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29 November 2023

Khalifa Fund and startAD announce winning project at Ibtikari Programme

Photo: WAM


The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, KFED, and startAD, the innovation and entrepreneurship platform at New York University Abu Dhabi, announced the winning project in the fifth edition of the Ibtikari Programme, which was launched last September and attracted entrepreneurs from a wide variety of fields.

The winning project was "Arabee", a fun, interactive, and comprehensive Arabic language programme, designed to teach Arabic to children aged 3 to 12 years of age. The winning team was one of five finalists selected after demonstrations of a range of innovative projects across fields, including technology, entertainment, education, and health.

Mouza Al Nasri, Acting CEO of the Khalifa Fund, said, "The Ibtikari Programme 5.0 has been a great success. We are already looking forward to projects and ideas being submitted for the sixth edition later this year."

"The Khalifa Fund and startAD exist to empower Emirati entrepreneurs and create a culture of entrepreneurship in the UAE, in line with the fund's strategy to boost the growth of start-ups and SMEs along with establishing an integrated entrepreneurship system that supports prosperity and innovation in Abu Dhabi and the UAE," she added.

Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NYUAD and Managing Director of startAD, Ramesh Jagannathan, said, "In the current cohort, we have a diverse group of technology start-ups such as SPL.Co, providing single platform software architecture management solutions, and Plexo Gaming, building a strong community of local gamers with the potential to go global, to sustainability-focused start-ups such as SCar, providing scalable sustainable mobility options on campuses, and Blanco with an innovative oral care range."

"In the last two years, we saw the graduation of 20 Emirati-founded start-ups, 10 of them successfully receiving grants from the Khalifa Fund. Three start-ups were showcased at the New York University global Entrepreneurship festival in New York. We look forward to supporting future cohorts to continue to develop a sustainable state of the technology solutions to regional and global needs," he said in conclusion.

The five-month Ibtikari Programme includes a series of sessions, workshops, and training programmes to foster the talent of participants and encourage innovative ideas and skills. The programme supports UAE citizens to develop and improve their technological skills, support emerging companies, and promote entrepreneurship in the UAE.