Ready for Take-Off? Financing New High-Tech Ventures in the Aviation Industry. The case of the Mainport Innovation Fund.

mainport_innovation_fund“In the rapidly evolving airline industry, emerging technologies could play an increasingly critical role in the delivery of real and perceived customer value” (Taneja, 2010). Taneja, the author of highly interesting books on the aviation business like “Airline survival kit” (2003), “Simpli-Flying” (2004) and “Flying ahead the airplane” (2008) pointed out that innovation is of major relevance for the aviation industry worldwide. Innovation means that new products, services, processes and business models will be introduced successfully to the market. In the field of aviation innovation can be related to the aircraft (e.g. new materials used, avionics and engine technologies) but not necessarily. Innovation is also the introduction of check-in kiosks at airports, new revenue models of the low-cost carriers, the use of social media by airlines and techniques for the decrease of perceived ground noise.  In this short article we discuss why it is not easy to bring an innovative product or service to the market related to the aviation business. But we describe also a venture capital fund initiated in The Netherlands that will support emerging technologies in this domain and speed up innovation: the Mainport Innovation Fund. The introduction of this fund could decrease the hurdles of starting entrepreneurs in the aviation business.

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See also the below presentation held by Ignaas Caryn, director Innovation & Venturing at KLM, about the Mainport Innovation Fund (in Dutch):

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3.3 – The importance of Schiphol Mainport for the North Wing of the Randstad: The Schiphol Paradox

By Geert Boosten

boostenAmsterdam Airport Schiphol as the Dutch mainport is a major enabler for the development of the North Wing of the Randstad. The aviation network is widely recognized as the most valuable asset for the economy, which is dominated by services sectors. In the mean time the unwanted by-products of Schiphol Mainport could become the most important blocking factor for North Wing development. Boosten comes up with several suggestions in order to overcome this paradox; e.g. the assessment of new destinations: are we adding the right destinations and frequencies to support our regions competitive position from a service industry perspective?

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