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Meet the 10 startups that made the Techstars Dubai Accelerator opening class

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When Techstars announced a partnership with GINCO to bring an accelerator program to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates last June, Managing Director Vijay Tirathrai was ecstatic to be brought on board.

startups techstars dubai accelerator
Vijay K. Tirathrai

“I am thrilled to be at the center of all this,” said Tirathrai, adding, “I have lived intermittently in Dubai over the past 20 years and have family connections here. I have seen the unbelievable transformation from a small desert town to a global hub for trade, banking, tourism, aviation, ports and logistics, as well as the host to mega events like EXPO 2020.”

Together with Director Ramzy Ismail, the two are in charge of the inaugural launch of the acceleration program in the United Arab Emirates.

startups techstars dubai accelerator
Ramzy Ismail

Before Techstars Ismail was the Managing Director at Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, a $10M early stage fund and accelerator in partnership with the Abu Dhabi government.

The program began January 21, 2018 and will wrap-up on Demo Day on April 18.

Now that the open calls and selection processes are out of the way, we present the 10 startups (alphabetically) that made the cut for the first-ever Techstars Dubai Accelerator.

1) Felix

One-liner: A Full-Service Digital Insurance Broker.

Founders: Taline Vahanian and Edmond Husseini.

About: The insurance industry is old, and very large and in general has been slow to adopt digital tools and business models. This is a problem because standards of what a good customer experience is have changed dramatically and the industry (especially in the Middle East) does not deliver a customer experience that is line with modern expectations. Felix has been conceived to change this. The goal is to build the region’s first full-service digital insurance broker and make it the preferred, single destination to research, purchase and manage insurance needs.

2) Flugauto

One-liner: An electric, driverless, flying car company looking to radically disrupt the way we
travel

Founders: Frank Noppel, Alexandros Xydas, Gerrit Becker, and Vishu Signhal.

About: Flugato plans to combine classical aeronautics with advances in battery technology, electric propulsion and advanced avionics software to design and manufacture autonomous flying vehicles with unique design features that make Flugauto vehicles more attractive than existing designs.

3) iLIVEvr

One-liner: A virtual reality B2B real estate, e-commerce and design platform for real estate that
allows designers and consumers to visualize, browse, furnish and make purchases.

Founders: Zubin Wadia, Piya Wadia, and Anmol Budharaja.

About: With the best in next generation, immersive walkthroughs, iLIVEvr offers everything from 3D scans of homes to completely staged model home walk throughs for developers just from a floor plan; it’s the most cost effective and efficient way for realtors to sell homes.

4) Klasha

One-liner: A UK-based online fast fashion retailer for 20-somethings shipping globally with fast delivery to Africa.

Founders: Jessica Anuna and Onye Anuna.

About: Klasha is a forward-thinking retailer who believe that all millennials across the globe should have access to the fashion they want and offer the latest in womenswear at affordable prices with speedy delivery.

5) Natufia Labs

One-liner: The Nespresso for plants and herbs.

Founders: Gregory Lu, Lauri Kapp, and Nadim Taoubi.

About: Natufia Labs is a manufacturer of high-end indoor-garden appliances. Its unique machine learning technology sustainably grows the most nutritious organic plants and herbs right in your kitchen.

6) Novele

One-liner: Creating solutions for the building in the digital age.

Founders: AJ Glassberg and Lorenzo Zemella.

About: Only focused on dense urban environments, Novele’s first product is a revolutionary energy storage device that does not take up any of a building’s most valuable asset: space. Novele’s products and technology are meant to create better living and working environments and will be used in high profile buildings around the world.

7) Nytilus

One-liner: Helping workers see and perform better by leveraging AR and AI technologies.

Founders: Debanga Raj Neog and Abi Ghafari.

About: Nytilus is developing a new generation of AR/VR helmets for industrial applications, offering a UV/IR safe headset which mixes real welding and simulated welding using high dynamic range cameras while collecting data to enable robots to perform welding tasks in the future.

8) Omni X Labs

One-liner: Your Identity. In Motion.

Founders: Muthla Al Sayer and Anoop Kanthan.

About: We live in a hyper-mobile world, enabled by transient ownership and new car usage models. Omni X enables a person’s identity to sync with car usage in order to create value for consumers and businesses.

9) Soluki

One-liner: On a mission to grow the Arabic web, Soluki is changing the way websites are built.

Founders: Benjamin Balazs and Richard Foulkes.

About: Soluki is a development platform released in 2017, offering easy and cost effective Arabic websites. The company was founded with the mission of making the Arabic web more accessible and eliminating language barriers worldwide. Soluki empowers businesses and individuals to take their products online, in both English and Arabic, to reach the people they want to target.

10) TPS Engage

One-liner: TPS Engage is for outdoor advertising what Facebook is for online advertising.

Founders: Bogdan Savonea, Mihai Pocorshi, and Matei Psatta.

About: TPS Engage is on a mission is to provide a unified buying experience for everyone, across all out
of home networks, without limitations, where demand drives pricing and audience drives content.

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Tim Hinchliffe
Tim Hinchliffe is a veteran journalist whose passions include writing about how technology impacts society and Artificial Intelligence. He prefers writing in-depth, interesting features that people actually want to read. Previously, he worked as a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa, and Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co