After receiving and vetting over 650 applications from promising start-ups from over 65 countries — including from 158 start-ups that were founded in the UAE — Flat6Labs, the MENA region’s leading seed and early-stage venture capital firm, this week commenced its 4-day Bootcamp for 20 of the most innovative entrants. Over the course of the week, these start-ups will receive extensive training by seasoned instructors and the Flat6Labs team, based on the ‘Lean Start-up’ approach, following which they will vie for just 10 spots in the third cycle of the Flat6Labs flagship seed programme in Abu Dhabi.
With Flat6Labs having already successfully nurtured 18 start-ups, that have cumulatively received over AED18 million in funding, in the previous two cycles of Flat6Labs Ignite — a specialised AED120 million seed program run in partnership with DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture capital platform, to support up to 60 start-ups in Abu Dhabi over three years — this announcement marks a crucial stage in the third intake cycle.
With operations across the MENA region, Flat6Labs has found the start-up ecosystem in Abu Dhabi to be especially active. “25% of applicants to Cycle 3 of our Ignite program were UAE-founded organisations which is not surprising given how the UAE government creates policy and reforms to actively promote entrepreneurship. Flat6Labs in partnership with ADQ is here to support this thriving start-up ecosystem and the resounding success we have had over the first two cycles — which have seen companies like RemotePass and Dharma rapidly grow to become dominant players in their respective industries — is testament to the effectiveness of our program,” said Ryaan Sharif, General Manager at Flat6Labs UAE.
The mentorship offered to the start-ups over the course of the Bootcamp includes unparalleled insight on creation of the minimum viable product/service, customer discovery, marketing, go-to-market strategy development, and financial modelling. In conclusion of this training, each start-up will have the opportunity to present its pitch to a Selection Committee comprised of Flat6Labs Management, ADQ’s representatives, veteran venture capitalists and top executives from the region’s leading enterprises for a coveted spot in the third cohort of the Flat6Labs Ignite program.
The companies that are chosen by the Selection Committee will be eligible for seed funding of up to AED1.15 million, and follow-on funding of up to AED2 million. Furthermore, inclusion in the Flat6Labs Ignite program gives selected start-ups tailored support, world-class mentorship, and access to ADQ’s considerable network and resources.
“It’s an exciting week ahead as the 20 start-ups we have shortlisted to participate in the Bootcamp each have the potential to revolutionise critical industry sectors ranging from Health Tech and Agri Tech, to Energy and Logistics. We are confident that the organisations that successfully make the cut will help advance the UAE’s digital economy by becoming drivers of innovation and positive change,” said Jeremy Shorter, Program Director — Abu Dhabi at Flat6Labs.