Boeing invests in tech companies
Chicago, Usa - Boeing HorizonX will pursue venture capital investments, expansion into new business areas, disruptive market solutions
The Boeing Company announced investments in two early-stage technology companies through the ventures arm of a new Group called Boeing HorizonX, an innovation cell focused on accelerating potentially transformative aerospace technologies, manufacturing innovations and emerging business models. The new Group has made a venture investment in Washington, DC-based Upskill, a provider of enterprise software for augmented reality wearables focused on enhancing productivity, quality and safety in manufacturing, field service and logistics. The company has been working with Upskill for more than two years to evaluate the use of its technology across multiple locations nationally. In addition, Boeing HorizonX is partnering with JetBlue Technology Ventures to invest in Zunum Aero, a Kirkland, Wash.-based company that is pursuing the development of alternative propulsion aircraft, with potential for performance and efficiency improvements in a range of aerospace applications. It is led by Steve Nordlund, who takes this role after serving as vice president of strategy for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Prior to his strategy role, he led Boeing's Autonomous Systems division. He has led strategy and business development organizations in both defense and commercial airplane business units at the industry and helped launch venture-backed Insitu, Inc., which developed the ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned aerial systems. The US company acquired Insitu in 2008. Boeing HorizonX will operate as part of the Corporate Development & Strategy group, which reports to Greg Smith, chief financial officer and executive vice-president of Corporate Development & Strategy at Boeing, with alignment also to Boeing's chief technology officer and senior vice-president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology, Greg Hyslop. In line with industry's plan for investing in future growth, Boeing HorizonX will have three focus areas: making targeted investments in new ventures and startups; seeking unique business opportunities for the company's aerospace technology; and assessing disruptive innovations and business strategies.
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