Calling Emirati startups! startAD and Khalifa Fund open applications for five-month incubation program

The applications for Ibtikari 5.0 have now been opened by startAD, the Abu Dhabi based global accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED). The registration for Ibtikari 5.0 are now available with September 5, 2019 as the last deadline to apply.

The main purpose of this intensive five-month incubation program is to assist the UAE national in growing their respective tech startups. The program is expected to begin on September 22nd, 2019 and will end during UAE Innovation Month in February 2020.

According to the program’s outline, six final participants will be receiving grants from KFED worth AED 10,000. Moreover, the winning team will be receiving a grant of AED 25,000. Not only this, KFED and startAD will be funding the startups for their further success in the future.

In order to qualify for this program, it is necessary that the startups are technology-enabled. In addition to this, these startups must have early traction in the market with existing customers, pilot projects, or partnerships with stakeholders. Furthermore, there should be at least one UAE national in the team and at least two committed members.

The program will be training the participants to extend their businesses by teaching them some major business tactics. The program consists of a five-day bootcamp in September and a two-day bootcamp in the month of November.

Mouza Al Nasri, Chief Executive Officer at Khalifa Fund, clearly stated:

“Ibtikari was launched to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among our nationals, build a thriving entrepreneurial environment in the UAE, and fast-track the country’s economic diversification efforts. Since its launch, it has helped nurture the dreams of our many aspiring local entrepreneurs and has paved the way for the enhancement of various innovative business projects. We are proud of the past accomplishments of Ibtikari, and we hope to continue its outstanding success this year.

With excitement, we look forward to meeting our next batch of participants and hearing how their contemporary business ideas can bolster the nation’s socio-economic development in today’s digital age.”

In addition to this, Ramesh Jagannathan, the Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NYUAD and Managing Director of startAD, also shared his views about Ibtikari.

He said: “Nations that nurture a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship have seen a rapid growth in job creation, technological advancement, and wealth. We have designed Ibtikari to support Emirati entrepreneurs to launch and scale businesses that will have local and global impact. Successful technology startups founded by UAE nationals will help accelerate the growth of the economy into an entrepreneurial one, and strengthen the UAE’s role in the future of the global economy.”

Last year Ibtikari received almost a hundred applications. Some of its remarkable alumni include Malena App, DirectSchool, Homz, and Meet the Locals.