Storage-i Gets Lift Off after Winning Episode 3 of Cabin Pressure
A number of airports and airlines offer curbside baggage check-in. But what if you could do that even earlier –at your house or hotel when the taxi, airline limousine, or ride-sharing car comes to pick you up?
This is the solution proposed by Storage-i, a UAE-based startup that won Episode 3 of Cabin Pressure, the filmed pitch competition looking for new ways to enhance the aviation travel experience.
The Storage-i solution would transform trunks in certain taxis and other similar vehicles into “smart trunks” or “smart boots” by using sensors and Internet of Things software to complete the baggage check-in process when bags are placed into the vehicle, including weighing and tagging them. Passengers then don’t have to worry about the luggage until collecting it at their destination airport baggage claim.
The winning team competed against four other start-ups in Episode 3, vying to win AED 50,000 in startup capital and four months of incubator support. They join three other winning and two runner-up teams in the inaugural cohort of the Intelak aviation travel incubator.
Launched by the Emirates Group, GE and Etisalat Digital in September, the Intelak incubator gives innovators, entrepreneurs and students from across the UAE the opportunity to develop their travel and aviation-related business ideas. The judging panel for Cabin Pressure includes Neetan Chopra of the Emirates Group, Rania Rostom of GE, and Francisco Salcedo of Etisalat Digital. The final episode will air next week.
You can watch the pitches for all five startups, as well as the judges’ discussion and decision by clicking here.
“There’s so much promise, so much opportunity,” said Rania Rostom, GE’s Chief Innovation & Communications Officer for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. “Because of the tremendous quality of the ideas, the judging is always so energizing.”
The other Episode 3 competitors included Innopreneurs, which had developed an idea for a “boarding buzzer” device that airlines would give to passengers instead of paper boarding passes. World of Crew is developing a peer-to-peer shipping app that would connect travelers with people looking to have items shipped from abroad into the UAE. MEFcom seeks to simplify the travel planning and trip experience by combining all sorts of travel-related services into a single app. And Voyagr is looking to simplify the visa renewal process for expatriates by creating a consolidated and updated visa information portal for the UAE.
Before their filmed pitch presentations, the five teams underwent a demanding week-long boot camp, with coaching and mentoring that addressed four themes: design thinking, marketing, finance, and pitching skills.
Over four months, Intelak is providing coaching and mentoring to Storage-i and the winners and runners-up from three other episodes of Cabin Pressure. Winners receive their AED 50,000 prize as key milestones are met in the journey to further develop their ideas.
They will then have the opportunity to pitch their proposals to angel investors and venture capital firms. Teams also will have potential co-creation and job opportunities with the Emirates Group, GE, and Etisalat.
For more examples of this type of creativity happening in the region, visit the Hewar page that’s focused on innovation and entrepreneurship across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan region.