startAD's Fintech Venture Launchpad Demo Day Propels Startups into Global Ecosystem

The Fintech edition of the Venture Launchpad focused on connecting innovative startups to industry leaders.

The Fintech edition of the Venture Launchpad focused on connecting innovative startups to industry leaders

Abu Dhabi, September 16, 2017: WaveX, Docswallet and uHONCHO were declared the first, second and third place winning teams at the startAD Fintech Venture Launchpad demo day on Thursday, September 14. The winning teams will receive up to $120,000 in IBM Cloud credit for a year in order to implement their applications as part of IBM Global Entrepreneur program - a startup’s gateway into a global ecosystem of top business leaders and investors, technical experts, and enterprise clients.

The winning teams will receive business mentorship as part of this program, which allows access to industry experts at IBM. Their ventures will also receive go-to market support, which may provide opportunities for exposure within IBM’s marketing materials, websites, internal and external presentations and their advertisements.

Runner-up Docswallet seeks to enable everyday government transactions to operate online by combining advances in Digital Identity and Electronic Signature, while second runner-up uHONCHO will be a mobile platform designed for freelancers to help them track, measure and manage their day-to-day business activities and financial performance. First place winner WaveX aims to become a democratized energy market that leverages Internet of things (IoT) technology and blockchain in order to create a new market where anyone can participate freely.

“Our priorities align with the UAE’s vision for clean energy, and so we feel that we are in the right place at the right time. Through our platform, we aim to help transform the UAE from being an oil-based economy to an energy-exporting nation,” said Mohammed Rashid, Founder of WaveX.

The demo day was the culmination of the startAD Venture Launchpad’s 10-day immersive program, aimed at helping early stage startups to develop scalable, repeatable and capital efficient ventures. This edition focused on Fintech, with the intention of connecting nimble and innovative startups to the largest players of that industry.

The program attracted over 200 teams from the UAE and globally to participate. The culminating demo day event provided the top 10 teams from the program with the opportunity to showcase their startups to investors, corporate partners and the UAE startup community. From these teams, the finalists that demonstrated outstanding potential may also be considered for startAD continuous mentoring and startAD Seed or seed funding to help scale their businesses.

“Abu Dhabi is a the future fintech hub, recently rising to the 25th position in the Global Financial Center Index (GFCI). The pace of Fintech startup creation in the UAE is three times faster than other hubs in the region and the Fintech industry is estimated to grow up to USD 3 trillion by 2025. Abu Dhabi and the UAE government are strategically positioning themselves to lead the MENA region in this field,” said Ramesh Jagannathan, managing director of startAD and vice provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NYU Abu Dhabi.

As part of its mission to support and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE, this edition of the startAD Venture Launchpad sought to address some of the challenges faced by Fintech startups such as visibility, customer education and trust. The pace of Fintech startup creation in the UAE is almost three times faster than other hubs in the MENA. The volume of e-commerce is set to quadruple over five years with one in two bank customers are interested in new digital services fueling the opportunity further.

The startAD Fintech Venture Launchpad demo day was supported by the UAE Ministry of Economy along with startAD partners UAE Exchange, IBM and Abu Dhabi Global Markets.