Etihad to be airline partner for Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 to support tech start-ups

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The national airline of the UAE, Etihad Airways will partner with Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 to support tech start-ups by offering discounted travel rates and exploring aviation project opportunities.

Hub71 points out that Etihad will become Hub71’s official airline partner and will tap into the community of entrepreneurs to work on creative solutions, workshops, and community events, as well as offering mentorship opportunities.

Mr. Mohammed Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer of Etihad Aviation Group remarked that “Technology and innovation play a key role in supporting the restart of the aviation industry during the Covid pandemic. Etihad looks forward to working with Hub71’s global pool of innovators to actively source, support, and enable the rapid trial and production of promising solutions for the aviation industry”.

Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, created with $141.5 million from Abu Dhabi’s Ghadan 21 economic stimulus program, is home to 102 start-ups hailing from 20 different countries and continues to attract successful companies from around the world. About 44 percent of Hub71 startups are from the UAE while the US and the UK make up 11 percent each. Firms from Isreal, South Korea, Czech Republic, and Nigeria entered Abu Dhabi’s global tech start-up space in December 2020.

Hub71’s Chief Executive Officer Ms. Hanan Al Yafei remarked that “As the world prepares to open up, global connectivity will be vital for our growing community of start-up founders to be in a position to export their innovative products and services to new markets. The strategic partnership with Etihad will help grow technology-driven businesses that can sustain the aviation industry with bold new ideas and innovations.”

In 2020, Hub71 start-ups earned $50.4 million.

Abu Dhabi’s tech start-up space has built the community with support from funding and strategic partnership with Mubadala, SoftBank Vision Fund, Microsoft, and Abu Dhabi Global Market.

Through initiatives like Hub71, the UAE’s capital city is positioning itself as a technology hub, aiming to attract companies in sectors that are crucial to its development such as agricultural technology, health care, and renewable energy. The initiative is primarily concerned with projects that invest in innovative start-ups, develop strategic industries such as local manufacturing, attracting high-tech talent, and create a new job.

Related: ADGM RA, UAEU SIP join forces to enhance UAE’s startup ecosystem