Last Chance to Apply for the startAD Hardware Venture Launchpad

Finalists will be awarded a prototyping grant and be considered for investment by startAD

startAD has issued a final call out for applications to the 2017 cohort for the Hardware Venture Launchpad, the first intensive 10-day program designed to help UAE-based startups rapidly mature into a scalable business within a short time span. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2017.

The program will culminate in a demo day where finalists will showcase their startups to investors, corporate partners, media, and the UAE startup community.  Winners will be awarded a prototyping grant, have the opportunity to travel to Shenzhen, China to get a firsthand look at the hardware ecosystem, and be considered for investment and mentoring by startAD.  It is open to any early-stage hardware startup and is free of charge to accepted teams.

The program is affiliated with corporate leaders such as GE, IBM and Crescent Enterprises, providing startups with the opportunity to validate their business, gain valuable insights and be mentored by domain experts.  Startups will be trained by global experts including

  • Rick Rasmussen, director of Startup Programs and faculty member at UC Berkeley
  • Aleksander Tõnnisson, CEO and co-founder at Buildit, the first Nordic hardware & creative industries startup accelerator
  • Hans Stam, CEO and co-founder at Trouble Maker, hardware product development platform in Shenzhen, China
  • Narek Vardanyan, founder at The Crowdfunding Formula

Hardware Venture Launchpad supports growth-oriented startups in scaling their business through a tailor-made acceleration sprint. Startups working on solutions in the below industries are encouraged to apply:


  • IoT products catered towards the Aviation, Ports Management, Logistics, and Healthcare industries
  • Blockchain enabled hardware solutions
  • VR / AR / AI enabled hardware solutions
  • Connected Cars - Car monitoring, Fill-up logging, Crash Alert, Geolocation trackers, OBD Devices, Sensors, Engine diagnostics
  • Drone technology with a focus on the Logistics, Power, and Oil & Gas industries
  • Robotics focused on the Ports Management, Logistics, and Healthcare industries
  • Diagnostics, Sensors or Wearables
  • Devices for Cleantech – Energy and water efficiency,
  • 3D Printing solutions with industrial application, geared towards the Ports Management, Logistics, and Healthcare industries

In addition to refining their prototypes, startups accepted into the program will gain a foundational understanding of design thinking methodologies, development of a go-to-market strategy, financial planning including crowdfunding, valuation and funding.

About startAD

startAD is an innovation and entrepreneurship platform that supports the development of startups in the UAE. Anchored at NYUAD, startAD seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE by offering core programs and education initiatives. Available exclusively to nationals and residents of the UAE, these programs enable the development of startups in emerging local industries of strategic importance to the UAE such as energy, aviation, logistics, fintech and facilitate investment in local-based startups.


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

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