Launched in 2021 by Aleph Hospitality, the Innovation Lab offers early-stage travel, tourism,
and hospitality startups a springboard to launch and grow their business. With this startup
programme, Aleph supports and promotes entrepreneurs by providing office space, business
support and advisory, access to their network of hospitality, travel and tourism connections, and
potential investment opportunities either through Aleph Hospitality or third-party investment,
seed funding and venture capital.
Burnt is an intuitive back-of-house operating software, designed to help restaurants automate
their inventory and procurement process. Behind the scenes, suppliers play an equally
important role to source and supply quality ingredients. Burnt is all about building an ecosystem
that reimagines how chefs and suppliers work together fostering growth, streamlining operations
and unleashing efficiency.
INTERVIEW WITH RHEA KARIMPANAL AND JOSEPH JACOB, CO-FOUNDERS OF BURNT
How did you hear about the Aleph Innovation Lab?
We first came across Aleph’s Innovation Lab through the Aleph Hospitality website while looking
for a programme that would mentor and nurture early-stage startups – from the ideation stage all
the way to launching a robust business model.
Can you tell us about your experience in the Innovation Lab?
Where do we begin?! The experience has been nothing short of fantastic. The support and
mentorship from the experienced team, the opportunity to collaborate with a culturally diverse
group of individuals, and having a desk at their headquarters which has such an inspiring (and
super cool!) atmosphere. Aleph Hospitality provides the perfect environment for any young
startup that’s looking to change the game in the hospitality industry.
What kind of support did you receive from Aleph Hospitality?
The Aleph team has provided invaluable support and mentorship on various fronts – both on the
more granular level, such as helping build out financial projections, as well as high-level support
by leveraging their extensive network and connecting us to key industry professionals. We also
held monthly meetings with both Bani (Founder and MD) and Neil (Executive Director) to share
updates and new ideas. Their insights on our business have been tremendously beneficial for
What difference has the Innovation Lab made for your startup company?
The backing of Aleph Hospitality has given us immense confidence and validation to
wholeheartedly commit to executing this business to its fullest potential. With Aleph being a gold
sponsor of Future Hospitality Summit (FHS), we were invited to join them, use their booth, and
get introduced to senior industry professionals, hotel and restaurant owners as well as potential
investors. A highlight of FHS was our shortlist participation as the StartupDen 2023 in Abu
What is it like working with the team?
Fun, fun, and more fun (no, seriously). There’s no shortage of warm smiles and friendly faces,
and we certainly feel lucky to have met and collaborated with such brilliant minds.
Do you have any recommendations for the next startup to join the Innovation Lab?
Build your roadmap and stick to your targets. Don’t be afraid to pivot if you need to, and most
importantly, you won’t get it if you don’t ask!
Our first product, burnt LITE, is now live with many happy customers. The next step is to expand
our team and build our second product, burnt PRO, which will focus on automating inventory
and other back-of-house restaurant operations.
If you think your startup company could be a candidate for the Innovation Lab in Dubai, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates are required to provide a three-minute video pitch, one pager pitch and a business plan, as well as provide a LinkedIn profile link.