startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator powered by its partner Tamkeen, VentureSouq, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and Hub71 have partnered to launch the region’s first Conscious Investor Fellowship (CIF).
The six-week virtual Fellowship will welcome 25 investors who will be mentored and trained by key global and local industry experts on investing in impact-driven technology startups from October 7 to November 25. The Fellowship invites GCC-based venture capitalists, family office funds, angel investors, and institutional investors to register before Wednesday, September 30.
The Fellowship will cover conscious investment strategies, startup diligence, valuations, impact measurement, portfolio management, and global trends in the impact space. Elective thematic masterclasses will also be offered, with a specific focus on HealthTech, EdTech, Environmental Tech, and AgriTech.
The CIF will coincide with the annual public Angel Rising Investor Education Symposium, which will be held virtually between November 24-25. Open to those interested in learning about investing in technology startups, this year’s Symposium will include pitches from global startups who will be presenting investment opportunities for investors who are a part of CIF, and for investors registered with Angel Rising.
Research Professor of Engineering, Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship at NYUAD, and Managing Director of startAD Ramesh Jagannathan said: “Conscious investment is a growing global force, accelerated by the ongoing impact of the global pandemic. While startup-focused initiatives have been growing in the region, we see a gap in the resources and support available for new investors.
“Furthermore, given the region’s intrinsic drive to influence the world for the better, startAD is confident that the Conscious Investor Fellowship will instigate this mission through demonstrable impact. Aligned with the UAE’s goals, it will forge a path to a tech-enabled business ecosystem and a society that is inclusive, thriving, and sustainable in the long term.”
Founding Partner at VentureSouq Sonia Weymuller, said: “We recently launched the VentureSouq Conscious Collective earlier this year, a regional investment platform focused on supporting entrepreneurs and ventures that are harnessing the power of technology to address today’s very tangible societal, economic, and environmental challenges.
“We’ve seen how technology can act as a multiplier for good; it’s high time for the VC space now to act as a magnifier for good. This Fellowship is one step in the right direction to dispel some of the preconceptions regional investors may have about conscious investing and financial returns and to educate the next generation of mission-driven investors from the GCC.”
Head of KAUST Entrepreneurship Center Hattan Ahmed said: “KAUST is driven by a mission to advance research and create new technologies that address our greatest global challenge in food, water, energy, and the environment. We are starting to see more deep tech startups emerging from the ecosystem, disrupting existing industries, and creating new solutions to these challenges.
“The Conscious Investment fellowship is a key step to advancing this ecosystem and educating regional investors about the potential of emerging technologies and their long-term value. For Saudi Arabia in particular, there is a unique opportunity to nurture this deep tech ecosystem for real economic transformation.”
CEO of Sheraa Najla Al Midfa commented: “Sheraa is proud to support the Conscious Investor Fellowship and help develop a new generation of impact investors. Access to capital, while improving, remains a challenge for most young startups. Parallel to this, there has long been an untapped community of high net-worth individuals who want to support entrepreneurs but are unsure of where to start.
“This Fellowship helps bridge the gap, and aligns with Sheraa’s efforts to engage investors on the positive socio-economic impacts of investing in local tech startups. We look forward to working with these Fellows and welcoming them to Sharjah’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.” – TradeArabia News Service