In 1980, the movie “Fame” thrilled audiences with a stirring story about young men and women auditioning for highly coveted spots at the New York High School of Performing Arts. There, successful candidates learned that success wasn’t just about dazzling talent and hard work.
Fast-forward to 2018, move to the real world, switch genres from musical drama to Aviation, and replace aspiring dancers with business startups. Propeller Shannon Accelerator Programme was founded by Shannon group’s International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) and DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs. This unique Aviation and Travel Tech programme was set up to be its own fame academy, with the skills and resources to attract and support the next wave of business superstars in the aviation vertical. The programme is supported by Enterprise Ireland partners with Boeing and Datalex.
Propeller Shannon is now inviting applications for Cycle 2 of its four-month intensive programme, and, judging by the responses from the international companies who successfully “graduated” as part of the first cohort to complete the 2017/18 programme, there promises to be a lot of interest.
“What really impressed me was how the programme immediately helps you to develop your networks and make connections. AVIAZE, our smartphone app, has been developed for light aviation – schools and flying clubs – so not everyone gets just how important it is to the sector. For us to get to meet regulators like the Irish Aviation Authority, and also to get a meeting with the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, has been really invaluable for us” according to Marc Chicharro, founder of Star Man Aviation, who also pointed to the programme structure as being ideal for a company headquartered in Spain: “Our tech team is in Spain, and most of our activity is there also. So for me, 4 to 5 days of super-intense programme activity in Ireland, coming back here to work on the business and apply what we’ve learned – and then repeating this cycle – was perfect.”
Others who completed Cycle 1 of the accelerator programme enthused about the quality and commitment of the programme’s mentors: “They weren’t just experienced and wise – they were engaged. Our mentors helped us to refine the use cases for our product, for example. They also ground you, put an arm around you, and give you the benefits of their insights learned as they built their own successes. And they want you to succeed” says John Roberts of Block Aviation.