Made In The UAE
Case Study, Education
July 1, 2018, 11:51 am
“Beyond the Pitch is all about the youth in the UAE working together to achieve economic and environmental sustainability through diversifying the economy, fostering innovation, preserving the land and marine environments, and developing clean and renewable energy sources.”
In an effort to support the UAE’s commitment to establishing an innovative and diversified economy, startAD, the innovation and entrepreneurship platform anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, recently launched its inaugural “Beyond the Pitch” Programme.
It’s a new startup initiative open to all UAE youth from ages 18 to 25 with an idea for a technology-based venture that they feel will impact the economy and sustainability in a meaningful way.
The programme offers up to 20 teams with an existing startup project hands-on training, workshops and mentorship over a period of six weeks to help them develop a business model that is scalable, repeatable, and capital efficient.
Support for Success
“Beyond the Pitch is very much in line with the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed, since it is all about the youth in the UAE working together to achieve economic and environmental sustainability through diversifying the economy, fostering innovation, preserving the land and marine environments, and developing clean and renewable energy sources,” says Robyn Brazzil, Director of startAD.
“It is also a manifestation of startAD’s mission to support the UAE’s vision 2021 of ‘nurturing and supporting a new class of entrepreneurs’ among citizens and residents of the UAE. Creating the right initiatives to harness the entrepreneurship potential of our youth is an important step in making this vision a reality,” she adds.
At the completion of the programme, participant teams will have received the proper knowledge and mentorship to help them evolve as the main driving forces of the fast-growing UAE startup ecosystem.
With participating teams representing five out of seven emirates and putting forward four all-female Emirati teams between them, Beyond the Pitch is also a critical step towards creating entrepreneurial initiatives that target the local youth population and encourage the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship for the next generation.
To mark the completion of the very first six-week journey, startAD held a ceremony in April to showcase the work of the participants. 17 student teams from more than 11 universities across the UAE convened as finalists at startAD’s coworking space in NYU Abu Dhabi, to showcase their startup projects spanning society, education, health, mobility, sustainability, and happiness.
The teams pitched their startups under the theme “Made in the UAE.” Grants have been awarded to three winning teams across three different award categories.
Project Vision, from Manipal University Dubai, was awarded $3,000 in the category for Best Business Model for their virtual assistant app. The grant will be used to further develop their concept, which seeks to aid the visually impaired in their day-to-day activities through artificial intelligence.
Winning $1,500 for Best Presentation was AutoChain from RAK Incubator, a decentralized application that is built on the Ethereum blockchain with a goal of creating UAE’s first blockchain car platform, while IDiaBeat from UAEU won $500 for being the Most Improved business model presented with their innovative glucose monitor for diabetes regulation.