AI, fintech, sustainability and other startups wanting to work with corporations should consider these accelerator programmes run by ABB Robotics, IAG, TSB, AG and Cemex.

ABB Robotics

ABB Robotics AI Startup Challenge 2024

Looking for startups working on programming through natural language, skill learning and acquisition, and planning and decision-making.

ABB Robotics, the machine automation subsidiary of Swedish–Swiss electrical equipment corporation ABB, has launched Startup Challenge 2024.

The ideal candidates will be startups and scale-ups working on programming through natural language, skill learning and acquisition, and planning and decision-making.

The offerings should help improve any brand’s real or virtual robots through artificial intelligence and sensor data processing technologies. Industrial or close-to-industrial use cases will be prioritised.

The winner will be offered $30,000 for a collaboration with ABB Robotics to jointly work on a minimum viable product that can be supplied to ABB customers.

A six-month membership for SynerLeap, ABB’s startup accelerator programme, will be provided free of charge to accelerate growth and ramp up partnership opportunities with ABB businesses.

Apply here before 12th June 2024 ahead of a selection pitch on the 24th. The collaboration will start in August before the assessment day the month after. The grand finale will take place on 9 October, which will entail a virtual pitching event and award ceremony. Further collaboration will take place between the last three months of 2024.

Hangar 51 Accelerator

Looking for startups in: sustainability, operations and passenger services.

UK airline holding group International Airlines Group (IAG) has partnered with pre-seed investor Plug and Play for an eighth iteration of its Hangar 51 Accelerator programme.

IAG’s operating companies including British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus will collaborate with the initiative, as will UK-located Plug and Play Mobility and Austria-based Plug and Play Travel & Hospitality.

Hangar 51 invests in startups and scale-ups that help solve the aviation industry’s challenges such as sustainability, operations and passenger services.

Candidates at any stage can apply before 16th June. The accelerator most typically worked with companies between seed and series B, but those at pre-seed and series D stages have also collaborated with the initiative.

Selected companies will work with the airlines to conduct proof of concept for a potential commercial contract. They will learn about air transport operations and customer needs and connect with IAG’s network.

“By partnering with Plug and Play, we want to work together – as both of us are leading companies in our industries – to attract the most talented startups that can join us in our path to achieve net zero, deliver the best customer experience, and also in our ambition to lead the industry when it comes to innovation,” said Annalisa Gigante, head of innovation at IAG.

TSB and FinTech Scotland’s 4th Innovation Labs

Looking for startups in: fintech.

UK retail bank TSB has begun accepting applications for its fourth Innovation Labs scheme, targeting financial technology developers.

In association with fintech innovative initiative Fintech Scotland, this year’s edition will identify up to 15 Scottish open banking startups, covering areas such as savings, insurance, investments and pensions.

Startups can apply until 1st July this year. Selected companies will join eight-week working sessions starting 7th August. In the following phase, TSB stakeholders will hold individual and group sessions with participants ahead of a final pitch to TSB executives.

“If you’re one of the 200 fintechs based in Scotland, now’s your chance to submit your application to help shape how TSB delivers Money Confidence through Open Banking,” said Aruna Bhalla, head of partnerships and open banking at TSB.

Gamified financial education app Doshi from last year’s cohort has just entered a partnership with TSB to support the latter’s financial education programme, Money Confident Communities, for the next six months. TSB employees volunteer through the three-year-old scheme at schools to help young people learn to manage their money.

AG Elevate

Looking for startups in: fintech, online consumer brands, sustainability, cleantech and proptech.

UK law firm Addleshaw Goddard (AG)’s accelerator initiative, AG Elevate, is accepting candidacies until 31st July 2024.

The 10-month scheme will select growth-stage technology companies working on areas including fintech, online consumer brands, sustainability, cleantech and proptech.

Ideal candidates must have received seed or later funding with plans to scale their businesses. Applications will be accepted from companies based in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain or Germany.

AG will provide participants with monthly mentoring, 25 hours of free legal advice in specialised areas, seminars and networking events. Other types of legal advice will have a 30% discount.

“What we are looking for is interesting, ambitious tech companies with strong leadership who are passionate about their product or service and can demonstrate high growth potential,” said Elvan Hussein, partner at AG.



Cemex Ventures Leaplab

Looking for startups in: decarbonisation, circular economy, asset maintenance, logistics optimisation and smart buildings.

Cemex Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Mexican building materials producer Cemex, runs an acceleration programme launched in 2022 called Leaplab.

Ideal candidates will be operating in the construction industry offering innovative technologies and products. Green construction, enhanced productivity, construction supply chain and the future of construction are the primary focus. Among the target technology areas are decarbonisation, circular economy, asset maintenance, logistics optimisation and smart buildings.

“Our acceleration programme expedites the growth of these high-potential startups through joint experimentation, co-creation and transformation, boosting startups’ value propositions while simultaneously improving pain points within Cemex’s core business,” Karla Arrambide, a manager at Cemex Ventures, tells Global Corporate Venturing.

From now until September of this year, the 2024 edition is in the cohort selection phase and startups can apply here. During this period, the Leaplab team is also defining pilots and agreeing on pilot scopes and targets to launch the next edition of its acceleration programme in November.

The 14-week programme will take place from November 2024 to April 2025, culminating in Demo Day, closing with Cemex’s executive committee, and Connection Day, an in-person networking event.

Leaplab does not entail automatic financial commitment from Cemex Ventures. However, if the unit decides to invest in the future, it will be entitled to a discount given Cemex’s resources supplied to the programme.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.