Thursday , 5 December 2019

Four aviation startups set up base in Abu Dhabi

Natilus, Red Crow Intelligence, Precious Payload and EarthX are now making plans to move to Abu Dhabi’s Hub71

Four startups from the US, UK, Palestine and Russia have chosen Abu Dhabi as base for the Emirate’s innovation-led mindset and Hub71’s supportive startup ecosystem.

The UAE is making headlines with startups from around the world for having one of the largest markets in the world for aerospace, defense and space with investments in space technologies exceeding $5.4 billion and an $47.4 billion aviation sector, which is approximately 13.3 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Gothams, in partnership with Starburst, is the only early-stage aerospace, space and defense accelerator in the Middle East and helps ambitious innovative companies define the future.

Gothams opened up its accelerator programme in September 2019 at Hub71, an expanding tech hub with 18 startups from across all sectors from around the world, working in partnership with enablers to create an impact on Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation. The Gothams Hub71 program received 99 applicants globally, of which only four startups were chosen: Natilus, Red Crow Intelligence, Precious Payload and EarthX.

All four startups are now making plans to move to Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, making it their regional base; bringing a significant proportion of their engineering and technical team to the Emirate.

Ahmad Alwan, head of strategy & corporate development, Hub71, said: “We’re extremely proud to see global startups of this caliber choose Abu Dhabi as their launchpad for regional expansion. It validates us as a tech ecosystem providing global startups access to top investors and industry players. These founders are here to find the best engineers and secure smart funding to enable them to dream big. With our partner Gothams, we aim to nurture and attract more like-minded individuals in order to create value in, and for Abu Dhabi; and the UAE as a whole.”

Natilus – A US startup with a turnkey autonomous cargo aircraft that will disrupt the airfreight industry, reducing global air freight costs by 50% through the use of large autonomous drones. Their drones use 25-35% less fuel than traditional air freight planes.

Red Crow Intelligence – a Palestinian startup which provides precise targeted tactical intelligence in real-time to mitigate security risks by utilizing open source technology to collect, verify and analyse data in time-critical situations in the Arab region.

Precious Payload – a Russian startup that help teams planning to launch a satellite guiding you through all the steps required to get your payload to orbit.

EarthX – a UK startup which collect vasts amount of data to help you visualize the earth in a Geostory. GeoStories are cinematic narratives that bring data and layers to life.

The 12-week accelerator programme included 150 hours of direct mentorship from 25 local and global mentors and a series of deep-dives into the global aerospace and defense industry. The startups were also taught about tactics for selling globally, building a funding roadmap and were introduced to leading industry partners in Abu Dhabi. The programme culminated to an invite-only Pitch Day attended by potential investors, industry giants and senior Abu Dhabi government representatives.

Jon Gruen, program director of Gothams Accelerator, says: “Abu Dhabi is the perfect test-bed for innovation and Hub71 is a game-changer for these startups.

With a growing appetite for innovation and new ideas, Abu Dhabi’s leading aerospace and space agencies have showed to be flexible in its regulatory policies; conducive for innovative startups. We’re confident that many of these startups will remain in Abu Dhabi and go on to form successful deals and partnerships with leading players in the market.”

This partnership comes weeks after Mubadala Capital’s ventures arm announced two new Mena funds with a combined worth of $250 million, further catalysing Abu Dhabi as a regional hub for the world’s best tech talent and high-impact tech companies. Mubadala Ventures committed $120,000 to each startup as part of the Gothams, Starburst, Hub71 Accelerator Program offering.

Hub71 also recently launched its first round of applications to the public for the Hub71 Incentive Program, which offers non-equity incentives such as subsidised housing, office space and healthcare for startups and scale-ups. Hub71 will be announcing the recipients of the Hub71 Incentive Program on December 5

About Marc Mcilhone

Marc Mcilhone
Marc Mcilhone is ArabBrains' Editor - sourcing news and features content and overseeing the work of the site’s contributors. Marc’s work is informed by his technical background in architecture having worked for some of the UK’s leading practices on projects within the education, healthcare and housing sectors. Marc has a particular interest in how innovators are creating sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives. Please email press releases and news to: editor@arabbrains.com

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