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Wed 7 Sep 2016 12:27 PM

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Emirates launches travel and aviation start-up incubator

Emirates, GE, Etisalat, and DSOA have launched Intelak incubator to support UAE-based entrepreneurs.

Emirates launches travel and aviation start-up incubator

The Emirates Group has partnered with GE, Etisalat and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) to launch the UAE’s first travel, technology and aviation-focused incubator.

Intelak, which means ‘taking off’ in Arabic, is a three-month-long programme offering UAE-based students and entrepreneurs structured modules, mentorship, and office hours to support the continued development of their ideas.

The Emirates Group, GE and Etisalat will be accepting online submissions from 6 September until 31 October at www.intelak.com.

The incubator will be hosted at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC).

The four partners will reach out to universities, entrepreneurial centres and co-working spaces to seek out talented teams that are passionate about this challenge.

The applicants’ ideas will be judged based on creativity, innovation, feasibility, and scalability, and 20 selected contenders will enrol in an intensive two-week boot camp to learn about design thinking, financial modelling, marketing, and building an investor pitch.

Following a rigorous judging process, the Intelak co-founders will choose four winning teams to take part in the Intelak incubator training programme and receive AED 50,000 each to further develop their ideas.

At the conclusion of the programme, the winning teams will be given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the four co-founders as well as angel investors.

Speaking at the launch event held at Emirates Headquarters yesterday, Abdulaziz Al Ali, vice president for human resources at Emirates, said: “The aviation industry is constantly changing and being technologically-advanced and innovative is the only way to stay ahead.

“Intelak is the ideal platform to inspire and work with young entrepreneurs to shape the future of travel through new and original ideas. At the Emirates Group, we are fully committed to redefine the travel experience as we continue to invest in the next generation of technology leaders in UAE,” said.

Francisco Salcedo, senior vice president at Etisalat, added: “The importance of this incubator relies on three key factors; one is its novelty, as it is one of the few incubators that focuses on aviation, travel and tourism technologies around the world.

“The second factor is having this incubator programme backed by leaders in the technology, innovation and aviation industries, which enables local entrepreneurs to learn first-hand from our experts.

“And the third being its importance as a first step to create niche technology focused incubators that will help create new job and business opportunities and grow the local economy.”