Hub71 forges academic partnerships to groom future tech entrepreneurs and attract top talent


Hub71 forges academic partnerships to groom future tech entrepreneurs and attract top talent

31 Jan 2021

Abu Dhabi's Hub71 is forging new partnerships and initiatives focused on attracting students to tech start-ups, connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and recruiting top developers.

The tech start-up space is partnering with The United Arab Emirates University’s Science and Innovation Park (UAEU SIP) and INSEAD Middle East Campus to upskill talent in the emirate by introducing university students to start-ups working in digital innovation, Hub71 said in a statement on Sunday.

The academic partnerships will provide students and entrepreneurs with tools to develop digital skills and technological experiences in efforts to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs, Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, chief executive of Hub71, said.

"Many industries and organisations, both small and large, find it difficult to recruit digital talent who will ultimately drive Abu Dhabi’s tech transformation," Ms Al Yafei said. "With this in mind, we’re planting the seeds of the future by increasing the talent pool in Abu Dhabi for our start-ups while ensuring we nurture the right skills and develop the talented people needed to cement the longevity of Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem.”

Hub71, created with Dh520 million from Abu Dhabi’s Ghadan 21 stimulus programme, is attracting founders of successful start-ups and the people who support them. Hub71 has built the community with support from funding and strategic partnerships with Mubadala, SoftBank Vision Fund, Microsoft and Abu Dhabi Global Market.

Abu Dhabi is positioning itself as a technology hub, seeking to attract companies in sectors that are crucial to its growth such as agricultural technology, health care and renewable energy.

It is focused on projects that invest in innovative start-ups, develop strategic industries such as local manufacturing, attracting high-tech talent and creating new jobs.

Through the new academic partnerships, each institution will get access to Hub71's network of partners and mentors to support students and alumni. The partnerships will also include innovation workshops, joint programmes, events, hackathons and access to Hub71’s co-working space.

The collaboration will facilitate graduate recruitment and internship opportunities at Hub71 start-ups, with the aim of stimulating job creation and expanding Abu Dhabi’s talent pool.

Hub71 is also introducing a new mentorship programme to support its community of entrepreneurs.

Founders will be paired with mentors from start-ups, corporates, venture capitalists and others who have relevant experience to build connections and exchange knowledge.

Hub71 also partnered with talent search firm Yougig to offer its start-ups an exclusive online marketplace with easy access to more than one million tech developers worldwide at exclusive rates, it said.

Through software developers in Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia, Hub71 start-ups can secure a diverse range of remote and on-site developers and on demand, pay-by-the-hour services to boost their teams.

“As we continue to play a key role in transforming Abu Dhabi’s economy and bolstering innovation in various sectors, we realise that start-ups will be far better off with easier and reliable access to qualified tech talent, especially when sustaining their growing businesses,” Ms Al Yafei said.

On February 10, Hub71 will also host the third edition of the Abu Dhabi Decoded series in a hybrid format.

The session titled ‘Your Community Awaits’ will focus on the key role education, academic research and community developers play in sustaining innovation and creating a tech cluster rooted in top talent. It will also showcase the benefits for entrepreneurs living, working, and scaling businesses in Abu Dhabi.

Source: The National