Without missing a word, this is the best moment for Cargonaught, after winning the pitch at South Africa where they competed with six other Air Travelling startups, they are expected to meet with Airbus in France, from France to Germany for a whole full three months support.
Cape Town-based airship startup Cargonaught just won the competition beating others.
The startup came first after beating 6 others to clinch an all expenses paid trip to France and Germany, where Cargonaught will meet experts from Airbus and get technical support for three months afterward.
Other finalists to pitch at the event held at the Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town include space optics startup Simera Technology Group, drone startup Tai Corporation, Think Big Solutions, Hi-Fly Marketing, space tech startup New Space Systems and data analytics startup Aerobotics.
Global aerospace accelerator Airbus BizLab came up with the challenge with Silicon Cape. Final Judges at the event included representatives from Airbus, National Aerospace Research, Technology Innovation Agency and South African Venture Capital Association (Savca).
Airbus Bizlab head Bruno Gutierres said in a statement to techproducts.com.ng rep that the purpose of the challenge is to promote and increase innovation and give startups the opportunity to access neede markets for necessary growth. He said that the accelerator has a whole department working on airship activities that would assist Cargonaught.
Cargonaught aims to develop autonomous airships capable of handling heavy payloads
Owners of Cargonaught aims to combine drone and airship technology to develop autonomous airships capable of handling heavy payloads. The startup was founded by Spencer Horne, a university graduate from Harvard university having study Mechanical Engineering as a major course
Horne told Ventureburn that the idea for his startup first came about while he was studying at university. He started the startup, Cargornaught after he came to understand more about drones and how cheaper the navigation technology on drones has become.
“That’s when I realised that many of the cargo applications of airships could actually be handled by a drone, making them sufficiently cheap,” he said.
Earlier this year in March, Cargonaught spent a week in Munich, Germany at the World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation accelerator as part of Singularity U’s Global Impact Challenge.
Horne said the major challenges the startup has come to face with as startup dealing with hardware have been around monetizing the company and getting required support for research and development and prototyping. “Hardware is notoriously difficult to monetise,” he added.
He also didn’t keep quiet in saying how difficult South African ecosystem is in raising fund
“Universities do not let you use their stuff unless you are a university student. They have millions of rands worth of equipment and no one knows about it, they just aren’t accessible. In terms of prototyping there isn’t an easy avenue to get that done,” he said.
The Cargonaught has yet to raise any financial support in terms of external funding, and Horne and his team have sought rather to enter an accelerator or incubator to raise funding there to carry out research and development and build a prototype.
Horne said he is earnestly looking to build connections and partnerships in this week in France. He said he would take the opportunity to learn from the experiences of the experts he would meet and to understand challenges and business models.