December 16, 2015 09:00 ET

LightSpeed Innovations -- Introduces Drone Pitch Competition for Aerospace Startups at IDE

EL SEGUNDO, CA--(Marketwired - December 16, 2015) - LightSpeed Innovations, the aerospace start-up factory, produced the first ever drone pitch event at the International Drone Expo (IDE), held in Los Angeles December 11, 2015. Austin startup Aerial Productions, a social venture and drone services company, took First Place, competing with five other companies that pitched and over twenty entries.

"The Pitch Competition was an opportunity for us to take our idea in front of some of the Drone industry's most knowledgeable people," said Aerial Productions co-founder Anthony Mowl, who delivered the winning pitch for Aerial Productions. "Winning entry to the LightSpeed Accelerator program is huge, and we look forward to having the mentoring and support to turn our idea into reality."

The IDE Drone Pitch Competition is an initiative to encourage entrepreneurship, small business growth, and innovation in the unmanned vehicle category. The panel of judges included representatives from some of the top Venture Capital who fund this market segment, including Qualcomm Ventures, Lux Capital, AECOM, and Booz Allen. Others who were part of the judging panel included, Port Tech LA, Pasadena Angels and Wharton Angels. The other companies that were present included Apellix, Avision Systems, Just Innovations, Qelzal, and SIC Drones.

Awards and prizes equaling $150,000 and a 12-week drone accelerator program were given to the top three winners, with Aerial Productions scoring highest in the competition standing out among the named stiff competitors.

LightSpeed Innovations also recently produced the New Space Business Plan Competition, held just a week prior in El Segundo, CA. There, five selected companies pitched with Kubos Inc, who provides open sourced software for space applications, winning the prize. Other companies included American Revolutionary Systems, the All America Rocket Company, Bagaveev - Paving the way to delivery of 10kg of nanosats to space; Crowd2Space offering pre-paid tickets to space, and Space Galaxy, positively accelerating STEM education through fun, games, arts and Space Virtual Reality.

"We collaborate to produce these pitch events in order to provide opportunities to some of the great entrepreneurs developing key technologies," said Ellen Chang, co-founder and managing partner of LightSpeed. "Our mission is to grow and sustain the aerospace entrepreneurial ecosystem. We have been lucky to meet and then help launch some great start-ups and look forward to propelling them to further success!"

About LightSpeed Innovations 

LightSpeed Innovations is the Aerospace Start-up Factory that offers startups access to a large network of experts, mentors, and investors in the industry during an intensive three-month business boot camp. LightSpeed Innovations is dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. aerospace sector. The Next Cohort starts at the end of January 2016. Applications are open. For press inquiries, partnership opportunities, or further information on applying to LightSpeed, contact:

To learn more about LightSpeed Innovations, visit:

To learn more about the IDE Pitchfest, visit:

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