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Abu Dhabi's Hub71 appoints new CEO, selects 11 new global startups

Staff Report/Abu Dhabi
Filed on July 13, 2020 | Last updated on July 13, 2020 at 01.58 pm
New Hub71 CEO Hanan Harhara Al Yafei has a strong track record of leading teams and initiatives across multiple sectors.

(Supplied photo)

Firms to receive non-equity subsidies including 100% free housing, office space and health insurance for 2 years

Hub71, Abu Dhabi's global tech ecosystem based in Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, on Monday announced the appointment of its new CEO while also revealing the latest startups to have been selected for the Hub71 Incentive Program's second cohort of the year.

New CEO Hanan Harhara Al Yafei will be joining from Mubadala where she was an executive director. She has a strong track record of leading teams and initiatives across multiple sectors including technology, with expertise in building successful organisational structures.

"I am delighted to take on this role at an exciting moment for Hub71 and for the wider technology, start-up and investment community within Abu Dhabi. Since its launch, the ecosystem has grown into something truly special, attracting incredible companies, building new skills and networks, and growing businesses in a wide range of sectors. The potential of the startups and of Hub71 is limitless and I join a brilliant team making this vision a reality," Al Yafei said in a statement.

"As we begin this exciting journey together, I'd like to commend my new colleagues and the global startups that form our close-knit Hub71 community," she added.

"It is their hard work, resilience and dedication that has made the entire community stronger. Though the last few months have been tough for all businesses and SMEs particularly, Hub71 has been a safe space that has proactively helped its startups navigate the difficult market conditions. As our founder-centric community expands, we celebrate our diversity as a global tech ecosystem with founders from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. Finally, to the eleven startups that have been selected for the Q2 2020 cohort; congratulations and kudos to you and your teams. As members of the Abu Dhabi tech community, your success is our success and we endeavor to support you in your global ventures from this point onwards."

Select group

The eleven startups come from all over the world, including Bahrain-founded Tarabut Gateway, the first and largest regulated open banking platform that connects a regional network of banks and fintechs via a universal application programming interface; UAE-based Arabee, an Emirati award-winning educational language app that teaches young minds to listen, speak, read and write Arabic with ease; Lebanon-founded Mint Basil Market, an AI-enabled health and wellness online platform; and US-based Scanalytics, a global leader in the Internet of Things and sensors which transforms physical spaces like convention halls into smart and responsive environments using predictive consumer behaviour analytics a data-science.

The tech ecosystem, which opened its doors in March 2019, has selected over 60 global startups for the Hub71 Incentive Program to-date. Twenty-one per cent of the startups at Hub71 are led by female leaders and there are over 33 different founder nationalities based in the tech ecosystem.

Scanalytics founder and CEO Joe Scanlin said"We have been most impressed with the real estate and digital infrastructure in the UAE - from the 5G networks to the UAE's appetite for new technology and innovative ideas. Using Abu Dhabi as our base, my team and I will take this opportunity to explore new markets in Europe as well as hire tech talent from the top universities in the UAE."

Vanessa Zuabi, CEO and co-founder of Mint Basil Market, added: "Coming from Lebanon to the UAE, Abu Dhabi is the perfect launch pad for our health and wellness business, as there's much better market access to the entire GCC. Not only is it easier to import a wider range of products, there are more discerning consumers for B2C startups like ours. Being a tech platform, it's also important for us to be able to hire great talent - and hiring data scientists from or attracting them to the UAE is much easier than anywhere else in the Middle East."

Startups selected for the Hub71 Incentive Program receive non-equity subsidies including 100 per cent free housing, office space and health insurance for two years for seed companies and 50 per cent subsidies for three years for emergent companies, worth up to Dh3 million ($800,000) per startup.


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