StartAD is inviting innovating startups to apply for UAE’s first hardware Venture Launchpad, an immersive 10-day entrepreneurship program that’s going to be held at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD).

The Venture Launchpad program is specifically aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs to encourage them to develop a scalable, repeatable and capital efficient venture.

The program welcomes any early-stage hardware startup and is free of charge to the accepted companies. There will be a ‘demo’ day where finalists will be showcasing their startups to investors, corporate partners, media and the UAE startup community. Additionally, the finalists will win a prototyping grant, and will also be considered for investment and mentoring by startAD, and will have the amazing opportunity of traveling to Shenzhen, China, to get a first-hand experience at the hardware ecosystem.

Ramesh Jagannathan, Managing Director of startAD and Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NYUAD said: “There is growing interest in this programme. We look forward to making Abu Dhabi the centre for innovation in hardware and to helping startups graduating from the programme to create global impact.”

During the intensive training, the participants will increase their knowledge in the field of design thinking methodologies. Furthermore, they will also develop a market strategy and a financial plan, including valuation and funding. They will also exchange knowledge and best practices with peers from prototyping labs in China.

In addition to that, the young entrepreneurs can make use of the startAD lab, called AI Warsha, to build their prototype. The lab is very well-equipped with all the necessary 3D printers, laser cutters, PCB printers, and more!

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According to Erkki Aaltonen, the Executive Director of startAD, everyone with an idea can come up with an intelligent hardware as long as they have access to proper technology. He highlighted his lab was always open to innovative ideas which would diversify the UAE economy.

The program will be taking place from December 4th to 13th 2017, and the deadline is on November 15th, 2017. Interested startups can also sign up for information sessions about the program in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

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