British Airways has launched a competition with Founders Forum to give travel technology start-ups the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors and CEOs.

On 12 June, the panel will be on-board a BA flight on their way to the Founders Forum London while ideas are pitched from the ground via in-flight wifi. The competition is seeking start-ups that are building next-generation travel technology products or services that have the potential to transform the passenger experience.

Entries will be whittled down to a shortlist of businesses that will go on to pitch their ideas from the ground to the judges in the air. They will also take part in a live Q&A session.

The top three finalists will be invited to attend the Founders Forum in London on 13 June to pitch in person to a judging panel of investors and CEOs.

The winner will receive 100,000 On Business points for BA’s business loyalty programme, which it says is equivalent to four return flights in World Traveller Plus to New York from Heathrow. They will also get 100,000 Avios, a profile in Business Life magazine, a presentation at the Founders Forum London event and a meeting with Brent Hoberman, founder of lastminute.com and the Founders network.

BA is currently investing in the installation of wifi on its long-haul fleet, with more than 50 aircraft now offering the service. It plans to have 80 per cent of its 134 long-haul planes fitted with wifi by the end of 2020, while its short-haul fleet will be wifi-enabled by this summer.

Alex Cruz, CEO of BA, commented: “The competition, which ties in closely with our centenary activity looking to the future of flight, is a unique opportunity for some of the most innovative start-ups to put forward their ideas for travel in the future. We’re excited to be supporting Founders Forum in the pitch process, which is set to be an exciting challenge using our in-flight wifi.”

Greg Kennaugh, COO of Founders Forum, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting this competition, fostering new ways of thinking about travel and directly supporting early-stage entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas to a community of leaders in digital. Connecting seasoned West Coast investors with the most promising European talent midflight on their way to our event is a new milestone for Founders Forum and we are delighted to work with British Airways to deliver this unique initiative.”

Entries are open until 22 February 2019 and can be submitted here.

ba.com; ff.co

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