“Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority” welcomes 7 international startups to the Anjal Z program

  • New global innovations to advance the ECD sector.
  • Creative sustainable solutions to promote the development and wellbeing of children.
  • Increasing technology contribution to the development of children’s skills and abilities.

Abu Dhabi, March 3, 2021: The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) welcomed seven global startups to Anjal Z Cohort 02. Launched in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Anjal Z aims to instill innovation in early childhood development by empowering growth-stage global startups as they launch their activities in Abu Dhabi and the region. Anjal Z’s inaugural cohort, which was completed in 2020, comprised global entrepreneurs and startups that were invited to localize their solutions for Abu Dhabi and bring their products into a new market.

The seven growth-stage startups include FinlandWay, a school-in-a-box early education franchise network that utilizes technology to transform educator training and support curriculum delivery, learning processes, learning environments and outcome documentation; LuxAI, from Luxembourg, has built QTrobot, an easy-to-use humanoid robot that improves the effectiveness of autism interventions by increasing the attention and engagement of children with autism; and MonkiBox, a UAE-based startup that delivers science-backed toys and activities to empower parents to help their children master particular skills and meet developmental milestones.

Polish startup RemmedVR is a telemedicine platform for diagnostics and rehabilitation in neurology and eyecare. Their medically certified home vision therapy system consists of dedicated VR goggles, therapeutic exercises and a therapist control panel. Thinkerbell Labs have created the world’s first digital braille literacy device based out of India that helps the visually impaired learn to read, write and type in braille through interactive audio-guided content in vernacular languages. WonderTree is an affordable physiotherapy and educational game provider from Pakistan that uses augmented reality to help children of determination improve their motor, cognitive and educational skills. DoBrain is a Korean-based AI-based application that offers an accessible and affordable digital cognitive learning program for young children.

From his side, H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said: “New technologies will be key to driving progress by unlocking solutions to the challenges facing us now and in the future. The power of Anjal Z lies in bringing together and empowering innovators in the early childhood arena, as they develop technology-enabled solutions to equip our next generation. Through our partnership with the Early Childhood Authority on Anjal Z, ADIO is working across the ecosystem to connect entities with the partners, resources and support they require to take their ideas from ambition to reality.”

H.E. Sana Mohamed Suhail, Director General of ECA, welcomed the Anjal Z Cohort 02 startups to the journey of promoting the early childhood sector in Abu Dhabi.

“Bringing the seven startups together in Abu Dhabi marks a new prominent achievement for the emirate and the UAE towards supporting children. The move also reflects the great attention paid by the wise leadership to promote the ECD sector and improve the quality of life, she said.

“The startups will localize their solutions in areas of early care and education, family support, health and nutrition, and child protection in line with the country’s legislation, culture and aspirations to achieve the best outcomes for children,” Suhail affirmed.

Suhail commended ADIO’s efforts to invest in creating a competitive environment for tech startups and advancing the emirate’s tech ecosystem. She noted that ECA’s partnership with ADIO aims at fostering support for private sector companies developing technological solutions with impact at regional and global levels, particularly in the early childhood sector.The startups were selected after a robust judging process and completed an intensive program with training from international and local experts that allowed them to hit the ground running upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. Each Cohort 02 startup, eligible for up to AED 700k in grants provided by ADIO, is now preparing to launch pilots with local schools, healthcare providers and therapy centers. They will continue to receive support as they sharpen their offerings and localize their implementation.

Furthermore, ECA selected MassChallenge as their partner in program development. “We are proud to partner with ECA and support the Anjal Z program. This program creates a runway for global startups to solve major challenges in the ECA’s four areas of focus,” said Siobhan Dullea, CEO of MassChallenge. MassChallenge brings a decade of innovation acceleration experience and a global network of experts to work with the startups and program leaders.

ECA seeks to design a dedicated process for ECD-related policy and legislation development. The process is defined as proactive, iterative, participatory and evidence-based, with strong enforcement and implementation components. In addition, ECA is responsible for reviewing, adjusting and issuing policies to fill existing ECD-related gaps, promote high-quality services and achieve the best outcomes for children.

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