Startupbootcamp Dubai's first cohort brings Smart Cities nearer to us

Todd O’Brien was the master of ceremony of the centrifugal event to present the first Startupbootcamp Dubai Smart Cities cohort. Ten teams selected out of 1,000+ applications pitched their more innovative ideas on IoT, Blockchain, Open City Data, Urban Automation & Mobility, Artificial Intelligence, Sustainable Cities & Living, Smart Government, Smart Retail, and Machine Learning to improve our lives. During their time in the accelerator, they produce 20+ proofs of concept. They are improving our future life. They are making a difference. Let’s have a glance to their ideas.


I would love to have a collective transport service to take me door to door from home to the office, to the supermarket, to the gym, and to have my kids going and coming back with a shared-transport a bit cheaper than the school bus, which by the way does not provide service if they remain longer for their afternoon sport clubs. We are all creatures of habit, with slow changes in our daily-weekly routines, so transports may be headache even if public buses are available to us.

That’s why Buseet caught my attention: is it possible to select my daily trip with pickup and drop-off points with my particular timetables? May I specify the booking type and the days I use the service?

It seems the answer to both of my questions is “Yes, you can”, therefore my dream is becoming true.
The payment on credit or cash doesn’t worry me, but I really appreciate that they inform me by email 30 minutes in advance and the SMS to my mobile 15 minutes ahead of the bus’s arrival, so I can pick up my stuff and leave/arrive on time. And I don’t have to drive myself, control the pedal in the yellow light, and overtake a lorry to change my lane. What a peace of mind.
And their market study is convincing for investors: out of the 20 million of Cairenes, their “obtainable market” size is 14%, and 88,000 users would generate $62 million of annual revenue. So far, they have 3,000 users, 15,000 trips and 45,000 seats sold, and got 130,000 followers in social media. What a hit for a bus service, isn’t it? Let’s put in figures in our cities, and the calculator will bring us a good investment opportunity.


Monthly bills are a pain for everyone, but while we don’t consider renting our washing machine to reach the end of the month payments, to share the car may be more profitable for the lender. The founder of Friendÿcar thought something like that, and a couple of years ago Ahmed El Gamal decided to disrupt the auto-insurance market with a peer-to-peer car borrowing app.

Friendÿcar vision is to evolve the society to a time-access model in which any of us can access any car anytime anywhere in the world. Their app has a bunch of awards, so that signals we are moving towards their vision.

Smart Sensor Devices

Yes, I have a sour throat these days, and happily the rain showers has softened the situation as the raindrops brought down so many floating particles on the air. The terraces are covered with muddy watery mixtures, so if the rainfall gets heavier during the day, the air will be even cleaner. Unfortunately it is not like this most of the year, so in order to prevent so many breathing and respiratory problems Hibou Air, a smart sensor device, will help to monitor the particles in suspension. Alex Juanro introduced this easy to install all-in-one solution with low power consumption that can help to beat the fourth largest health threat to humans, air pollution, a problem that costs $750 billion, equivalent to 1% of the Global GDP. Juanro sets the market size in his pitch at $6 billion, and Dubai’s local market at $135 million. Smart Sensor Devices offers to customers to either purchase the device or to pay for a monthly subscription to monitor the data. Their revenue goal is set at $10 million.

Hibou Air, as an eco-friendly IoT system, connects to your dashboard account and measures air quality, temperature, humidity, ambient pressure, ambient light and UV light. I spoke to Axel Hammar and he mentioned that their idea is applicable indoor and outdoor, and I thought that it will be great to have such a device near me, a sun allergic sufferer, living in the desert and escaping from the direct sunlight as fast as a vampire runs away from the sunrise.


KYC is the acronym for “know your customer”, a tricky problem that costs $1.6 billion to J.P.Morgan, Saurabh Gupta explains.

The Know Your Client establishes that investment advisors know detailed information about their clients' risk tolerance, investment knowledge and financial position, so it protects both sides.

To accelerate fast the ID verification process, including multiple documents, face to face interaction, waiting time and the repetitive process, VeriSmart proposes a kind of artificial intelligence, a remote automated “kyc solution” that registers customers biometrically, it is available 24/7 and it will be the once in lifetime solution to confirm our identity when we pay online, rent a house, take a taxi and make a phone call.

Yes, everything can be done from our mobile, which can verify the truth with our biometric data. We simply have to upload a photo, signature and document, and once their verification is done, we get our VeriSmart Key. Once in life, and forget to re-upload constantly all our personal data.

The service is practical for banking, education, telecom, travel, property tenants, recruitment, finance and hotels. The service is available in 13 countries and accepts 765 document formats, which is not a low number.


