UAE: Outliers challenge launched for tech startups to solve real world challenges

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, is conducting the second edition of the programme


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Tue 19 Jul 2022, 7:06 PM

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, launched the second edition of the annual Outliers programme, which is designed for tech startups worldwide to solve real challenges set by participating organisations in the public and private sectors.

Through the programme, startups will get an opportunity to solve business and operational challenges of leading corporate and government partners including Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi), Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), Thales, Aldar and Cars24.

There will be seven challenges from five partners including envisioning the future of tourism, enhancing patient journeys across healthcare facilities, developing integrated solutions for drone activity and redefining the automotive purchase journey.

This programme facilitates startup collaboration with major corporations and government departments across Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy, offering them the ability to respond with technology-led approaches that address their challenges.

Startups will have the opportunity to customise their product to support the organisation’s business objectives, develop commercial deals, and gain up to Dh100,000 in value to fund the development of their proof of concepts.

For the first time, a dedicated category has been created for unicorns to take part in the programme, with Cars24, an e-commerce platform for used vehicles valued at $1.84 billion joining this edition. Through its participation, Cars24 will be supporting Hub71’s innovation ecosystem and helping startups succeed.

“Beyond fundraising, startups also need to be able to secure commercially viable contracts and partnerships with the business community and government that are increasingly embracing entrepreneurial minds,” Elodie Robin-Guillerm, head of growth and strategy at Hub71, said.

Accelerating innovation

By participating in the Outliers, corporates and government entities are able to accelerate their corporate innovation efforts by capitalising on cutting edge technologies and impactful digital solutions, in turn accelerating their digital transformation.

“The Outliers programme responds to the demand for the public and private sectors to accelerate their digital transformation processes that increases efficiency and strengthens long-term competitiveness. This mutually beneficial programme is one of Hub71’s many initiatives that enables founders to create true impact and address pressing issues affecting strategically important sectors driving our economy.”

This year’s challenges seek to harness next-generation technologies including Web3 to help these organisations gain a competitive advantage and future-proof their operations.

The DCT is seeking to understand tourist behaviours while shopping or visiting attractions in Abu Dhabi as well as uncovering the future of tourism in the emirate.

The DoH is looking to use digital solutions to improve the patient journey and optimise resources. Addressing the cities of the future, Thales’ goal is to develop integrated solutions to manage drone activity.

Aldar is looking to promote the reduction and reuse of resources throughout the lifecycle of a real estate project. Cars24 is exploring unique payment solutions and the integration of digital platforms to redefine how consumers purchase cars.

Through an eight-week programme, successful startups work closely with each organisation to develop a viable proof of concept and customise their product to support the partner organisations’ commercial objectives. As part of accelerating startups’ potential to scale, the programme allows founders to further establish product-market fit. Hub71 fast-tracks successful startups to a range of its programmes, including the Flexible Incentive Programme and Value Add Programme.


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