The UAE’s aviation start-ups are attracting billions of dollars of investment and show no signs of slowing down thanks to a recently-launched accelerator programme in Abu Dhabi.
That’s according to those behind the Hub71 initiative, who claim that the country’s aviation sector is worth $47.4 billion, approximately 13% of the UAE’s GDP.
Gothams, in partnership with Starburst, is an early-stage aviation accelerator in the Middle East and launched its accelerator programme, Hub71, in September.
The Gothams Hub71 programme received 99 applicants globally, of which only four start-ups were chosen: Natilus, Red Crow Intelligence, Precious Payload and EarthX.
All four are now making plans to move to Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, making it their regional base.
Ahmad Alwan, head of strategy and corporate development, Hub71, said: “We’re extremely proud to see global startups of this caliber choose Abu Dhabi as their launchpad for regional expansion. It validates us as a tech ecosystem providing global startups access to top investors and industry players.
“These founders are here to find the best engineers and secure smart funding to enable them to dream big. With our partner Gothams, we aim to nurture and attract more like-minded individuals in order to create value in, and for Abu Dhabi; and the UAE as a whole.”
The 12-week accelerator programme included 150 hours of direct mentorship from 25 local and global mentors and a series of deep-dives into the global aerospace and defense industry.
The startups were also taught about tactics for selling globally, building a funding roadmap and were introduced to leading industry partners in Abu Dhabi.
The program culminated to an invite-only Pitch Day attended by potential investors, industry giants and senior Abu Dhabi government representatives.
Jon Gruen, Program Director of Gothams Accelerator said: “Abu Dhabi is the perfect test-bed for innovation and Hub71 is a game-changer for these startups. With a growing appetite for innovation and new ideas, Abu Dhabi’s leading aerospace and space agencies have showed to be flexible in its regulatory policies; conducive for innovative startups.
“We’re confident that many of these startups will remain in Abu Dhabi and go on to form successful deals and partnerships with leading players in the market.”