Abu Dhabi has been building its credentials as a startup destination. Fifteen more have opened up at Hub71. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: Fifteen startups have joined Abu Dhabi based Hub71’s incentive programme, where the benefits include free housing and office space for two years. They also get free medical insurance. “Seed” companies get to avail of these services, while “emergent” companies can access 50 per cent subsidises for three years.

“The 15 winning startups will add immense value to Abu Dhabi in terms of knowledge-sharing and ecosystem diversity as the world rapidly accelerates its digital transformation,” said Ibrahim Ajami, interim CEO of Hub71 and Head of Ventures at Mubadala Investment Company. “Like our startups, Hub71 is rising to the challenges COVID-19 is presenting, and we are adapting to the needs of our wider community alongside the government, businesses and our community of entrepreneurs.

Diverse origins

The 15 startups include US-based healthtech company Aumet, with the firm able to connect 50,000 medical manufacturers with distributors for essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospitals. Others include Altibbi, the end-to-end Arabic language digital health information platform from Jordan, and Kinderly, a UK-based early childhood edtech company.

Hub71 now houses 51 startups. “It’ll be technology companies that prevail in these challenging times,” said Eddy Skaf, deputy CEO of the cluster. “The VCs (venture capitalists) Hub71 has partnered with or are part of the community are still sourcing for their investment pipeline and finalising deals with startups. So we are encouraging our startup community to keep calm and continue fund raising.”