adek youthtech competition
empowering the youth is empowering the future

It is apparent that the Covid-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on society. Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has joined forces with startAD as a part of the Abu Dhabi inspires program, to launch the YouthTech Challenge for young innovators in the UAE. The challenge invites innovators to develop tech-enabled solutions for some of the greatest global challenges in the sectors of Education, Economy, Infrastructure, and Society. The program actively encourages you to take advantage of the favorable entrepreneurial environment in the UAE, and equips you with future-ready social, digital, and business skills that spark curiosity, enhance employability, and encourage innovation. Over four weeks, participants will be equipped with the training and tools to develop entrepreneurial projects that have the potential to become startups. Top teams stand to win cash prizes of up to AED 8000.

One of the key sectors that have been impacted is education. Students, teachers, and parents have had to fundamentally change the way they interact. How do you anticipate this impact to persist and what solutions would you conceptualize to address challenges in this space?
How do you envision the UAE economy virtually in the coming 2-5 years? What solutions would you develop to help bolster jobs, economic growth, and revenues?
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way UAE residents will interact with each other in the foreseeable future. How can you build solutions for a better quality of life?
How do you envision the future smart cities, and what can be done to make sure the UAE is well prepared to meet the needs of the future?

A chance to win up to
8,000 Dhs

Who can apply?
  • UAE residents of any nationality between the ages of 18-29,  and interested in entrepreneurship and innovation can apply.

  • Ideal submissions are startup ideas aiming to digitize the challenge areas of Education, Economy, Infrastructure and Society.  Submissions can be of projects or concepts you may have built as part of a university course, a hackathon or pitch competition. However, new ideas are as welcome and no previous entrepreneurial experience is required.

  • Teams are preferred over individual applicants. Teams with members of complementary skills in business, engineering, marketing, etc. would make for a strong application.

Why Apply?
  • Develop your innovation through an entrepreneurial, challenge-based process this summer while being trained by the best local and global entrepreneurship experts.

  • Gain the skills, training, and tools to kick-start any venture. Learn ideation, human-centered and design thinking processes, and problem-solving.

  • Win cash prizes of up to AED 8,000 each, from a pool of AED 25,000.

  • Secure opportunities to further advance your projects through training, mentorship, and coaching with startAD’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program.

  • Access. Leverage opportunities to grow and connect with like-minded peers, and stakeholders in the comprehensive ADEK and startAD network.

What will we be evaluated on?
  • Creativity and innovation of the technology. The originality and potential value of the technology to address challenge areas. 
  • Quality and Commitment. Demonstrable passion and commitment from the founder/founding team
  • Business potential of the project. Scope for continuity and scalability of the project

A chance to realize your idea

Our Timeline
9 Jul
Application opens
You are welcome to apply!! Submit a proposal that aligns with one or more of the challenge statements
28 Jul
Virtual information session
View the virtual information session to learn more about the program
8 Aug
Application closed
Wrap up your last minute edits and submit your applications
17-18 Aug
2-Day Bootcamp
You will learn to do ideation, customer discover and to present ideas effectively through video and PPT.
24 Aug
Virtual Office Hour
You can take advantage of office hours to ask any questions or get helpful advice.
31 Aug
Final Submission of project
Submit your final project along with a PPT presentation and a 1 minute video of your elevator pitch.
10 Sep
Announcement of winners
5 teams will win some prize money from pool of 25,000 Dhs and an opportunity to advance their projects.
Advance your projects
Winning teams will be able to further develop their projects under startAD's mentorship and guidance.