startAD and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development revealed eight startups across a range of sectors and industries that have been shortlisted for the fourth edition of Ibtikari (My Innovation). Taking place until 31 March 2019, Ibtikari will provide five from the eight startups an intensive six-month incubator at startAD, the accelerator and entrepreneurship hub anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi and powered by Tamkeen.
The startups include Artelus, an artificial intelligence company that seeks to bring healthcare to roughly one billion people around the world who lack access to basic services; DirectSchool, a scalable mobile app that aims to provide children with safe transport to and from schools; Jamaliki, an online platform that provides access to beauty services throughout the Middle East region; and Meet the Locals, a social tourism startup that will connect tourists with Emiratis.
Also among the eight apps are ReHome, an app that provides people of determination with smart solutions and renovations in their homes; Solarino Energy Solutions, which provides homeowners, renters, and businesses equal access to solar energy; Malena, the first mobile application for booking cosmetic and dental surgeries; and Vendors, which helps local businesses sell online by providing them with necessary tools.
Now in its fourth edition, Ibtikari has a new structure that includes three distinct phases: mentorship, network introductions, and investment readiness.
The participating teams will attend a series of training sessions and one-on-one meetings with Ibtikari’s mentors. The program will then facilitate introductions to key corporate partners, prospective clients, and experts in the industry locally and in New York City 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 criteria.
The program’s third phase will focus on investment readiness evaluation; startAD’s investment advisors will schedule regular meetings with the 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 the program.
Ibtikari is one of Khalifa Fund’s core initiatives supported by startAD, which aspires to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE and enable the development of technology startups in emerging and significant local industriessuch as energy, aviation, logistics, fintech, and smart transportation.