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Access Abu Dhabi, Halcyon, others team up to host mission-driven firms


Halcyon, a Washington DC-based incubator, concluded a week-long programme in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Access Abu Dhabi, a programme supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (Adio), with a cohort of 28 founders representing the region’s most promising impact-driven businesses. The Access Abu Dhabi is open to all US businesses and includes various support to accelerate expansion and growth in the UAE capital.
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 US Department of State and Amazon Web Services (AWS), with the support of Leana and Marc Katz.
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.
Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Acting Director-General of Adio, said, “Abu Dhabi is focussed 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 are 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 US 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 towards 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 US State Department, we are proud to be supporting that work.”

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