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Entrepreneurs and startups looking for a boost in the travel and tourism sector, here’s your chance. Launched by a collaboration of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company, Etihad Aviation Group, Miral and The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Fikra Labs is an accelerator program aiming to to nurture startups within Abu Dhabi’s travel and tourism industry.
With the support of Abu Dhabi Global Market and partnering with Wamda, Fikra Labs will provide startups with mentorship opportunities, a chance to win a US$100,000 investment, and the opportunity to build their business in the Abu Dhabi Global Market. Open to startups across the MENA region, after a registration and screening process, 32 shortlisted startups would join a two-day bootcamp of intensive workshops to hone their business models and pitch deck. Participants would then present their pitches to the screening committee, followed by a four-week incubation process consisting of workshops, mentorship sessions, prototyping and testing, field tests and more. Upon completion of the program, as participants pitch their final projects, each partner would select one winner, who’ll have the opportunity to acquire the potential $100,000 and work directly with Abu Dhabi’s leading companies and join the sector.
H.E. Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi Dhabi, comments on how the joint initiative leverages the SME and entrepreneurship talent in the UAE to assist governmental entities in achieving their targets. Noting how startups such as Airbnb and Uber are growing in the sector, H.E. Ghobash asserts that in turn, “We also need to think like these disruptors and also work with such disruptors.” To do so, H.E. Ghobash says they’ve looked at the challenges and what they can do to specifically assist SMEs. Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, says, “Today, we’re living in a world that’s changing everyday, and unless you keep changing and innovating, you will lose that leading position.” He notes that also with their participation, he hopes the initiative would further enrich and improve businesses in the Emirate, and beyond MENA.
Just in time for the UAE Innovation Month, the nationwide initiative to foster innovative ideas throughout the country, it’s a step towards cultivating Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem and strengthening the Emirate’s industry. For startups interested to join the acceleration program, register on their website before March 5, 2018.