MWAA Launches Innovation Challenge for Airports

       The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and 1776 are advancing their technology-development partnership with the launch of a competition for startup firms to create and deploy new products and services to enhance the airport passenger experience.

Firms participating in the Airport Innovation Challenge will pitch their ideas in December. Winners will receive $15,000 in prizes and travel to Northern Virginia, where they will spend three months, from January to March 2018, at the Airports Authority’s Innovation Lab at 1776’s Crystal City campus near Reagan National Airport. At the lab, startup firms will test their business models and products, working with Airports Authority experts as well as mentors from 1776 and Union, a global innovation network.

“Technology and innovation are reshaping the expectations and experiences of the millions of travelers who pass through airports every year,” MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter stated. “We expect the startup businesses taking part in the Airport Innovation Challenge to help create the next generation of products and services that will characterize the airports of tomorrow.”

MWAA Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Jerome L. Davis, who is leading the effort, said airports around the world are becoming more competitive with new terminal facilities, passenger amenities and technology-based services to make the travel experience more pleasant, convenient and efficient.

“Our partnership with 1776, which discovers and develops up-and-coming technology-based companies, is the perfect forum for introducing game-changing innovations to help take our airports—and the entire air travel industry—into the future,” Davis stated.

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