Meet the UAE startups participating in Hub71's Entrepreneurship World Cup 2020

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem and National Organizer of the Entrepreneurship World Cup 2020 (EWC), concluded its search for the best UAE-based startups by picking the top three as national winners from 128 applicants from across the seven emirates.

The startups are:

Pure Harvest: a technology-enabled agribusiness startup focused on local, sustainable cultivation of premium quality fresh fruits & vegetables sold year-round at affordable prices versus comparable quality imports.
Key2Enable: innovating in digital accessibility, the startup empowers People of Determination to develop their skills and individualities, using exponential technologies.
Awecademy: exponential technologies and disruptive innovations are ushering in a world of accelerating change. Awecademy prepares young minds for this radically different future.

Discover more than 370 UAE-based Technology startups on MAGNiTT

Startups were ranging from the ideation stage to more established growth-stage tech companies. The winners of ‘Team UAE’ will represent the country at the Misk Global Forum between 18-20 October 2020, in what will be a global EWC Finals show-down.

Pure Harvest, Key2Enable, and Awecademy all received $100,000 worth of in-kind prize awards each. These include benefits, discounts, and free services from Stripe, Amazon Web Services, Hubspot, Segment, Intercom, Google Cloud, and many more. Global finalists who are selected as one of the EWC 100 (top 100 global startups) will receive an additional $700,000 worth of in-kind prizes, resulting in a total of $800,000.

The Entrepreneurship World Cup is the largest global initiative for entrepreneurs with entries from 200 countries across the globe, attracting more than 100,000 applicants in its inaugural competition in 2019. To qualify for the National Finals, 10 UAE-based startups were shortlisted from a wide range of sectors and stages including cleantech, agritech, edtech, big data, and assistive tech, 30% of which were UAE nationals.

The winners now have an opportunity to secure prizes including $1 million in cash, additional funding opportunities, access to accelerator programs, resources, and in-kind prizes worth a combined $75+ million.

Ahmad Alwan, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Hub71, said: “We are very proud of all applicants that shared their tech ideas with us. Congratulations to Pure Harvest, Key2Enable, and Awecademy, they will be competing on a global stage and we are confident that we’ve picked the best ambassadors to represent the UAE tech ecosystem. All 10 shortlisted applicants have unique and innovative offerings and have built quality businesses. This is a testament to the UAE’s ability to attract, retain, and nurture great talent and companies that will shape the future. We hope to see these startups continue to grow, and we welcome them to join us within the Hub71 community to benefit from our network of mentors and global market opportunities.”

Sky Kurtz, Founder and CEO, Pure Harvest, said: “Pure Harvest Smart Farms is pleased to have been selected as one of the winners among a terrific group of companies... We developed our tech-enabled agribusiness solutions right here in the UAE – tackling one of the harshest climates in the world. Pure Harvest is tackling societal challenges, including food security, water conservation, economic diversification & sustainability. It is great to be recognized for our work and serve as an Ambassador for the innovation and transformation currently underway in the Emirates.”

Raya Bidshahri, Founder and CEO, Awecademy, said: “We are honored and thrilled to be participating at the National level of the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and represent the UAE. Now more than ever, the world needs innovators to tackle emerging challenges, and the EWC is doing an excellent job of showcasing these solutions. We are excited to use this opportunity to expand our partnerships and make a global impact.”

Jose Rubinger, Chief Commercial Officer and Co-founder, Key2Enable, said: “We are all responsible for the future of our planet, and it is very important that Key2enable will have the opportunity to represent the UAE because it shows that social impact startups are welcome in this kind of competition. We are here to enable People of Determination to thrive so, from now on, Key2enable will prove that sometimes the impossible, is possible.”

Pakistani startups saw $18M invested in H1 2020, with the overall number of deals increasing by 13% to 17 deals from H1 2019, illustrating the potential of Pakistan to become the next big South Asian entrepreneurial hotspot. Discover more trends in our H1 2020 Pakistan Venture Investment Report.