Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has announced the 10 finalists of its international Futurism Programme 2019, a zero-equity accelerator initiative that is being run in collaboration with leading professional services company Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to further boost technology innovation to create transformative tourism experiences and enhance Dubai’s position as a leading hub for start-ups.
The 2019 edition of the programme provided entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase innovative technology solutions to help drive a variety of Futurism themes, including hyper personalisation; connected travel; digitising operations; first choice destination; conscious travel; and ‘phygital’ experience.
The 3rd edition of the programme generated strong interest, with 155 start-ups worldwide submitting applications before the deadline of 5 August. From this list of entries, the 10 most innovative concepts were shortlisted for the final round by a special judging panel comprising representatives of the Programme’s partners. The 10 shortlisted start-ups are Stayhopper, Ads-Flight, Stayology, Further Network, Ariadne Maps, Airlines Technology, Omniflow S.A, Chatdesk, Cerebri AI and Xandar Kardian.
The 10 finalists are now undergoing a 6-week accelerator programme featuring boot camp sessions, networking with key industry partners and one-on-one mentorships. During this phase, each of the selected start-ups will receive guidance from Dubai Tourism and its partners on finalising a pilot project and ways in which they could use their innovative solutions across Dubai’s travel and tourism sector. The start-ups will then pitch to a select jury of business owners, investors and venture capitalists at the Dubai Tourism stand at GITEX Future Stars, the largest startup event in Middle East, Africa and South East Asia - part of the GITEX Technology Week - which will be hosted in October.
The winning start-up and runner-up stand to win a prize totalling AED 100,000, as well as licensing, relevant visas in Dubai, office space and the opportunity to secure potential future funding.