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The registrations for the Fikra Labs accelerator program, launched earlier in Feb 2018 as part of the UAE Innovation Month, saw hundreds of entrepreneurs enthusiastically applying to secure a spot for themselves.

The accelerator program aimed at encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit in Abu Dhabi’s travel and tourism sector, officially wrapped up the registration process in March and has now embarked on an incubation period.

Fikra Labs is being backed and managed by a collaboration of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, Miral, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), and Etihad Aviation Group along with Wamda and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

The startups that made it to the program are now enrolled in the four-week-long incubation period during which they will receive mentorship, as well as the opportunity to bag an investment worth a whopping $100,000. Additionally, they will also have a shot at structuring their startups in the financial center Abu Dhabi Global Market.

Speaking of the role the startups enrolled in the accelerator program could play in the long run, H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, said: “We have high expectations from all applicants as their ideas will play a pivotal role in driving the government’s vision forward, fueling more growth within the travel and tourism segment, and raising the Emirate’s profile on the world map of leading tourism destinations.”

The shortlisted applicants made their way through to the program based on their technology-driven pitches for addressing various business challenges faced by the tourism industry, including but not limited to finding feasible ways to improve visitors’ overall experience right from the moment they arrive in Abu Dhabi.

At the end of the program, each participating partner will take one winner under their wings.