Professionals working at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi to design digital solutions for various entities and services Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has launched the second edition of ‘The Outliers’ programme, bringing together leading corporate and government partners to present business and operational challenges for tech start-ups to solve.

The Outliers is Hub71’s annual programme designed for tech start-ups worldwide to solve challenges set by participating organisations in the public and private sectors. The Outliers facilitates start-up collaboration with major corporations and government departments across Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy, offering founders the ability to respond with technology-led approaches that address their challenges.

The partners include Aldar, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) and Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), and Thales.

Start-ups will have the opportunity to customise their product to support the organisation’s business objectives, develop commercial deals, and gain up to Dh100,000 in value to fund the development of their Proof of Concepts (POCs).

The second edition of The Outliers features seven challenges from five leading organisations, including Aldar, DCT, DoH and Thales. For the first time, a dedicated category has been created for unicorns to take part in The Outliers, with Cars24, an e-commerce platform for used vehicles, joining this edition. Through its participation, Cars24 will be supporting Hub71’s innovation ecosystem and helping start-ups succeed.

Digital drive

Elodie Robin-Guillerm, Head of Growth and Strategy at Hub71, said: “Beyond fundraising, start-ups also need to be able to secure commercially viable contracts and partnerships with the business community and government that are increasingly embracing entrepreneurial minds.”

Robin-Guillerm added: “The Outliers programme responds to the demand for the public and private sectors to accelerate their digital transformation processes that increases efficiency and strengthens long-term competitiveness. This mutually beneficial programme is one of Hub71’s many initiatives that enables founders to create true impact and address pressing issues affecting strategically important sectors driving our economy.”

The challenges

With the advancements of Web3 technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and wearable devices, DCT, which is presenting two challenges this year, is seeking to utilise advanced technologies and the most efficient solution to better understand tourist behaviours while visiting attractions or shopping in Abu Dhabi to help inform future marketing campaigns. Similarly, DCT is focused on using Web3 technologies to uncover what the future of tourism could look like in Abu Dhabi.

In healthcare, DoH is looking to reduce waiting times across its healthcare facilities and enhance patient flow. Ultimately, DoH is seeking ways to reduce operational costs without compromising the quality of care. The solution would improve the patient experience within its healthcare facilities, regardless of the form of care patients are seeking.

Thales is investing in digital and ‘DeepTech’– Big Data, artificial intelligence, connectivity, cybersecurity and quantum technology. The company aims to engage start-ups to develop a consolidated low airspace and urban air mobility system dedicated to the safety of drones and the identification of threats. Through digital platforms that ensure real time global integration, Thales aims to address future security issues around the increased adoption of drones in cities.

Aldar, a master developer of communities, wants to implement strong design solutions that solve problems for its customers and for the community with sustainability at the core. By participating in The Outliers, Aldar is seeking ways to support the reduction and reuse of resources throughout the lifecycle of a project from design to construction that minimises waste resources.

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Finally, Cars24 is exploring developing a seamless customer experience by making the customer pay just once for the entire cart value and divide payments across multiple partners in real-time. The unicorn is looking for ways to use digital platforms to sell a car without a test drive and eliminating the need for a test drive during the process of purchasing a car.

Through an eight-week programme, successful start-ups work closely with each organisation to develop a viable POC and customise their product to support the partner organisations’ commercial objectives. As part of accelerating start-ups’ potential to scale, the programme also allows founders to further establish product-market fit. Hub71 also fast-tracks successful start-ups to a range of its programmes, including the Flexible Incentive Programme and Value Add Programme.