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startAD Demo Day spotlights hardware innovation in the UAE

startAD’s Hardware Venture Launchpad, the UAE’s first-ever programme for hardware startups, has recently concluded its Demo Day at NYU Abu Dhabi.

StartAD, NYU Abu Dhabi, hardware startups, Demo Day
Participants of the startAD Hardware Venture Launchpad’s Demo Day

During the Demo Day, more than 20 teams from emerging hardware companies participated in the programme and showcased their concepts to investors, media, and the UAE startup community.start

“Unlike software startups, which need little to no upfront capital investment, hardware startups need significant infusion of resources, and a strong business model that has the manufacturing details ironed out before seeing the light of day,” said Ramesh Jagannathan, managing director of startAD and vice provost for innovation and entrepreneurship at NYU Abu Dhabi. “It is a challenging task, but startAD is committed to helping to make Abu Dhabi the global epicenter for hardware innovation.”

Three teams walked away with a prototyping grant that will enable them to further develop their products.

Among the winners was Maia Systems, led by CEO Saeed Alnofeli and supported by Chief Technology Officer David Khayati and Scientific Advisor Hector Hernandez. They designed a premier real-time data collection and analysis system for optimisation of camel racing and training regimens. The system collects speed, location, overall exertion and performance data of racing camels.

The product also improves data collection on a camel’s racing fitness by using an integrated time monitor, location tracker, heart rate sensor, and percent effort monitor in a single hardware unit that wirelessly transfers data to a storage and analytic software application for smart devices, and standardises the camel industry’s performance benchmarking and valuation process.

Meanwhile, Team Stealthy were rewarded for their medtech wearable hardware concept; a jewellery collection designed for women pre and post pregnancy aimed at enhancing their wellbeing. The sensor integrated cognitive jewellery ensures vitamin D and folic acid levels are monitored, safeguarding women against deficiency. The Stealthy app integrates all these features along with encouraging the practice of communal wellness activities. The team responsible for this innovative concept included CEO Nadiya-Keya Siddique and Chief Medical Officer Dr Zakiya-Luna Siddique.

Lastly, Startup SMADO was declared a winner for its home automation smart device called the SMADO smart lock. This device enables users to control the doors via Bluetooth. All that needs to be done is to stick the device to a door and calibrate it. The team members involved in creating this concept were CEO Midhun V Sankar, CTO Jishnu Parambath and COO Ashin Muhammad.

“The global augmented reality market share is expected to reach $133.78 Billion in 2021, the hardware encryption market $413.85 billion by 2022, medical device and technology market – $530 billion in sales by 2021 and the IoT market is forecast to reach $639.74 billion in four years. We are talking about a market worth a few trillion dollars in the next five years,” he added.

In addition to the three winning teams who received a prototyping grant, team Project Realise won a trip to Shenzhen, China to work with startAD partner labs and gain exposure to the robust manufacturing ecosystem.

The three winning teams along with Project Realise were also awarded IBM cloud credits of up to $120,000; and stand to be considered for ADvance mentoring and seed funding by startAD.

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