Aldar Properties (‘Aldar’), has launched its corporate innovation programme, Aldar Scale Up, in partnership with Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator startAD, and powered by its partner Tamkeen.
The programme is designed to attract property technology (proptech) startups from all over the globe and facilitate their market entry to the UAE by enabling them to conduct pilot projects with Aldar and other leading industry players in the region.
The inaugural edition of the programme will run virtually over a four-month period. Ten startups will be selected to pitch to a selection committee, five of which will be awarded pilot projects with Aldar.
Eligible startups should provide innovative and sustainable solutions in the real estate sector such as effective energy management, the development of smart cities, and the protection of biodiverse ecosystems. Selected startups will be offered the opportunity to secure pilot projects with other UAE companies who will be available for entrepreneurial ventures during the pitching process.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem, will also be joining the programme selection committee. Startups selected for Aldar Scale Up will automatically be shortlisted for Hub71’s Incentive Programme, which offers more than $400,000 worth of equity-free subsidies including up to 100 per cent free housing, health insurance and WeWork x Hub71 office space for up to three years.
By joining Hub71, startups will become part of its growing community of entrepreneurs which include more than 75 startups and over 30 partners.
"Fostering a culture of innovation internally at every level of our business helps us create intellectual and practical progress at Aldar towards a better customer experience and lifestyle. This encompasses both product ideation and enhancements and further leads to improvement in processes and UX experiences,” said Maan Al Awlaqi, executive director, strategy and transformation at Aldar Properties.
“The Aldar Scale Up Programme is a good fit to our innovation lens as it provides a unique platform which connects promising proptech startups with companies and equips them with the tools to scale their businesses and grow in Abu Dhabi. We look forward to reviewing the submissions for the programme and seeing what the applicants have to offer,” he added.
Ramesh Jagannathan, research professor of engineering, vice provost for entrepreneurship at NYUAD, and managing director of startAD, said: “Infrastructure and construction programmes are known to have a direct link to economic growth, job creation, and reduction of poverty. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, in order to keep pace with global GDP growth, the construction sector has to spend close to $57 trillion by 2030. That is more than 60 per cent of what has been spent in the last two decades. Interestingly, 40 per cent of this spend could be recouped through improved productivity by digitalization, and embracing currently available technologies.”
Around 50 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban settings now, and that number is expected to grow to 67 per cent by 2050. The launch of the Aldar Scale Up Programme complements Aldar’s existing innovation initiatives including the Manassah competition, Aldar’s first retail startup programme.