startAD Launches beyond the Pitch — a New Startup Program for UAE Youth

Press Release

startAD has announced the launch of a new startup program, Beyond the Pitch, specifically aimed at all UAE residents between the ages of 18 and 25. The program targets those with an idea for a technology based venture that supports the UAE’s commitment to establishing an innovative and diversified economy.

Beyond the Pitch challenges UAE’s young innovators to submit their ideas under the theme “Made in the UAE.” These ideas must align with UAE’s commitment to innovation in the areas of mobility, health, happiness, education, diversity and society, and sustainability.  The deadline to apply is February 15, 2018.

startAD Managing Director Ramesh Jagannathan, said: “Thirty five percent of the population in the UAE is under the age of 25. Beyond the Pitch translates the ambition of the youth in the UAE into global impact. There are various existing high-quality startup challenges and hackathons in the UAE, however, they focus more on the startup pitch than on understanding and developing the problem-solution fit. Beyond the Pitch will address this critical gap and empower teams with the tools and processes to grow their startups. The program will help to further strengthen the UAE’s standing as the foremost capital of global innovation.”

Teams that qualify will acquire the tools and knowledge required to develop a comprehensive new venture that is validated, scalable and repeatable.  The focus of the training will be to develop a deep understanding of how to identify a problem and work towards a solution by understanding how to evaluate the market, speak with customers and develop a working business model.

The two-month program will start in February 2018 and culminate in a Demo Day in April when cash prizes will be awarded to teams that demonstrate the best business model and potential for impact in the UAE. All sessions will take place at startAD Central located at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Each team will be matched with a mentor from amongst a selection of industry experts, startup founders, and investors that will guide them through the program and provide feedback through one-on-one sessions.  The program will start with a Bootcamp which will introduce the teams to basic entrepreneurship skills. This will be followed by the Workshop in which teams will apply what they have learned at Bootcamp to their projects.

The teams will then refine their presentation skills in a final session which will provide insights into how investors evaluate startups, before they head to Demo Day where teams will present their startup projects to a panel of judges and an audience of startup community members and supporters.  

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts 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 over 115 countries 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.