Climate tech start-ups worldwide could get at least half a million dirhams ($136,000) each in initial funds, plus additional investments, through a new corporate-backed initiative of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, as part of a strategy to support net-zero ambitions.

The global tech ecosystem, which is backed by Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala, launched on Tuesday a specialist programme called Hub71+ ClimateTech to support start-ups around the world that are working on decarbonisation technologies, according to a statement.

The new initiative is supported by UAE oil giant ADNOC as founding partner, with a funding commitment of AED2.5 million, as well as by other entities, including Siemens Energy, Tabreed, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, e& capital and Catalyst, as anchor partners.

The new programme, announced during the COP28 conference in Dubai, comes as the UAE now attracts a growing interest from start-ups worldwide. More than 100 start-ups working in the climate tech space alone have expressed interest to expand to the UAE, according to Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network.

The funds

According to Hub71, start-ups working in the climate space, from pre-seed to Series A, can join Hub71+ ClimateTech and will receive AED250,000 worth of “in-kind incentives”, plus an initial AED250,000 cash incentive in exchange for equity from Hub71.

Start-ups could also receive a top-up of up to AED250,000 in exchange for additional equity, plus other investments, as well as financial support during the pilot stage.

The new ecosystem will be based at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi under the jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Besides the funds, start-ups can benefit from the expertise of more than 25 corporate and capital partners and policymakers who are at the forefront of environmental sustainability.

ADNOC is offering the opportunity to run specific pilots to support the initiative, while Catalyst, a clean technology start-up accelerator, will invest in each participating start-up.

Participants will likewise be eligible to receive additional investments from e& capital, while Tabreed and TAQA are committing AED500,000 each to pilots with Hub71+ ClimateTech start-ups.

Siemens Energy is committing to pilot promising start-up solutions and mentor breakthrough founders.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Brinda Darasha)