Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem and national organiser of the Entrepreneurship World Cup 2020, EWC, has concluded its search for the best UAE-based start-ups by picking the top three: Pure Harvest, Key2Enable and Awecademy, as national winners from 128 applicants from across the seven emirates.
The start-ups ranged from ideation stage to more established growth-stage tech companies. The winners of “Team UAE” will represent the country at the Misk Global Forum between 18th and 20th October, 2020, at the global EWC Finals showdown.
Pure Harvest, Key2Enable and Awecademy all received US$100,000 each worth of in-kind prize awards. The global finalists who are selected from the EWC 100 (top 100 global start-ups) will receive an additional $700,000 of in-kind prizes, all worth $800,000.
The Entrepreneurship World Cup is the largest global initiative for entrepreneurs with entries from 200 countries across the globe, attracting more than 100,000 applicants at its inaugural competition in 2019. To qualify for the National Finals, 10 UAE-based start-ups were shortlisted from a wide range of sectors and stages including cleantech, agritech, edtech, big data and assistive tech, 30 percent of which were nationals.
EWC is hosted by the Misk Global Forum, Global Entrepreneurship Network and The Global Education and Leadership Foundation. It is supported by a range of global partners, including GSVlabs, TechCrunch, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, WebCongress and organisations running EWC National Finals on every continent.
The winners now have an opportunity to secure prizes including $1 million in cash, additional funding opportunities, access to accelerator programmes, resources, and in-kind prizes worth a combined $75 million-plus.
Ahmad Alwan, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Hub71, said, “All 10 shortlisted applicants have unique and innovative offerings and have built quality businesses. We hope to see these start-ups continue to grow, and we welcome them to join us within the Hub71 community to benefit from our network of mentors and global market opportunities.”
Sky Kurtz, Founder and CEO, Pure Harvest, said, “Our vision is to make premium quality, sustainably grown fresh fruits and vegetables available everywhere. We developed our tech-enabled agribusiness solutions right here in the UAE – tackling one of the harshest climates in the world.”
Raya Bidshahri, Founder and CEO, Awecademy, said, “Now more than ever, the world needs innovators to tackle emerging challenges and the EWC is doing an excellent job of showcasing these solutions. We are excited to use this opportunity to expand our partnerships and make a global impact.”
Jose Rubinger, Chief Commercial Officer and Co-founder, Key2Enable, said, “We are all responsible for the future of our planet, and it is very important that Key2enable will have the opportunity to represent the UAE because it shows that social impact start-ups are welcome in this kind of competition. We are here to enable People of Determination to thrive so, from now on, Key2enable will prove that sometimes the impossible, is possible.”
Team UAE start-ups are also automatically shortlisted for the Hub71 Incentive Programme, which offers 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 nearly AED3 million ($800,000).