ADQ’s DisruptAD and Cairo’s Flat6Labs launch Dh120m start-up accelerator

The programme will foster entrepreneurship and innovation in Abu Dhabi

Applications for the first cycle of Ignite programme will be open until April 30. Victor Besa / The National
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DisruptAD, venture capital platform of Abu Dhabi's holding company ADQ, and Cairo-based seed and early stage venture capital firm, Flat6Labs, are launching a new start-up accelerator in the capital.

The new programme, called Ignite, will support early stage companies with Dh120 million in funding over three years and provide other benefits including office space and mentorship, the entities said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

It plans to invest in 20 start-ups every year.

This initiative is part of DisruptAD’s broader mission to support 1,000 start-ups over the next five years and create a local community of founders, fund managers, incubators and accelerators in Abu Dhabi.

“Flat6Labs’ presence in Abu Dhabi opens up exciting new possibilities, not only for this programme but for the long-term evolution of Abu Dhabi as a global start-up destination,” Ramez El-Serafy, chief executive of Flat6Labs, said.

“Together, we will harness our accumulated knowledge and experience to better serve the entrepreneurial ecosystem and create unique opportunities for promising start-ups.”

Applications for the first cycle will be open until April 30. Selected companies will get an opportunity to benefit from a seed investment worth up to Dh550,000, together with follow-on funding of up to Dh2m.

Start-ups will also receive customised support designed to help them scale and grow their businesses to become regional champions, Flat6Labs said in a statement. The programme will organise Flat6Labs demo days and support fundraising needed for start-ups to flourish in Abu Dhabi, it added.

Founded in 2011, Flat6Labs has invested in more than 300 start-ups with a combined investment value of around $35 million, creating more than 8,000 jobs across various industries in Middle East and North Africa region, the company said.

Currently, it is managing a number of seed funds with total assets under management exceeding $45m, with more than 20 institutional investors and limited partners.