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Innovative Startups Invited to Hub71’s Latest Program to Tackle ‘Real Global Problems’

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has launched the second edition of The Outliers Program, bringing together leading corporate and government partners including Aldar, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) and Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), and Thales to present business and operational challenges for tech startups to solve.

The Outliers is Hub71’s annual program designed for tech startups worldwide to solve real challenges set by participating organisations in the public and private sectors. The Outliers facilitates startup collaboration with major corporations and government departments across Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy, offering founders the ability to respond with technology-led approaches that address their challenges.

Startups will have the opportunity to customise their product to support the organisation’s business objectives, develop commercial deals, and gain up to AED 100,000  in value to fund the development of their POC.

The second edition of The Outliers features seven challenges from five leading organisations, including Aldar, DCT, DoH and Thales. For the first time, a dedicated category has been created for unicorns to take part in The Outliers program, with Cars24, an e-commerce platform for used vehicles valued at $1.84billion joining this edition.

Through its participation, Cars24 will be supporting Hub71’s innovation ecosystem and helping startups succeed. By participating in The Outliers, corporates and government entities are able to accelerate their corporate innovation efforts by capitalising on cutting edge technologies and impactful digital solutions, in turn accelerating their digital transformation.

This year’s challenges seek to harness next-generation technologies including Web3 to help these organisations gain a competitive advantage and future-proof their operations. DCT is seeking to understand tourist behaviours while shopping or visiting attractions in Abu Dhabi as well as uncovering the future of tourism in the emirate.

Meanwhile, DoH is looking to use digital solutions to improve the patient journey and optimise resources. Addressing the cities of the future, Thales’ goal is to develop integrated solutions to manage drone activity. Meanwhile Aldar is looking to promote the reduction and reuse of resources throughout the lifecycle of a real estate project. While Cars24, is exploring unique payment solutions and the integration of digital platforms to redefine how consumers purchase cars.

Elodie Robin-Guillerm, head of growth and strategy at Hub71, said: “Beyond fundraising, startups also need to be able to secure commercially viable contracts and partnerships with the business community and government that are increasingly embracing entrepreneurial minds.

The Outliers program responds to the demand for the public and private sectors to accelerate their digital transformation processes that increase efficiency and strengthens long-term competitiveness. This mutually beneficial program is one of Hub71’s many initiatives that enables founders to create true impact and address pressing issues affecting strategically important sectors driving our economy.”

The Outliers Challenges – 2022

With the advancements of Web3 technologies including AI, IoT, and wearable devices, DCT, which is presenting two challenges this year, is seeking to utilise advanced technologies and the most efficient solution to better understand tourist behaviours while visiting attractions or shopping in Abu Dhabi to help inform future marketing campaigns. Similarly, DCT is focused on using Web3 technologies to uncover what the future of tourism could look like in Abu Dhabi.

In healthcare, DoH is looking to reduce waiting times across its healthcare facilities and enhance patient flow. Ultimately, DoH is seeking ways to reduce operational costs without compromising the quality of care that Abu Dhabi’s healthcare system has been renowned for. The solution would improve the patient experience within its healthcare facilities, regardless of the form of care patients are seeking.

Thales, the global technology organisation is investing in digital and ‘deeptech’ – big data, artificial intelligence, connectivity, cybersecurity and quantum technology. The company aims to engage startups to develop a consolidated low airspace and urban air mobility system dedicated to the safety of drones and the identification of threats. Through digital platforms that ensure real time global integration, Thales aims to address future security issues around the increased adoption of drones in cities.

Aldar, a master developer of integrated, livable, and thriving communities across Abu Dhabi’s most desirable destinations, wants to implement strong design solutions that solve problems for its customers and for the community with sustainability at the core. By participating in The Outliers, Aldar is seeking ways to support the reduction and reuse of resources throughout the lifecycle of a project from design to construction that minimises waste resources.

Finally, Cars24 is exploring developing a seamless customer experience by making the customer pay just once for the entire cart value and divide payments across multiple partners in real-time. The unicorn is looking for ways to use digital platforms to sell a car without a test drive and eliminating the need for a test drive during the process of purchasing a car.

Through an eight-week program, successful startups work closely with each organisation to develop a viable POC and customise their product to support the partner organisations’ commercial objectives. As part of accelerating startups’ potential to scale, the program also allows founders to further establish product-market fit. Hub71 also fast-tracks successful startups to a range of its programs, including the Flexible Incentive Program and Value Add Program.


  • 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.

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