Fikra Labs Acceleration Programme launched in Abu Dhabi

Fikra Labs Acceleration Programme launched in Abu Dhabi


As part of the UAE Innovation Month, which aims to strengthen the country’s position as a global innovation hub and celebrate ‘innovators’ across the nation, four leading Abu Dhabi organizations: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Miral, Etihad Aviation Group, and Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), supported by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), have partnered with Wamda, an entrepreneurship empowerment platform, to launch a new acceleration program called Fikra Labs.


It aims at driving innovation and fostering entrepreneurship in the Abu Dhabi travel and tourism sector. The program will provide startups with mentorship opportunities and the chance to win a potential monetary investment.


Held at the Etihad Innovation Center, the acceleration program will take place across multiple phases and is open to startups across the MENA region. Following the initial registration and screening process, selected participants will take part in a four-week incubation process where they will tackle specific travel and tourism challenges set by the four partners. They will be mentored on their ideas throughout, before refining their business plans and developing prototypes in partnership with industry experts and Abu Dhabi’s leading travel and tourism players.


Each partner will select one winner to work with directly after the program is over. The ultimate reward for each winning startup is a potential USD 100,000 investment by the relevant partner, as well as the unique opportunity to work directly with one of Abu Dhabi’s leading organizations and become an integral part of the Emirate’s travel and tourism landscape.

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All applications received will be reviewed by a screening committee composed of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Miral, Etihad Aviation Group, ADNEC and Wamda, and will be scored according to pre-established judging criteria and scoring metrics. Applicants with the highest scores will then be invited to a 30-minute interview with the committee, which will learn more about them and check if they have the required technical and leadership skills, motivation, commitment and resilience to make their startups successful. The 32 shortlisted startups will then join a two-day mini boot camp designed as an intensive workshop to help participants develop their business ideas and become pitch-ready. They will then pitch their business ideas to the screening committee who will choose the 12 final teams to be part of a four-week incubation process.  


The final day of the program will be a one-day event in which the finalists will attend working sessions with the Wamda team and industry experts to finalize their prototype, pitches and presentation decks. They will then pitch their ideas to the jury and participate in a Q&A session. The day will conclude with an awards ceremony, where four winners will be announced.


Startups interested in participating can register here and fill in the online application form. Registration closes on March 5, 2018.

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