French A&D Firm Starburst Accelerator SARL Partners IIT Madras to Establish €100 Million Aerospace and Defence Start-up Hub


Chennai: French aerospace and defence firm Starburst Accelerator SARL is partnering with IIT-Madras to set up an innovative hub for start-ups with a funding support of €100 million (100 Million Euros). IIT-Madras will enable Starburst to set up accelerator programmes to boost India’s aviation, space and defence ecosystem (ASD) and provide startups with business tools to grow and scale business in aerospace and defence to become future suppliers.

Looking to create venture capital funds for ASD technology, a powerful engine to drive the transformation of India’s economy and its integration with global stakeholders, Starburst Accelerator SARL partnership with IIT-Madras will enable export promotion and provide support for Indian ASD startups to explore international markets through the extensive network of Starburst.

At IIT-Madras campus on March 25, an memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by François Chopard, founder and CEO, Starburst Aerospace, Cedric Vallet, innovation and venture director, Starburst Aerospace, and Prof V Kamakoti, director, IIT-Madras, Prof Manu Santhanam, Dean (ICSR), IIT-Madras towards this collaboration.

“We together aim at creating a robust ASD ecosystem that supports innovation in deeptech and the production in India, to meet the future challenges of aerospace, new space and defence worldwide players,” said François Chopard, founder and CEO, Starburst Aerospace.

The aim of this partnership is to create innovative startups and help them grow rapidly to work in tandem with future aerospace and new space worldwide programmes. A key focus will be on entrepreneurs, research parks, investors (public and private), Government, and corporate firms.

“Encouraging young entrepreneurs is extremely important as we embark on our journey to become a multi-trillion economy. To this effect, reputed higher educational institutions must aspire to nurture future employers than employees. In this context, such collaborations with accelerators to nurture startups in critical and emerging sectors are crucial and timely,” said V Kamakoti, director, IIT-Madras.

Starburst has built an ecosystem of key players with 17,000+ startups in its network and has offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Madrid. Starburst will create a consulting team that can be composed of IIT-Madras alumni and experienced military officers besides ASD managers and senior consultants from Starburst offices to help start-ups scale up in their growth journey. This programme will provide access to entrepreneurs and innovators, drive new technologies, business ideas, and models, and boost the Indian aerospace and defence innovation ecosystem. It will also allow startups and entrepreneurs to explore synergies and avenues of collaboration with Industry, Government, and beyond besides guiding them towards rapid implementation and global commercialisation.

By combining academic knowledge with practical startup guidance, including workshops, seminars, and mentoring sessions, structured programmes will be created for Indian Start-up clusters and research and innovative projects. Starburst will provide startups with business tools to grow and scale businesses in aerospace and defence to become future suppliers. These measures will also help start-ups attract external capital, de-risk investments and accelerate development.