A view of an exterior of the New York University Abu Dhabi campus on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.

Innovation Platform startAD Launches Incubator

Applications for four month support program open in January 2017

Press Release

startAD, an Abu Dhabi innovation and entrepreneurship platform, today launched the startAD Incubator, granting emerging startups access to leading UAE industry players and opportunities for business viability testing.

Anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, startAD is a partnership between the University and Tamkeen, a Government of Abu Dhabi company.

Offered twice a year for up to 10-15 teams per cycle, the startAD Incubator will deliver a four month rigorous training program to aspiring entrepreneurs, including services such as seed investment, shared space, mentorship and legal assistance.

Applications for the Incubator will be accepted from January 1, 2017 via the startAD website, with the first intake taking up residency at NYU Abu Dhabi in September 2017.

Ramesh Jagannathan, Managing Director of startAD, said, “We are very excited to launch the startAD Incubator. There is a substantial reservoir of talent in the UAE that would benefit from a structured system of professional insight and support. We’re looking forward to encouraging promising innovators to nurture their ideas into real business concepts when applications open in early 2017.”

John Tate, CEO of Tamkeen, said, “As part of Tamkeen’s mandate to deliver and ensure the continued success of NYUAD, we have long foreseen it having an entrepreneurship program – and it is great to see this come to fruition with startAD. Abu Dhabi is committed to promoting entrepreneurship and innovation to create a more diverse, knowledge-based economy. startAD has the potential to be an important driver of that ambition.”

The announcement of the Incubator follows the launch in August 2016 of startAD’s community education series, the startAD Forum. Free and open to the public, the Forum offers lectures and opportunities to network with leaders in the startup community as well as industry professionals.

Sessions include the Digital and Business Literacy program, aimed at developing practical technology and business skills that are essential for aspiring entrepreneurs; Tech Tuesdays, which bring together the tech and startup community to learn from leading innovators in emerging industries and to offer an inside look at new innovations coming out from startAD’s own labs on campus, from industry leaders and from local startups; and legal clinics to connect the startup community with top global legal professionals to help understand the legal framework for startups in the UAE.

startAD has also provided several startup guides to help entrepreneurs navigate the process of creating and running a startup in the UAE that includes how to register a business, an overview of financing options and a guide to accelerators and incubators.

About startAD

startAD is an innovation and entrepreneurship platform offering a full stack entrepreneurial experience for the global startup community. Anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, startAD supports the entrepreneurship ecosystem through education initiatives and the creation of startups. startAD has two components: a forum, which is an educational platform that catalyzes individuals and teams with a defined process and tools to develop a scalable, repeatable and efficient venture; and an incubator, which synergizes local and global startups with major UAE corporations, granting opportunities for shared insights and business viability testing. 

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.