Defense and Space, Commercial Aviation

Starburst Ventures Launches New Pre-Seed & Seed Fund Focusing on Aerospace & Defense Innovation

Starburst Ventures Launches New Pre-Seed & Seed Fund Focusing
Starburst Ventures, the first venture capital fund dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense, today announced the launch of its new early-stage fund. Focusing on aerospace, defense, security, as well as enabling sciences and technologies, Starburst Ventures is investing in the next generation of industrial, software and hardware companies.The fund's team will be led by Starburst Ventures' Founder and General Partner, François Chopard.  A widely respected industry veteran, Francois founded Starburst in 2012, before A&D became the venture investment category it is today. François is joined by Benjamin Zeitoun as Investor. Together they hold a significant track record of securing investment and building startups from the early stage to IPO. Joining them in an advisory capacity is Jacqueline Tame, startup founder and former Deputy Director of the United States Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and Natalya Bailey, Head of Strategy at Bloom Energy and former founder of Accion Systems, who was named top 15 most influential women in Space per Business Insider. Both will serve as hands-on advisors to provide unrivaled support in selecting investments and developing Starburst Ventures' portfolio companies.

"The Starburst Ventures fund will be an imperative resource in developing the next generation of aerospace & defense companies,Having the opportunity to lead and oversee something so impactful is a true honor. I look forward to working with some of the brightest minds across aerospace innovation and business development."

François Chopard, General Partner at Starburst Ventures

Starburst Ventures' existing investments include participation in a recent $7.1 million seed round for Outpost, a sustainable satellite & Earth return company founded by Jason Dunn and Mike Vergalla, and backed by Moonshot Ventures & Draper Associates, as well as Strong Compute, a startup that recently completed its $7.8 million seed round and helps developers speed up machine learning training pipelines. Strong Compute is led by Ben Sand and backed by prolific investors including Sequoia Capital India, Folklore, Blackbird; and Skip Capital (led by Principal Kim Jackson). Other investments include companies wishing to stay under the radar, working on mapping the 27,000+ objects jamming Earth orbit to pave the way for space infrastructure, Open Source Intelligence platforms, and a revolutionary optical sensing payload. All five of these companies are at the cutting edge of aerospace innovation. We're excited that our thesis drives our investment in both deeptech and tech companies that have the potential to make a real impact in our sector and beyond,said Benjamin Zeitoun, Investor, Starburst Ventures. The Starburst Ventures fund's portfolio is a reflection of its leadership's unique ability to imagine the next wave of innovation in space, aviation, and defense systems. Starburst Ventures is an independent US venture capital firm owned by its General Partners with a deep commitment to  building the future of aerospace and defense.

About Starburst Ventures
Starburst Ventures is the first venture capital fund exclusively dedicated to investing across aviation, space, and defense to build the future of Aerospace & Defense. The team is made up of Aerospace & Defense specialists, former founders, and accelerator operators who are on a mission to help early-stage founders accelerate their business development efforts across government & industry.

About Starburst
Starburst is an innovation catalyst in the aerospace industry. They are the first and only global aerospace accelerator, connecting startups with corporates, investors and government, while providing strategic growth and investment consulting services for all. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Madrid, the team has built an ecosystem of key players with 15000+ of startups in its network. Starburst's accelerator program helps startups scale their business in aviation, space, and defense with access to the largest group of corporate stakeholders to help startups win their first contracts.

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Aerospace, Defense and Space, Aviation Technology

AAR signs new multi-year military distribution agreement with Ontic

AAR | January 05, 2024

AAR CORP. a leading provider of aviation services to commercial and government operators, MROs, and OEMs, has announced a new multi-year agreement with Ontic, providing AAR distribution rights to supply a strategic selection of military products to the U.S. government, with exclusivity on specified parts. AAR currently provides military distribution support to Ontic's Cheltenham, United Kingdom, facility and commercial distribution support to Ontic's Creedmoor, North Carolina, facility. Under this additional contract, AAR will support Ontic's Chatsworth, California, facility. Ontic is pleased to deepen our partnership with AAR through this new agreement. AAR's support adds efficiencies to our processes that allow us to best support our wide range of customers," said Terry Streb, General Manager of Ontic's Chatsworth facility. "AAR enables us to reduce turnaround times and improve product availability for our shared U.S. government customers. AAR is enthusiastic about bolstering our strategic military portfolio by expanding our Ontic relationship to include the Chatsworth facility," said Ross Wuestenfeld, Vice President of AAR's Distribution – Defense. "Ontic is a trusted provider of parts and services to the aviation aftermarket, and we look forward to enhancing these services to support the U.S. warfighter.

