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Delta and LinkedIn Team Up For In-Flight Networking Project

LinkedIn and Delta create partnership to match up mentors and mentees on planes en route to industry events.
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How would you like to have a pitch meeting 30,000 feet in the air? If the idea fills you with more exhilaration than horror, you may just be the person that Delta and LinkedIn are looking for.

The airline and networking site recently announced Delta Innovation Class, a joint project that aims to connect business leaders and "up-and-coming professionals" on flights to industry events.    

To insure that the newfound traveling companions aren't in for an awkward couple of hours with literally no exit, applicants must submit their LinkedIn qualifications for vetting (background checked and interviewed) by Delta. If the mentee makes it past this process, she is then matched up with the mentor on board. (So while the intent is to pair up likeminded people who are at different stages of their careers, it probably couldn't hurt to expand on that 60-second elevator pitch ahead of time). Delta also provides airfare.


Pebble Technologies CEO and founder Eric Migicovsky was in the mentor hot seat for the first flight to the Delta-sponsored TED Conference in Vancouver, chatting up interaction designer James Patten. The second one is set for May with Charleston executive chef Sean Brock, who is headed to New York for the James Beard Awards. 

"One of the things entrepreneurs do that is most dangerous is think that it is not a good thing to share," says Migicovsky in a Delta video discussing the program. "If people become comfortable with sharing their projects, sharing their goals, we will all accomplish them much faster."

Delta isn't the first airline to try and get in on the innovation game. Last year, Turkish Airlines held an in-flight pitch competition called Invest on Board, and British Airways put 100 leaders from companies like Google and Andreessen Horowitz in the air to have them discuss how to solve big issues facing the world with their UnGrounded program.