Supported by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Global Green Growth Institute, Beyond the Pitch seeks to offer guidance and innovation opportunities to the next generation of UAE’s startup entrepreneurs who look to address themes aligned with the priorities of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Economy. Open to youth in the UAE between the ages of 18 – 25, the program offered teams training and mentorship over the past nine weeks aimed at enhancing their entrepreneurial skills and enabling them to build an efficient and scalable business model.
The Startup Showcase was held on April 16 in Abu Dhabi and attended by UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. 12 teams (out of an original 16) pitched their ideas in front of a panel of judges, and 3 teams were awarded prizes based on best pitch, best business model, and most improved team. The majority of participants found GGGI’s involvement in the program “extremely relevant” and scored 4.3 /5 based on a pool of 27 respondents out of 32 that regularly attended the sessions.
One of the teams (Cycled) has been granted a trial run for their recycling bins at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Center and they will now incorporate their business. Another positive outcome was NYU’s request to continue the partnership into next year’s edition with GGGI and the Ministry.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said “We are very pleased to support this initiative in its second year. We believe that the future lies in the hands of entrepreneurs who are environmentally conscious and who always think of building a sustainable tomorrow.”
StartAD Director Robyn Brazzil added: “Beyond the Pitch is a manifestation of startAD’s mission to support UAE’s 2021 vision of ‘nurturing and supporting a new class of entrepreneurs’ among citizens and residents of the UAE. Creating the right initiatives to harness the entrepreneurship potential of our youth is an important step in making this vision a reality. We see a lot of students who have amazing technology-enabled projects winning hackathons, innovation challenges and producing amazing research. However, once they win this recognition at an idea or early-prototype stage, there is no follow-on support. These high- potential ideas remain unaddressed because of a lack of customized mentoring and training”.
Mohammed Angawi, GGGI’s Acting UAE Country Representative commented: “The private sector is a critical component in identifying opportunities for sustainability and climate action, and programs like Beyond the Pitch are a great way to support startups and encourage innovation and viable green businesses. The teams in this year’s program have shown great deal of enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication and we are very proud to have been a partner to startAD throughout the process.”
Read more here about the BTP 2019 Program.