Abu Dhabi Global Market Announces 1st FinTech Innovation Centre and Accelerator Partnership with World’s Largest Startup Accelerator at the Inaugural FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, has announced two major initiatives – the launch of the ADGM FinTech Innovation Centre and its global partnership with world’s largest startup accelerator Plug and Play – at its inaugural FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit.  These two FinTech initiatives aim to support greater financial innovation, cultivate FinTech talents, foster closer industry collaboration and facilitate more cross-border investment opportunities to bolster the development and growth of financial services in Abu Dhabi and the region. FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit, which is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, successfully today with participation from 500 global FinTech leaders, innovators, financial regulators, decision-makers and industry trend-setters.  

 The new FinTech Initiatives are : 

(i)  ADGM FinTech Innovation Centre by first half of 2018

ADGM will launch the Innovation Centre – a physical hub where FinTech communities can come together to foster an interactive, collaborative and vibrant ecosystem for innovation to take root in Abu Dhabi and the region.  It will include a co-working space for FinTech startups to meet with financial institutions, investors and potential partners, as well as state-of-the-art facilities for networking and events.  At its core, the Innovation Centre will feature a startup acceleration programme (see below) to attract and nurture FinTech entrepreneurs and companies from all over the world to develop and deploy innovative solutions in the region.  The Centre will also be home to participants of the Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) -ADGM’s regulatory sandbox that allow companies to live-test innovative Fintech products in collaboration with the regulator.  ADGM FinTech Innovation Centre welcomes startups focusing on Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, DLTs, Biometrics, E-Payments, RegTech and more that shape and transform financial services in the years to come.

(ii)  Global Startup Accelerator Partnership between ADGM and Plug and Play

ADGM and Plug and Play, the world’s largest startup accelerator based in Silicon Valley, signed a new partnership to launch a startup acceleration programme in Abu Dhabi, focused on FinTech. The Programme will be housed within the ADGM FinTech Innovation Centre. The partnership was signed by H.E. Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman of ADGM and Mr Saeed Amidi, Chief Executive Officer, Plug and Play.  Some of Plug and Play’s success stories include Google, Paypal, Dropbox, Lending Club and other.  

Through the Programme, ADGM will play a central bridging role of working with partner banks and financial institutions to identify the pipeline of strategic needs and challenges of the financial sector in the region, source for the most promising solutions from global innovators, and assure the deployment of the solutions with participating financial, technological and academic institutions.  As the regulator, ADGM will be a key participant in the ecosystem to introduce or update appropriate regulations and rules to support technology adoption by the financial industry and achieve better regulatory outcomes across the sector.

H.E Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman, of ADGM, said: “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Plug and Play to establish the first-of-its-kind global acceleration programme to support the ADGM FinTech Innovation Centre.  As a FinTech Hub, ADGM will continue to actively engage the industry, keep abreast of regulatory developments, innovate, increase talent pool and introduce more and appropriate support to augment the FinTech structure and ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and for the region. We look forward to working closely with Plug and Play to accelerate and expand the FinTech offering and growth in Abu Dhabi and the whole region.”  

ADGM continues to work closely with a local and international network of financial regulators, innovators, financial institutions, accelerators and technology companies to support the FinTech ecosystem and our infrastructure.  On 22 October, the Securities and Commodities Authority and ADGM signed a cooperative agreement to exchange information and knowledge on FinTech-related issues.  More recently, ADGM has also established strategic partnerships with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Ansari Exchange, Du, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Etisalat, UAE Exchange, Let’s Talk Payments, Mastercard Bank, YES Bank, Temenos, to name a few.  

The by-invitation only FinTech Abu Dhabi event has attracted more than 3,000 interests, with 500 delegates invited to attend the Summit and networking reception from 22 to 23 October, at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahar in Abu Dhabi.  

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