Aerospace Xelerated welcomes back GKN Aerospace and DASA as partners for its fourth cohort

Aerospace Xelerated

The programme will be led by Boeing and run in partnership with Tawazun Economic Council, of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Selected startups will have the option to benefit from £100K investment, among many other benefits and perks

Partnerships with the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and GKN Aerospace will enable selected startups to make valuable connections that will make a difference to their businesses

Startups from anywhere in the world working on digital services and solutions are welcome to apply until 25 September

Aerospace Xelerated has today announced that GKN Aerospace and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) have joined as programme partners for its fourth cohort. Following three successful cohorts led by Boeing and supported by industry partners, this year’s programme will be run in partnership with Tawazun Economic Council, the defence and security acquisitions authority of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Applications are open and startups from anywhere in the world working on digital services and solutions are welcome to apply until 25 September.

DASA finds and funds innovation to support UK defence and national security and support UK prosperity. Through DASA, suppliers are supported with full funding, access to end users and a range of services to help develop their ideas. Through the UK Government’s Strategic Prosperity Partnership with Boeing, DASA previously joined Aerospace Xelerated’s third cohort as a programme partner, to support start-ups by providing insights from and access to front-line defence and security users, aligning them with UK Government’s National Security interests and innovation priorities.

Building on the successful participation in Cohort 3, DASA will be continuing to observe and learn how industry is galvanising innovators to address challenges within their supply chain. DASA will also be working with the cohort participants to provide insight from government stakeholders into how to access and work with the UK’s defence and security ecosystem.

DASA is committed to being an innovative organisation and is always looking to deliver in ways that improve outcomes for the government and the impact for the suppliers. We are delighted to be part of Aerospace Xelerated once again and hope to continue our learning journey to better understand how industry is working to accelerate innovation, as well as providing a vital link between government and industry for the cohort participants.

Anita Friend Head of DASA

As a programme partner, GKN Aerospace will act as a sounding board for startups and engage in providing Proof of Concepts (PoCs).

Hassan Zaidi, Technology Director for GKN Aerospace Defence Business, commented: “At GKN Aerospace, we are always looking for digital solutions to help provide sustainable improvements in manufacturing and operational performance. We believe that programs like Aerospace Xelerated are essential in crafting these services to support and sustain the future of aerospace. We are excited to be involved in the Cohort 4 startup challenge and to play the role of an industrial sounding board for nurturing and guiding the innovation process into Proof of Concept. I am very excited to see what this year will bring.”

Nichola Bates, Managing Partner at Aerospace Xelerated and Head of Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs at Boeing, said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome DASA and GKN Aerospace as partners for another programme cycle. Both institutions have been crucial in the development of our previous cohort, mentoring and providing startups with exceptional industry advice. These partnerships only add value to the startups joining our fourth cohort. Through DASA and GKN Aerospace, cohort four will be able to make valuable connections that will make a difference to their businesses. There’s still time to apply and we’re encouraging startups to get applications in early before they close on 25 September!”

Startups accepted into the programme will have the option to benefit from a £100K investment from Boeing, with potential for additional funding from partners. They will also have access to strategists and technical experts from industry that support in developing proof of concept opportunities.

Through Aerospace Xelerated, startups will be introduced to a network of angel investors, venture capitalists and key stakeholders amongst the aerospace industry, throughout the 12-week programme. Successful companies will also receive mentoring from a global network of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and investors, plus more than £100K in programme perks from partners including startup providers Oracle, Amazon, HubSpot, Digital Ocean and many more.

Aerospace Xelerated is looking for startups in the digital services and solutions area. Companies must be mid to late seed-stage; preferably working on software solutions; and at a traction-stage with proof of concepts (POCs), contracts already in place, revenue and/or letter of intents (LOIs). The programme does not require the startups to be operating in the aerospace sector.

Since launching in 2019, startups involved in the three previous Aerospace Xelerated cohorts have gone on to raise over £100M in additional funding and create over 150 jobs across the UK and globally. Organisations to work with past cohorts as partners or mentors include, but are not limited on to, PWC, Frazer-Nash, Chevron Technology Ventures and EasyJet.

Applications close on 25 September and the new cohort will be unveiled in early January 2023. The programme will run for 12 weeks, culminating in a Demo Day in late March 2023.

For more information and to apply go to