Venture Launchpad

Artificial Intelligence and IoT 
Sprint Accelerator 

September 29 – October 09, 2018

Application Deadline: August 30, 2018

The startAD Venture Launchpad is a 10-day sprint accelerator deeply linked to emerging UAE industries designed to help startups rapidly refine, improve, and validate their business models customized for the UAE and MENA markets. Open to global seed stage artificial intelligence and IoT startups, the venture launchpad is supported by leading local corporations Etihad Aviation Group, UAE Exchange and Abu Dhabi Global Market and is free of charge to accepted teams. Startups accepted into the program will go through a combination of training, mentorship, corporate showcase round-tables, investor round-tables, pitches, interviews, local customer discovery and validation activities and develop robust go-to-market strategies.

Note: Startups accepted into the Venture Launchpad are required to attend all 10 days of the program.

10-Day Program

4 CyclesPer Year

10 – 15 Startups Per Program



  • Have opportunities to validate your business with leading UAE corporations like the Etihad Aviation Group, UAE Exchange and ADGM
  • Get access to startAD’s prototyping facilities and coworking space
  • Scale your startup with local customer discovery, and validation activities.
  • Benefit from a series of training and mentorship sessions with leading global experts
  • Become investor ready with pitching and fundraising training
  • Be a part of immersive investor roundtables, corporate showcases pitches, interviews, and pitch your startup to active local VCs, Angels and organizational investors.
  • Meet key corporate partners, prospective clients, investors and experts in the industry that can help expand your network and advance your business from the startAD and NYU global network.
  • Be considered for the startAD seed fund from USD 50000 to 250000 and ADvance, an opportunity to work at startAD co-shared space for 4-6 weeks and do deeper market analysis, get necessary mentorship and meet with potential partners and investors.


  • Seed stage Artificial Intelligence and IoT startups
  • Targeting UAE/MENA market
  • Startups who have a functioning prototype
  • Startups with a committed founding team.

Examples of industry use cases we are looking for, but are not limited to:

  • Fintech
  • Insurtech
  • Regtech
  • Airport operations
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Enterprise solutions
  • NLP
  • Machine Learning
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Search
  • Data Analytics



Corporate partners

Trainers From:

Next Hardware VL Cycle: Application Opens Soon

Highlights from previous editions of VL Alumni

StartAD names AI startup as winner of $10,000 award

Startups WaveX, Docswallet And uHONCHO Win At StartAD’s Fintech Venture Launchpad

AI-supported global governance through bottom-up deliberation

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