Dubai is famous for its innovation, but where do these innovations come from? In the aviation space, an important source is Intelak – one of the first aviation-, travel-, and tourism-focused incubators in the MENA region.
Intelak gives innovators, entrepreneurs and students an opportunity to submit business concepts in tourism-, travel- and aviation-related industries. Intelak’s principal partners are the Emirates Group and GE, as well as the Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing Department, a new principal partner that joined in time to help judge this third round of winners.
Dubai Tourism offers expertise in the “inspiration” and “destination” aspects of the aviation and travel journey, which is core to the Intelak Incubator. Dubai Tourism also brings a valuable business-to-consumer link to the incubation program by introducing the winning teams to relevant industry partners in the travel and tourism sector.
Launched in September 2016, the Incubator has now selected its third cohort of winners, after successfully graduating two cohorts in 2016-2017. These four new companies were selected from a finalist group of 15, that were shortlisted from more than 200 submissions.
The winners 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.
“Intelak strives to address the entire value chain of the aviation industry,” said Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation Officer for GE MENAT. “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.
“DTCM’s level of expertise in the travel and tourism sector is unmatched. Their immense industry knowledge will be an enormous benefit to Intelak’s startups,” said Rostom.
The four teams were selected after participating in an intensive week-long pre-incubation boot camp that provided the top 15 finalists with training on value creation, marketing, growth hacking, financial modelling and building an investor pitch deck.
Intelak winners were chosen based on the judges’ assessment of their ability to execute their startup, the innovativeness of product or service, and financial feasibility.
The four teams will now undergo an intensive industry-focused, 90-day incubation program with expert guidance from trainers and mentors in addition to seed funding of AED 50,000 per team. At the end of the incubation period, teams will be able to pitch their startups to a panel of industry experts, as well as potential partners and investors.