About the CEO Program, Agritech Edition
The CEO Program is a Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development initiative supported by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Jenaan Investment, and curated & operated by Stratecis.
The aim of this program is to enable government employees with an opportunity to cultivate entrepreneurship and innovation skills; build and grow their own ag-food tech ventures; and contribute to UAE's Food Security Strategy.
Are you a government employee interested in launching your own agtech startup or growing your existing one in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi? Then the CEO Program is the right one for you!
Contribute to supporting the growth and development of Abu Dhabi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through empowering & enabling Abu Dhabi Government Employees in their early-stage agri-food tech entrepreneurial journey.
Create entrepreneurship opportunities for Abu Dhabi Government Employees in partnership with industry partners to help find, sustain and grow their new or existing ag-food tech ventures.
Equip government employees with practical entrepreneurship & innovation skills, knowledge and tools to develop innovation in agriculture and food; and contribute to building a more sustainable future.
Develop supportive programs & enabling environment for emerging entrepreneurs.
Enable the transition of government employees to full-time entrepreneurs.
From zero to seed in 9 months, through a specially designed program to build a business that will solve real agriculture challenges.
We support in finding a co-founding team, perhaps a subject matter pro, CTO/builder, go-to-market/business modeler, with whom the founder will build further confidence.
The program’s successful graduates with viable solutions will potentially be eligible for a 1-year sabbatical leave from their employment.
Get industry expert guidance.
Get linked to industry partners.
Get link to investors.
Who Should Apply?
Previous Founder: Someone with experience in venture building to help accelerate the venture.
Commercial: Someone with strengths that will help in the go-to-market and building the business model.
Tech Geek: Someone capable of helping in the process of building the prototype, and later, the project itself. Ideally a software/hardware engineer, CTO, product manager (who can set the roadmap) or product designer (who can build to POC).
Marketing Guru: Someone capable of helping to market the product, build the brand and drive user traction.
Subject matter expert: Someone who knows about the unmet agriculture, food and/or farming customer needs that could be utilised.
Who Gets Selected?
The founders of CEO Program are employees in government sector who have a co-founding team or an individual willing to leave their jobs to become entrepreneurs.
These are the individuals we are looking for:
Future Entrepreneur: You believe you have what it takes to to go out of your comfort zone from being an employee to follow your entrepreneurship dream
Self-Starter: You are a self-starter and can inspire and motivate yourself and others to join your mission. You set high goals and have proven to achieve them whether at work, sports…
Blue Ocean Strategist: That strong attribute which enables your skills and experiences to stand out from the crowd. You have deep knowledge in an area where you can form a competitive advantage.
Creative Problem Solver: Your source of energy never runs low. You always find a window when the door closes. You have the willingness and ability to keep going when you're faced with obstacles.
How will the CEO Program work?
Submit the application by providing up-to-date information about you. Incomplete forms will not be considered.
SHORTLISTING & TEAM BUILDING
7 teams will be shortlisted by the CEO Program judging committee and notified accordingly.
Choose your Innovation Challenge
How might we create new ways of cooling the greenhouses?
Most of the greenhouses in the country use low to medium technology: they are usually cooled using a fan and pad system & most fail to reach the required temperature during the summer season. Additionally, too much clean water is used in this process. In this sense, how might we create new ways of cooling the greenhouses, using technology, on a small scale, that can be adopted by at least 15% of UAE growers?
How might we connect farms to markets and consumers in order to promote & sell their produce locally and internationally?
It is a fact that distributors and retailers are charging high prices for marketing, making high profits out of the farmers & the customers. Also, the bargaining power of farmers is very close to zero, as there are a lot of small farmers, when comparing to the number of retailers/distributors. In this sense, how might we increase the farmers share in the consumer dirham (farmer product to consumer/retailer)?
How might we use the brine water from the farm reverse osmosis system?
Most farms in the UAE face issues with the availability of fresh water for farming. This has made more common the use of reverse osmosis to desalinate water. However, the rejected water from this process, can negatively affect the sustainability of the ground. In this sense, how might we use the brine water from the farm reverse osmosis system, in order to ensure the sustainability of the soils?
Meet the Mentors
Mohammed Al Falasi
Investment & Business Group
Jenaan Investment LLC
Ahmed Al Remeithi
Enterprise Development Department
Khalifa Al Hammadi
Entrepreneurs Capacity Building Department