Accenture and Microsoft join the Emirates Group and Dubai Tourism to launch Intelak Hub

Dubai is set to further accelerate entrepreneurial growth across the global aviation and tourism industry with the launch of Intelak Hub. Former programmes Intelak Incubator, Idea Lab and the Futurism Accelerator have been brought together under one brand to support ideation and early and late-stage start-ups with the foundational structure, coaching, tools and resources needed to address the often complex business challenges present in these industries.

Intelak Hub has a consortium of global leaders that serve as its principal partners. The Emirates Group with its established track record as world-class providers of air transport (Emirates) and air travel services (dnata); Dubai Tourism with its extensive knowledge and reputation in destination marketing; Accenture with its deep expertise shaping and connecting disruptive ecosystem start-ups to its clients, and Microsoft with its global scale and deep technology expertise in nurturing start-ups, will all provide mentorship to programme participants. Intelak Hub creates the city’s only start-up platform dedicated to identifying innovative solutions across the aviation and tourism industries.

Intelak Hub’s programmes consist of: 

Intelak Idea Lab, a three week programme nurturing young Emirati talent as part of the UAE’s vision to develop and support home-grown innovation and entrepreneurship
Intelak Incubator, a 12 week programme for early-stage start-ups offering equity-free funding, market feasibility guidance, pitch deck advisement, and demo day showcases where Dubai is used as a proof-of-concept for their solutions
Intelak Accelerator, an eight week programme for late stage start-ups looking to scale their businesses, offering comprehensive go-to-market counsel, access to partner ecosystems to test and implement their solutions, exhibition space and exclusive pitching and investor opportunities at GITEX Future Stars – a premier technology event for the region.

Commenting on the launch, Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director - Tourism Development & Investments, Dubai Tourism, said: “In line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s vision to position Dubai as a preferred destination for global talents and entrepreneurs, we are excited to be taking a leadership role in promoting innovation at a time where the industry is facing more challenges than ever before. Launching Intelak Hub is one of the many ways Dubai Tourism is strategically investing in and committed to reinvigorating entrepreneurship in the global aviation and tourism sectors.“

Alex Alexander, CTO of Emirates Group, said: “The launch of Intelak Hub marks an exciting next stage in Dubai’s premier programme for aviation and travel entrepreneurs. Dubai’s success today as a global aviation and travel hub has been driven by the vision of its leaders, who have actively encouraged industry innovation and partnerships. The Emirates Group is proud to continue our journey with Intelak, and to see this program flourish since it began in 2016. Moving forward, we believe the Intelak Hub can play a key role in building the innovation pipeline for our industry, and further establishing Dubai the global hub for travel and aviation.”

Norberto Cibien, Products industry lead for Accenture in the Middle East, said: “We are proud to join this important initiative to create transformative travel and tourism experiences and enhance Dubai’s position as one of the leading hubs for business. Together with our partners, we have the opportunity to nurture new talent and develop breakthrough innovations.”

“Dubai aspires to be a favourite destination for tech entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to reality and make it a global business,” said Sayed Hashish, General Manager, Microsoft UAE. “Intelak Hub is envisioned to become a powerhouse to unleash the potential of budding start-ups and catalyse their success to tackle challenges and propel growth. We look forward to working alongside our partners and mentoring these home-grown innovators focusing on travel, tourism and aviation to push the envelope and bring their ideas to life, by harnessing some of the best-in-class technologies. The post-COVID world represents an opportunity for new innovation that helps the industry accelerate growth and job creation. Start-ups have become an undisputable innovation engine, and together with our forces combined – we will empower them to achieve more."

Over the past four years, previously independent programmes – Intelak Incubator, Idea Lab and the Futurism Accelerator have invested AED 1.4 million in equity-free funding to start-ups. Now united under Intelak Hub, these programmes will continue to invest in the start-up community, offering cohorts under the new brand. All cohort programmes will have a hybrid structure consisting of physical and digital components. Start-ups do not need to be based in Dubai to take part in the Incubator or Accelerator programmes. Applications for the 2020 programmes will be accepted during their open application windows; Intelak Incubator; 14, July – 4, October, Intelak Accelerator; 26, July – 6, September, Intelak Idea Lab; 1, October – 10, November.


Despite a rocky first half of the year, Saudi Arabia’s startup funding increased by 102% from H1 2019 to H1 2020, with H1 2020 already surpassing full-year 2019 by the amount of funding. Discover more data by downloading our FREE H1 2020 Saudi Arabia Venture Capital Snapshot.

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