UAE Exchange and NYUAD sign MoU to Advance Fintech

Lynn Bizri, May 08 2017

Earlier this month, UAE Exchange and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance fintech innovation in the UAE through startAD, an innovation and entrepreneurship platform at NYUAD that helps early stage startups to develop scalable, repeatable and efficient ventures.

Anchored at NYUAD, startAD offers a full stack entrepreneurial experience for the UAE startup community and supports the entrepreneurship ecosystem through education initiatives and the creation of startups. It’s ‘Corporate Mentorship’ program gives qualified startups the opportunity to engage with leading corporate entities in the UAE across their respective industries and benefit from their expertise.

UAE Exchange, who will serve as a ‘corporate mentor’ for fintech initiatives, will work closely with NYUAD to equip qualified startups with the necessary domain expertise and market knowledge they need to validate and test their potential solutions as well as support them in scaling for global impact. Furthermore, NYUAD will provide the entrepreneurial expertise and early stage growth support for startups selected for the startupAD programs.

‘As a home-grown brand, we are committed to the growth of digital innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE. Our tie-up with NYUAD for the startAD initiative reaffirms this commitment, and we see startAD as a platform that will foster a culture of innovation in the UAE and help attract phenomenal talent’, commented Promoth Manghat, CEO of UAE Exchange group.

While the MENA region has accounted for the smallest proportion of global fintech funding over the years (around 1%), it has also experienced the most explosive growth, according to research conducted by BCG. ‘We are witnessing growing innovation throughout the Middle East, and that is reflected in the gradual development of the fintech sector across the region’, says Godrey Sullivan, Partner & Managing Director of BCG Middle East.

With more than 50 fintech startups in MENA, according to research conducted by ArabNet, 72% hail from four main fintech hubs – the UAE, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. Among those, the UAE and Abu Dhabi in particular take the lead, hosting as many fintech startups as Lebanon and Jordan combined, exhibiting the lowest failure rate (13%) and having the highest share of frontier tech startups such as money transfer, wealth management, insurance and cryptocurrency.

Moreover, in the latest Global Fintech Hubs Review ‘A Tale of 44 Cities’ by Deloitte in partnership with the Global Fintech Hubs Federation, Abu Dhabi was ranked as the top Fintech hub for the MENA region; a strong endorsement to the initiatives and efforts that have been introduced to develop both the regulatory framework and ecosystem needed to support the ambition of fintech stakeholders.




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