NAT Seven Education Technologies 1-1611570527933
Seven education technology start-ups have pitched innovative solutions for the academic sector. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai plans to pilot 11 futuristic projects at hundreds of schools after start-ups pitched their ideas, such as a private artificial intelligence (AI) maths tutor and a child-friendly social media network, to officials and investors recently.

The plans come in line with Dubai Future Foundation’s (DFF) Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) initiative — a flagship programme to position Dubai as a hub for innovation, emerging technologies and an attractive destination for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

DFF recently hosted an ‘Investor Day’ in collaboration with Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the regulatory authority for private education in Dubai. The event witnessed seven education-technology start-ups pitch their innovative solutions for the future of education to an expert panel of investors that could potentially fund them to grow and scale further.

Million-dirham contracts

Over a seven-week duration, the seven start-ups worked in collaboration with DFA and the KHDA to explore and firm up their solutions and make them viable and ready for scale as needed. The start-ups collectively managed to engage with more than 22,000 students. By the end of the duration of the programme, a total of five commercial contracts were secured with a total value of more than $14 million (Dh51.49 million) and 11 pilot projects with an outreach to 538 schools around the UAE.

Hosted at AREA 2071, DFF’s ‘innovation ecosystem’, the DFA cohort brought together leading start-ups and entrepreneurs from around the world to focus on identifying and deploying innovative educational products and prototypes at a city-wide scale. With Dubai aiming to become a leader in enabling personalised and future-focused education, the cohort supported companies that could further collaborate with KHDA to create lifelong learning experiences with wellbeing at their heart.

Maiden event

Abdul Aziz Al Jaziri

Speaking on the first-ever Investor Day, Abdul Aziz Al Jaziri, ‎Deputy CEO of DFF, said: “The quality of participation at this inaugural edition of DFA Investor Day was truly inspiring. We are pleased to have been able to bring together the amazing talent in the education sector and prospective investors who can make their dreams a reality. At Dubai Future Accelerators, it is our endeavour to bring great ideas to life and ensure they have a tangible impact on ground to enable communities to lead better lives. We are confident that the success of the Investor Day will be replicated in the years to come and lead to even greater impact for our investors and start-ups alike.”

Participating investors, funds and angel networks who attended the event included WAMDA, Shorooq Partners, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Iliad Partners, VentureSouq, EQ2 Ventures, Roland Berger, Gemini Enterprises Africa, Dubai Angel Investors, Oqal — Bahrain Chapter, Ripples Impact, and Skaleup Ventures.

Participating start-ups

Amy: An AI-based private maths tutor that seamlessly integrates into all online learning management systems and makes learning math easy through giving students feedback and automatically filling their knowledge gaps in real time.

Awecademy: An educational organisation that offers future-focused, wisdom-based education for exponential learners through an online platform and offline programmes.

GoBubble School: A safer, healthier and kinder digital community for schools, with more than 1,700 schools registered in 68 countries

Melzo: An enabling platform that allows teachers and students to create immersive content (VR/AR) in minutes followed

Qubit: a classroom accelerator and a new way of learning through Virtual Reality an app that helps music teachers deliver the curriculum in a simple but engaging way

WAZZA: a software solution built to modernise all preschool and elementary programs and smoothen operations.