The Catalyst, the sustainability-focused accelerator supported by Masdar and BP, has announced three new companies for its second cycle of funding, training and mentorship.
The announcement was made at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020, the region’s largest sustainability gathering, taking place this week in the UAE capital. All three start-ups will receive funding and training, access to The Catalyst’s mentor network, and office space at Masdar City’s Tech Park or Accelerator Building.
“We are pleased to welcome our new companies to The Catalyst, the region’s first clean technology accelerator focused on sustainable growth. Masdar City is the natural home of innovation in Abu Dhabi and all these businesses will benefit from its R&D facilities and the award-winning business services of Masdar City Free Zone – for long after they have completed their acceleration period,” said Cinar Kurra, Chief Executive Officer, The Catalyst.
The three start-ups are:
Seramic Materials, which converts industrial waste such as fly ash or steel slag into value-added ceramics, has been granted US$150,000, along with a two-floor laboratory space, and office and showcase space in the Tech Park.
Key Technologies, a company developing a high-tech, autonomous, ultra-long-distance surveillance system, has been granted US$190,000 and office space at Masdar City.
Volts, which is developing a smart battery management system that can power an entire house from a renewable energy source, has been granted US$175,000 and a space for laboratory testing.
“BP is excited to see the success of this partnership with Masdar and the progress made since we first established The Catalyst. The three new start-ups are a testament to the continuous hard work by The Catalyst team, who are focused on sustainability and attracting the best start-ups, which will be showcased at WFES 2020,” said Salem Bin Ashoor, General Manager and Chief Representative of BP UAE.
Visitors to ADSW 2020 also had the opportunity to try products provided by a company in The Catalyst’s first cycle, with sustainable skincare brand De L’Arta distributing samples of its eco-friendly face creams, face washes and face masks. De L’Arta uses extracts from desert plants abundantly available in the UAE to make its unisex skincare products, with the plants grown at a farming plot in Masdar City and the key ingredients extracted at the company’s research laboratory in Tech Park. The company is planning to launch its first line of products this quarter.
A company in The Catalyst’s first cycle, De L’Arta – Outdoor Living Laboratory, was also present at ADSW 2020, distributing samples from its first product range collection of eco-friendly skincare, including face wash, face cream and face mask.
De L’Arta is an R&D company that focuses on maximizing the potential of the UAE’s natural resources, with its skincare collection using an extract from a UAE native desert plant. The unisex skincare uses a biodegradable formula and is suitable for all skin types. De L’Arta’s research projects also include efforts in soil regeneration and the upcycling and management of waste. The company utilizes a farm plot in Masdar City as well as a laboratory in Tech Park, where it does its own extractions for the key ingredients of the skincare. The company is planning to launch its first line of products in the second quarter of 2020.
“Masdar and The Catalyst have been instrumental in manifesting our visions into reality and allowing us to support Abu Dhabi in achieving its 2030 goal of diversifying its economy into a knowledge-based ecosystem” said Dr Lina Yousef, Co-Founder of De L’Arta. “Being part of The Catalyst’s programme has exposed us to important opportunities, which has helped us gain leverage in this growing start-up landscape in Abu Dhabi.”
More than 700 companies currently operate at Masdar City, including start-ups, SMEs and multinational companies, with tenant registrations increasing by over 15 per cent in 2019. The Masdar City Free Zone announced new free zone packages at last year’s GITEX Technology Week, offering start-ups and companies competitive leasing and registration fees. The free zone is also expanding its operations with the development of a new Accelerator building, which will provide an additional 4,370 square metres of space.
Catalyst accepts applications from local and international entrepreneurs with start-up projects in the fields of aggrotech, biotech, electric mobility, energy efficiency systems, and food waste management systems. The accelerator provides up to US$190,000 in grant funding per company, as well as training, one-on-one mentorship, and access to the support of the award-winning Masdar City Free Zone.
Source: Hill+Knowlton Strategies