I wrote before about the fleeing in Oxford ten years ago, where I sent my official University degrees for verification and everything I was seeing on the TV was the shire covered with all kind of floating objects from private houses, and dedicated emergency services rescuing pacific citizens with their cats on their laps. No news from my certificates thought, as landlines were cut due to the heavy raining. It could be possible that my dry-stamped docs were also floating somewhere there. (Glup)

The situation would have never happened if by that time we had Docswallet, a blockchain verification of documents that verifies the authenticity of the issuing institution and the holder’s ID. The digital locker of academic records is already accessible and working at some US universities, bringing peace of mind to applicants in India. Avira Tharakan The idea is scalable and applicable to other sectors such as immigration visas, so consulates and local governments may find a fast use of it, and the same is applicable for trade documents, property, travel documents, health records, and good conduct certificates, so necessary when applying for residency visa.


The special sauce behind Astron is a combination of machine learning, internet of things and voice control to run resources efficiently. The sustainability that Anastasios Avranas defends on his pitch has to do with reduction of waste, money saving and the creation of a greener and smarter environment.

Given the acceleration of misuse of resources since the new millennia started (260% jump of the energy price, 60% more of emissions from energy production, 30% increase of energy demand), we do not have much choices other than tying the belt and invest in an intelligent platform for efficient asset and facility management.

Astron collects the data analytics and operates under real voice communication. The machine learning and artificial intelligence is scalable and compatible solution to current infrastructures.


Kudos to Responscity, the only startup with a lady co-pitching on the stage!

I have lost the counting of how many times I called to report an issue –fallen tree, garbage not collected, an unconscious person walking at night- and have to ballpark the address for the public services to arrive. In all the occasions, it took longer to identify the place than to mitigate the problem, but that time is the price good citizens commit to avoid bigger problems in their community. When we take in consideration highly dense populated cities the problem may seem unabated, and that is exactly the situation that Responscity want to solve: their digital home identity devices (DHI), installed with a screwdriver on the wall –nothing more practical-, provides a smart address with geolocation, contact details and other information, so citizens and local services can better know about waste management, citizen connection, early warning alerts, and complaint management in a timely manner.

So far, Responscity has helped to canalize 25,000 complaints posted by citizens; got 60,000 bills delivered, registered an 80% drop in garbage complaints, and sent 900,000 alerts.

Countries like India, were urban population will equal country population by 2050, a 34% more than today, will definitely make a good use of this device, a scalable world solution as more and more people abandon their lands to set up in urban environments.


Another option to report incident to the authorities is through our mobiles, an essential companion in our lives when we are far away from home. CivilCops’ idea is to reach the authorities to report issues with water, transport, cleanliness and safety in real time through artificial intelligence. The tool will enable smart governments to monitor the trends and localize problems, hence solving the issue in shorter time. Their projected revenue until 2019 is $1.2 million and they expect around 5 million citizens to get impacted.

I opened the site and, surprisingly, it automatically opened a chat with my Facebook ID, which was not active on the device at that time.


I would never imagine that the aisle of the shop could be able to know what I’m doing, even if I’m just touching the fabric to know if is linen or synthetic, and leaving the place after verifying that –again- the percentage or synthetic is as high as I were to pay for 100% silk shirt. Good quality polyester, someone told me once. Anyhow, InteliTaap sensors can tell the retailers where I have been, for how long and –almost- tell them I left because of their polyester shirts. InteliTaap sensors obtain all kind of data in physical stores: their heat-maps, cross-shopping, zone analytics, path analytics, in-store analytics and repeat visits are just astonishing.

With the opportunity of 8,900 retails in India to use their tracking devices, what about extending the scope to 81,000 shops, including those in the Middle East? All the information collected provides retailers a more efficient and cost effective way, allowing mixing products in different locations to yield better results. The idea is scalable to other sectors different than retail: wouldn’t be incredible to integrate it in stadiums, airports, shopping mall, schools? The options are infinite to improve smart cities.

Grid Supply Chain

Ehab El Shishiny quantifies the yearly losses in freight and logistics $1 trillion. These losses are due to inefficiency in operations caused by three key questions: the costs of my freight and logistics, any alternate for my hiccup, and where my goods are. It takes a while to answer these questions, and that time delay may affect our own operations or those ones of our clients. There is option to improve the time management: Grid Supply Chain is a shared economy logistics platform that brings efficiency and real time visibility into global supply chain. It enables shippers, freight forwarders and logistics asset owners to share assets, collaborate, and communicate seamlessly. Grid enables the instant answers for these three questions through a collaborative platform that uses Internet of Things (IoT) and satellite data to track any logistics asset moving by land, sea or air, and machine learning to aggregate demand and supply in a very cost-effective way through utilizing idle and empty returned assets between different enterprises.

Grid is the first mover in MEA region and wants to move the entire industry from reactive to predictive by operating from Egypt and UAE as two strategic logistics hubs. And so far their 100% coverage on ships and 60% coverage of global ports is a great kick start. The “obtainable market” size is 10% of the global market value of $10 trillion, and just 5,000 enterprises can generate $150 million+ in revenues. Need to be more impressed? Grid already has 3,000+ waiting enterprises in the pipeline.

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