Incubators are a source of ridiculously cute little baby chicks, and high quality startup companies. (Image via stock.xchng)
A new incubator centre for startups will be launched by Abu Dhabi University next year.
for the details.
A few cool things about the incubator: it will welcome startups from the wider community, not just its own students and grads (although lets wait for the details on how wide that community turns out to be). It will go with a "cluster" model that links together startups in certain focus areas with university faculty and students - proposed clusters right now include health, energy, water and desalination, and semiconductors.
Incubators are wonderful pieces of soft/hard infrastructure for a startup ecosystem: incredibly cost-effective, easy to launch, fast and when well managed, very effective. And when linked to universities, they make for an awesome bridge between the full-throttle experimentation and optimism of college life with the similarly wild - but money making - world of entrepreneurship.
As far as I am aware, the benchmark for incubators in the Middle East is
in Jordan, which has produced some pretty cool companies including
incubator at Abu Dhabi's
is cashed up and on a bit of a promotional roll these days, and should announce its first companies sometime this month. But for a whole bunch of reasons too long and boring to get into here, it is not a totally replicable model. The coolest model, in my opinion, is Lebanon's
, a hybrid incubator / accelerator / venture fund that is doing some pretty cool work.
Anyway, here's to hoping we see a whole bunch more incubators launching across the region over the next couple of years. If you know of anything interesting happening in this space, as always, drop us a line in the comments.