The San Diego Airport Innovation Lab is housed in the former commuter terminal. The space gives startups room to test their solutions on a baggage carousel and ticket counters while receiving guidance from airport leadership. Courtesy of the San Diego International Airport

The San Diego Airport Innovation Lab is housed in the former commuter terminal. The space gives startups room to test their solutions on a baggage carousel and ticket counters while receiving guidance from airport leadership. Courtesy of the San Diego International Airport

The San Diego International Airport (SAN) is seeking the third cohort for its Airport Innovation Lab, a startup accelerator program that it launched last year.

The 16-week program gives startups mentorship and opportunities to test their products in a 3,500-square-foot space at the airport’s former commuter terminal. That can open the door to future contracts with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority or its partners. For example, the Lab’s first startup to graduate, food delivery app At Your Gate, now offers its services at six different airports, including SAN.

“We are really getting our feet under us,” Rick Belliotti, the Airport Authority’s director of customer experience and innovation, said in a news release. “Experience has provided a better sense of how to recruit, as well as what might work here or at other airports, or even non-airport venues.”

The airport is seeking companies that provide an interactive children’s entertainment solution for its third cohort. It is also open to “wild card” solutions from any sector. Applying startups should have a prototype, and either bring new ideas to airports or build on existing airport services. Startups have until July 5 to apply, with the program starting in August.

“The continuing successes of the Airport Innovation Lab have the promise of enhancing the airport experience for everyone,” Airport Authority President and CEO Kimberly J. Becker said in a news release. “For those innovations that can work at SAN, we anticipate they will create good feelings for our customers and provide the high level of customer satisfaction for which we are known.”