FCAS Accelerator 2023 by HENSOLDT & Starburst – Call for Applications & Mentors

In collaboration with HENSOLDT, Starburst Aerospace launched the first ever iteration of the FCAS Accelerator in August 2023. HENSOLDT is a German champion in the defense electronics industry and a key partner of the Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) project through the joint venture FCMS.


Led by countries Germany, France, & Spain, the FCAS project is a revolutionary European program, dedicated to developing the Next Generation Weapon System (NWGS) by 2040. This system of systems program leverages the most disruptive technologies to incorporate artificial intelligence, disruptive sensors, and cutting-edge production materials into the 6th generation fighter development program.


The objective of the first ever FCAS Accelerator by HENSOLDT is to foster the dual-use ecosystem of civil technologies for European startups and to initiate a direct collaboration with HENSOLDT under the FCAS program.




The program offers a time effective opportunity to a.) explore the dual-use ecosystem through various workshops in 3 module series (Business Accelerator, Ecosystem Discovery, Investor Landscape) and b.) prepare a financed proof-of-concept with the HENSOLDT Business unit within 12 weeks.


HENSOLDT selected the following 5 Technology themes for the first iteration of the FCAS Accelerator:

  1. Disruptive Sensors
  2. Enabling AI
  3. 3D Printed Electronics
  4. Electronic Materials & Components
  5. Innovative RF Technologies


If your solution does not specifically fit in any of the above areas but you strongly feel a collaboration with HENSOLDT would be highly beneficial for the program, we encourage you to apply via a wildcard application and we will reach out to you if we are interested in learning more about your technology or product.


The workshops from the 3 outlined modules will be conducted during 3-4 onsite blocks (~2 days) throughout the program and feature sessions like defense market landscape, engagement with military customers, fundraising from dual-use investors, and much more.


In addition to these sessions, a Starburst Account Manager and dedicated dual-use mentors will support participating startups while helping them tap into the robust and vibrant global network of the dual-use ecosystem.


Startup Benefits

  • Prepare a funded Proof-of-Concept with a HENSOLDT Business unit under the FCAS program
  • Explore the dual-use / defense ecosystem through dedicated workshops provided by Starburst
  • Meetings & networking with decision makers from key public & private dual-use / defense European initiatives
  • Exposure to European investors with a focus on dual-use / deep tech early-stage startups
  • Limited time commitment from startup team without weekly curriculum schedule
  • Starburst key account management to actively support ecosystem discovery


Key Accelerator Dates:

  • September 6, 2023: “Ask-Me-Anything” Webinar 
  • Sept 10, 2023: Application Deadline
  • End of September, 2023 (TBD): Pitch Day
  • Mid-October, 2023 (TBD): Bootcamp Kick-Off
  • End of December, 2023 (TBD): FCAS Demo Day

Contact david@starburst.aero with any questions or inquiries.




Mentoring with FCAS Accelerator


In the first iteration of the FCAS Accelerator by HENSOLDT, we are launching a call for mentors with knowledge of the dual-use / defense ecosystem and who are eager to support young & highly dynamic companies in their exploration of this exciting sector.


We are looking for both Lecturers / Workshop leaders and Mentors to support the program (more details below). If you are passionate about entrepreneurship, and want to share your technological/business/managerial experience/expertise etc. that might help our project teams, we would love to hear from you.


Apply as a mentor and join us for our “Ask Me Anything” Webinar on September 13, 2023 to learn more about the program and your potential engagement. You will receive an automatic e-mail to register for the webinar as soon as you apply as a mentor.


Key Dates

  • Sept 22, 2023: Mentor Application Deadline
  • Sept 13, 2023: “Ask-Me-Anything” Webinar
  • Mid-October, 2023: Bootcamp Kick-Off



Please contact david@starburst.aero with any questions or items to discuss.




Read the press release: https://bit.ly/45k8cRh



HENSOLDT is a leading company in the European defence industry with global reach. Based in Taufkirchen near Munich, the company develops complete sensor solutions for defence and security applications. As a technology leader, HENSOLDT drives the development of defence electronics and optronics and is continuously expanding its portfolio based on innovative approaches to data management, robotics and cyber security. With more than 6,500 employees, HENSOLDT achieved a turnover of 1.7 billion euros in 2022. HENSOLDT is listed in the MDAX of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. More information about HENSOLDT can be found at www.hensoldt.net



Founded in 2012, Starburst Aerospace is an innovation catalyst in the global Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry. Combining three complementary activities—accelerators, consulting, & ventures—they help stakeholders innovate, navigate and invest in the dynamic ecosystem. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Madrid, and Washington, DC, the team has built a robust community with 60+ partners and a portfolio of 140+ startups while identifying all sources of innovation that will impact the aerospace value chain. Starburst’s leading Flagship Accelerator program helps startups scale their business in aviation, space, and defense with access to the largest group of corporate representatives, government stakeholders, and private venture investors in the world. More information about Starburst can be found at www.starburst.aero