Forty-six startups from around the world have been selected from a list of over 1000 applications to form the next cohort at Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA), it was revealed today.
Taking up their places for the nine-week program at the DFA’s headquarters in Emirates Towers, entrepreneurs with cutting-edge technologies will be partnering with various government-run entities, including Dubai Police, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Etisalat, Emirates, and more.
“In total, we have 150 entrepreneurs this round, 30 different nationalities from 14 countries. Small startups are working along big multinationals such as IBM, Nokia, and LG. And our oldest participant is 70 years old. This is a truly international and diverse program,” says Vera Futorjanski, communications head at Dubai Future Foundation.
Run by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), DFA is a unique program, in that it is not an incubator but rather a platform for entrepreneurs to use the city as a living testbed to further develop their products and services and get them to that next level of solving global problems.
If successful, they might also win the opportunity to sign MoUs with the Dubai government.
“The program offers an ideal platform to forecast and plan for the future as it gathers the world’s brightest minds and most innovative companies to join hands with government and semi-government entities in the UAE,” Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Accelerators, tells Inc. Arabia.
“We are proud to see local companies among the participants; this underlines the great progress that the local tech scene has achieved, placing it on par with major global competitors.”
Here’s a look at some of the startups joining the program:
In The Spotlight: AI, Blockchain & IoT
Not surprisingly, quite a few AI, blockchain and cloud technology-focused startups have found their way into the mix, with the likes of, Micity a UAE-based startup that hopes to address citizens’ concerns in their routine interactions with government entities or large corporations. The technology aims to make these interactions cost-efficient, seamless, highly secure and — if it’s even possible — enjoyable, by harnessing the powers of the latest technologies including biometrics, IoT, AI and blockchain. Micity are working with the GDRFA (Dubai’s residency and immigration office)
Avanza Innovations (UAE)
Avanza Solutions is another software startup specializing in transaction processing, payment solutions and electronic delivery channels. The company has been servicing the financial and government sectors for the past 17 years. Attempting to demystify technologies such as blockchain, machine learning and cognitive platforms — the startup makes them accessible for everyday customer-centric use.
COMI-IoT Technologies is an artificial intelligence company. Our solutions serve the smart cities and traffic safety domains. These guys will be working with Dubai Police, who have shown their keenness for embracing future technology like robotics and autonomous vehicles in the past.
LendFlo is a Peer to Peer Invoice financing platform built on the Blockchain. The startup is attempting to solve the problem of cash flow by offering SME’s loans that are secured against unpaid invoices. In the process, they manage to be cheaper than some competitors by using Blockchain and machine learning.
EduChain Inc. (Canada)
Educhain is developing a blockchain infrastructure of trust for academic institutions, enabling seamless issuance and exchange of official digital records.
For the Humanitarians
This year, a special humanitarian accelerator program has been added to run alongside the main cohort. This inaugural program focuses on empowering refugees through education and employment opportunities.
Ustad Mobile (UAE)
On the humanitarian front, Ustad Mobile is an open source app designed from the ground up to work where others struggle. The app connects learners wirelessly with each other and to educational content, even when they are not connected to the Internet.
Another one for the Humanitarian accelerator is Lamsa, a leading Arabic-language Edutainment app, on a mission to spread the love of learning through engaging, fun and interactive stories, games and videos. They provide a safe and ad-free environment for kids aged 2 to 8 through local and international content that adheres to Arab values and culture.
Tembo Education (USA)
Tembo aims to transform early childhood education for the world by making high-quality education more accessible and affordable for millions of children worldwide. One of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs, Tembo educates 0-6 year old children, via text messages. Tembo sends one activity per day, to parents, via text messages.
The Future of Education
nexquare is an EdTech startup leveraging the power of new-age thinking and science of data to re-imagine education. The Dubai-based entrepreneurs believe that with rapid innovations in digital and artificial intelligence, conventional education management and delivery models will get disrupted. Working together with the KHDA, (Dubai’s knowledge and human development department) the startup hopes to be at the forefront of this disruption in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and wants to democratize the availability of these innovations to all, including marginalized communities.
Synkers is a peer-to-peer platform that connects students with highly qualified tutors on the spot.
Jaipuna is enabling the age of individualized education by creating the world’s first scalable private tutor which is available 24/7 and integrates into the classroom. Their AI tutor, Amy, works just like a human tutor and gives students specific feedback as they solve problems.
VR-AR Education (Hungary)
VA-AR Education is an educational platform that helps students understand those subjects, where 3D visualization matters – Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and a lot more.
And there are much more:
Tara AI (USA)
LG CNS (South Korea)
ENACT SYSTEMS INC. (USA)
Capsun Technologies (Spain)
Unified Inbox PTE. LTD. (Singapore)
OCO Global (UK)
Future Trends Group (China)
Afforest4Future NGO (Austria)
Christof Industries GmbH (Austria)
Doka Gulf FZE (Austria)
PenMyPlan Inc. (USA)
CerebralFix & Skilitics (New Zealand)
CyberSponse, Inc. (USA)
SecurityMatters (The Netherlands)