ABU DHABI: Aldar Properties (‘Aldar’) has selected three PropTech startups as part of the inaugural Aldar Scale Up accelerator programme, which aims to provide a gateway for international businesses with the latest cutting-edge real estate technology to enter and set up in the UAE.
Selected startups will benefit from tangible growth opportunities through pilot projects with Aldar and other leading industry players in the region. The Scale Up accelerator programme was created in partnership with startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based accelerator, powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi.
The first edition of Aldar Scale Up was launched in February 2021, and applications were open to startups around the world with focus on three key areas: sustainability, data analytics, and smart development. The programme received more than 200 applications from 31 countries, with nine startups accepted to take part in curated virtual training sessions, work with dedicated mentors, and connect with Aldar business units. Three emerging PropTech businesses have now been awarded pilot projects with Aldar, while the remaining ventures will continue to engage with Aldar on future projects. The businesses selected for pilot projects include: Envio, a German startup that offers innovative IoT products that allow buildings to operate a fully integrated ecosystem that connects, collects, analyses, and optimizes data, autonomously or manually from web-enabled devices.
GBuilder, a company based in Finland that developed a platform that enables digital communication between the customer, project team, and construction site.
Metrikus, a UK-based startup offering property software solutions through an innovative digital platform, with focus on operational efficiencies, estate optimisation and indoor air quality.
All selected startups have also been shortlisted to join Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, which offers generous incentives, a series of value creation services and access to leading corporate and government partners that facilitate opportunities to scale products, capitalise on market opportunities, develop talent and raise funding, as part of a vibrant fast-growing community.
Commenting on the programme, Maan Al Awlaqi, Executive Director, Strategy and Transformation, Aldar Properties, said: "The global startup market has led the charge towards innovation and technological development in recent years and we are now seeing the ramp up of investment activity in the Middle East. In 2020 alone, more than one billion dollars was invested in startups within the MENA region, according to MAGNiTT’s 2021 MENA Venture Investment Report. The UAE, in particular, has been at the forefront of this boom, accounting for one fourth of all startup transactions in the region.
"Aldar Scale Up programme has been instrumental in enabling us to tap into the global PropTech startup market and harness the latest innovative concepts to enhance our competitiveness. We congratulate all those who participated in this programme on their excellent concepts, which will undoubtedly drive positive change in the industry." Managing Director of startAD and also Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship at NYUAD, Ramesh Jagannathan, said: "Real estate constitutes over 50% of the world's assets however, only 58% of real estate companies globally have a digital strategy in place. With technological advancements and digitization, the quest for sustainability, and changes in consumer behaviour, it is clear that there is an undeniable need for the industry to evolve. In the UAE, real estate has significantly contributed to economic growth over the past two decades; accounting for AED 38.4 billion in the gross domestic product of Abu Dhabi in 2019. startAD is proud to partner with Aldar in driving the digitization of the global real-estate industry from Abu Dhabi, building a shared economy and smart, sustainable communities." All the participating startups who provide innovative and sustainable solutions in the real estate sector will be able to utilise the business network access provided to them by Aldar to drive forward their projects in the UAE market.
Aldar properties is committed to fostering innovation, in line with the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy. The company has developed a framework to drive forward innovative practices, with focus on three strategic areas: corporate innovation, incubation programmes for startups in complimentary sectors, and investment in new tech-enabled businesses. As part of this strategy, Aldar continues to establish and support a number of incubators and programmes to promote innovation and support emerging tech concepts and young talents across the region.
Aldar Scale Up Programme is the latest effort by Aldar Properties to support innovation in the real estate industry. Other initiatives launched by Aldar in the UAE market in recent years include Manassah, a six-month entrepreneurship incubator aimed at nurturing entrepreneurial talent and advancing homegrown retail concepts in the GCC; Manassah Youth at Aldar Academies, which aims to develop the next generation of regional entrepreneurs through a dedicated training programme; Ibtikar, Aldar’s internal innovation incubator; and the Innovation Champion programme, which is an upskilling initiative that enables Aldar employees to drive innovation at a business unit level.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.