ABU DHABI- StartAD has invited innovative startups to apply for UAEs first hardware Venture Launchpad, an immersive 10-day entrepreneurship programme at New York University Abu Dhabi, NYUAD, that will help startups develop a scalable, repeatable, and capital efficient venture.

The programme will take place from December 4th to 13th, 2017, and the deadline to apply is set for November 15th, 2017.

The programme is open to any early-stage hardware startup and is free of charge to accepted teams. It will culminate in a 'demo' day, where finalists will showcase their startups to investors, corporate partners, media, and the UAE startup community. Finalists will win a prototyping grant and will be considered for investment and mentoring by startAD, and will have the opportunity to travel to Shenzhen, China, to get a first-hand look at the hardware ecosystem.

"There is growing interest in this programme. We look forward to making Abu Dhabi the centre for innovation in hardware and to helping startups graduating from the programme to create global impact," said Ramesh Jagannathan, Managing Director of startAD and Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NYUAD.

Accepted startups will gain an understanding of design thinking methodologies, development of a go-to-market strategy, financial planning including valuation and funding, as well as the chance to connect with manufacturing sources and prototyping labs in China.

He added that the hardware venture launchpad provides startups with the resources, tools, and network to accelerate significantly in a short time-span.

Participants will have the opportunity to build their prototype at Al Warsha, the startAD lab equipped with the latest in prototyping tools, including 3D printers, laser cutters, PCB Printers and an assortment of hand tools, along with guidance from startADs Innovation Engineer.

"Technology such as 3D printing and Arduino have disrupted hardware similar to how open source disrupted software. Today, anyone with an idea can make intelligent hardware as long as they have access to the technology. At startAD, we are excited to support deep technology startups that will contribute to the diversification of the economy of the UAE" said Erkki Aaltonen, Executive Director at startAD.

Interested teams can sign up for information sessions about the programme in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.