Hub71 & MITEF Pan Arab announce the winners of ‘Hub71 MENA Growth Competition’ during demo day in Abu Dhabi
- Demo day featured a discussion panel titled ‘Harnessing the power of human capital: How startup hubs can attract and retain talent’, bringing industry experts from diverse backgrounds
- 3 final winners will move to Abu Dhabi by the end of the year, as well as benefit from an attractive incentive package to allow them to scale up their enterprises
Past July, MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab and Hub71 (a Mubadala initiative) inked a new strategic partnership, one which leverages both their networks and expertise in enabling the MENA startup ecosystem through mentorship, financing and long-term support.
This first outcome of this partnership is the inaugural edition of the ‘Hub71 MENA Growth Competition, powered by MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab’, where 10 of the best MENA-based startups pitched their way to growing their businesses from Abu Dhabi, supported by a generous incentive package, entrepreneur visas, and specialized corporate support.
The 10 finalist startups come from 6 MENA countries and were previously announced in a blog post published on Bracket.
In preparation for the demo day, all 10 finalists came to Abu Dhabi to take part in an intensive training program that was designed and executed by the team at Astrolabs, who took into consideration the level of growth of each finalist, and potential weaknesses in their pitches.
Maya Rahal, Managing Director of MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, commented: ‘Over the past 13 years, [MITEF Pan Arab] has played a pivotal role in activating and shaping the regional startup ecosystem. From competitions, training, conferences, and more, our collective efforts introduced the MENA region to a new and novel concept, which is ‘innovation for a purpose’ - where technological advancements are built with the vision of driving the economy and society towards an all-digital future on par to other emerging markets around the world. We have been fortunate to gain the trust of some of the most impactful stakeholders in the ecosystem, among them Hub71, who allow us to pursue our mission of promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, transforming ideas into world-changing companies.
Commenting during the demo day, Mr. Mahmoud Adi (CEO of Hub71) said: “The quality of the finalists this year is a testament to a maturing MENA region. Over the last three days, we’ve been proud to host ten startups from across the region who have flown to Abu Dhabi to participate in an intensive workshop to vie for three winning spots in the Hub71 MENA Growth Competition 2019. The winners Addenda (UAE), Furnwish (Egypt), ProvenMed International will be relocating their businesses to Hub71 in the coming months to take advantage of attractive incentive packages worth up to USD $950 thousand and will also benefit from lucrative corporate partnerships. Hub71 is a global launchpad for growth. We are very excited for the three winning startups as they embark on the next phase of their journey.”
During demo day, the 10 finalist startups pitched to a panel of judges consisting of the following individuals:
- Mahmoud Adi – CEO, Hub71
- Ashraf Zeitoon, Advisor, Hub71
- Wai Lum Kwok Senior Executive Director - Capital Markets, ADGM
- Benjamin Davis, Director of Strategy and Innovation, AlDar
- Aristide Bacha - Head of Venture Capital, United Al Saqer Group
Also, the day featured a discussion titled ‘Harnessing the power of human capital: How startup hubs can attract and retain talent’, which was moderated by Aby Thomas (Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine ME), and featured Huda Kalash (Business Manager at Bayt.com), Robyn Brazzil (Director of startAD at NYUAD), Sahiqa Bennett (CEO of Searchie), and Amer AL Ameri (COO of Abu Dhabi Investment Office).
The competition winners receive an attractive bundle of prizes provided by Hub71 and Mubadala’s network of partners, like Abu Dhabi Department of Health, Abu Dhabi Global Market, and Aldar:
- 100% subsidized housing, office space and medical insurance (collectively “subsidies”) for companies that have less than 5 employees and have raised around 300,000$ in rounds of funding (valid for 2 years)
- 50% subsidies for emerging companies that have less than 25 employees and have raised more than 500,000$ in funding (valid for 3 years)
- Relocation costs from home to Abu Dhabi for founder and employees
- For startups with under five employees, 100% living, office space and health insurance subsidies for two years for every member
- For startups with six to 25 employees, 50% living, office space and health insurance subsidies for three years for every member
- Entry into accelerator programs via Techstars and Plug&Play ADGM
- Mentorship, coaching and a dedicated ‘resident success team’
- Application to the ‘Start-up Matched Funds’ via Ghadan Ventures Fund
The winning startups will move to Abu Dhabi by the end of the year, where they will establish an office and officially become a member of Hub71’s growing community.