ACCELERATE@IATA, the first industry accelerator where airlines and startups converge for innovation.

ACCELERATE@IATA is a start-up accelerator program created to support airlines on their digital retailing journey. It will provide the opportunity to pilot technologies at scale and determine within 100 days whether airlines, travel industry experts and startups can join together on projects to move the industry forward.

Accelerating the Industry

IATA is committed to supporting airlines as they continue on their digital retailing journey by developing standards and providing tools with the ultimate goal of enabling freedom of distribution. Supplying greater speed, agility, and technical expertise, ACCELERATE@IATA will look at industry-driven initiatives to accelerate the development and adoption of industry standards.

The Program Roadmap

  1. ACCELERATE: The primary objective is to accelerate standard development & adoption of standards while stimulating competition and bringing new entrants to the market.
  2. IDENTIFY & SELECT RELEVANT STARTUPS: Collaboratively, the partners define the business and technology them and scanning the startup ecosystem to select the most revelant.
  3. MAP SOLUTION & DEMAND: During the 3 month program, technology solutions are adjusted to market demand.
  4. IMPLEMENT: Pilots and implementations are enabled between new entrants and airline partners.
  5. SPEED UP ADOPTION: Pilots and implementations are enabled between new entrants and airline partners.


Accelerate@IATA and startups will have their products and solutions adapted to market demand. The plan is to accelerate 20 to 30 startups per year, matching their solutions with industry requirements, resulting in several pilots or implementations with participating airlines involved. Our accelerator supports selected startups through education, mentorship, and, potentially, with financing from corporate partners.

Find out more in the ACCELERATE@IATA brochure (pdf)

Join the program

To join the program or if you need more information, please contact

Benefits of the program

For Airlines:

  • Access to global, stage-agnostic startups and technology providers that have the potential to increase airline revenues, reduce costs, increase operational efficiency and build brand loyalty
  • Be at the forefront of new technologies, with access to some of the most creative minds in the world, as well as pilots and solutions
  • Ability to play a leading role in shaping the industry’s future innovation programs
  • Drive profit by fast-tracking the transformation into airline retailing, accelerating implementations and educing transition costs.
  • Savings on innovation costs compared to internal development

For Startups:

  • Access to IATA’s global network of airlines and value chain partners for pilot and implementation opportunities
  • Access to expertise and market knowledge
  • Industry mentorship
  • Potential funding via the partners

How the program works

The accelerator enables a close collaboration with corporate partners - composed of airlines, industry partners and technology companies, and startups. During a 12-month period, the accelerator will operate up to 3 batches for a period of 2 months each, hosted at IATA’s executive office in Geneva.

Batches will be divided into 4 phases:

- PHASE 1- Startup sourcing phase, closing with Selection Day
- PHASE 2 - Acceleration process
- PHASE 3 - Closing event to present solutions, Demo Day
- PHASE 4 - Pilot phase with airline partners

The accelerator Steering group, composed of IATA and Anchor partners, sets the technology and business focus for each acceleration batch. They are active decision makers during the entire program through the startups’ selection process, acceleration involvement, outcome, and pilots.

Corporate Partners

IATA and Provider

Airlines (up to 15) - Value chain (Up to 5) - Tech companies

  • Set the technology focus and application calls for the programs
  • Select the startups at Innovation Day
  • Privileged role to engage with startups during the program and first choice pilot

Airlines (up to 30) – Value chain (Up to 10)

  • Collaborate with the startups selected
  • Access to DealFlow sessions
  • Attendance to Innovation Day and the possibility to pilot with startups

Pitching at Innovation Day
Hosted for acceleration and developing solutions
Pilot with airlines, presenting at AIR Symposium