KIC paves the way for ambitious startups through its virtual bootcamp

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Khalifa Innovation Centre (KIC) has announced that a total of 24 participants from 8 startups have entered the Virtual Innovation-Based Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

The initiative aims to grow technical creativity in these start-ups and utilize it for a commercial purpose that can attract potential funding.

KIC is a joint project of the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Tawazun, Mubadala Investment Company and Sandooq Al Watan.

All of the participating ventures have sound technology, but they face ‘startup’ obstacles. Like any startup, they need either a full team, or capital, or a partner that can provide co-development project support.

These services are provided by KIC which is a creative incubation centre located at Khalifa University.

The eight start-ups demonstrated their entrepreneurial ideas during the five-day ‘Lab-to-Market’ bootcamp.

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Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi
Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science & Technology.

“The intense participation and the technologies that were showcased at KIC’s Lab-to-Market bootcamp illustrate the extent of youth involvement in launching science and engineering startups. These transformative ideas also reflect their awareness of the latest technology trends and their enthusiasm for bringing into existence promising concepts with potential commercial applications, in line with the Innovation Strategy of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

The 24 attendees, representing eight science/engineering start-up ventures in the fields of electronics, communications, energy, healthcare, water and robotics outlined their proposals to the panelists, who provided them with valuable guidance on how to transform their concepts into viable products.

The five-day KIC Virtual Innovation-Based Entrepreneurship Bootcamp enabled participants to grasp the innovative aspects involved with their products, to validate the technology through active proof-of-concept and demonstration experiments, to build viable market strategies, to establish a stable financial system and to be able pitch the technology to prospective investors.

Each day of the bootcamp focused on one key area, with the first day underlining ‘Mindset Change and Ideas Evaluation and Scoping,’ which helped participants to clearly identify the problem and the solution that their technology can provide.

The second day incorporated elements of ‘Intellectual Property and Market Landscape’ to help participants recognize know-how tools, future stakeholders and customers, as well as rivals linked to their innovations.

Over the following days, participants engaged in hands-on experiments to develop effective ways to identify new attributes related to their technology solutions, to build effective prototypes and proof-of-concepts to test their ideas and to develop more immersive and practical business models.

On the closing day, the camp focussed on ‘Let Us Think Startup’ where the teams worked together to finalize their startup’s identity and to prepare a brief presentation.

The bootcamp, which was held at the KIC premises, was headed by Dr Sami Bashir, Director, Technology Management and Innovation Office, Khalifa University.