Wednesday July 17th, 2024
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StartAD's AI Venture Launchpad Is Calling for Seed-Stage AI and IoT Startups

The Abu Dhabi-based platform will select 15 to 20 startups focused on AI and IoT startups from around the globe. Applications close on August 30th.

Staff Writer

StartAD, the innovation and entrepreneurship platform anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, has opened applications for its inaugural Artificial Intelligence (AI) Venture Launchpad. A range of 15 to 20 startups will participate in the Launchpad's first cycle. The applications are now open until August 30th for regional as well as international startups. 

The AI Venture Launchpad, a 10-day sprint accelerator open to seed stage AI and Internet of Things (IoT) startups, helps participants develop a scalable, repeatable, and capital efficient venture. A series of training and mentorship sessions will take place as part of the programme, along with investor roundtables, pitches, interviews, local customer discovery, and validation activities. Startups will also be trained to develop robust go-to-market strategies. Selected teams are required to attend the full duration of the accelerator.

"The UAE, home to significant global industries such as aviation, energy, shipping, transportation, and finance, has a distinct opportunity to be at the forefront of AI growth. Disruptive Innovation creates products and services for which the market does not yet exist," says Ramesh Jagannathan, NYU Abu Dhabi Research Professor of Engineering, Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and startAD Managing Director. "AI and machine learning, in addition to disrupting the market, are unsettling the way our society would live with the onset of the second machine age."

This programme is tailored for teams disrupting industries in fintech, insurance technology, regulatory technology, airport operations, predictive maintenance, fuel efficiency, and enterprise solutions through AI with Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, Search, and Data Analytics are encouraged to apply.

Launching on September 30th, the programme is held in partnership with Etihad Aviation Group, a diversified global aviation and travel, UAE Exchange, the leading global Money Transfer, Foreign Exchange and payment solutions brand, and Abu Dhabi Global Market, the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi. On the latter's part, Executive Director for Capital Markets Wai Lum Kwok says that AI Venture Launchpad's approach dovetails well with ADGM’s innovation platforms and ongoing efforts to support the needs of the business community through digital innovation, and to promote growth, inclusion and efficiency in the financial services industry. 

"The aviation industry has relied on various forms of AI for decades, but with recent advancements in computing power, its potential to add value across the sector is unprecedented," says CEO of Etihad Airways, Peter Baumgartner. "Combined with big data and machine learning, AI could be used to increase flight path efficiency by reading wind forecasts, optimize aircraft maintenance, and enhance airport operations, to name just a few examples. This is our second time taking part in startAD’s Venture Launchpad programme, and we look forward to working with startups to explore innovative applications of AI in the aviation and travel space."

"It is fascinating to see how rapidly AI has evolved and matured, with its application and benefits now cutting across industries and functional domains," says Promoth Manghat Executive Director of Finablr and Chief Executive Officer of UAE Exchange Group. "As an early adopter, we are already leveraging AI and Machine Learning Solutions to enhance customer experience and to automate back office operations. In line with our vision of fostering technology-driven innovative solutions, we believe this inaugural AI accelerator programme will take the lead in stimulating innovation in AI in the region."

Teams have until August 30 to apply through startAD’s website where 15 to 20 startups will be chosen to participate in the accelerator.


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