Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) have partnered to support early-stage tech startups. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: 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.

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.

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.

“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," said Ibrahim Ajami, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Hub71 and Head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala Investment Company.

"The Outliers paves the way for startups with proven products to work alongside our corporate and government partners to help them integrate innovation into their business models.” 

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 AED 10 million (USD 2.7m) 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 organizations 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 proof of concepts (POCs) that have strong potential to commercialize and go-to-market. Successful startups will gain access to up to Dh100,000 (USD 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.

"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,” said Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO.