The Entrepreneurial Challenge competition is designed to identify and accelerate the development of emerging, transformational business solutions across all markets that can be applied to specialized aerospace and rotorcraft markets.
Sikorsky recently selected EvoLux Transportation, LLC, a helicopter focused tech-travel company, based in Boca Raton, Florida, for its presentation of a social media platform offering unprecedented connectivity in the urban VIP helicopter marketplace.
The award entitles EvoLux to join previous Challenge winners, rent-free, in the Sikorsky Innovations’ “incubator” space at the Stamford iCenter in Stamford, Conn. The iCenter, a recently named cornerstone hub of the Connecticut Innovation Ecosystem, provides the entrepreneurs with direct access to the East Coast investment and entrepreneurial communities. During that time, Sikorsky mentors will provide coaching, along with an education program to assist in maturing and growing their business. Upon completion of a maturation cycle in the incubator, Sikorsky will provide EvoLux with an investment evaluation.
In addition, Rescale, a San Francisco-based company, received special recognition for its presentation of a cloud simulation platform that can accelerate design cycles and enhance collaboration between engineers, resulting in significantly improved product designs.
“We successfully broadened the competition to attract business plans that could either leverage Sikorsky’s offerings in novel ways or that could transform our existing products and processes,” said Laurence Vigeant-Langlois, Director of Business Development for Sikorsky Innovations. “Once again, we opted to present more than one award thanks to the outstanding caliber of the participants.”
“It’s exciting to see the latest results from the Entrepreneurial Challenge and to have two game-changing ventures joining our ever-growing network of partners and collaborators,” said Chris Van Buiten, Vice President of Sikorsky Innovations. “In more than doubling our first-round applications, and extending our reach to entrepreneurs on three continents, the Entrepreneurial Challenge continues to demonstrate the power of innovation collaboration. With the next installment of the Entrepreneurial Challenge due to launch this spring, we look forward to interacting with other revolutionary technology companies and like-minded investors.”
"There are some very real challenges facing vertical lift operations and it's extremely refreshing to see Sikorsky Innovations' leadership approach in identifying these areas and engaging with entrepreneurs to provide immediate solutions,” said EvoLux founder, Raymond Leavitt. “Igor Sikorsky's entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and our team is very excited to work with the Innovations team to further execute and accelerate our award-winning business plan." "Sikorsky Aircraft has a long tradition of bringing disruptive innovations to market,” said Rescale’s Vice President for Business Development, Sunny Manivannan. “The Rescale team is very excited to work with such an entrepreneurial company, and we look forward to helping Sikorsky's engineers develop the next generation of game-changing flight solutions.”
The Entrepreneurial Challenge is open to any small company with revenue under $5M, including newly formed and pre-revenue entities. 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.