startAD Invites UAE’s Young Innovators to Join Fourth Edition of Flagship Entrepreneurship Program

Previous edition of the NextGen Incubator.

NextGen Incubator Cohort 4 is designed for university students in the UAE passionate about developing tech-enabled solutions for global challenges outlined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Press Release

startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based startup accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, announced that applications are now open for the NextGen Incubator Cohort 4. Taking place from June to July 2021, the virtual program has been developed in partnership with Etihad Airways, Sandooq Al Watan, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and EEDAMA. It is open to UAE university students between  the ages of 18-25 who are passionate about developing tech-enabled solutions for global challenges outlined in the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals

Through a rigorous training program including skill-building workshops, mentorship, and network access, accepted teams will acquire the skills and tools to develop their project into a startup with a business model that is scalable, repeatable, and capital-efficient.The program will take advantage of the region’s favorable entrepreneurial environment, and equip students with future-ready social, digital, entrepreneurial, and business skills that spark curiosity, enhance employability, and encourage innovation. 

Five startups with outstanding solutions for responsible consumption and production, quality education, climate action, good health, and wellbeing can win prizes worth USD 33,000. Projects by UAE nationals will have the chance to win the National Impact Award, a USD 10,000 prize offered by Sandooq Al Watan. Startups addressing waste management will qualify for the Etihad Challenge and stand to win return business class tickets to any destination served by the Etihad Greenliner, as well as the opportunity to test and validate their technology through a pilot project on Etihad’s Ecoflights. In addition, the top teams will win prizes worth USD 5,000 from GGGI. Market-ready projects will also benefit from introductions with program partners. The deadline to apply for the program is May 15.


“Innovation is a crucial pillar of the UAE’s transition into a knowledge economy. Regional governments can unlock more than USD2 trillion in economic growth and create more than one million jobs by 2030 by promoting sustainability through national policies. For the fourth consecutive year, we are joining forces with our valuable partners to equip tomorrow’s leaders with the skills and tools that will support them into realising their ideas and projects into thriving businesses while contributing towards a better and more sustainable and prosperous future for all.”

Managing Director of startAD also Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship at NYUAD Ramesh Jagannathan

To date, the program has advanced 300 youth entrepreneurs from 30 universities and five emirates in the UAE. Many of these entrepreneurs have gone on to incorporate their businesses and secure significant local and international projects with leading UAE corporations. 

For more information on the program and how to apply please visit this page.

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.