ADIO to collaborate with Microsoft, Plug and Play to aid startup ecosystem in Abu Dhabi

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Abu Dhabi
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Abu Dhabi’s state-backed investment company Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is collaborating individually with American companies Microsoft and Plug and Play on a range of initiatives to provide founders and entrepreneurs with tools and services.

Abu Dhabi has developed an encouraging, talent-rich business environment to aid innovative startups to succeed in the emirate, ranking 12th worldwide in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Subnational Report 2020. To continue advancing the Abu Dhabi innovation ecosystem, ADIO will provide strategic funding for key ventures that benefit early-stage, growth-driven companies through its collaborations with Microsoft and Plug and Play.

H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi
H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi
Director General – ADIO

“Abu Dhabi has fostered an environment where startups can access the means and opportunities to help them bring bold ideas to life. We are committed to deepening our support for investors and innovators in 2021 and have partnered with leading startup enablers and accelerators from around the world to provide the community with greater access to financing, networks, and mentorship. As the global economy looks to the future, Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem is well-positioned as the region’s foremost investment destination for big thinkers to realize their ambitions.”

ADIO is partnering with Microsoft to initiate a series of ‘Microsoft for Startups’ projects that offer technology, Azure cloud services, business support tools, and skills development programs aimed at accelerating start-up growth opportunities. Under the deal, the tech giant will manage several programs over five years, to support the regional technology startup ecosystem.

Sayed Hashish, General Manager of Microsoft UAE said, “Startups play a vital role in driving the next wave of innovation and accelerating economic growth. Abu Dhabi has become a promising launchpad for startups to bring their ideas to life and scale globally. Our strategic partnership with ADIO speaks to Microsoft’s commitment as a global technology partner to enable budding entrepreneurs to develop, scale, and build transformational businesses with innovative technology, empowering them to achieve more.”

Plug and Play, an innovation platform that brings together top startups and the world’s largest corporations and government entities, currently runs accelerator programs in the Middle East from the emirate’s international financial center, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

ADIO is collaborating with Plug and Play to support two of its current accelerator programs, focusing on FinTech and HealthTech, as well as to introduce an additional accelerator program for the third sector that will be functional within the first half of 2021.

Saeed Amidi, CEO, and Founder of Plug and Play said, “Plug and Play is proud to partner with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to continue supporting exceptional tech startups and talent to grow across the UAE and GCC. Through ADIO’s support and our growing network of partnerships with the most future-forward major private and public sector entities, we are confident to attain our GCC vision of a unified, seamless and sustainable marketplace for the best B2B startup solutions to start and scale.”

In addition to the Microsoft and Plug and Play collaborations, ADIO works with partners such as ADGM, Hub71, ADQ, and Mubadala to continue the expansion of the innovation ecosystem of the emirate.