Hub71 launches region’s first Microsoft Reactor program and welcomes 17 new startups selected from 47 countries
· As part of Hub71’s expanding tech ecosystem, the Microsoft Reactor program will be a center for technical learning and knowledge-sharing for developers and startup professionals.
· 348 startups from across the world applied to the Hub71 Incentive Program, 20 per cent of which are led by Emirati nationals and 37 per cent of startups are female-led companies.
· Startups that applied were predominantly in Fintech, Artificial Intelligence and E-commerce. Top five countries to apply were the UAE, USA, Lebanon, India and Egypt.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem today launched the region’s first Microsoft Reactor program as it further expanded its ecosystem to 35 innovative startups with the announcement of 17 winners of the Hub71 Incentive Package.
As part of its strategic partnership with Microsoft, Hub71’s Microsoft Reactor program will be a center for technical learning and knowledge sharing where developers and startup founders can connect with the local community. The Microsoft Reactor program will provide a curriculum to help these professionals increase their expertise around emerging topics such as cloud services and AI. This comprehensive program is available to Hub71 residents and the broader community free of charge. Microsoft for Startups will also operate out of Hub71, which is designed to support startups as they build and scale their companies.
With the announcement of 17 new winners of the Hub71 Incentives Program, Hub71 is now supporting 35 innovative startups with free housing, office space and health insurance for two years for seed companies with subsidies for emergent companies for three years, worth around AED 3.5 million (USD $950k).
Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures at Mubadala, said: “The 17 winning startups joining Hub71 will make waves across multiple industries, adding diversity of Abu Dhabi’s tech economy. To further support the success of Hub71’s community of innovative startups, we’re pleased to welcome the Microsoft Reactor program to the tech hub; providing new skills and enabling companies to materialize their best innovations yet.”
Jeana Jorgensen, General Manager, Cloud and AI Division at Microsoft, said: “Built to support the Gulf’s unprecedented rate of digital transformation, we are thrilled to open a Microsoft Reactor within Hub71. The concentration of globally minded startups, investors and industry, represents an enormous opportunity. We believe bringing these elements together with Mubadala and Hub71 will be a catalyst for the region.”
Hub71, which opened its program to the public last October, received 348 applications from 47 countries, with the UAE, USA, Lebanon, India and Egypt forming the top five countries. Over 40 per cent of applicants said they would move their teams to Abu Dhabi if they were selected, validating the emirate’s position as a regional tech hub.
Startups that applied to the Hub71 Incentives Program were predominately in the sectors of Fintech, Artificial Intelligence and E-commerce with 72 per cent of applicants in the ‘seed’ stage, having raised USD 100k to 1 million and 28 per cent of applicants in the ‘emergent’ stage, having raised USD 1-5 million. Of the startups that applied, 20 per cent are led by Emirati nationals and 37 per cent are female-led companies. Collectively, the 17 winning startups look to raise approximately USD 60 million in capital, and to double their full-time employees.
Hub7 Incentive Program winner and Emirati founder and CEO, Mustafa Almusawa Alhashemi, commented: “We are overjoyed to have been selected for the Hub71 Incentive Program. We look forward to bringing our team here to Hub71. We feel it’s the right place, at the right time to build Smart Navigation System; as we believe Abu Dhabi is set to become the leading global tech hub in the not-too-distant future.”
Andrey Maksimov, Co-Founder and CEO of Precious Payload, which will be admitted into the Hub71 Incentive Program, said: “For us, being a startup in the space technology industry, it is crucial to have a safe and open environment to operate in. Abu Dhabi makes perfect sense for us as we consolidate our non-US business in emerging markets and take our business to the next level. Thanks to Hub71, we now have a headquarters in a strategic location, close to our customers and in a country that is a recognized leader in space technology. Moreover, the Hub71 Incentive Program allows us to offer our core team free housing and health insurance so that we can focus on growing our business and building the next product.”
Hub71 has now reopened the Hub71 Incentive Program and reports that it will remain open all year-round. To apply for the Hub71 Incentives Program and to find more information about ways to join Hub71, visit www.hub71.com.
To register for the first Microsoft Reactor open house, click here: https://www.meetup.com/Microsoft-Reactor-Abu-Dhabi.