solutions. 44% of the applicants were from outside the aerospace industry, 26% of the founders were female, 42% were minority-founded, and 33% were first-time founders.

The startups joining our second cohort will benefit from a possible £100,000 equity investment from Boeing HorizonX Global Ventures and access to ATI, Boeing, GKN Aerospace and Rolls-Royce strategists and technical experts. Mentoring is available from a global network of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and investors, and introductions will be made to the programme’s network of angel investors, venture capital firms and the wider aerospace industry.

The 10 startups in the ATI Boeing Accelerator’s second cohort are:

Ai Build (London, UK) has developed an AI​-​powered software platform that delivers the world’s fastest and most reliable large-scale additive manufacturing.

AireXpert (Buffalo & Minneapolis, US) enables real time collaboration tools for airlines, defense & government fleets that increase on-time performance and readiness while decreasing delays, operational costs and compliance risk.

Datch (San Francisco, US) is the first AI platform optimized for industry (mining, manufacturing, energy/utilities, and transportation) that enables workers to capture system information and carry out work management processes in real-time using voice.

HiiROC (Hull, UK) have developed a unique and innovative plasma technology that enables a low cost and low emission process for Hydrogen generation and synthetic fuels.

Makersite (Munich, Germany) is a cloud-based product management platform using AI and graph technologies to understand and improve products from the perspective of their regulatory compliance, environmental impact, supply risk​, ​and cost of production, simultaneously and up to 40x faster.

MIME Technologies (Edinburgh & Inverness, UK) is a provider of remote medical software to support inflight medical events and emergencies, specifically designed for altitude.

Phycobloom (London, UK) is using synthetic biology to reduce the cost of algae biofuels by forcing them to release their oil where it can be cheaply collected.

Productive Machines (Sheffield, UK) delivers software that maximizes sustainability of machining processes by reducing costs, eliminating waste​, ​and improving productivity.

SensaWeb (Queensland, Australia) provides a complete end-to-end real​-​time monitoring solution for any organisation who needs to monitor and report on Radiation and X-Ray regulatory requirements.

Signol (London, UK) is the world’s first software solution to use behavioural science to reduce airlines’ greenhouse gas emissions and increase profits and job satisfaction.

Brian Schettler, Boeing HorizonX Global Ventures, Senior Managing Director, commented: “We’re thrilled to be leading this programme again with ATI, especially given the focus on sustainability. Boeing is committed to developing innovative technologies and solutions that allow for safe and sustainable air travel for generations to come but it takes partnerships and collaboration like this to be successful. Given the success of the first cohort, I’m confident that we will again work together with these startups and program partners to address our industry’s most critical issues.”

Gary Elliott, Chief Executive of the Aerospace Technology Institute, added: “The ATI are very excited to welcome ten innovative startups to the second cohort of the ATI Boeing Accelerator. This year’s programme will be in a different environment to last year’s. We have moved most of our content to the virtual world and we’ll be making connections digitally rather than in person. We’re also pleased to be joined by Rolls-Royce, who will provide an excellent team of mentors and experts alongside our existing programme sponsors — Boeing and GKN Aerospace.

“Despite the challenges that the sector continues to face, we must continue to find areas of innovation and growth as the world slowly but surely recovers from the pandemic. This accelerator programme is an opportunity to bring innovators, investors, experts and entrepreneurs together in the same (virtual) space. Good luck to each of the ten startups in this year’s cohort and we look forward to working with you in the coming months.”

If you’d like to follow the ATI Boeing Accelerator portfolio and our latest cohort over the course of the next 12 weeks, sign up to our fortnightly newsletter to stay up to date with what happens!

We are also always looking to hear from potential partners, investors and stakeholders on how we can create the best programme for aerospace startups in the UK. If you’d like to have a chat, please get in touch.

For more information, please contact the ATI Boeing Accelerator team:

Gabi Maticgm@atiboeingaccelerator.com | linkedin.com/in/gabrielamatic
Wil Bentonwb@atiboeingaccelerator.com | linkedin.com/in/fatkidonfire
Ksenia Kurilevakk@atiboeingaccelerator.com | linkedin.com/in/kseniakurileva



Gabriela Matic
Aerospace Xelerated

Co-founder Metta @mettatalks, former Programme Director ATI Boeing Accelerator — Alumna @igniteaccel / @techstars '16 NYC