Two Americans, Alexander Kasinec and Andrew Moakes, were pleasantly surprised when their startup, Flugilo, won first place in the "IDEA" category at the Hamburg Innovation Awards 2019. Katharina Fegebank, Second Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and Senator for Science, Research, and Equal Rights, happily presented them with the coveted prize, as well as the prize money, €5,000, and a case of non-cash prizes at the Hamburg Innovation Summit on May 23rd, 2019 in the Fischauktionshalle in Hamburg.
Together with their partner, Amos Smith, who unfortunately was unable to attend the award ceremony, they developed a parking sensor for aircraft that facilitates maneuvring on the ground. The jury was particularly impressed by Flugilo's tangible customer benefits and strong partner network. In addition, the founders acheived a clear market-entry-strategy.
Until now, it has been very costly to move an airplane. Ground personnel walk under the wings and along the stern, directing the tug driver into the parking position. Parking can take up to 60 minutes, involving high personnel costs and risk for human error caused collosions. This process is exactly what the founders want to change with their start-up, Flugilo. Similar to the parking-assist in a car, the device shows whether the aircraft is too close to an object. The idea is that the set of sensors will pay for themselves within a year, representing major savings compared to the traditional repair and personnel costs.
The founders of Flugilo got to know each other at the Northern Institute of Technology (NIT) Management. The two Americans are studying Technology Management (MBA) at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in parallel to an MSc. "Andrew and I already have some experience in product development. When we met, we quickly realized that we could work well together. That's why we decided to launch Flugilo," said 26-year-old Alexander Kasinec (now 28). Fellow TUHH student, Amos Smith, completes the team. Flugilo is currently in the process of being formally founded and wants to expand its team. The founders then want to launch a first prototype onto the market.