Startups WaveX, Docswallet And uHONCHO Win At StartAD's Fintech Venture Launchpad
Marking the end of a 10-day program that helped participating entrepreneurs develop skills around business model design, MVP development, team culture, and fundraising, New York University Abu Dhabi's (NYUAD) entrepreneurship platform startAD held a demo day of the Fintech Venture Launchpad at NYUAD on September 14. Aimed at helping early- stage startups "develop scalable, repeatable and capital efficient ventures," this edition of Venture Launchpad focused on fintech sector, and intended to connect startups in this space with large industry players.
At the end of a pitching session, where the program's top 10 teams showcased their businesses to investors, and other ecosystem stakeholders present, fintech startups WaveX, Docswallet and uHONCHO were declared the first, second and third place winners at startAD Fintech Venture Launchpad. Supported by the UAE Ministry of Economy, UAE Exchange, IBM, and Abu Dhabi Global Markets, the program attracted over 200 applications from the UAE and globally, 20 teams were shortlisted to participate in the program, and 10 were chosen as finalists.
Noting in a statement that the pace of emergence of fintech startups in the UAE is "almost three times faster" than other hubs in MENA, the program said it focused on helping entrepreneurs address key challenges such as visibility, customer awareness, and product trust. The demo day also featured a session of talks by industry professionals including Promoth Manghat, CEO, UAE Exchange, John Tate, CEO, Tamkeen, and Ramesh Jagannathan, MD, startAD, among others. The jury panel for the event included Erkki Altonen, Executive Director, startAD, UAE Exchange's Manghat, Todd O'Brein, MD, Smart City Dubai, and Yousef Hammad, Partner, BECO Capital, among others.
While Sharjah-based WaveX is working on building "a democratized energy market" leveraging Internet of things (IoT) and blockchain, India's Docswallet seeks to bring government transactions online using digital identity and electronic signature, and uHONCHO is an app freelancers can use to track, measure and manage their day-to-day activities and finances. The winning teams are entitled to US$120,000 in IBM Cloud credit for a year to implement their applications as part of IBM Global Entrepreneur program, in addition to mentorship, and go-to market support. startAD also noted that those finalist teams that stand out by way of their potential will also be considered for continuous mentoring and seed funding from startAD.