On The Radar
The 2019 UP summit meeting brought together a self-defining elite of aviation entrepreneurs and prospective investors at ranch of Ross Perot Jr. in Westlake, Texas. Ben Marcus and Cyrus Sigari, founders of private jet broker JetAviva, jointly organized the third annual summit, claiming that this year's gathering included around $100 billion of investable capital among the attendees. This lured start-ups such as Beta Technologies and Lift Aircraft, joining senior executives from aerospace giants like Bell, Boeing, and Airbus. Also represented was Uber, which has identified the nearby city of Dallas as an early adopter for its planned eVTOL aircraft ride-sharing program. Meanwhile, real estate magnate Ross Perot Jr. is working on plans to offer his vast AllianceTexas complex, which includes an airport, as a focal point for urban air mobility development projects.
Given the extremely tight guest list for the event—around 160 people in total—and the enforced secrecy shrouding discussions held, we will just have to pay close attention to any fresh investments in the eVTOL community that may stem from it. Media were very definitely not on the A list for TexasUP, and the only outlet providing coverage, which was maddeningly short on detail about the programs represented, was the Dallas Morning News.