Hub71, the global technology ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, announced the winners of the “Outliers” challenge, who succeeded in addressing the challenges identified by Hub71 partners from companies and government institutions.
Talents from more than 40 countries participated in the inaugural edition of Outliers, an annual initiative that connects entrepreneurs with companies and government agencies to advance innovation and address challenges facing the sector. Each startup will receive cash grants of up to 100,000 dirhams to finance the development of its concepts that will address the challenges of the most prominent companies and government partners in Abu Dhabi.
Hub71 launched the program to facilitate market access for entrepreneurs around the world to address challenges identified by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways, Mashreq Bank, MasterCard and Thales. Each challenge targeted startups whose products have proven to be marketable. Six challenges were identified and 7 startups were selected to build and develop their concepts. Each will work with its partners to develop and bring to market their Hub71 technology products.
ADCB has set out a challenge to develop an AI-based prediction engine that optimizes recommendations for customers based on their individual preferences. With this in mind, UAE-based company, Genify, which specializes in artificial intelligence solutions targeting banks, developed an advanced recommendation engine and prepared a detailed implementation plan that led to its selection from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Health has resorted to human ingenuity and advanced technologies to limit the spread of infectious diseases. The department selected Alliance Care Technologies in the UAE, which provides analytical and production tools to hospitals, clinicians and patients in order to enhance quality, efficiency and patient outcomes. The startup will implement an S3 ACT solution that includes early pathogen detection, encrypted and anonymized patient data mining, pattern recognition and AI-based predictive analytics.
Etihad Airways has looked at ways to manage and expand its acceptance of different forms of payment in the markets it serves. The aim is to provide guests with continued flexibility in choosing their preferred payment method when booking tickets and purchasing services. The carrier chose BridgerPay, a smart payment platform from Cyprus that focuses on connecting merchants and payment service providers through artificial intelligence technology.
Mashreq also selected two winning companies in the challenge of becoming a Value Added Services Partner, Zoko and Letswork. India’s Zoko makes it easy for online merchants to conduct sales, marketing and customer support using WhatsApp. The startup has since joined forces with Hub71 to take advantage of its new flexible incentives. The bank also chose Letswork, a startup focused on the future of co-working spaces.
In 2020, Mastercard pledged $250 million and committed to connecting 50 million small and medium-sized businesses globally to the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, it launched the Mastercard Middle East and Africa SME Confidence Index. MasterCard chose SEDRA, a company that provides advanced payment and software solutions to enterprises that simplify their services using blockchain technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics and data science.
Thales asked the startups to develop a voice-activated, hands-free chatbot to guide experts during radar maintenance procedures. It chose AR Engineering, a UAE-based company that provides interactive augmented reality, virtual, mixed and extended reality solutions to improve the user experience. Hub71 and its partners at GITEX Future Stars showcased the winning startups, highlighting their innovative solutions that will be developed to tackle each challenge.
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