startAD Hardware Venture Launchpad

Nikita Mathur
May 14, 2018 · 4 min read

The second edition of startAD’s Hardware Venture Launchpad successfully came to an end on the 9th of May, 2018. The 10 day entrepreneurship program ran from 28th April until the 9th of May helping over 20 teams from global early-stage hardware startups to develop a scalable, repeatable, and capital efficient venture. They also got an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of design thinking methodologies, go-to-market strategies, financial planning including valuation and funding.

Prior to the program, startAD also held two information sessions at Dubai and Abu Dhabi aiming to add knowledge to the existing understanding of AI and IoT technology through sharing of experience by an expert from IBM as well as giving an opportunity to applicants to learn more about the venture launchpad program.

The first session was held on April 4th at Al Serkal Avenue in Dubai where Fahd Zahid, an IoT Solutions Architect from IBM shared the latest developments and newest inventions in the world of IOT technology through discussing several successful integrations of IOT in various industries, and the remarkable benefits of doing so.

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The second session was held on April 8th at startAD in Abu Dhabi where Omar Khalid, the Channel Sales and Ecosystem Development Leader at IBM discussed the latest developments in the world of AI and specifically from the view point of the UAE and the MENA region. He presented several successful integrations of AI in various industries and the potential of the technology to improve upon existing platforms.

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Mayur Khatri, Watson Data and AI Speciality Leader at IBM was one of the guest speakers at the program. He discussed about the future of AI and talked about the AI solutions IBM has currently implemented in the UAE. He also presented several use cases of the technology in supply chain management, logistics and procuremnent.

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The last day of the program was the “Investor Day” where all the 20 startups pitched to the investors and only the top 10 startups got an opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with the top 10 UAE investors giving them a platform to pitch their business and build relationships with the investors.

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Top 10 Startups

  1. Twistar: A customer feedback device which helps companies collect more data, from more customers, more quickly and easily.
  2. Fenbits Technology Solutions: An autonomous aquatic drone coupled with bio filtering and sterlization pods to collet plastic waste from water bodies.
  3. Pulse Active Stations: IOT-based smart kiosks that generates a report with over 21 body parameters and risk indicators for 12 lifestyle diseases.
  4. Conative-labs (Nilebot): An IoT based system designed for aquaculture industry that contains sensors (pH- Dissolved Oxygen- Salinity- Temperature) which can be installed in fish ponds to collect data and send alerts.
  5. Nester Tech: An app that connects parking space owners and parking space seekers.
  6. Ballbox Inc: A locker-style kiosk providing rental options for sport, leisure and camping equipment at parks and beaches.
  7. ZestIoT: IoT & AI enabled aviation platform to integrate Passenger, Baggage, Aircraft, Ground & Airport operations.
  8. Aeler Technologies: 21st-century intermodal containers for digital-era logistics.
  9. Neurai: Business Intelligence Platform with cognitive technology to make it easy for businesses to simply search and discover hidden insights with single click.
  10. Airport Assist by MUrgency: A personal and professional meet & greet service for passengers at the airport.

One of the startups “SmartOASYS” which is an IoT based real-time data collection and analysis system for monitoring water quality used IBM Cloud to connect their sensors to the IBM Cloud IoT Platform and will also be joining the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program to integrate services such as Blockchain, Analytics and so on.

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Special thanks to @Fahd Zahid, @Omar Khalid and @Mayur Khatri for giving an amazing and interesting session to the startups on IoT and AI.

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