Ma’an, startAD sign 3-year deal to develop startup ecosystem in Abu Dhabi

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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The Authority of Social Contribution, Ma’an has signed a three-year agreement with startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, to foster Abu Dhabi as the global hub for social innovation and entrepreneurship.

The partnership will feature six editions of the social incubator, an Academic Advisory Board involving faculty members and experts to enhance intellectual leadership in social innovation, Research Fellowships studying specific local focus areas, and annual Social Impact Symposiums that will convene thought leaders and enable tangible knowledge sharing.

The partnership was signed by His Excellency Faisal Al Hamoudi, Executive Director for Social Incubator and Contracting at Ma’an and Mr. Ramesh Jagannathan, Managing Director of startAD and Associate Dean of Engineering at NYU Abu Dhabi, in the presence of H.E Salama Al Ameemi, Director-General of the Authority of Social Contribution Ma’an and Mr. John Tate, the CEO of Tamkeen, at The Exchange, the flagship social innovation platform by Ma’an.

The sixth cycle of Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI) program, themed ‘Entrepreneurship for Social Good’, aims to empower and equip social entrepreneurs in the financial literacy and education technology (EdTech) sectors, and with a focus on women entrepreneurs, was launched at the program.

Faisal Al Hamoudi
Faisal Al Hamoudi
Executive Director
Social Incubator & Contracting

“With our sixth incubator program, Ma’an is attracting impactful and purpose-driven start-ups and entrepreneurs who have developed innovative and scalable solutions or ideas. Our focal areas of financial literacy and EdTech for the sixth cohort are emerging sectors with the potential to reap socio-economic benefits and deliver sustained economic growth. In parallel, we are enriching the entrepreneurial landscape in Abu Dhabi, along with our strategic partner startAD, to reinforce the emirate’s position as a global center for social innovation.”

The social incubator program intends to support early-stage social startups to develop high-impact solutions and scale sustainable businesses that benefit society. It is open to startups with a robust social mission to revolutionize education through technology, improve financial awareness, simplify investments, or optimize personal finance habits.

Startups with existing solutions that meet the selection criteria will be shortlisted by Ma’an to undergo a 90-day training program to transform their solutions into viable and sustainable social ventures.

Related: Saudi’s MISA, PIF-backed Jada team up to foster startup ecosystem