Do you wish someone would handle your luggage for you when flying? How’d you like to virtually step into your hotel room before booking it? Looking for just the right new travel experience? Or do you get annoyed by people opening overhead luggage compartments when it’s dangerous to do so? If so, you’re not alone.
These were the issues tackled by four shortlisted startup teams participating in one of four finalist rounds in the Cabin Pressure competition that’s part of the Intelak Aviation & Travel Technology Incubator. You can watch Cabin Pressure episode 1 with the pitches and the judges’ reactions by clicking here.
Launched by the Emirates Group, GE, and Etisalat Digital in September, the Intelak incubator (‘intelak’ means ‘taking off’ in Arabic) gives innovators, entrepreneurs, and students from across the UAE the opportunity to develop travel and aviation-related startups.
Before their filmed pitch presentations, the teams underwent a demanding week-long boot camp with coaching and mentoring that addressed four themes: design thinking, marketing, finance, and pitching skills. The judging panel included Neetan Chopra of the Emirates Group, Rania Rostom of GE, and Francisco Salcedo of Etisalat Digital.
“Watching these pitches was really energizing. It was wonderful to see such talent in the UAE and the region,” said Rania Rostom, one of three judges and GE’s Chief Innovation & Communications Officer for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. “Through this incubator, we really want to bring new ideas to the aviation and travel sector in the UAE and to the world.”
The four teams included ‘Airborne Virtual Reality,’ which proposed a system to give travelers a virtual reality view of their hotel room, so they can really see what their room will be like.
‘The Change’ developed an idea to allow flight crew to lock overhead luggage compartments at takeoff and landing as a way to provide additional security and to prevent passengers from opening the compartments at unsafe times, such as while taxiing.
‘Little Voyage’ is a website that helps travelers discover their next travel destination by helping them choose based on the experience they want to have.
Dubz is a luggage delivery service that picks and drops baggage between the airport and hotel or home.They were selected as one of the winners (to join winners from three other rounds – to be featured in upcoming episodes of Cabin Pressure) to polish their idea as part of Intelak , located at the Dubai Technology & Entrepreneurship Center.
Over four months winners receive a total of AED 50,000, as key milestones are met in the journey to further development of their ideas. They will then have the opportunity to pitch their proposals to angel investors and venture capital firms. Teams will also have potential co-creation and job opportunities with the Emirates Group, GE, and Etisalat.
For more insights into creativity happening in the region, visit our You can also visit Intelak.com to submit your own ideas for the next intake!