Corporate Sprint Accelerator

The startAD Corporate Sprint Accelerator is a corporate innovation program and a market access accelerator for global startups aimed at bringing cutting-edge technology innovation to the UAE. 

It offers tangible growth opportunities, access to strong networks, and validates global tech startups for entry into the UAE market through pilot projects with leading industry players in the region. The Corporate Sprint Accelerator also upskills regional corporate leaders in building collaboration with global startups and implementing innovative and sustainable technologies through pilot projects.

Since its inception in September 2017, the startAD CSA has accelerated more than 120 startups, resulting in 60 pilots and $80 m in funding raised.

Corporate Sprint Accelerator 8 (CSA 8)

The 8th edition of startAD’s Corporate Sprint Accelerator, in partnership with Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Institute, is a 4-week virtual accelerator for seed-stage fintech startups looking to enter in the UAE market.

The accelerator immerses startups in robust local customer discovery and validation activities through a combination of training, mentorship, 1-1 partner meetings, and investor pitches. Within 4 weeks, global seed stage startups are equipped to pilot solutions with industry leaders, while corporates are enabled to innovate with startups disrupting their core businesses.

The fast-paced program will include two key phases:

  • Pre-program phase (10 weeks): Startup recruitment, interviews and assessment.
  • On-program phase (4 weeks): Training, coaching, expert panel sessions, corporate startup meetings and mentoring of 8-10 global fintech startups

The program will culminate in a high-calibre market access day and an investor demo day on November 25th, 2021 in which the participating startups will have the opportunity to pitch to regional industry leaders and investors for business and investment opportunities.


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Program partners

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Focus Areas


A blockchain is a type of database. To be able to understand blockchain, it helps to first understand what a database actually is.

Storage Structure

One key difference between a typical database and a blockchain is the way the data is structured. A blockchain collects information together in groups, also known as blocks, that hold sets of information.


For the purpose of understanding blockchain, it is instructive to view it in the context of how it has been implemented by Bitcoin. Like a database, Bitcoin needs a collection of computers to store its blockchain. For Bitcoin, this blockchain is just a specific type of database that stores every Bitcoin transaction ever made. In Bitcoin’s case, and unlike most databases, these computers are not all under one roof, and each computer or group of computers is operated by a unique individual or group of individuals.

Why Apply?

Get trained by leading global technical and industry experts on ‘Scaling in the UAE through pilots and partnerships’, and ‘Investment readiness and pitching’

Become investor ready with pitching and fundraising training

Secure opportunities to explore pilots with leading corporations and have the opportunity to pitch to an investor panel during a high-calibre market access and investor event on Nov 25th, 2021

Get inducted into the startAD, the Abu Dhabi based global startup accelerator at NYU Abu Dhabi and receive alumni benefits





Who should Apply?

Fintech startups that

Have a suitable team size (minimum 4) with the capability to dedicate resources to the program

Are raising pre-seed or seed rounds

Are generating revenue or have conducted at least one pilot initial market traction

Have ambitions to enter the UAE/MENA market

Highlights from previous cohorts

112 startups from 24 countries
Pilots Secured: 50+
Funding Raised: $45 Million
Revenue Generated: $15 million
Job created: 230

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Trainers From

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