Qantas wants startups to help them build better travel

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Qantas is launching a startup accelerator, teaming up with industry expert Slingshot, as a way to keep the airline at the cutting edge.

The 12-week AVRO Accelerator program will see startups work with Qantas and industry 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 be chosen for the program, receiving up to $150,000 in funding from the Slingshot Venture Fund. Qantas says it will also look at investing in some of the startups.

The airline says it will give the startups the ability to tap into some of the Qantas Group’s operational data, technology platforms and anonymised customer insights.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the program is a chance to shape the future of travel.

“We’re asking Australian and international start-ups to join us as we unearth the next big ideas,” he said.

“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.”

Joyce laid out five key themes that will be the focus for the program: creating seamless journeys, “care beyond the air”, building connected platforms, transforming for tomorrow, and innovation without limits — the next break-through business.

Slingshot CEO Karen Lawson said a fundamental shift was underway in corporate boardrooms as they embraced the role start-ups and scale-ups play in navigating the reinvention of an industry.

Applications for Accelerator AVRO are open until April 27.

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