startAD, in collaboration with Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), has opened the entries for Ibtikari 5.0, an intensive five-month incubation program aimed at helping UAE nationals advance their tech startups. The program is anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi and the deadline to apply is September 5, 2019. All interested candidates can registration here.
The program will commence on September 22, 2019 and conclude during UAE Innovation Month in February 2020. Six finalists will receive grants from KFED worth AED 10,000, whereas one team will win a grant of AED 25,000. Startups will also potentially be considered for further funding by KFED and startAD.
To qualify, startups must be technology-enabled and have early traction in the market with existing customers, pilot projects, or partnerships with stakeholders. In addition, the founding team should have at least one UAE national and a minimum of two fully committed team members.
Ibtikari will train participants to scale their businesses, secure pilot projects with local corporations, and become investment-ready. The program will include a five-day bootcamp in September and a two-day bootcamp in November.
Six out of the twelve teams will then be accepted into the incubation program, which will comprise a series of customized training sessions, workshops, and one-on-one meetings with Ibtikari mentors. The program will also facilitate introductions to key corporate partners, prospective clients, and experts in the industry locally and globally to help startups expand their networks and advance their businesses.
Ibtikari received over a hundred applications last year; notable alumni include Malena App, DirectSchool, Homz, and Meet the Locals.