WaveX, Docswallet and uHONCHO were declared the winner, runner-up and second runner-up, respectively, at the startAD Fintech Venture Launchpad demo day on September 14.
The winning teams will receive up to $120,000 (AED440,400) in IBM Cloud credit for a year, in order to implement their applications as part of the IBM Global Entrepreneur programme.
The winning teams will receive business mentorship as part of this initiative, which allows access to industry experts at IBM.
Their ventures will also receive go-to-market support, which may provide opportunities for exposure within IBM’s marketing materials, websites, internal and external presentations, and their advertisements.
First place winner WaveX aims to become a democratised energy market that leverages Internet of things (IoT) technology and blockchain to create a new market where anyone can participate freely.
“Through our platform, we aim to help transform the UAE from being an oil-based economy to an energy-exporting nation,” said Mohammed Rashid, founder of WaveX.
Runner-up Docswallet seeks to enable everyday government transactions to operate online by combining advances in digital identity and electronic signatures.
Second runner-up uHONCHO will be a mobile platform designed for freelancers to help them track, measure and manage their day-to-day business activities and financial performance.
The demo day was the culmination of the startAD Venture Launchpad’s ten-day immersive programme, aimed at helping early stage start-ups develop scalable, repeatable and capital efficient ventures.
This edition focused on fintech (financial technology), with the intention of connecting nimble and innovative start-ups to the biggest players of that industry.
The programme attracted more than 200 teams from the UAE and globally to participate.
According to demo organizers, “Abu Dhabi is the future fintech hub, recently rising to 25th position in the Global Financial Center Index (GFCI). The pace of fintech start-up creation in the UAE is three times faster than other hubs in the region and the fintech industry is estimated to grow to $3 trillion by 2025.”
Wamda, a platform of programmes and networks that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across MENA, said that two-thirds of the 250 predicted fintech companies operating by 2020 will be payment, lending and capital raising platforms.
A good example from the UAE is Payfort, a Dubai-based online payment system, which processed more than AED3 billion in payments during its first year of operation.