MENA gets aviation incubator Intelak

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The UAE launched its first aviation-oriented incubator today for entrepreneurs wanting to disrupt the travel sector.

Emirates Group, in collaboration with GE, Etisalat and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) opened the travel, technology and aviation focused Intelak Incubator (‘intelak’ means taking off).

Four teams of a total of 20 people will be selected for the three month training programme, comprising a bootcamp, workshops and a final pitch, and receive 50,000 Emirati dirhams (US$13,600) each to develop their ideas.

This comes at a time, the Middle East is has become one of the fastest growing regions in passenger traffic. According to IATA, the rate will continue to grow 4.6 percent annually until 2034.

“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 Emirates executive vice president Abdulaziz Al Ali in a statement.

GE MENAT chief innovation officer Rania Rostom said the incubator would serve a dual purpose.

“Intelak [will be] not only nurturing talent in the UAE, but also contributing to the growth of the aviation and travel sectors, both drivers of the national economy,” she said in the statement.

From right to left, Rania Rostom (GE), Shahla Abdul Razzak (DSOA), Abdulaziz Al Ali (Emirates Group) and Francisco Salcedo (Etisalat)

The incubator will be hosted at DSOA’s Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC) and will reach out to universities, entrepreneurial centers and coworking spaces for interested people.

Etisalat senior vice president for digital solutions, Francisco Salcedo, said in the statement that the incubator would rely on three factors: novelty, as it’s one of the few incubators in the world to focus on these sectors; the fact that it’s backed by leaders in technology, innovation and aviation; and its importance as a first step to create niche technology-focused incubators.

The partners will accept online submissions from September 6 until October 31 at, and will judge ideas based on creativity, innovation, feasibility, and scalability.

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