Aldar Invites Tech Startups to Apply To Scale up Programme As Shift to Web 3.0 Accelerates Globally

Press release
Published December 8th, 2021 - 06:15 GMT
Aldar Invites Tech Startups to Apply To Scale up Programme As Shift to Web 3.0 Accelerates Globally
Maan Al Awlaqi, Executive Director, Strategy and Transformation.
Highlights
 Aldar Properties (‘Aldar’) has today launched the second cycle of Scale Up

 Aldar Properties (‘Aldar’) has today launched the second cycle of Scale Up, the company’s equity-free accelerator programme that provides a gateway for tech startups from around the world to access the UAE market with tangible opportunities to grow their businesses through real estate pilot projects with Aldar and Dubai-based strategic partner Majid Al Futtaim Communities. Developed in partnership with startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global startup accelerator, powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, the program invites startups to submit their applications by February 5, 2022.

In recognition of the accelerated shift towards Web 3.0, the second edition of Scale Up will become one of the UAE’s first programmes to attract international startups with technologies that have the potential to shape the open metaverse. The programme is specifically focused on start-ups with the capabilities and desire to reimagine the future of the real estate industry in more efficient, secure and experiential ways through blockchain and NFT applications, artificial intelligence-powered data analytics, and customer experience gamechangers like virtual reality. Entrants should demonstrate a track record of piloting with corporates of a similar nature as Aldar, with series A or B rounds of funding already raised and have sufficient ability to scale their businesses.

The Scale Up programme will run virtually over a four-month period. The initial phases of Scale Up will see startups interviewed and assessed before 10 applicants are accepted into the 4-week sprint accelerator, where they will receive the skills, tools, and connections to grow in to the UAE Market. All accepted startups will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to a selection committee. Up to three startups will be selected for pilot projects with Aldar and up to two startups will be selected for pilots with Majid Al Futtaim Communities. The winners will also receive subsidised accommodation at Aldar properties throughout the duration of the pilot projects and all programme participants will benefit from introductions to global investors through a strong network of investment partners and funds

The programme will tap into the growing PropTech sector globally, with the number of companies tripling over the past ten years and attracting $9.7 billion in funding in the first half of 2021 alone, according to JLL’s 2021 Global PropTech Report. 

Commenting on the Aldar Scale Up Programme, Maan Al Awlaqi, Executive Director, Strategy and Transformation, Aldar Properties, said: "The digital transformation of the real estate sector has rapidly accelerated and will continue to evolve at pace with the emergence of Web 3.0 and the movement towards an open metaverse. Not only will this impact how real estate is designed and built, but most significantly it will enable operators to reimagine their assets in a more innovative and customer centric way. The Aldar Scale Up programme seeks to bring the best of these solutions to the UAE and help participants scale their ventures, grow their networks, and access a large pool of investors, capital, and expert mentorship.”

Ramesh Jagannathan, Managing Director of startAD said: “The UAE has emerged among the top five best places to live and work globally. The country's commitment to innovation has driven high standards in quality of life through infrastructure, security, healthcare, education, mobility and sustainability. We invite cutting-edge global tech startups to partner with Aldar and startAD to redefine the future of this space, by implementing solutions that enable efficiency, affordability, security, and sustainability."

The first edition of Aldar Scale Up received more than 200 applications from 31 countries and only recently concluded. Three emerging European businesses were awarded pilot projects with Aldar, in line with Europe’s emergence as the fastest-growing major region by venture capital investment. According to a report by Dealroom, Europe is outpacing both the US and China with startup funds growing by almost three times year on year to €49 billion in the first six months of 2021.

Already, one of the pilots is ready to launch with a Scale Up winner, Metrikus which is a UK-based startup offering property software solutions through an innovative platform, with focus on operational efficiencies, estate optimisation, and indoor air quality. The project will see Metrikus use its proprietary platform to monitor the indoor air quality at three Aldar retail and residential assets, Yas Mall, Eastern Mangroves and The Bridges. The system will evaluate air quality in real time and offer immediate actions for improvement to help maintain a healthy indoor environment.

Following the success of the first edition of Scale Up, Aldar welcomes Majid Al Futtaim Communities to the programme as a strategic partner.

“The global startup landscape is fast emerging, with countries like the UAE taking the lead in creating vibrant and financially sustainable startup ecosystems. Spearheading as an innovation hub for accelerators and incubators, the UAE has been attracting entrepreneurs from across the globe, cultivating a startup culture, and harnessing homegrown talent. At Majid Al Futtaim Communities we aim to support entrepreneurs in their ambitions to pave the way for future innovation. We are excited to collaborate with Aldar, making entrepreneurship more accessible through the already successful Scale Up programme. As a partner, we aim to support startups from all over the globe and facilitate their market entry to the UAE, bringing new opportunities to the sector”, said Matteo Aliberti, Director, Digital Transformation, Majid Al Futtaim Communities.

Aldar Scale Up Programme is the latest effort by Aldar to support the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy. The company has developed a framework to drive forward innovative practices, with a focus on three strategic areas: corporate innovation, incubation programmes for startups in complementary sectors, and investment in new tech-enabled businesses. As part of this strategy, Aldar continues to establish and support a number of incubators and programmes to promote innovation and foster emerging tech concepts and young talent across the region. One of Aldar’s main innovation programmes alongside Scale Up is Manassah, a platform for homegrown UAE businesses which has incubated more than 40 startups and SME projects over the last two years. The portfolio includes tech startups, SMEs, and youth startup concepts from the UAE.

Background Information

Aldar Properties

Aldar Properties PJSC, is the leading real estate developer in Abu Dhabi, and through its iconic developments, it is one of the most well known in the United Arab Emirates, and wider Middle East region.

From its beginnings in 2005 through to today, Aldar continues to shape and enhance the urban fabric of the UAE’s Capital City in addition to other key areas of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

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