Boeing's early investments in companies, if history is any guide, often result in full-blown acquisitions. Before taking over HorizonX, Nordlund was vice president of strategy for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Years before that, he was one of the founders of drone manufacturer Insitu Inc., which developed the ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned aerial systems used by the U.S. military. Boeing acquired Insitu in 2008.
After funding several joint ventures with underwater drone company Liquid Robotics, Boeing acquired it last year.
“Our venture capital toolkit increases the ability to have more relationships around that model like Insitu and Liquid Robotics,” Nordlund said.