Event Analysis Fintech Middle East & Africa Partnerships Trending

ADGM Partners With Corporate Champions To Improve the Innovation Challenge at Fintech Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, is pleased to launch the fifth edition of the Innovation Challenge. Hosted as part of Fintech Abu Dhabi, the MENA region’s largest Fintech festival, the Innovation Challenge is ADGM’s flagship initiative, held to develop innovative solutions to specific financial services challenges to enable a diverse, sustainable and competitive economy. Additionally, it has also announced that 90 of the world’s most innovative Fintech startups have been confirmed to join the festival. 

ADGM’s fifth edition of the Innovation Challenge

This year, ADGM is partnering with Corporate Champions from the financial, corporate and government sectors to develop specific challenge statements for the Innovation Challenge, wherein successful Fintech applicants will have the opportunity to work alongside these entities to develop innovative solutions to these issues. The Corporate Champions include Emirates NBD, Etihad Credit Insurance, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Pearl Data Direct, The Saudi British Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

The ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) will also sponsor a challenge statement on Suptech, which refers to the use of innovative technology by regulatory agencies, to develop a solution that allows real time oversight of client capital and investments.

Applications will be assessed against the key criteria of how well the solution addresses the challenge, the maturity and scalability of the solution, and how the solution might be deployed in the UAE. Shortlisted Fintechs will be invited to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges at Fintech Abu Dhabi 2021, to be held from 22-24 November 2021.

Winners will go on to work with Corporate Champions to develop proofs-of-concept (PoC) and test their solutions using the ADGM Digital Lab, with the potential to earn commercial contracts. They will be eligible to win attractive prizes sponsored by the Corporate Champions, as well as stipend payments from ADGM.

ADGM would like to invite Fintechs to put forward their solutions to the proposed challenge statements by signing up to the ADGM Digital Lab. The ADGM Digital Lab is a digital sandbox and marketplace, supported by the Government of Abu Dhabi accelerator programme, Ghadan 21, which enables open collaboration and innovation by bringing Fintechs, financial institutions, and regulators together to drive digital transformation. Leveraging smart digital tools to generate synthetic data and simulate core banking operating systems, financial institutions can replicate a testing environment in the Digital Lab and invite Fintechs and regulators to run PoCs that can eventually be brought into production.

“The FSRA is excited to launch the Fintech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge by using the ADGM Digital Lab to host innovative solutions and foster collaborative partnerships between Fintechs and corporate institutions, transforming the financial services industry at a time when digitalisation has become the key to success.” said Mr. Emmanuel Givanakis, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM.

The 2020 edition of the Fintech Abu Dhabi Festival featured an action-packed agenda that brought together more than 150 top speakers, 10 Fintech unicorns and 100 of the world’s most promising Fintechs. The event attracted over 20,000 live participants, watching virtually from over 100 countries across the globe.

Fintech Startups confirmed to join the Festival

Held from June to October 2021, the Search for the most innovative fintechs covers more than 50 countries to scout for the world’s best Fintech startups, through a series of competitive pitching competitions.

The winners of each stop join the illustrious ranks of the Fintech 100, and will showcase their solutions and meet potential investors at ADGM’s hybrid Festival.

“It has been exciting to witness first-hand the high calibre of Fintech talent at each of the Search stops thus far. We look forward to connecting Abu Dhabi with various Fintech hubs across the world, and uncovering even more cutting-edge Fintech startups, who will all convene in Abu Dhabi in November as part of the Fintech Abu Dhabi Festival.” said Givanakis.

Thus far, the Search has visited 30 countries and regions: the UAE, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Australia, China and Hong Kong, Southern and Eastern Africa, the United Kingdom, Central Europe and North America, with upcoming stops in South America, followed by India, the Nordic Region, ASEAN region, MENA region, Israel, Turkey, before finishing in Italy, during G20 Summit week.


29 of the winning Fintech startups selected through these stops are: YAP, FinFlx, Lucidpay, Owlin, We.Vestr, Silverflow, InvestSuiteBfore.ai, Greenomy, Insha GmbH, Nect, Saffe, Avertro, Unhedged, Vcex, Privé technologies, Covergo, Emata, Lami, HUBX, Intellibonds, Regtick, Rise,Taurus, eWarren, Franc, Motito, JustWallet and upSWOT.

Some of the biggest names in world finance have spoken at each tour stop, including the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the founders of Unicorn tech startups Mambu, WeLab and Zip Co, Chairmen and CEO’s of some of the world’s biggest fintech corporations, including New York Stock Exchange and ICE Chairman Jeff Sprecher, Finastra CEO Simon Paris and Network International Chairman Ron Kalifa, and SkyBridge Capital Founder Anthony Scaramucci.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

Related posts

Digital Loan One Box Solution Launched at Huawei Connect 2020

Gina Clarke

Money20/20 Las Vegas: Wealthfront’s Freemium Tool Shows How Robo-Advisors Can Capture Market Share from Incumbents

Manisha Patel

Royal Park Partners: The 5 Mistakes Made by Fintech Start-up’s and How to Avoid Them

Polly Jean Harrison