Meet The Five Companies Selected for Cohort 1 of Starburst & AFA’s SATE Accelerator

From renewably fueled eVTOL hypersonic aircraft to vertiport operations automation and fusion-powered aviation, AeroFuse, Avium Digital, Avol, Kaiyo Technologies, and New Frontier Aerospace are the five companies selected for the inaugural cohort of the Sustainable Aviation Technologies and Energies (SATE) Accelerator.


Launched in September of 2023, the Sustainable Aviation Technologies and Energies (SATE) Accelerator kicked off with a first cohort of five companies building disruptive technologies with strong commercial potential, poised to propel the sustainable aviation and energy technologies sector forward.


Powered by Starburst Aerospace in partnership with Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA), SATE is 3.5-month equity-free, no-cost early-stage accelerator program designed to identify and advance the research, development, and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and electrified and hydrogen-powered aviation as well as enabling technologies.


Federally-funded by a Department of Commerce Innovation Cluster Accelerator Program (ICAP), the program is geared toward pre-seed and seed stage startups who are already based in the state of Washington, the global center of aerospace manufacturing, or planning to expand their operations to the area and looking to raise their next round within the upcoming 12-18 months.


Participating founders are offered access to non-dilutive and venture capital funding resources, introductions to potential customers, investors and partners, pitch deck support, mentorship from industry experts, dedicated workshops tailored for the needs of the companies, networking opportunities with decision makers from key public and private initiatives, and much more.


The companies selected for the inaugural Cohort of the SATE Accelerator are AeroFuse, Avium Digital, Avol, Kaiyo Technologies, and New Frontier Aerospace.


AeroFuse builds fusion-powered aviation. Led by Ryan Weed (CEO & Co-Founder) and Rama Myers (COO & Co-Founder), the AeroFuse team is developing an air-breathing fusion engine dual-use technology to replace the chemical energy in jet fuel, enabling true zero-emissions long-haul aviation. Learn more about AeroFuse at

Avium Digital is designing the SaaS solution that will lead the advanced Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) revolution. Led by Frederic Chambour (Director & Founder), the Avium team’s system of systems (SOS) achieves unprecedented real-time connections between VTOL and emerging AAM Infrastructure, providing an effortless urban travel experience within a city’s vertiport network. Learn more about Avium at

Avol focuses on same-day drone delivery of bulky items. Led by Nate Poon (CEO & Co-Founder), Avol builds novel, dual-use autonomous electric cargo drones, enabling delivery to hard-to-access, rural areas. Their solution has use-cases in the logistics, aerospace, medical, deep tech, and climate domains. Learn more about Avol at

Kaiyo Technologies is making SAF feedstocks at the cost and scale that Aviation needs. Led by Dan Brown (CEO & Founder), Kaiyo Technologies is developing the technology to cultivate micro-algae in the sea (without the use of land, fresh water, or electricity) at a cost and scale to make SAF practical. Learn more about Kaiyo Technologies at

New Frontier Aerospace is manufacturing advanced propulsion for space & hypersonic mobility. Led by Bill Bruner (CEO & Founder), Jess Sponable (President) and David Gregory (COO), New Frontier builds advanced rocket engines to power multiple products – to include orbital transfer stages and net carbon negative hypersonic aircraft for civil, commercial and defense applications. Learn more about New Frontier at

To learn more about any of these companies and/or to contact their CEO, please reach out to Nate Mason (Accelerator Principal, Starburst Aerospace) at


SATE Cohort 1 launched on October 30th, 2023 and culminated with a virtual Demo Day on March 7, 2024, during which the startup founders showcased their progress after completing the program and debuted their next-generation solutions through pitches to key investors and partners from our community in Washington and beyond.


About Starburst Aerospace

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 one of the largest groups of corporate representatives, government stakeholders, and private venture investors in the world. More information about Starburst can be found at


About Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA)

Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA) is the state’s trade association for aerospace companies and communities in Washington. Founded as a 501(c)6 non-profit in 2006, AFA’s mission is to advocate for Washington state’s aerospace industry and help member companies connect and grow. Their vision is for Washington state to be the recognized center of aerospace excellence around the world and for the aerospace industry to get stronger every year. More information about AFA can be found at