What is the NextGen Incubator?

Screen Shot 2021-03-30 at 4.37.37 PM

What is the NextGen Incubator?

The startAD NextGen Incubator is the 4th edition of the flagship Youth Entrepreneurship Program of startAD. This virtual program activates university students of the UAE to take advantage of the favorable entrepreneurial environment in the region, and equips them with future-ready social, digital, entrepreneurial and business skills that spark curiosity, enhance employability, and encourage innovation. This program is for young innovators in the UAE passionate about developing tech-enabled solutions for some of the greatest global challenges outlined in UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals - primarily Waste Management, Quality Education, Climate Action and Good Health & Well-being.

Apply Now

Focus Areas
Climate Action

Startup ideas to make transport clean and green, increase use of sustainable materials, improve energy efficiency, or reduced carbon emissions.

Quality Education

Startup ideas to advance hybrid learning, education for sustainable development and increased access.

Responsible Consumption & Production

Ideas for Etihad Airways to address their waste management challenges in recycling, composting and landfill management.

Good Health & Well Being

Startup ideas related to digital therapeutics, remote healthcare delivery models, improved patient outcomes and experiences, and healthcare data management.

Program Partners

Ecosystem Partners

About the Program


About the Program

Make your mark

The startAD NextGen Incubator is a 2-month incubation program for university students of UAE in which the accepted participants will be equipped to develop entrepreneurial projects that have the potential to become startups.
The program will comprise of a highly customized training and mentorship process focused on an array of topics including design thinking & ideation, prototyping, and building the entrepreneurial persona. Participants will benefit from an added value of working with a personal mentor to catalyze their entrepreneurial project to be market-ready. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to pitch in front of a panel of judges and a public audience at the Startup Showcase Day.
Market-ready projects will also benefit from introductions with program partners including Etihad, GGGI and Sandooq Al Watan.

  • Applications Open

    March 31, 2021

  • Information Session

    April 28, 2021

  • Application Deadline

    May 15, 2021

  • Bootcamp

    June 4-5, 2021

    Customer Discovery & Idea Validation

  • Workshops

    June 7 – July 12, 2021

    Prototyping, Business Model Canvas, Go-to-market strategy, Team Building

  • Startup Showcase Day

    July 14, 2021

Who We're Looking For

  • Students of universities in the UAE
  • Any nationality
  • Between the ages of 18-25
  • With a startup idea or project aiming to digitize the challenge areas
  • Teams are preferred over individual applicants

Participant Benefits

Learn to apply a business framework to your ideas

Align solutions with the actual customer needs, and learn how to prototype

Work with startup coaches from leading institutions

Stand a chance to win the $10,000 national impact award from Sandooq Al Watan

Stand a chance to win one of the top three $5,000 cash prizes from GGGI, among other prizes

Develop digital & business skills that will enhance entrepreneurism & employability

National Impact Award
USD 10,000
Etihad Award
Startups addressing waste management stand to win return business class tickets. Test and validate your technology on Etihad’s Ecoflights
Cash Prize
USD 5,000
Don't miss your opportunity to make a difference.
Highlights from Previous Cohorts
Gender Split
Beyond the Pitch is specifically tailored to enable and immerse UAE college students in the exciting world of entrepreneurship
Beyond the Pitch — a New Startup Program for UAE Youth
Missed startAD’s Beyond the Pitch Startup Showcase? Here’s a recap