About InnoVention

The NYU Global InnoVention Competition is a two-round global prototyping competition challenging NYU students enrolled at NYU in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai to build a startup team, prototype products, and pitch commercially viable solutions for pressing societal problems. The competition will consist of two rounds — a local competition and global accelerator and pitch event.

For the local competitions, teams will compete in one of three parallel prototyping challenges operating out of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, NYU Abu Dhabi, and NYU Shanghai campuses. Each campus will host a series of events and programs to encourage students to pursue solutions to pressing real-world problems, to be followed by several weeks of intense programming and prototyping supported by each campus’ resources. Each campus will host a local event to select the winners of local competition and to award prize money and the opportunity to participate in the Global InnoVention Competition.

Phase 1: StartAD x NYUAD

Phase 1: StartAD x NYUAD

① First place: $3000
② Second place: $2000
Both: a chance to compete in the global competition

The Abu Dhabi program will be incubating 6 NYUAD teams for an intensive period of 8 weeks where participants are expected to be learning through online workshops, coaching sessions and mentorship. The aim is to provide them with the skillset and adequate knowledge to overcome challenges often faced by early-stage startups, including developing ideas into scalable and repeatable businesses. As well as, have a solid prototype to pitch in front of a jury of experts on April 8, 2021. Two teams only will be selected for the Global InnoVention competition taking place on the 28th of April 2021.

Phase 2: Global Competition

Phase 2: Global Competition

Grand Prize: $25 000

The Global InnoVention Competition starts as soon as the local winners are announced. In the three weeks leading up to the demo day, teams will go through a hyper accelerator during which time they will be immersed with additional resources, mentorship, guidance, and expertise in an effort to prepare all the team to present their final pitches. A multidisciplinary panel of judges representing all three ecosystems will award one team with the distinguished prize of the Global InnoVention Winner. The winner of this global competition will be awarded $25,000 USD in cash to help commercialize their venture.

Who We're Looking For

  • NYUAD students
  • Between the ages of 18-25
  • Tech startups with an MVP
  • Preferably solving societal problems
  • Open to all industries and sectors
  • Minimum team size of 2 people
  • Applicants must be able to commit to attend all workshops and complete the required work

Participant Benefits

Validate your business through a series of workshops and trainings

Benefit from a suite of training modules focused on prototyping

Get hands-on 1-1 coaching by a leading startup coach

Stand a chance to win up to $3000 in the regional competition and $25 000 in the global competition

Pitch your business to a jury of UAE experts and angel investors on April 8, 2021

Showcase your product in the Global InnoVention Competition to international experts and inventors


Hafsa Ahmed, Sarah AlKaabi and Anas Jawed
Lauren McMillen, Junior Garcia, Vu Long Phan, Emily Broad, Steven Wyks and Daria Akinshina
Aman Pandey, Jerome Sajan Varghese and Ayush Pandey
Lenah Ankliss, Kevin Mokhtor, Lavish Panjwani, Maha Abdullah and Hannah Kasak-Gliboff
Deborah Agboola, Amina Kobenova and Lady Gabrielle
Malak Abdel-Ghaffar, Haneen Fathy and Salma Zeid


  • Official Cohort Announcement

    February 1, 2021

    6 teams will be announced.

  • Global Kick-off event

    February 4, 2021


  • Beginning of 1st workshop

    February 10, 2021


  • Final workshop

    April 7, 2021


  • NYUAD Pitch Day

    April 8, 2021

    2 teams will be selected for the Global Competition. First place and second place will receive $3000 and $2000 respectively.

  • Global InnoVention Competition

    April 28, 2021

    One winner will receive a $25 000 prize.

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