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Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (Adio) have partnered to support early-stage tech startups in growing their teams and scaling their businesses with the purpose to generate societal impact.

The partnership complements Hub71’s new programme, ‘The Outliers’, enabling startups from around the world to collaborate with leading corporations and government agencies in Abu Dhabi to solve their operational challenges.

Startups worldwide have until Thursday, July 1 to apply for the programme.

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Hub71’s partnership with Adio, under its Innovation Programme, reinforces the emirate’s commitment to sustaining a robust, competitive environment for startups to gain access to capital, commercial activities and incentives from both the public and private sectors.

Hub71 and Adio hosted a Demo Day for existing Hub71 startups to pitch for cash grants, provided by Adio, aimed at accelerating their growth. Following a rigorous screening process run by an investment committee comprising members from Hub71 and Adio, 10 startups were selected to receive grants worth more than Dh10 million ($2.7 million) to accelerate the development of their innovative solutions.

The Outliers is an annual initiative led by Hub71 in partnership with key corporate and government partners designed to solve their operational challenges. The programme aims to promote a culture of innovation within organisations that are seeking to collaborate with startups and invest in the pioneering ideas of founders to optimise business processes and drive efficiencies.

This year, Mastercard, Etihad Airways, Thales, ADCB, Mashreq Bank and the Department of Health Abu Dhabi have each set problem statements and will engage directly with entrepreneurs to develop a proof of concepts (POCs) that have strong potential to commercialise and go-to-market.

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Successful startups will gain access to up to Dh100,000 ($27,000) worth of funding for POCs, other benefits, in addition to partnership contracts and the chance to join Hub71’s vibrant community to benefit from its incentives, value-add programs and global partners.

“We are committed to supporting tech startups by leveraging the network of partners that back our mission and strive to provide opportunities to access funding or grants. Capital is an instrumental enabler that unlocks our startups’ growth,” Ibrahim Ajami, Interim CEO of Hub71 and head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala Investment Company.

“It is initiatives like these that showcase the benefits of public-private partnerships that are a staple within the unique environment of Abu Dhabi,” he added.

The successful companies that received cash grants from Adio at the Demo Day specialise in HealthTech, FinTech, AgTech and information and communication technologies (ICT), reflecting Abu Dhabi’s commitment to nurturing a diverse range of innovative ideas and technologies in high growth areas.

Dr Tariq bin Hendi, director-general of Adio, said startups are key to Abu Dhabi’s economy, both in terms of economic benefit as well as the bold ideas and ambition they bring to the business ecosystem. “The government plays a critical role in creating an environment where businesses are supported to succeed, and at Adio, we are investing maximum resources and efforts to ensure innovative startups can successfully scale up from Abu Dhabi,” he said.


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