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Tue, Jul 30, 2013

EAA Claims Its Role As Center Of Innovation

New Pavilion At AirVenture Features The Next Great Ideas In Aviation

By Maxine Scheer

Innovation has always been touted as a core value of the Experimental Aircraft Community, and this year, featured front and center at AirVenture is a new pavilion dedicated to passionate and brilliant entrepreneurs taking air travel into the future.

EAA Chair Jack Pelton and Elissa Lines, EAA vice president of business and donor relations, introduced the Innovations Pavilion, its purpose and the new ideas, technologies and activities being featured to excite the industry, investors, and the public.

"For years, people talked of EAA as being the center of innovation, but we didn't claim it," said Lines, as she described the challenges in the cost of exhibiting and getting premium space to ensure visibility. "This year we made a commitment to bringing our core values to the forefront at AirVenture."

EAA sponsored a competition earlier this year, and free spaces in the Innovations Pavilion were awarded by a selection committee to 15 companies with products designed to make aviation more efficient, affordable, and greener.

Ideas ranging from new concepts in propulsion to space exploration are featured at the Pavillion. Six of the 15 companies successfully competed for a slot at a Pitch and Mingle event to present their product to all types of investors including angels, venture capital, and OEMs. Part of the Pavillion's program is "Start Up Aviation Day" organized by AeroInnovate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Business Success Center and in its fifth consecutive year organizing workshops at AirVenture to strengthen aviation entrepreneurs.

The companies participating at Tuesday's Pitch and Mingle event are must-see exhibitors at the Pavillion, and include Adept Airmotive, Airdream Interiors, EvoLux Transportation, Paladin Aviation, Pilot Training Systems, and Vires Aeronautics.

The Pavillion will also host presentations almost every hour during the show from world class entrepreneurs that include Dean Kamen of DEKA Research and Development Corporation, JoeBen Bevirt, Founder of Kickstarter and developer of electric VTOL innovations, Z. Nagin Cox, a leader of JPL's Mars Rover, and Ester Dyson, angel investor and space enthusiast. Ms. Dyson, kicked things off this morning with her session titled, "Savvy Entrepreneur: Inside the Mind of an Angel Investor."

ANN will be featuring news from the Innovations Pavilion throughout the week.

FMI: www.aeroinnovate.org

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