What is the NextGen Incubator?

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The startAD NextGen Incubator is the 4th edition of the flagship Youth Entrepreneurship Program of startAD. This virtual program activates university students of the UAE to take advantage of the favorable entrepreneurial environment in the region, and equips them with future-ready social, digital, entrepreneurial and business skills that spark curiosity, enhance employability, and encourage innovation. This program is for young innovators in the UAE passionate about developing tech-enabled solutions for some of the greatest global challenges outlined in UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals – primarily Waste Management, Quality Education, Climate Action and Good Health & Well-being.

Program Partners

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Focus Areas

Climate Action

Startup ideas to make transport clean and green, increase use of sustainable materials, improve energy efficiency, or reduced carbon emissions.

Quality Education

Startup ideas to advance hybrid learning, education for sustainable development and increased access.

Responsible Consumption & Production

Ideas for Etihad Airways to address their waste management challenges in recycling, composting and landfill management.

Good Health & Well Being

Startup ideas related to digital therapeutics, remote healthcare delivery models, improved patient outcomes and experiences, and healthcare data management.

Who can apply?

  • UAE residents of any nationality between the ages of 18-29 interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. University students in all fields of study are encouraged to apply
  • With a startup idea or project aiming to digitize the challenge areas of Education, Economy, Infrastructure, Society. These could include projects or concepts you may have built as a part of your university courses, hackathons, or competitions. However, the challenge is not limited to projects with prior experience or entrepreneurial training. New ideas are welcome!
  • Teams are preferred than individual applicants. To derive maximum value from the program, we recommend you have people with different strengths on the team.  For instance, a mix of complementary skills of business, engineering, marketing, etc would make for a strong team.

Why Apply?

  • Develop your innovation through an entrepreneurial, challenge-based process this summer while being  trained by the best local and global entrepreneurship experts
  • Gain the skills, training, and tools to kick-start any venture. Learn ideation, human-centered and design thinking processes, and problem-solving
  • Win cash prizes of up to AED 8,000 each
  • Secure opportunities to further advance your projects through training, mentorship, and coaching with startAD’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program
  • Access. Leverage opportunities to grow and connect with like-minded peers, and stakeholders in the comprehensive ADEK and startAD network.


  •  Applications Open

    March 31, 2021

  •  Information Session

    April 28, 2021

  •  Application Deadline

    May 15, 2021

  •  Bootcamp

    June 4-5, 2021

    Customer Discovery & Idea Validation

  •  Workshops

    June 7 – July 12, 2021

    Prototyping, Business Model Canvas, Go-to-market strategy, Team Building

  •  Startup Showcase Day

    June 7 – July 12, 2021

Highlights from Previous Cohorts

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SatSure startup wins $10,000 at startAD’s construction focused Venture Launchpad

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Synx, an AI startup that automates machine learning, secures a paid pilot with Etihad

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Abu Dhabi’s Hardware Venture Launchpad sets winning start-ups on their way

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