Helicopters Magazine

Sikorsky Innovations launches new challenge

July 31, 2013  By Carey Fredericks

July 30, 2013, Oshkosh, Wi. - To introduce more opportunities for entrepreneurs to contribute to aerospace innovation, Sikorsky Innovations today announced it has launched its fourth Entrepreneurial Challenge, a competition to accelerate companies and individuals with applications in the vertical flight market.

As part of the Start-Up Aviation Day at EAA AirVenture, Sikorsky unveiled a new set of challenge questions, refreshed rules and rewards – all aimed at attracting entrepreneurial companies to address some of the toughest challenges facing the vertical flight community.

"The Sikorsky Entrepreneurial Challenge has been successful in expanding the contact and in exploring synergies between agile and innovative businesses and Sikorsky. There is value in expanding our reach to larger and more mature small companies as well as to business ventures already associated with Sikorsky,” said Laurence Vigeant-Langlois, Director of Business Development for Sikorsky Innovations.

“As a leading aerospace OEM (original equipment manufacturer), Sikorsky has a flexible and dedicated partnership channel that is focused on transformational technologies, products and business processes. That continues to be the Entrepreneurial Challenge’s main value proposition to small businesses,” Vigeant-Langlois added.

The modifications to the Entrepreneurial Challenge include:


•    Qualified applicants are any small business between 1 and 100 employees; no annual revenue cap is now imposed.

•    A portion of the Challenge Questions will be “evergreen,” remaining constant throughout the next few iterations of the competition

A repackaged prize pack accompanies the launch of the fourth Entrepreneurial Challenge. Winning teams will be granted shared services within the CTNEXT entrepreneurial ecosystem, and, upon completion of the year, an investment evaluation by Sikorsky. A period of rent-free access to the Stamford Innovation Center, which has been part of the winning prize pack since the inception of the Challenge, will now be optional for all winning applicants.

The fourth Entrepreneurial Challenge features five Challenge questions. To take the Challenge or learn more, visit the Challenge’s website at http://www.sikorsky.com/EChallenge. Applications are due to Sikorsky Innovations by 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, Nov. 1.

With the announcement of the revised competition, Sikorsky Innovations also announced it has recognized John Clark, founder of Gamechanger Technologies Pty Ltd, with an Honorable Mention as part of the Third Entrepreneurial Challenge. The Honorable Mention award allows Clark to leverage the Sikorsky Innovations network through introductions to industrial partners.

“The Entrepreneurial Challenge is more than a recognition of achievement, it is an opportunity to open new channels of communication with dynamic small businesses,” said Chris Van Buiten, Vice President of Sikorsky Innovations. “Sikorsky Aircraft is celebrating its 90th anniversary, a milestone it has reached because it is a company that constantly innovates. Creating strategic relationships with innovative entrepreneurs is an important dimension of the innovation process that will enable us to continue being the leader in vertical flight solutions.”


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