• Anjal Z

    for Early Childhood Development Scale-Ups

    February 9 - April 2, 2020

    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


    Anjal Z, an initiative led by the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, is an equity-free 8-week high impact growth program, run in Abu Dhabi, for global

    scale-ups that focus on improving Early Childhood Development across Health & Nutrition, Early Care & Education, Child Protection and Family Support targeting children between the ages 0-8 years old.

  • Program Timeline


    Application Period

    January 2 - January 19


    Kick-Off Bootcamp

    February 9 - February 13


    High Impact Program

    February 16 - March 29


    Demo Day

    March 31


    Post-Program Support

    April 5 - May 28

  • What to expect?

    8-Week High Impact Program

    including in-depth trainings and weekly 1:1 meetings with Entrepreneur in Residence

    20+ Local and International


    including support from subject matter experts in Early Childhood Development 

    Localization Support

    facilitating connections for public-private partnerships

    $90,000 Grant

    become eligible for an equity-free grant of up to $60,000 in cash and $30,000 of in-kind services

    Opportunities for Follow-On Investment

    pitch in front of regional and global investors during demo day

    Relocation to Abu Dhabi

    covering one round-trip flight, accommodation and office space for 8 weeks

  • Top-performing startups that demonstrate a strong expansion strategy and progress in the United Arab Emirates will be eligible to receive an additional $100,000.

  • Who can apply?

    Scale-Ups must:

    • be focused on improving Early Childhood Development between ages 0-8 across Health & Nutrition, Early Care & Education, Child Protection, and Family Support;
    • preferably have over $10,000 in monthly recurring revenue;
    • have demonstrated product/market fit;
    • have a skilled founding team of two or more people;
    • have aspirations to expand to the UAE market (and the GCC and beyond);
    • have the ability to relocate to Abu Dhabi for the course of an 8-week program.
  • What are some of the challenges facing

    Early Childhood Development?


    • Unsuitable learning practices, quality of materials, and learning environment;
    • Parental misconceptions around a child's development needs;
    • Lack of guidance to parents regarding the components of high-quality home education.

    Health & Nutrition

    • Bad eating habits;
    • Lack of drive or aspiration to become healthier;
    • Lack of awareness on what is a healthy nutrition diet.


    Child Protection

    • Growth in child abuse and bullying cases since 2013;
    • Only a small share of incidents get reported;
    • No coordination across entities and no formalized and private reporting process.

    Family Support

    • Decrease in amount/quality of time parents spend with kids;
    • Lack of awareness on what constitutes good childcare;
    • Lack of guidance for parents on good childcare and post incidents therapy.
  • 5 startups will be invited to join a growth program and receive up to a $90,000 grant, localization support and opportunities for follow-on investment.

  • Application Deadline: January 22

    Program Start Date: February 9

  • Enablers & Partners


    The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority

    The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) is a governmental organisation based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. We promote collaboration to help all of Abu Dhabi’s young children flourish and we do this across four sectors: health and nutrition, child protection, family support, early education and care; from the early stages of pregnancy to the age of eight years old. We are broadening the capabilities of our partners to support holistic child development, developing coordinated and aligned policies and laws, informing decision-making through research, data and evidence and working to transform how people think about and address the needs of young children.



    Seedstars is a Swiss-based group with the mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. Seedstars connects stakeholders, builds companies from scratch with public and private partners and invests in high growth startups within these ecosystems. Through different activities, that range from startup scouting to company building and acceleration programs, the team has built the most powerful network of entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, corporations and government officials from 65+ fast-growing economies around the globe. Seedstars group includes Seedstars World, a worldwide startup competition, sourcing the top talent in technology and entrepreneurship in emerging markets; Seedstars Growth, a three-month virtual acceleration program; Seedspace, a network of coworking and co-living spaces now in 15+ countries and Seedstars Academy, a six months intensive training for aspiring local entrepreneurs on how to build sustainable businesses.

  • FAQ

    • What is Early Childhood Development and what areas are targeted for program sourcing?

    The program is aimed at solutions focused on Early Childhood Development (0-8 years old), including Early Care & Education, Health & Nutrition, Family Support, and Child Protection.

    • Can I still apply if my startup is related to the above sectors but not currently focused on Early Childhood development?
    If you are related to any of the above sectors and willing to adapt your startup to focus on Early Childhood Development between the ages of 0-8 years old then you could apply.
    • Do you take any equity?
    No, this is an equity-free program, you receive a grant with no change to current shareholders.
    • Do we need a technical co-founder to be on-board?
    You need to have a complementary team (CEO, CTO), but it is up to you to assign team members to join the program in Abu Dhabi, based on seniority and relevance (CEO, Business Developer, Regional Manager, etc.)
    • Do all team members have to move to the UAE?
    1-2 team members are expected to be able to relocate to Abu Dhabi for the course of the program.
    • Do you provide assistance with visas?
    Yes, we would provide all the necessary support to make sure you join in time.
    • Is accommodation included?
    Yes, flights and accommodation during the whole period of the program are covered for up to 2 team members.
    Do you still have unanswered questions? Contact us at mira@seedstars.com