At Heli-Expo 2013, the helicopter industry’s premier conference and convention, Sikorsky unveiled its latest set of Challenge Questions that will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurial companies to understand some of the toughest issues facing the vertical flight community and identify their technology as relevant to one of more of these issues. The Entrepreneurial Challenge is designed to open a clear communication pathway between the entrepreneurial community and Sikorsky Innovations, with the goal of increasing opportunities for collaboration and novel technology integration into current and future rotorcraft products.
In addition to the development of future aircraft concepts enhancements to existing platforms and equipment, Sikorsky has expanded the scope of the competition to include companies and businesses that wish to collaborate on the creation of complimentary and transformational products, processes and business concepts as well.
“This competition is targeted not only to small companies that can advance the development of helicopter technologies, but also to businesses that can yield transformational process innovation, and to ventures that can utilize vertical flight in new markets,” said Laurence Vigeant-Langlois, Director of Business Development for Sikorsky Innovations. “Sikorsky just completed a successful first year running its Entrepreneurial Challenge, and looks forward to continuing its journey of partnering with innovators.”
A recent example of Sikorsky’s expanded outreach to companies that offer more complimentary support is the winner of Sikorsky’s most recent Entrepreneurial Challenge, EvoLux Transportation, LLC, a helicopter focused tech-travel company. In its submission, EvoLux proposed the creation of a social media platform that would offer unprecedented connectivity to the VIP helicopter marketplace.
EvoLux joins four other companies that have been awarded recognition as part of the competition since its inception last year. Each winning company receives one year free workspace within Sikorsky’s new Stamford Innovation Center to develop its proposed concept, complete with one year of free access to new Stamford Innovation Center (Stamford iCenter) shared business services, mentoring programs, and education program and events. Winners also participate in a rolling, 3-month long Sikorsky education program, designed to provide both technical and business strategy guidance.
“As Sikorsky Aircraft marks its 90th birthday, it is exciting to think about the collaboration that creates new ventures that can start their 90 year journey, while enabling Sikorsky to remain a cutting edge innovator preparing for its next 90 years,” said Chris Van Buiten, Vice President of Sikorsky Innovations.
Winners will be selected through an application process where they will respond to questions posed by Sikorsky Innovations. Applications will be selected based on business potential, feasibility, value proposition and team expertise. Applications are due to Sikorsky Innovations by 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 1. Interested parties can learn more about by visiting the challenge’s website at http://goo.gl/BZhsn.Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.