MBZUAI's AI Entrepreneurs Shine with Advanced Solutions
The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) successfully concluded its inaugural Entrepreneurship Courses, marking a moment in the UAE's drive to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of AI. The event, held on-campus in Masdar City, saw 22 students equipped with the essential entrepreneurial skills, tools, and networks required to transform their AI solutions into viable businesses within the UAE market.
The entrepreneurship courses were a collaborative effort between MBZUAI's Incubation and Entrepreneurship Center (MIEC) and startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based startup accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi. With a mission to boost the AI startup ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, the program proved to be a success, culminating in the presentation of 12 AI-based startup business plans at the event.
The top three AI-assisted technologies and applications unveiled during the event are Audiomatic, a platform providing automatic and emotionally intelligent audio production for video content; Limb, an application offering accessible physiotherapy information with features such as exercise correction and pain management; and Momzo, a AI assistant tailored for women's maternity to motherhood, powered by generative AI.
Sultan Al Hajji, MBZUAI’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, “These are the first AI-focused entrepreneurship courses at the university and in the UAE, and comes on the eve of an expected AI startup boom led by generative AI.” Al Hajji highlighted the importance of encouraging students to the entrepreneurial environment in Abu Dhabi and transform research and engineering expertise into successful businesses.
Ramesh Jagannathan, Managing Director of startAD, emphasised the significance of AI in shaping cultural identities worldwide and the unique role of human skills alongside automation. He stated, “The MBZUAI IEC program immersed AI innovators in the exciting world of innovation and entrepreneurship, where they learned to apply business literacy heuristics to their ideas.” According to an Accenture Report, AI is projected to contribute US$182 billion annually to the UAE's economy by 2035.
The 22 graduates, representing over 10 nationalities and with 41 percent being women, completed an intensive five-week entrepreneurship course that included eight workshops and three community engagement events covering various topics such as idea generation, market discovery, prototyping, and pitching. The 12 startup business plans spanned across diverse verticals, including AI safety, AI for health, and AI for social good.
An expert panel of judges, including Jean-Luc Scherer, Mariam Al Badr, Dr. Ramzi Ben Ouaghrem, Michael Huang, and Selim Tira, evaluated the pitches and selected the top three projects with high potential impact. The event featured keynotes from Al Hajji, MBZUAI’s Acting Provost Professor Timothy Baldwin, and startAD’s Assistant Director of Innovation Programs Rami Jundi, solidifying the significance of the milestone in advancing AI entrepreneurship in the region.