Hub71 launches competition to attract startups to Abu Dhabi

MENA Growth competition receives support from Aldar, Department of Health and ADGM

The competition will provide ten finalists with the opportunity to pitch their winning ideas to corporates and VCs over a five-day workshop in Abu Dhabi.
The competition will provide ten finalists with the opportunity to pitch their winning ideas to corporates and VCs over a five-day workshop in Abu Dhabi.

Aldar Properties, the Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Abu Dhabi Global Market have pledged support for Hub71’s MENA Growth competition, an initiative of MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab.

Hub71 is an Abu Dhabi-based tech hub and an initiative of the Ghadan 21 program, supported by Mubadala Investment Company, Microsoft, SoftBank Vision Fund and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

The competition will provide ten finalists the opportunity to pitch their winning ideas to corporates and Venture Capitalists (VCs) over a five-day workshop in Abu Dhabi. Judges will then select three winners for prizes each powered by Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi Department of Health and ADGM. The winning startups will be offered the opportunity to join Hub71’s community in Abu Dhabi.

Through the competition, Hub71 aims to address pain points and challenges facing startups globally, specifically by providing support packages for subsidised housing and office space, five-year entrepreneur visas, access to accelerators, corporates programs and funding from VCs and investors, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Office.

Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71, said, “Collaborating with Abu Dhabi’s industry leaders has allowed us to bring a market full of opportunities to the region’s startup community. Across Abu Dhabi there are industries that need innovation and startup thinking to reach the next level, which makes this initiative the perfect opportunity to chart our future as the centre of entrepreneurship and innovation. Through our collaboration with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, Hub71’s MENA Growth Competition 2019 will support pioneering startups from the region - helping them make a mark for themselves globally.”

Aldar Properties announced it will award the competition winner a cash investment of AED 250,000, free housing in one of Aldar’s properties for one year, alongside mentorship with the real estate and property developer.

As for ADGM, the winner will gain direct entry into ADGM’s RegLab, a regulatory sandbox, free exhibition booth space at the upcoming FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit in October, a chance to participate in Fintech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge and gain mentorship from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Health’s (DoH) award includes coaching and accelerator programs, access to DoH’s network of corporate partners, hospitals, health insurers, Abu Dhabi Technology Assessment Committee and other government entities, as well as potentially lucrative public sector opportunities. The DoH is running their innovation activities at Hub71, aimed at supporting local and international health tech startups to commercialize their products and services in Abu Dhabi.

It was also announced that the first round of funding from the recently announced Ghadan Ventures Fund by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has committed to invest up to AED 50 million in Abu Dhabi startups and new fund managers. The first cohort includes two Hub71 resident start-ups, BitOasis and Lamsa. Yacob, and Protenders have also received funding commitments. The startups will receive one dirham for every dirham that their primary investors commit.

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