Posted on: 12 February 2016 by Mark Howells
To celebrate the 16th anniversary of its first flight, JetBlue has announced the launch of JetBlue Technology Ventures, the first US airline-backed venture capital subsidiary for next generation travel start-ups.
JetBlue Technology Ventures will operate from the GSVlabs campus in Silicon Valley. The wholly owned subsidiary will partner with incubators, venture capital firms, universities and other organisations inside and outside Silicon Valley to build relationships with a range of start-ups across the travel and hospitality spectrum. The aim is to become a launch pad for innovations that improve customer and crewmember experiences, increase the airline’s operational efficiency and expand the JetBlue brand to new markets.
“The work being done today in the start-up community will define travel for years to come,” commented Bonny Simi, president of JetBlue Technology Ventures. “We can offer our knowledge and resources to bring early-stage ideas to life. We won’t limit our thinking to traditional airline operations, and instead consider possibilities at every stage in the travel experience.”
Simi, a JetBlue pilot, has roots in the Silicon Valley community as a graduate of both the Stanford Business and Engineering schools. She will report to Eash Sundaram, executive vice president and chief information officer of JetBlue.
As head of the JetBlue Technology Ventures oversight/advisory committee, Sundaram will lead and shape the strategic direction of the subsidiary, and will also facilitate integration of successful start-up programs into JetBlue’s overall corporate innovation and technology initiatives.