Anjal Z and Techstars are Looking to Partner with Early Childhood Innovators

Oct 03, 2022

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), today announced the launch and opening of applications for the Anjal Z Techstars Founder Catalyst Program - Enabling the world’s early childhood innovators to dream bigger.

The Anjal Z Techstars Founder Catalyst Program powered by the Early Childhood Authority will be run both virtually and in-person. Based in Abu Dhabi, the program invites EdTech, HealthTech and other startups focused on early childhood development from around the world, whether they are early-stage or growth-startups to participate in this 10-week Founder Catalyst program. The aim of the program is to instill innovation in early childhood development, by empowering global startups to localize solutions that address critical ECD challenges across Abu Dhabi and the UAE. 

The parameters of the program focus on key areas important to the ECA, including Health & Nutrition, Child Protection, Family Support with this year’s cohort having a specific focus on Early Care & Education and the overall improvement of early childhood development from prenatal stage to the age of eight. 

The program will take place between January 2023 and March 2023 and provide up to 20 startups with valuable masterclasses, mentorship, community and will also provide founders access to Techstars’ worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors and aims to ignite the critically important local and global ecosystem of innovative early childhood development startups. 

Of the 20 selected startups who are chosen to participate in the online program, some founders will be invited to take part in an all-expenses paid (in-person between ~20 February and ~17 March) expansion and localization program in Abu Dhabi.

The startups chosen to join the in-person program will gain access to one of the Middle East’s largest economic hubs and receive the support needed to launch operations within the region. The program will provide a unique and bespoke journey to each of the selected startups, facilitating mentorships from leading industry-specific experts and up to $170,000 of equity-free grants to support localization efforts through a strategic partnership formed with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office. Applications for eligible startups are now open and will close on 21 November 2022.

Global ​​startups of are encouraged to apply now: 


Through this partnership we are excited to play a role of identifying amazing founders and helping them to develop and soft land their businesses into this thriving region.” said Techstars Senior Director, Oko Davaasuren.

Past Techstars Founder Catalyst programs have resulted in hundreds of business and investor connections and seeded countless relationships between participants and mentors. By providing introductions to world-class resources and education, Techstars helps participants dramatically increase their chances of success. The tools, insights and strategies Techstars offers through its programs and services are based on the experience of operating nearly 54 accelerator programs around the world–and having accelerated more than 3000 companies to date. Collectively, the Techstars portfolio has raised more than $23.8 billion from investors and is worth more than $147 billion today.

Techstars Program Manager, Zoe Evans said “This is such an amazing opportunity for global startups.  We look forward to providing a program that will enable founders to take their innovative solutions to the next level, whilst bringing value and impact to our partner, ECA and the wider region.”

“The Anjal Z program has evolved and we are excited to welcome and empower a new batch of startups that are passionate and equipped to disrupt the early childhood space. We are especially looking to attract innovations that are linked to early education and fresh ways of learning in a post-covid world.” said Dr. Yousef Al Hammadi, Executive Director of Knowledge & Impact at the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority. 

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) is a government entity, based in Abu Dhabi, that supports holistic early childhood development. They do this by developing policies and laws, informing decision-making through research and transforming behavior. The ECA is committed to the highest standards and puts young children at the heart of all it does. 

“Through programmes like Anjal Z, Abu Dhabi is integrating innovation into the local education sector to deliver globally scalable results. A new group of startups now has the opportunity to leverage the Abu Dhabi ecosystem to find breakthrough solutions to early childhood development challenges.” said Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General of ADIO.

The ECA aims to strengthen the child protection system from prevention to rehabilitation, enhance support for parents and primary caregivers, create an Early Childhood Development policy and legislation ecosystem, develop a comprehensive human capital strategy, create systems and platforms to drive excellence and innovation, develop a comprehensive research ecosystem and create a widespread public engagement strategy.

Founders interested in joining the Anjal Z Techstars Founder Catalyst program should apply here today or contact