OurCrowd to set up a Global AI Innovation Center, UAE among leading candidates

Dubai - OurCrowd offers access to its membership of 80,000 individual accredited and institutional investors.


Sandhya D'Mello

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Dr Hasanat Dewan.
Dr Hasanat Dewan.

Published: Wed 10 Mar 2021, 10:12 AM

Last updated: Wed 10 Mar 2021, 10:20 AM

OurCrowd, the leading venture investing platform and Israel’s most active venture investor is planning to set up a Global AI Innovation Center and the UAE is among the leading candidates.

“We are assembling a Global AI Ecosystem Advisory Board to assist us in sharing the benefits of OurCrowd’s AI innovation with multiple stakeholders. We are analysing the best place to base our next-generation innovation team and we will announce our decision shortly,” OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said.

The platform also announced the appointment of Dr Hasanat Dewan as chief innovation officer, who will oversee the development and deployment of OurCrowd’s strategic next-generation platform, supporting a broad-based network of stakeholders and enabling investors unprecedented access to venture capital and other private markets.

Dewan has served in senior technology executive roles for major global financial institutions including E*TRADE Financial Corp., BNY Mellon, Russell Investments Group, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley. He will oversee the development and application of innovative processes, tools, and technology to support the growth of OurCrowd’s business. He will spearhead deep data analytics and AI projects to create differentiated products, services, and platforms intended to provide a unique value proposition for clients, investors, partners, and stakeholders.

“OurCrowd’s vision of developing a next-generation AI-driven capability, to advance its mission of providing broad access to the global VC investment market via a high-value fintech platform is compelling,” Dr. Dewan said.

“OurCrowd’s goals of sharing these benefits with the broader global AI ecosystem and creating an impact on multiple facets of the global stakeholder network is a major part of what attracted me to join the OurCrowd family.”

OurCrowd is a global venture investment platform that empowers institutions and individuals to invest and engage in emerging companies. With $1.5 billion of committed funding, and investments in more than 240 portfolio companies and 25 venture funds, OurCrowd offers access to its membership of 80,000 individual accredited and institutional investors, family offices, and venture capital partners from over 195 countries to invest alongside, at the same terms.

UAE Digital Transformation Agenda

The scope and depth of the UAE digital transformation agenda is clearly impressive. It covers a broad space like government policy, administrative processes, smart cities, cyber safety and security, AI, Data, robotics, blockchain and crypto, advanced computing technologies, advanced transportation, advanced mobile technologies (5G and beyond), IoT and so on. Each area is supported by relevant policies, goals, and initiatives with a strong focus on UAE society and government rapidly adopting a digital-first mindset, explains Dewan.

“Direct Government support and Public Private Partnerships to develop infrastructure, ecosystems, training, and education in a coordinated manner appear to be working very well. The establishment of Abu Dhabi-based ADGM and its various authorities has attracted companies in the digital asset space (Cryptos). The Abu Dhabi Hub71 tech ecosystem has been a major attractor for digital startups across industries and has been growing at a very rapid pace.”

Dewan intends to help expand the OurCrowd business and develop next generation AI-enabled fintech platform leveraging the unique confluence of growth factors already available in the UAE ecosystem.

In terms of the core business OurCrowd will expand geographical reach in UAE, GCC, South and South East Asia, and East Africa. “We look forward to establishing strategic Partnerships throughout the region, diversifying the investor base, increasing addressable market, and launching a comprehensive program of business development,” said Dewan.

“We also anticipate our work to be generally value-accretive for the local ecosystem in the UAE through the promotion and support for collaboration and exchange across digital and AI enterprises as well as Government related entities. Our vision is global, but we will execute locally with a robust Emiratisation plan supporting our vision. We also intend to release certain aspects of our next generation platform in a “As a Service” model, that can benefit many other fintech businesses within the ecosystem. We believe, in aggregate, our roadmap will have a positive impact on the digital ecosystem and particularly the AI ecosystem in the UAE.”

— sandhya@khaleejtimes.com

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