AirGo Design, a Singaporean startup working on next-generation airline seats, was recently selected to be among the top 10 startups globally to participate in Los Angeles Innovation Week 2015. The “aerospace innovation hub” event organized by Starburst Accelerator and hosted by Boeing was an exclusive session during which startups showcased their latest technologies to more than 70 juries from NASA, FAA, GE Aviation, Northrop, Lockheed, Dassault, Virgin Galactic, DFJ, Qualcomm ventures ane many others. AirGo’s presentation by aviation veteran, Jere Tala and serial entrepreneur Henri Holm was received with praise and the organizer’s official Twitter shortly after wrote “AirGo, you have made economy class look incredible”.
Jere Tala (left) and Henri Holm of AirGo present at Starburst’s Aerospace Innovation Hub hosted by Boeing.
The good news for AirGo follows a recent success in securing the much coveted proof of value (POV) grant from SPRING Singapore after months of intensive assessments. The prestigious grant, only awarded to a handful of startups this year, will help AirGo to accelerate the development of its next-generation economy seat “Omega” that has been praised as “the future of airline seating” by major news outlets such as ABC News, The Economist and Daily Mail among others. AirGo’s new seat, to be unveiled next year in Singapore, utilizes groundbreaking ultralight composite technologies that save airlines millions of dollars annually in terms of fuel consumption and carbon tax. The seats are also more comfortable, offering a whole new ergonomic design with improved cushions, wider seats and up to 4″ more legroom for the same floor space. That puts AirGo among few hardware and perhaps fewer aerospace startups in the Singapore startup scene that are set to compete against multi-billion dollar giants like the French Zodiac Aerospace or the American B/E Aerospace.
“Here in Asia, Toyota and ST Aerospace have also launched their own seat business recently and to us that is a clear indication of how promising the market actually is. Thanks to the Singaporean startup ecosystem, we are now able to take this trend even further. We tackle big challenges that large companies with dominant market shares have no incentive to take up.” said Alireza Yaghoubi, AirGo’s inventor and Chief Technology Officer. Jere Tala, AirGo’s Chief Commercial Officer continued that “Airline interiors is an under-supplied industry with economy seat market alone amounting to more than USD 5.2 billion within the next 5 years. That and the lack of innovation for the past 60 years made us to embark on this journey.” Having won the second place at the prestigious Wall Street Journal’s D.Live Startup Showcase 2014 as well as the Red Herring Asia Top 100 awards, AirGo is among a small number of elite Singaporean startups that have received massive traction globally.