Airport Shark Tank

The Airport Shark Tank is where innovators test their ideas on stage with airport industry leaders. Start-up companies looking to bring innovation to airports are given 5 minutes to pitch their solution to our panel of judges and the audience of airport leaders. Presenters gain valuable exposure to investors, airport decision makers, government executives, and potential industry partners.

Interested startups must register on the Airport Start-up Registry. Want a taste of the Shark Tank? Here's a summary of the Silicon Valley Airport Shark Tank.

2019 Judges

Expert judges ask the hard questions and give their insights to help the audience vote for the most impactful startup.

Moderator: TBD


Benjamin Richter
Bradford Airport Logistics

Benjamin’s track record demonstrates an ability to formulate and lead strategic business infrastructure as well as helping in volunteer leadership roles of several well-known entrepreneurial organizations and public entities. Benjamin possesses advanced systems, re-engineering, and technology expertise including leading-edge computer systems development/deployment as well as 20 years of IT/ERP/Engineering project management/consulting for companies like IBM Government Systems.

Betsy Ziegler

Elizabeth “Betsy” Ziegler is the first female CEO of 1871, which was ranked as the number one university-affiliated tech incubator in the world in 2018. Previous to 1871, Betsy was the Chief Innovation Officer at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she was responsible for integrating technology into the Kellogg educational experience as well as portfolio innovation. From 2011 through September 2015, she served as associate dean of degree programs and dean of students.

Raj Singh
Managing Director
JetBlue Technology Ventures

With over 25 years of experience in the innovation and information technology sectors, Raj has worked as a strategist, leader, VC and advisor. Prior to joining JetBlue Technology Ventures, Raj was a mentor at Founder Institute in Palo Alto. Raj was CEO of several companies, including London-based Sooqini, an on-demand task delegator for small businesses; the UK Sharing Coalition, an on-demand economy trade association; and D&L Partners SA, where he set up and ran a consulting firm working with European and Middle East governments to foster increased entrepreneurship. As General Partner and co-founder of Pervasive Technology Ventures and a Principal for the New York-based VC arm of Investcorp, Raj sourced, negotiated and closed new investments in technology-led startups. Raj holds an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and a B.Sc. (Honors) in Computing Science from Imperial College London.

Jamie Rhee (invited)
Chicago Department of Aviation

Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner Jamie Rhee manages one of the world’s busiest airport systems, comprised of O’Hare and Midway International Airports, which serves more than 100 million passengers each year and propels Chicago as a global leader for air cargo activity.

2019 Participants

Interested companies must complete the brief form on the Airport Start-up Registry.

A&K Robotics

A&K Robotics was founded on a shared conviction that robotic technologies can drastically improve our world and quality of life. We have created an Autonomous Intelligent Mobility (AIM) navigation platform that can be retrofitted to transform any wheeled platform into a self-driving robot. Our machines have been internationally tested across an array of real-world environments. We are currently applying A&K's AIM platform in two ways:
1. Autonomous People Mover (APM): Mobilize people with restricted mobility in indoor environments.

  • Takes the place of traditional wheelchair
  • Sub-inch accuracy with zero infrastructure
  • Provides more independence and better passenger experience
  • Safety engineered
2. Autonomous Scrubber: Retrofit industrial cleaning machines to be self-driving.

The Nap Lounge

At The Nap Lounge, we provide you with the perfect environment to get the space you need to rest and attack the rest of your day with purpose and passion. Memberships are available at all stages. We also provide space for meditation and yoga activities. The best thing is that no electronic devices are permitted. No phones, no computers; just you.


Avidbots designs and manufactures autonomous connected robots to expand human potential. Its first product is Neo, an autonomous floor-scrubbing robot widely deployed in airports, warehouses, manufacturing sites, malls, universities, and other commercial spaces worldwide. With a rapidly-expanding customer base in over a dozen countries, Avidbots is a global leader in collaborative service robots. Founded in 2014 by robotics engineers from the University of Waterloo and headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Avidbots is backed by top global venture capital firms True Ventures, GGV Capital, Next47, Felicis Ventures, Real Ventures, Golden Ventures, SOSV, KCPL, 500 Startups Canada and BDC.


Quanergy Systems, Inc. was founded in 2012 and builds on decades of experience of its team in the areas of optics, photonics, optoelectronics, artificial intelligence software and control systems. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, Quanergy offers smart sensing solutions. It is the leading provider of LiDAR sensors and perception software for real-time capture and processing of 3D spatial data and object detection, identification, classification and tracking. Its sensors are disruptive in price, performance, reliability, size, weight and power. Its solutions are applicable in numerous sectors including transportation, security, industrial automation, 3D mapping, mining, agriculture, drones, robotics, smart spaces and 3D-aware smart devices for improved safety, efficiency and quality of life.

SmartSky Networks

SmartSky¹s innovative AdSight advertising technology empowers airports to generate net-new, non-aeronautical revenue through the airports public Wi-Fi networks. AdSight effectively creates a new media asset (i.e. a virtual billboard for advertisements shown on,, etc.) that the airport can monetize through 3rd party and partner advertisements or the placement of airport specific messaging to elevate its own brand. Beyond the additional revenue, there is also a tangible improvement in the user experience of passengers through faster page loads (display Ads that are optimized for constrained networks replace existing data-heavy Ads) and by removing intrusive or malicious Ads (pop-ups, video Ads). SmartSky is seeking to partner with airports to bring AdSight to their Wi-Fi networks.