startAD Launches Investor Day for Fintech Venture Launchpad

Abu Dhabi, January 30, 2018: Innovation and entrepreneurship platform startAD today announced it will host a ten-day entrepreneurship program at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) to provide ten Fintech startups a unique opportunity to pitch their business one-on-one to investors from the UAE. Early-stage Fintech startups based in the UAE are encouraged to apply before the upcoming deadline of February 4, 2018.

The program will equip participating startups with the tools and knowledge to develop a comprehensive venture that is scalable, repeatable and capital efficient. Startups involved in the program will gain insight into crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, blockchain, algorithmic trading, credit scoring, cryptocurrency, payments, insurance tech, and money transferrals.

“The UAE startup ecosystem is not burdened with the legacy of global systems and is able to develop at a rapid pace with unique style. startAD engineered the Investor Day to create meaningful interactions and genuine value for startups and investors. We have collaborated with ten leading investors from the UAE actively investing in startups in the Fintech domain who will meet with each of our finalist teams,” said Erkki Aaltonen, Executive Director at startAD.

“The one-on-one meetings place startups on a platform like none other, providing opportunities to build relationships with active investors interested in their business domain, market, and technology. It is a remarkable way for investors to take a deep dive into the startup and to add real value,” Aaltonen noted.

The program has partnered with a wide range of prominent business organizations including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), UAE Exchange, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and IBM. Participating investors will include

1 - Eshara Capital - Alex Guy, Founder

2 - Enabling Future Investments- Hubertus Thonhauser, Managing Partner

3 - Digital Spring Ventures - Patrick Vosgimorukian, Managing Partner

4 - VentureSouq - Tammer Qaddumi,  Partner

5 - TwoFour54 Investments - Asma Al Qaseer, Investment Analyst 

6 - Kryptolabs -  Pathikrit Banerjee – Director, Special Projects

7 - Crescent Enterprises- Tushar Singhvi - VP, Corporate Development & Investments

8 - Lead Angels - Nick Roberts,  CEO

9 - Women's Angel Investor Network - Heather Henyon, Founder and Director 

10 - UAE Exchange - Nidhi Pandit, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Development

And startAD’s own seed fund -  Erkki Aaltonen, Executive Director

Speaking ahead of the event, Asma Al Qaseer said, “At twofour54, we are helping media entrepreneurs scale businesses through strategic investment and twofour54 partners' network. We are excited to collaborate with the Fintech Venture Launchpad and look forward to supporting entrepreneurs and businesses with the aim of creating a thriving and diversified media sector here in Abu Dhabi serving the Arab world.”

“The rapid pace of technological change that we are witnessing holds unprecedented opportunities for the region’s entrepreneurs to offer more innovative products and disrupt conventional business models. We are excited to partner with startAD on the Fintech Venture Launchpad, which is directly aligned with Crescent Enterprises’ commitment to invest in cutting-edge technology solutions and contribute toward building a resilient entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region,” said Tushar Singhvi.

Fintech startups interested in applying for the program can visit

About startAD

startAD is an innovation and entrepreneurship platform that supports early stage startups in the UAE.  startAD is a partnership between NYUAD and Tamkeen, an Abu Dhabi Government-owned company and seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE by offering core programs and entrepreneurship initiatives. Available exclusively to nationals and residents of the UAE, these programs enable the development of technology startups in emerging local industries of strategic importance to the UAE such as energy, aviation, logistics, fintech, smart transportation and facilitate investment in local-based startups.


Selected startups that display outstanding potential and promise may also benefit from ADvance mentoring and seed funding from startAD to help scale their businesses.

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About Tamkeen

Tamkeen is an Abu Dhabi Government-owned company that delivers projects to meet the Government of Abu Dhabi’s vision of knowledge-based development. This is achieved by collaborating with a variety of local and international institutions to enrich the Emirate’s social, cultural and educational landscape in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.


About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.