Aena Ventures, the airport revolution

aena ventures

Public-Private company

Category

Entrepreneurship Program

Project duration

3 years

Aena Ventures, discovering the airport of the future

The airport management company Aena has entered the world of open innovation launching Aena Ventures, a startup accelerator oriented to solve several challenges of the airport of the future, and Peninsula has worked with them during the whole first edition of the program. 

With 69 airports worldwide and more than 335 million passengers a year, Aena is the 1st reference company in airport management in the world and, as such, it must be at the forefront of aviation innovation to offer its clients the best travel experience. 

The 1st edition of the acceleration program has been a success, and our consultancy has given support to its development during the whole process, from the recruitment and selection of participants to the mentorship in the pilot execution and the celebration of the Demo Day before the company’s Steering Committee.

254 startup applications

5 participants

80% success in pilots

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Starting point

Aiming to find new technologies to solve some needs in their procedures and improve the offered services, Aena opened the call with five corporate challenges in five different areas:

  • Streamlining procedures and travel to the airport
  • Passenger experience
  • Passenger communication
  • Sustainability
  • Baggage as a whole

The call, opened internationally, wanted to solve these challenges through the execution of pilots that made it possible to test new solutions that could be implemented in the airport permanently, with contracts of up to €2 million.

aena ventures

Solution

In Peninsula we put into practice our experience in the startup ecosystem to help Aena with the definition of challenges and the selection of participants through an anonymised, very effective evaluation system. Once the program started, we organised the Welcome Week, mentored the teams in the development of their pilots and coordinated the actions during the program as well as the celebration of the Demo Day.  

STEP 1: Challenge definition
In order to achieve a truly transformative and useful innovation process for Aena, we carried out a challenge definition workshop, where we detected the areas in which finding new technological solutions could be more beneficial, both for facilitating the company’s procedures and adding value to passengers. The most opportune were prioritised, getting to set five challenges in five different areas.
STEP 2: Call stage
A multi-channel communication campaign was carried out in different specialised and generalist media from several geographical zones. During this process, support was given to all the interested businesses with the goal of maximising the number of ideas gathered, reaching 254 proposals from 33 countries among the 5 challenges. After the filtering process, determined in the projects contest basis, and based on transparent selection criteria, an election process was realised, defining the 5 enterprises participating in the Aena Ventures acceleration, one for each challenge.
STEP 3: Welcome Week
At the beginning of the program, this introduction week was organised so the startups could meet each other and the accelerator team (made up of Aena and Peninsula members) as well as landing their solutions and define the objectives and roadmap of each project, directed to implement a pilot in Aena’s airport network.
STEP 4: Acceleration
During the 6 months of acceleration, our mentors team carried out an exhaustive follow-up of the startups progress and their pilots’ execution, advising them in the creation of the action plan, the decision-making and the next steps, and we also organised some collaborative dynamics to foster co-creation and mutual growth, like flipped classrooms, trainings and workshops.
STEP 5: Demo Day
After completing the whole program, in Peninsula we supported the organisation of the Demo Day, the event where the 5 startups presented the results of their pilot before Aena’s Steering Committee, employees and other professionals and invited investors, serving as closure of the program and as a look towards the future.

Results

The first edition of this program was a complete success. From Aena and Peninsula we were very satisfied with the work done, and no wonder. The accelerated projects were able to refine their solutions in a real environment and they had a huge reception

  • Airbot: chatbot with Artificial Intelligence technology to improve passenger experience in the airport and to reduce customer support costs.

  • Carwatt: technology to convert industrial and transport vehicles from combustion to electric, to decarbonise mobility in airports.

  • ChineSpain: exclusive application for Chinese tourism in Spain with information, online booking and tickets payment through Chinese payment platforms.

  • Dubz: a luggage check-in service at home, to ease the collection of bags at the origin and its delivery once the destination is reached.

  • Meep: sustainable urban mobility app that provides the best routes according to the user’s preferences, allowing them to search, book and pay.

The fact that Aena had a pre-defined budget for the pilots development (€50k per challenge), together with an agile challenge detection methodology and a massive involvement with the startups by the Aena Ventures team, made the project very easy to execute, and with very positive results, getting closer and closer to the airport of the future

« Peninsula has been an essential pillar in the execution of the first edition of Aena Ventures acceleration program. Their ability to pivot, analyse problems and provide solutions have been basic for the success of every step of the program. They have taken care of every detail and have helped us in all the stages of the project. »
Alberto Taha
Aena's Head of Innovation
Jordi Llonch
Jordi Llonch

Project Manager

Andrés Manso
Andrés Manso

Mentor

Roc Fages
Roc Fages

Mentor

Josep Maria Ribas
Josep Maria Ribas

Mentor

Adrián Gallardo
Adrián Gallardo

Mentor

Jordi Llonch
Jordi Llonch

Mentor

Jonathan García
Jonathan García

Scouting Owner

Albert Andreu
Albert Andreu

Marketing

Carlos Zaragoza
Carlos Zaragoza

Communication

An acceleration process can be everything your business needs. Are you interested?

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