On 6 October 2020, the Abu Dhabi government kicked off a series of webinars to rival some of the best TED Talks in business. Focusing on the work being done by the city’s global tech ecosystem, Hub71, the series explores how the UAE capital is creating new market opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs and startups looking for new funding and networking.
Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO at Hub71, said: “The Abu Dhabi Decoded series demonstrates the commitment that our leaders from top positions in the government and private sector to driving forward Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, and it emphasises the importance we place on collaboration between public and private entities to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s economic appeal to global markets.
“Abu Dhabi is going through a major digital transformation that will shape the future of our economy, and as the capital’s global tech ecosystem, we have made it a priority to display the value we can bring to ambitious startups and investors seeking to succeed in a future-focused market.
Over four sessions, the people who helped create Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem will share what the capital is doing to attract the most innovative tech startups to the country and exactly how they’re supporting them through Hub71’s Incentive Program.
The first session was moderated by Lubna Bouza, editor-in-chief of business news at Sky News Arabia, and the topic was, “Public-private partnerships and cross-collaboration opportunities for global tech startups with large corporate”.
The panellists at the event were:
- E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Hub71 and Khalifa Fund
- E. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises
- E. Faisal Al Bannai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, EDGE
- Talal al Dhiyabi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties
- Sayed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft
All the panellists shared their commitment to not only attracting the best entrepreneurial minds and tech talent to the region, but in helping them scale by providing mentorships, reduced fees for insurance and housing, access to capital and acceleration programmes and introductions to titans of industry via real, meaningful networking.
H.E. Al Falasi summed up the spirit of the webinar best when he said: “The Abu Dhabi government itself is an entrepreneur of sorts, and it’s our job to help create the kind of society where that mindset can flourish. If you go to any kids’ class, the first question is, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and we think maybe they’ll say a doctor or a lawyer.
“But ultimately, we want the concept of the entrepreneur to be so well-developed and supported here that my own son or daughter knows they can do whatever they work hard at and believe in. Maybe it’s that I would love to create a company that would help my autistic child could be fully integrated into, or I want to create the next huge startup in gaming. It has to be so embedded that the sky is the limit.”
The series continues with Abu Dhabi Decoded #3 in late January and the final instalment in Feb/March 2021.