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Ahmad Ali Alwan

Deputy CEO, Hub 71


Ahmad Ali Alwan is Deputy CEO of Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem. In his role, he executes Hub71’s technology strategy and long-term vision to elevate Abu Dhabi as a leading innovation center globally. In addition to his current role, he is a senior vice president of the UAE Clusters platform at Mubadala Investment Company. Previously, he supported the launch of Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, a joint venture with a dual mandate to achieve financial returns, while also contributing to the overall development of ADGM. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Sharjah and a master’s degree in international business and emerging markets from the University of Edinburgh.

"Hub71 was launched in 2019 with the ambition of enabling a tech ecosystem out of Abu Dhabi."
Hub71 is a premier start-up ecosystem that is helping new businesses thrive in Abu Dhabi.
Hub71 is Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem backed by a robust network of strategic partners. What are the main reasons behind its creation and how would define the institution’s vision?

Hub71 was launched in 2019 with the ambition of enabling a tech ecosystem out of Abu Dhabi. The UAE capital has all the right elements to support innovators including a robust infrastructure, favorable initiatives, and conducive frameworks. Our main objective is to empower start-ups and facilitate their growth by providing them with the necessary resources and opportunities to scale. Recognizing the potential for global impact, the government supported the establishment of Hub71, aiming to position Abu Dhabi as a leading innovation hub. Our vision focused on fostering the development of cutting-edge tech companies, where the major return metric is the economic impact that comes with jobs created, funds raised, and revenues generated.

Hub71 grew its community by 102% in 2022. What are the main factors in this success, and what is your comparative advantage in the market?

At Hub71, we define success through the success of our start-ups. We have created a comprehensive range of programs and initiatives, designed to support startups at every stage of their journey, from ideation to scale-up and maturity. Our company-building program caters to start-ups between seed and series-A, ensuring their growth is well-supported. Additionally, we focus on doubling down on the companies that show continued growth and scaling potential in Abu Dhabi, providing tailored initiatives that support their journey. We have over 200 start-ups that are part of these programs and initiatives, but beyond that these are start-ups that have decided to join our community or ecosystem organically, and we are actively engaging them through various activities while fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Building a successful ecosystem also relies on forming the right strategic partnerships. We have been intentional in our approach to establish robust partnerships with investors who deploy capital, corporates that facilitate market access, academic institutions that support with talent development, and government entities and regulators that provide the frameworks to develop tech initiatives. These strategic partnerships empower the tech ecosystem, enabling startups to access vital resources and opportunities. Overall, the synergy between our value-add programs and our strategic partnerships has enabled us to create a thriving community that fosters innovation, growth, and collaboration.

Hub71 boasts an entire ecosystem of tech start-ups, investors, governments, and corporate partners. What are the main incentives and opportunities for those entities that join Hub71?

By joining Hub71, startups and partners can access several programs and opportunities that support their goals of accelerating the development of cutting-edge technologies and fostering innovation. These can be categorized into three key areas. For start-ups, it is the support, mentorship, and guidance they get from joining one of our structured programs. Start-ups can benefit from a range of upscaling modules that cover various aspects including funding, go-to-market plans, and talent strategies, as well as curated access to our network of partners, including corporates and investors who are critical to a start-up’s success. Similarly, corporates can tap into a wealth of innovative ideas and technologies that they can leverage to advance their operations. Second, we provide overlay incentives to support these companies from a cost structure perspective, including a 12-month incentive program that companies can avail in the form of housing, health insurance, office space, advisory services, and legal support. We also have a range of 40+ providers that these companies can choose from, ensuring flexibility and tailored support. Third, there’s the community. A start-up life is not the easiest and requires bonding and like-minded individuals to come together and help each other through tough situations. Therefore, the community that we have built is also a success and a key offering. And that is why it I am proud to it here right today because many people want to come to Hub71, and yes, we have some great programs and offerings. But what has been attracting many companies and partners is the entrepreneurship community we have here; that’s really the foundation of the ecosystem.



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