Rey Buckman – How Airbus drives and systematizes innovation with both intrapreneurs and startups


It’s time for a new podcast episode, this time we get into the aerospace industry. What if your startup could potentially win Airbus as a new customer?

We got a good news for you! Our guest will walk you through the exact steps and process to follow to join Airbus’ accelerator program and potentially become one of the aerospace giant’s future suppliers or partners.

Rey Buckman is Airbus BizLab Campus Leader in Hamburg and will be speaking at the Wear It Innovation Summit in Berlin on June 25-26. In addition to his roles and responsibilities, Rey has an incredibly interesting personal, academic, and professional background. During our talk, he explains how Airbus encourages and structures innovation both internally with its own employees and externally with startups.

Although many corporate accelerators seek innovation by only looking outside their company, I was pleasantly surprised by the focus and effort Airbus also puts into the ideas of its own employees. A variety of engineering, human resources, and marketing projects are implemented and treated with the same rigour and support than technologies developed by startup participants.

Rey explains in details the participant selection process and discuss some of the cool technologies that are coming out of the accelerator. Hope you enjoy the conversation!

To make it easy for you, we’ve highlighted some parts of the show and added some useful links for you to refer to.

Enjoy and make sure you give us some feedback and ideas for our next episodes.

Listen Now!

This episode features references to the following:

What are the objectives of the Airbus Bizlab and Rey’s role as Campus Leader – [01:25]

Rey’s 1-minute life summary – [02:44]

Rey’s experience in China and his highly focused visit strategy – [04:16]

A few highlights of Rey’s upcoming speech at the Wear It Innovation Summit – [05:11]

Examples of key tech developments happening in aerospace – [06:47]

Two critical areas of innovation in aerospace – [11:04]

What is the Airbus’ Accelerator selection process – [12:03]

Length of the Accelerator program and application timelines – [14:39]

What content and support do participants get – [15:43]

How you could win Airbus as your next customer – [16:57]

How could Airbus partner or invest in your startup – [21:10]

Rey’s advice to startups interested in joining Airbus’ Accelerator program – [22:42]

Why the program had not that many applicants in its first year – [24:30]

How Airbus selects and prioritizes intrapreneur projects – [25:36]

Why the program had so few applicants in its first year – [24:30]

The BizLab’s projects success rate and the skills participants usually lack – [28:52]

Airbus’ experience with open and collaborative innovation – [31:53]

Rey’s toughest challenge in the accelerator program – [35:10]

How does Rey measure the program’s success – [37:05]

Why Rey got involved in launching the Africa for Future program – [38:14]

Our rapid fire questions – [42:50]

Selected Links

Wear It Innovation Summit

Rey on LinkedIn

Rey on Twitter

Airbus BizLab

Join the airbus BizLab (Toulouse, Madrid,Bangalore & Hamburg) – Apply before July 7

TG-0’s functional material

The Africa4Future Initiative

The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy by Mariana Mazzucato



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