ABU DHABI, Hub71 today announced that Aldar Properties, the Department of Health, DoH, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, have come together as partners for its MENA Growth Competition, powered by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab.

Hub71 is an initiative of the Ghadan 21 programme and global tech ecosystem in association with the Mubadala Investment Company, Microsoft, SoftBank Vision Fund and the ADGM.

The competition will provide 10 finalists with the opportunity to pitch their winning ideas to corporates and venture capitalists, VCs, over a five-day workshop in Abu Dhabi. Judges will then select three winning start-ups, which will be offered the opportunity to join Hub71's community in Abu Dhabi.

Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71, said, "Through our collaboration with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, Hub71's MENA Growth Competition 2019 will support pioneering startups from the region - helping them make a mark for themselves globally."

It was also announced today that the first round of funding from the recently announced Ghadan Ventures Fund by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office has committed to invest up to AED50 million in Abu Dhabi start-ups and new fund managers.

Elham Al Qasim, Acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Investment Office and Executive Director, Ghadan 21 Sector, Abu Dhabi Executive Office, said, "We have had a great response to the Ghadan Ventures Fund, both from start-ups seeking fund matching and new fund managers looking to establish in Abu Dhabi. The fund plays an integral role in growing the start-ups at Hub71 and the ecosystem in general. We look forward to seeing how these companies grow and how their innovations will help drive the digital transformation in the MENA region."

At an event held at Hub71 earlier today, Aldar Properties announced it will award the winner a cash investment of AED250,000, free housing in one of Aldar's premium properties for one year, alongside mentorship with the real estate and property developer.

The winner will also gain direct entry into the ADGM's RegLab, a regulatory sandbox, free exhibition booth space at the upcoming FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit in October, a chance to participate in the Fintech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge and gain invaluable mentorship from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the ADGM.

The Abu Dhabi DoH award includes coaching and accelerator programmes, full access to the DoH's network of corporate partners, hospitals, health insurers, Abu Dhabi Technology Assessment Committee and other government entities, as well as lucrative public sector opportunities.

Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO, Aldar Properties, commented, "The competition provides us with an excellent opportunity to engage with regionally relevant startups and see how their ideas can apply to Aldar."

Richard Teng, CEO, Financial Services Regulatory Authority, ADGM, said, "We are excited with the new milestone between Hub71 and the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab. The ADGM is fully committed to supporting the development of a vibrant and sustainable tech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the UAE."

Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Director of Healthcare Quality, DoH, Abu Dhabi, said, "By aligning with Hub71 on our shared purpose, we can better support start-ups who are ready to help us strive for excellence within Abu Dhabi's best in-class healthcare setting."

Maya Rahal, Managing Director of MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, said, "We are excited to work closely with Hub71 on this competition as our alumni now have the chance to venture forth and take advantage of incentives and opportunities that were only made available by a forward-thinking Abu Dhabi government adapting to radical shifts in the global economy."

Source: Emirates News Agency