August 11th, 2020
By Vijay Tirathrai, Managing Director of the Techstars Hub71 Accelerator
We recently completed a very successful inaugural year of the Techstars Hub71 Accelerator with 10 international startups. Check out our recent online Demo Day here and learn more about how, with our partner Hub71, we helped the companies grow, raise funds, hire new employees, and expand into new markets.
We are now accepting applications for our 2021 program and looking for 10 startups that are ready to change the world for the better.
Despite the current economic situation, we are doubling down on our efforts and our commitment to founders is unwavering. Our 2021 program will continue to invest in companies at $120,000 USD per startup, with added program benefits amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars..
The Techstars Hub71 Accelerator's investment focus is broad based. We continue to look for companies focused in the following sectors: AgTech, Ecommerce, EdTech, Fintech, Healthtech, and PropTech. Companies that are on a mission to disrupt on a global scale by using Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Deep Analytics, Machine Learning or Robotics in a significant way, are also very appealing to us. We are bullish on emerging markets within the Middle East region and beyond and are interested in entrepreneurs with strong execution skills from all over the world who create a better environment through sustainable solutions for all global citizens.
It would be remiss to not mention the impact of COVID-19 which has upended the world we live in today. In spite of the hardships that this global pandemic has presented, it has also created new opportunities for innovation. Changing the way we work, trade, supply, source, consume and live; and we will all continue to evolve rapidly as economies and business transformation accelerates. Technologies that are impactful, offering sustainable and circular economy solutions that deliver on 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals will have significant advantages that have never been more important to us.
I believe entrepreneurs see opportunities during crises and help to create a better world. At Techstars, we are interested in working with a class of founders that represent the world’s diversity. Our program is open to all citizens of the world who have the vision to leverage Techstars and the Abu Dhabi ecosystem for access to talent, markets and investors. If you're passionate about your idea, committed to your mission, excited about your vision, and wish to partner with the best-in-class seed stage investor to scale your company globally, then come work with us.
The first year of the Techstars Hub71 Accelerator program was a huge success with our class of 2020. Nonetheless, we are striving to raise the bar and provide the best possible environment for our founders. Thanks to our strategic partnership with Hub71, we are able to provide even more mentors and exciting piloting opportunities for our 2021 class.
Hub71’s partners and strategic partners, such as Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), ALDAR, and Mubadala Investment Company, a major sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi; provides exclusive access to capital, market access, talent and innovation collaboration that will create new business opportunities for the companies selected for the next class. Mubadala for instance, has strategic investments in over 15 sectors across 60 countries, including Aerospace, Agribusiness, Capital, Healthcare, Healthcare, ICT, Metals & Minings, Real Estate & Infrastructure, Petroleum and Petrochemicals, Pharmaceuticals & Medical Technology, Renewals Semiconductors, and Utilities.
Our partner, Hub71, offers an attractive incentive program for seed stage companies which includes 100% non-equity subsidies for housing, healthcare, and office space in WeWork x Hub71, a brand new work space located at ADGM Square on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi - ideal for companies looking to expand into the Middle East. This is where our accelerator program is based.
If you choose to operate from Abu Dhabi, one can easily obtain a cost competitive tech license from Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), an established international financial center. Techstars readily invests in ADGM companies, an internationally recognizable jurisdiction.
Furthermore, Hub71 is the flagship initiative of the AED 50 billion Ghandan 21 Programme driven by the Abu Dhabi government. The raft of initiatives already launched is set to transform and accelerate the growth of Abu Dhabi’s future.
The Middle East is rapidly transforming its economies with plenty of opportunities for startups. The venture capital and startup ecosystem is seeing a significant increase in investment activities as published in this MENA Funding in 2020 report. And we’re only just beginning!
Applications are now open through to October 11, 2020 and we invite you to apply. Once offers are made by December 1st, 2020, we will welcome the 10 selected companies to ‘Class of 2021’ on January 10, 2021.
Meanwhile, we are available for virtual ‘ask-me-anything’ events, webinars with alumni companies, meet the mentors, and our corporate partner, Hub71. We will also be hosting live events, meetings and office hours across different cities. Stay tuned for more information. For further announcements, follow me on LinkedIn.
During office hours, either in-person or virtually, we will meet the founding teams for 15-minute sessions. We want to learn more about you and give you the opportunity to ask us about the program. Before you meet us, we highly recommend reading our FAQs to learn more about Techstars accelerators and checking out our program website. We also highly recommend visiting our application FAQ, which provides helpful guidance for a great application.
Come prepared with an elevator pitch, a team presentation, and your thoughts on why you want to join our program. Best of Luck.
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