If Ed Iacobucci becomes as successful at transforming business air travel as he was transforming PCs, network and server-based computing, fasten your seatbelts. Iacobucci left Fort Lauderdale-based Citrix, the successful software business he founded, in 2000. Since then, he has spent most of his time developing a radically different approach to air travel.
His solution: Eliminate the long days and overnight stays business travelers endure as they travel among secondary markets -- getting from Knoxville, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., for example. His company, DayJet, will use six-passenger Eclipse jets to offer no-frills, on-demand travel for only 25% to 75% more than a full-fare coach ticket.
How? The key is Iacobucci's genius at computing, and a team of demographers, engineers, mathematicians accomplished in algorithms and heuristics, and scientist experts in complexity. They've built the technology, they say, to route the company's jets among the cities in its network with enough paying passengers to generate profits. Iacobucci plans to buy up to 309 Eclipses and begin service next year.
Revolutionizing air travel will take lots more than the $18.3 million he's raised to date. And air travel is where fortunes go to die. But Iacobucci and the high-powered board he and his wife, Nancy, have assembled are convinced it'll work. "It's based on real productivity gains for real people," Iacobucci says.
- Mike Vogel