Starburst Ventures aims to back startups that can follow in SpaceX’s footsteps. (SpaceX Photo) On the eve of its first event in Seattle, Starburst Accelerator says it has set up a $200 million venture fund to invest in aviation and aerospace startups over the next three years.
Starburst Venture, formed in collaboration with Singapore-based Leonie Hill Capital, will focus on early and growth-stage companies, with the first investments due to be made in the first quarter of 2017, the fund’s founders said today in a news release .
The investment team will be mainly based in San Francisco, but will also leverage Starburst Accelerator’s existing operations in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich and Singapore.
Starburst Accelerator was founded in 2012 by Francois Chopard, a former Airbus engineer and aerospace strategy consultant. Since then, it has teamed up with more than 100 companies to provide a boost for business development.
“We appreciate the vote of confidence that Leonie Hill Capital, our anchor investor, has placed in Starburst Accelerator, a testament to the immense amount of work and focus that our entire team has contributed to the business over the last few years,” Chopard said today.
Starburst focuses on commercial space ventures as well as aviation frontiers such as flying cars, supersonic jets, electric aircraft and drones. The technologies in Starburst’s portfolio also include artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, new materials and data analytics.
Starburst gives its startups a showcase at accelerator events, such as the one taking place at Seattle’s Museum of Flight on Wednesday. “We’ve been referred to as a sort of Shark Tank for aerospace,” Starburst co-founder Vandad Espahbodi told Tech in Asia in September .
“The way we’ve set up our model basically incentivizes the industry to say, what is this buzz about Elon Musk? What’s the deal with SpaceX? How real is all of this?” he said.
Among the startups under review for Seattle’s Starburst shark tank are:
Identify3D , based in San Francisco.
RBC Signals , based in Redmond, Wash.
DroneBase , based in Los Angeles.
MatterFab , based in Seattle.
iQ3 , based in Boston.
WiN MS , based in Orsey, France.
Aerostrat , based in Seattle.
Koolock , based in San Francisco.
Evigia , based in Ann Arbor, Mich.
StoreBox InFlight , based in Seattle.
Aerovel , based in Seattle.
Sandel , based in Vista, Calif.
Humbay Health , based in Kirkland, Wash.
For more information about the Seattle event, check out the Starburst Accelerator website .