Hub71 launches Microsoft Reactor Programme
348 startups from across the world applied to the Hub71 Incentive Programme, 20 per cent of which are led by Emirati nationals and 37 per cent of startups are female-led companies.
Hub71 launched the region's first Microsoft Reactor programme on Monday expandeing its ecosystem to 35 innovative startups with the announcement of 17 winners of the Hub71 Incentive Package.
Hub71's Microsoft Reactor programme will be a centre for technical learning and knowledge-sharing where developers and startup founders can connect with the local community.
The programme will provide a curriculum to help these professionals strengthen expertise around emerging topics such as cloud services and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This comprehensive programme 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.
Hub71 is now supporting 35 innovative startups with up to 100 per cent free housing, office space and health insurance for two years for seed companies and 50 per cent subsidy for emergent companies, for three years, worth around Dh3.5million ($950k).
Ibrahim Ajami, head of ventures at Mubadala Capital, said: "The 17 winning startups joining Hub71 will make waves across multiple industries, adding diversity to Abu Dhabi's tech economy from around the world and creating new jobs in the Emirate. To further support the success of Hub71's community of innovative startups, we're pleased to welcome the Microsoft Reactor programme to Hub71; providing new skills and enabling companies to materialise their best innovations yet."
Hub71, which opened its programme to the public last October, received 348 applications from 47 countries - with the UAE, USA, Lebanon, India and Egypt forming the top five countries. 41 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.
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."
Startups that applied to the programme were predominately in the sectors of Fintech, AI and e-commerce, with 72 per cent of applicants in the 'seed' stage - having raised $100k to 1 million and 28 per cent of applicants in the 'emergent' stage - having raised $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 $60 million in capital, and to double their full-time employees.
Hub7 Incentive Programme 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."
Hub71 reopened the Hub71 Incentive Programme and will remain open all year-round. Andrey Maksimov, Co-Founder and CEO of Precious Payload, which will be admitted into the Hub71 Incentive Programme, 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 recognised leader in space technology. Moreover, the Hub71 Incentive Programme 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." - firstname.lastname@example.org
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