Intelak, one of the first industry and technology-focused incubators in the MENA region, announced that Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing will be joining the Emirates Group and GE as a principal partner.
Abdulaziz Al Ali, Emirates executive vice president, human resources said: “We are delighted to welcome Dubai Tourism as one of the principal partners to Intelak. The overall aim of the initiative is to foster and support a strong culture of innovation that can bring about the next cutting edge idea to help redefine the travel experience. Dubai Tourism’s participation in Intelak will also ensure a strong injection of expertise from the travel and tourism sector into the incubation program.”
Yousuf Lootah, executive director tourism development and investments, Dubai Tourism said: “Intelak program fits well with Dubai Tourism strategy to foster innovation and entrepreneurship as envisaged by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. With this partnership, we look to strengthen Dubai Tourism’s position as an advocate of innovators and creators in the wider tourism sector we continue to encourage more and more startups in the industry by offering advice and connecting people.”
Dubai Tourism will offer expertise in the ‘inspiration’ and ‘destination’ aspects of the aviation and travel journey which is core to Intelak. It will also provide a business to consumer link to the incubation program by introducing the winning teams to the relevant industry partners.
Rania Rostom, chief innovation officer for GE MENAT added: “Intelak strives to address the entire value chain of the aviation industry. From the engines and systems that help planes to fly, to passengers’ experiences in airports and on board, to the experiences tourists have in destinations around the world, this incubator is now uniquely placed to look at new ideas in every aspect of travel. We are thrilled to partner with DTCM, as their level of expertise in the travel and tourism sector is unmatched. Their immense industry knowledge will be an enormous benefit to Intelak’s startups.”
Launched in September 2016, Intelak gives innovators, entrepreneurs, and students an opportunity to submit business concepts in tourism, travel, and aviation related domains. Intelak then provides the winning teams with funding of AED 50,000 (US$ 13,600) each, as well as structured support including training modules, work space at Dubai Technology & Entrepreneurship Centre (DTEC), mentorship from local and international experts, and access to investors at the end of the incubation period to realize their visions.
The incubator has selected four winning teams out of over 200 submissions from the third round of applications to be part of the incubation program.
The teams are: Ecopoints, a sustainability rewards platform, SLS Logistics, a smart software solution for cargo, Safeflight, a platform that connects passengers with medical professionals in-flight, and Trepit, a peer-to-peer travel rating website.
The winning teams were selected based on their team’s abilities to execute their startup, the innovativeness of their product or service and the financial feasibility of their project. Ideas include machine learning, hardware improvements, AI, and sustainability platforms.
Selections followed an intensive one week pre-incubation bootcamp that provided the top 15 finalists with training on value creation, marketing, growth hacking, financial modelling, and building an investor pitch deck.
The four winning teams will now have access to an industry-specific 90-day incubation program in addition to $16,300 seed fund per team. At the end of the incubation period, teams will be able to pitch their startups to a panel of industry experts and well as potential partners and investors.