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Khalifa Fund, startAD invite Emirati entrepreneurs to apply for Ibtikari
July 04, 2018
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ABU DHABI: startAD, the innovation and entrepreneurship platform anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, has partnered with Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development for the first time to present an updated version of Ibtikari (My Innovation).

The fourth edition of Ibtikari will be an intensive six-month incubator aimed at helping UAE nationals advance their technology startups. Scheduled to take place between 30th September, 2018, and 31st March, 2019, at NYU Abu Dhabi, Ibtikari is open to startups with at least one UAE national partner.

Five teams will be identified through a rigorous evaluation process which will include an online application and in-person interview. They will be selected based on their proposed concept, the project’s potential market reach, as well as its prototype or proof of concept. Applications are now open and available on the website (ibtikari.startad.ae); the final deadline is 31st August, 2018.

The new structure will include three distinct phases: mentorship, network introductions, and investment evaluation. Participating teams will initially be required to attend a series of training sessions and one-on-one meetings with Ibtikari’s mentors. The programme’s organisers will then facilitate introductions to key corporate partners locally and at Silicon Valley, prospective clients, and experts in the industry to help startups expand their network and advance their businesses. Participants will also be considered for potential financial and non-financial support from Khalifa Fund if they meet the fund criteria.

The programme’s third phase will focus on investment evaluation; startAD’s investment advisors will schedule regular meetings with teams to provide detailed feedback on their business model and external investments it could likely attract. The five selected finalists will be given access to startAD’s prototyping facilities and co-working space at NYU Abu Dhabi throughout the duration of Ibtikari.

Ramesh Jagannathan, NYU Abu Dhabi Research Professor of Engineering, Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and startAD Managing Director, said, "startAD is an innovation and entrepreneurship programme solely focused on helping to build the Abu Dhabi and the UAE ecosystem by building local capacity. Local corporate leaders in aviation, energy, shipping, transportation, logistics, and finance play an integral role in sourcing startups, validating their business model, and accelerating their success.

By partnering with Khalifa Fund to present a revamped edition of Ibtikari, our goal is to equip startups, particularly UAE nationals, with the necessary tools to help them convert their technologies into products and services. Strategically aligned with Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision to emerge as an entrepreneurial economic leader globally, we are looking forward to working closely with talented Emirati startups from the region."

In turn, Abdullah Saeed Al Darmaki, Chief Executive of Khalifa Fund, said that the fund will provide all the possible support to ensure the success of all Ibtikari startups that meet the financial requirements and conditions of the Khalifa Fund. He added that it works to build the values of leadership, creativity, and innovation among various Emirati segments and works on encouraging them to adopt these concepts and transform them to permanent behavior when planning to establish their own businesses.

WAM

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