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Aerospace

Army Applications Laboratory Selects Firehawk Aerospace as a Supplier for the Javelin, Stinger, and GMLR System

Firehawk Aerospace | January 08, 2024

Firehawk Aerospace, a market leader in hybrid rocket engine and solid rocket motor (SRM) propulsion, has secured a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract from Army Applications Laboratory (AAL). This contract underscores Firehawk's advancements in rocket propulsion and its unique capability to address critical challenges in conventional SRM supply chains. The SBIR Phase III contract accelerates Firehawk's mission to reshape SRM propulsion, focusing on eliminating supply chain bottlenecks and bolstering system stability. Will Edwards, CEO of Firehawk Aerospace, comments, "The Phase III funding reflects our team's ability to push aerospace technology boundaries, positioning Firehawk at the forefront of innovation in tactical weapon systems." Distinguishing itself from traditional systems, Firehawk's hybrid rocket engines boast a rapid manufacturing timeline of weeks, not years. Manufactured and tested in Texas, this approach enables faster testing and innovation at a reduced cost, in line with Firehawk's commitment to national security. By sidestepping traditional materials, Firehawk mitigates supply chain vulnerabilities, creating a resilient system ready for evolving threats. The U.S. Army, recognizing the need for propulsion systems unaffected by supply chain issues, supports Firehawk Aerospace. The development focus includes creating analogs for key U.S. Army systems like the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket (GMLR), FGM-148 Javelin, and FIM-92 Stinger. Firehawk Aerospace's propulsion systems aim to optimize mission profiles with extended range, reducing risks to soldiers and maintaining the U.S. Army's strategic advantage. The SBIR Phase III contract signifies a significant step forward in advancing rocket propulsion technology, addressing supply chain challenges and enhancing tactical weapon system capabilities for the U.S. Army.

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Aerospace, Defense and Space, Aviation Technology

Liberty Defense Announces First Sale of HEXWAVE to an International Airport in Asia Pacific

Newswire | January 22, 2024

Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd. a leading technology provider of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based next generation detection solutions for protecting secure locations against prohibited weapons and other threats, is pleased to announce that the HEXWAVE™ system will be deployed at an international airport in the Philippines. The sale was made by the Company's international distributor and deployment is scheduled for summer of 2024. The screening will be at the forecourt of the airport to screen people entering the terminal. Liberty's HEXWAVE product, a next generation, walkthrough, contactless threat detection system for concealed metallic and non-metallic objects, uses AI to provide automated decisions to security operators to process people at speed. The company started shipping HEXWAVE to customers in September 2023 and the backlog of systems has grown to over 30 systems. "We continue to see an increase in demand from airports on a global basis for enhanced screening at various checkpoints and entrances," said Bill Frain, CEO of Liberty Defense. "In addition to screening for aviation workers, airports are taking advantage of HEXWAVE's mobility and scanning individuals as they enter the terminal as part of an added and layered security approach." For updates and news, please visit the Company website to subscribe to email alerts or follow Liberty Defense on social channels.

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Air Transport, Cargo Management, Airport Management

Delta Cargo launches e-commerce solution DeliverDirect in collaboration with SmartKargo

PR Newswire | February 01, 2024

Delta Cargo is excited to announce the launch of its newest product, DeliverDirect, developed in collaboration with SmartKargo. DeliverDirect is a door-to-door delivery service for the U.S. market, offering a competitive and customizable solution for e-commerce retailers seeking to optimize their direct-to-consumer shipping solutions. With DeliverDirect, Delta Cargo pioneers an innovative domestic carrier approach, providing swift service with transparent pricing for e-commerce and small parcel delivery. From initial warehouse pickup to delivery at the end consumer's doorstep, DeliverDirect is a fast, seamless, end-to-end service that upgrades traditional ground or air shipping services utilized by most current e-tailers. Small package shippers will benefit from increased shipping speeds, an uncomplicated pricing structure, proactive alert management, transparent tracking and reporting, and access to Delta's vast domestic network. "We are thrilled to introduce DeliverDirect, our new offer for the small parcel delivery market," shared Alison Ricker, Managing Director, Delta Cargo Global Sales. "Through our strategic collaboration with SmartKargo, DeliverDirect gives e-tailers an alternative transportation solution that fits their customers' requirements, and we envision that this service will prove to be a fast, reliable and cost-effective solution." The DeliverDirect offering can be tailored to shippers' needs with a variety of service innovations that empower customers to customize according to their unique preferences. These service innovations include: personalized pick-up times, geo-fenced notifications for consumers, multiple delivery attempts, signature-required deliveries, proof of delivery with photos, and access to advanced reporting features for a complete comprehensive service that aligns seamlessly with a variety of needs. "E-commerce shippers are looking for simple, faster and more reliable alternatives to deliver their products to consumers. Delta Cargo has a vision for small package delivery that will transform the U.S. market and continue to diversify their already robust offering in the air cargo market. Their innovative approach makes them a fantastic partner for SmartKargo, and we look forward to growing this service together," stated Milind Tavshikar, CEO and Founder of SmartKargo.

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