Youth Entrepreneurship Program

Week 1

Useful Expressions

Tools for Professional Approach: It’s not just about learning, it’s about having the confidence to use English in real life and upgrade your business communication skills.

3 videos, 1 audio
Video: Crowdsourcing
Video: Collocations For Job Interview
Audio: Listening Exercise
Graded: Advanced Business Principles

Week 2

Diplomatic Language

Tools for Professional Approach - Step 2: It’s not just about learning, it’s about having the confidence to use English in real life and upgrade your business communication skills.

2 videos, 1 reading
Graded: Information Technology Terms

startAD Youth Entrepreneurship Program

February 7 – April 20, 2020

The Program

The startAD Youth Entrepreneurship Program actively encourages and practically supports entrepreneurship and innovation endeavors among UAE youth. The 3-month-long program targets university students between the ages of 18-25 with an idea for a (tech-enabled) startup. The program primarily focuses on teaching select teams the tools and skill sets to develop a startup that is scalable, repeatable and capital-efficient through a highly customized training and mentorship process. The initiative also offers teams that are ready to do so, opportunities to drive partnerships with leading institutions supporting the program .

The Process

  • Submit an application: Interested students submit an application to be considered for the program answering questions about the startup idea, milestones, team and future plans. Only one application per team is required.
  • Complete an interview: After a review process, applicants who make a strong case in their application will be invited for an interview. The purpose of the interview is to gain a deeper insight into the startup, the team (if applicable) and commitment level of prospective participants.
  • Attend bootcamps and workshops: The bootcamp and workshop training will introduce participants to concepts such as Problem<>Solution fit, the Business Model Canvas (BMC), Go-to-Market Strategy, Building the Entrepreneurial Persona and Fundamentals of Pitching. Participants will learn to validate the problem<>solution fit of their idea/startup, design a marketing strategy that fits the solution, and learn how to tell a compelling story to a prospective client or investor. The program is very intensive and requires a high level of commitment. Please see the program and other key dates section for more information.
  • Pick a mentor: An integral part of the spring incubation program is the 1-1 mentorship component where participants will choose from a pool of mentors, one with the most relevant knowledge and industry experience to provide extra support throughout the program. The highly diverse mentor pool include startup founders, industry experts, university faculty members, research scientists, and technology experts.
  • Complete midway program check-in: Mid-way through the program, participants will check-in with startAD team and startup coaches to report on their progress, receive detailed feedback and come up with a plan for the reminder of the program.
  • Present at the Startup Showcase: The program will culminate in a startup showcase where all startups will pitch their ideas to a judging panel and a general audience. Past members of judging panel and attendees include VIPs such as H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of UAE Climate Change and Environment, and senior leadership of NYU Abu Dhabi.

Who is it for?


  • Idea stage
  • Must be tech-enabled
  • Must not have received prior funding of more than USD 10,000 (for existing projects)
  • Submission of Initial write-up/pitch deck with application as a supporting document is required
  • Idea/solution fit into a predetermined track (if applicable)


  • Must reside in the UAE
  • Must be between the age of 18-25
  • A team (of 2-4 members) is preferred than individuals
  • Demonstrable passion to the problem that the startup hopes to solve
  • Demonstrable commitment and availability to attending ALL program activities
  • Previous experience participating in hackathons, pitch competitions, business/entrepreneurship courses, etc.

Why Apply?

  • Learn the fundamentals of the Lean Startup approach through ideation and design thinking
  • Validate problem<>solution fit
  • Test the value of solution with prospective customers and partners through customer discovery exercises
  • Learn how to pitch
  • Receive dedicated support from the 1-1 mentorship component
  • Be connected and drive partnerships with established institutions for potential opportunities to test solutions
  • Select teams will be eligible to interview for startAD’s Summer Incubation Program
  • Access to startAD central space (based on availability) and Al-Warsha (prototyping lab) based on specific needs
  • Cash prize: $5000 will be awarded to the top 3 teams. Select teams will also be eligible for a ‘National Impact Award’ of USD 10,000 from Sandooq Al Watan.
  • Perks: Food. Transportation & accommodation based on individual need basis.


Application Deadline | January 16, 2020

Program Timeline | February 7 – April 20, 2020

Ecosystem Partners

Impact Partners

Program Trainers

Frank Rimalovski

Executive Director

NYU Entrepreneurial Institute at New York University

Kia Davis

Specialist in Small Business Growth

Startup Coach

Tarig El-Sheikh

Venture Architect and Consultant

Jigsaw Group

Craig Wilson

General Manager of Digital Future Lab

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Highlights from Previous Cohorts







Female Participation


Beyond the Pitch is specifically tailored to enable and immerse UAE college students in the exciting world of entrepreneurship

Beyond the Pitch — a New Startup Program for UAE Youth

Missed startAD’s Beyond the Pitch Startup Showcase? Here’s a recap

startAD grows local entrepreneurial talent through Beyond the Pitch Startup Showcase

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