Ecosystem News Startups

Three startups win Dubai’s in5 contest to strengthen UAE’s response to Covid-19

Winners receive one year’s in5 membership and access to prototype labs valued at over Dhs125,000

Dubai’s business incubator and enabling platform, in5, has announced Dubai-based ventures Robomask, CoviBot Pro and Vision Health as winners in its recent competition.

The challenge entailed creating an innovative product or service to boost the UAE’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, using next-generation technology, media or design.

The winners have secured a year’s free membership with in5, including 30 days unlimited use of its prototyping labs, 3D printers and facilities, worth more than Dhs125,000.

The membership also includes access to exclusive workshops and talks, one-on-one advisory and mentorship sessions with global experts, as well as networking opportunities with entrepreneurs and investors.

Majed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Dubai Media City and an in5 leader, said: “We have continued to nurture startups during these challenging times and today’s winners emphasise the tremendous depth of talent, knowledge and creativity in the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“We kicked off this competition to highlight the multifaceted problem-solving role technology, media and design can play in our ongoing global efforts to combat Covid-19. These are exceptional times for everyone – including small businesses, startups and scale-ups. Providing access to the excellent infrastructure across our three innovation centres will, I hope, enable today’s winners to take their ideas to the next level as Dubai enters a new phase and the economy gets moving again.”

in5’s open-call competition was launched in May and secured dozens of entries, in which concepts from multimedia content, digital tools to help people cope with stress and anxiety through to creative products designed to sterilise food deliveries, groceries and retail spaces, were found.

The winning team from Robomask – co-founders Mohamed Ishag Hassan and Mohammed Saqeeb Mandlik – proposed a sustainable face mask that purifies the air with tiny ultraviolet light LEDs. Designed with soft textures, its durability will combat the growing build-up of non-biodegradable PPE waste and provides greater health and safety benefits.

Meanwhile, Paul Anand created CoviBot Pro – the autonomous vending machine that dispenses sanitiser, surgical gloves and masks within 20 seconds, simultaneously scanning the body temperature of every person walking into a school, coffee shop, gym or any public space. This initiative was to assist retailers, restaurants, businesses and commercial establishments implement effective thermal screening, hand sanitisation and capacity control.

Najia Maqsood created Vision Health, an app to bridge the gap between different generations by matching young and old people together to encourage Covid-19 volunteering initiatives that address feelings of social isolation.