ABU DHABI: Washington, D.C.-based incubator, Halcyon concluded a week-long programme in Abu Dhabi this week with a cohort of 28 founders representing the region’s most promising impact-driven businesses. This year’s cohort marks the second year of Halcyon’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Fellowship, which brings together founders from across the region for skills building and networking. This two-year programme has been conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and Amazon Web Services (AWS), with the support of Leana and Marc Katz. The delegation’s visit to the UAE was in collaboration with Access Abu Dhabi, a programme supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), which is open to all US businesses and includes various support to accelerate expansion and growth in the UAE capital.

Halcyon’s 2023 MENA Fellows, from seven countries across the region, are bringing innovative solutions to market for a wide range of issues, from clean water and affordable medical devices to sustainable food systems, and access to education for disabled students. They join Halcyon’s network of over 300 fellows from around the world solving 21st century challenges through impact-driven business.

Highlights of the Abu Dhabi visit included a mentorship session hosted at ADIO, where the Halcyon’s 2023 MENA Fellows were introduced to the opportunities available to tech startups in Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem.

Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General of ADIO said: “Abu Dhabi is focused on using technology to achieve economic and social progress, which is the underlying theme for many of Halcyon’s 2023 MENA Fellows. ADIO is here to help ambitious startups realise the potential of their ideas and leverage the power of partnerships across the Abu Dhabi ecosystem, where other organisations are both collaborators and value generators.”

Over the course of the visit, the delegation held a series of meetings with Abu Dhabi-based entrepreneurs and investors to explore opportunities for potential collaboration. The delegation also shared insights on the emirate's thriving startup ecosystem and work to support the growth and development of innovative companies at Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem. Today, Abu Dhabi is home to hundreds of ventures operating in sectors including CleanTech, HealthTech, EdTech and FinTech which are all essential to future-proofing Abu Dhabi’s economy and ensuring its long-term prosperity. Established on the foundations of partnership and collaboration, Halcyon and the US Department of State is working closely with local and global corporate and government organisations to accelerate the growth of tech ventures globally from Abu Dhabi.

Special Representative McAuliffe said her Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. State Department is “proud to continue its support of Halcyon’s MENA Fellowship which strengthens the resilience of social impact driven businesses that are helping us build back better after the pandemic and putting us on a path toward a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive future.”

“Halcyon Fellows across the globe are innovating to solve our most pressing challenges related to climate, health, equity, and economic inclusion, and these 17 ventures are powerful additions to that network,” said Daniel Barker, managing director for the Halcyon Incubator. “Abu Dhabi is making strides to develop a robust ecosystem for startups, and together with our partners and collaborators at the U.S. State Department, we are proud to be supporting that work.”


About Halcyon

Halcyon accelerates the impact-driven future of business. We believe there’s a competitive advantage to having a social mission in your DNA, and that impact-driven businesses represent a powerful opportunity to drive equity and inclusivity in the workplace and society. Our programs are designed to equip early-stage social entrepreneurs with the tools and relationships they need to achieve scalable, lasting impact. In the nine years since we started our programs, we have supported 350+ fellows and over 250 promising ventures. Eighty-eight percent of the ventures had a founder of color and sixty-four percent have a woman founder or co-founder. Our fellows have cumulatively raised $500 million for their ventures, created over 4,200 jobs, and impacted over 7.3 million lives around the world. www.halcyonhouse.org, @halcyoninspires

To schedule an interview or for additional questions, please contact k.roberts@halcyonhouse.org.

About Access Abu Dhabi

Access Abu Dhabi is designed to engage, enable and empower companies, particularly women and minority entities, to fast track their global reach with expansion to Abu Dhabi. The program, created by Maven Global Access and supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, will serve as a conduit for companies entering the capital of UAE’s burgeoning business and innovation ecosystem.

About the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO)

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is the government entity responsible for attracting and facilitating investment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. ADIO enables growth opportunities for innovative investors and businesses of all sizes by facilitating connections across Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem and fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors. With a comprehensive range of tailored services, incentives and partnership programmes, ADIO helps businesses achieve long-term, sustainable success in the market and across the region.

Abu Dhabi Investment Office
Amal Hamiche

Weber Shandwick MENAT
Bana Dajani

Weber Shandwick MENAT
Talal Natafji